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Re: [virt-tools-list] [virt-viewer][PATCH 0/6] Create actions menu



Hi,

To throw my 2 cents into this discussion:

On 01/18/2013 06:27 PM, lagarcia linux vnet ibm com wrote:
From: Leonardo Garcia <lagarcia br ibm com>

On 01/07/2013 08:42 PM, Daniel P. Berrange wrote:
On Mon, Jan 07, 2013 at 05:52:54PM -0200, lagarcia linux vnet ibm com wrote:
From: Leonardo Garcia <lagarcia br ibm com>

This menu would hold entries related to the connected guest life-cycle management:
  - Restart
  - Shutdown
  - Forced Shutdown
  - Redefine Hardware Settings
  - etc.

The inclusion of these new actions in virt-viewer would allow an end-user to be
able to have some control over the running VM without the need of opening
virt-manager or other management tools. This is specially useful in
environments in which the end-user is not using a management tool to start the
VMs, but, instead, have a direct link setup to connect to a local or remote VM
in his/her desktop.

I don't really think this is somewhere that I want virt-viewer to go.
I really view virt-viewer as a minimal application for interacting with
the guest. In particular the intent is that the user of virt-viewer
should not need to have administrative privileges to libvirtd, which
your suggested menu options would require.

Ok, I understand your point.

IMHO the use case you're describing really is one for virt-manager to
have. There is no requirement that virt-manager display its main manager
window - it has a command line flag to make it immediately display the
GUI console of a single VM, which pretty much provides the functionality
you describe.

Although I can agree that virt-manager would be more appropriate to hold the
features I am describing, I think I am trying to address a use case scenario
that is currently not properly supported by any of these two tools. So, first,
let me try to define the audience I am interested in: my average end-user here
is a desktop user.

My view is that currently available virt-viewer and virt-manager tools are
designed to fit the needs of system administrators or developers managing
virtual machines. Both of them are targeted to the user dealing with
virtualization in an enterprise/data-center environment. However, it is
becoming more and more common that average desktop users, that are usually
involved in administrative or operational tasks and that might not have any
knowledge on how virtualization works, need to use virtualized environments
running on their desktops (or even remotely) to accomplish daily tasks. Using a
virtualized environment to accomplish some specific tasks would be important
and necessary due to security reasons: to avoid any kind of contamination
between the desktop user system and the system running the tools he/she uses to
accomplish important tasks and that might have confidential/sensitive
information. Also, it may be the case that customer contracts enforce the use
of isolated systems to access the customer's IT environment: the use of
virtualization allows one person to have access to multiple isolated
environments in an easy way yet avoiding any contamination between the
environments.

The way I see today, virt-viewer is a too simple tool that only provides access
to the virtual machine console. And, on the other hand, virt-manager is quite a
complex tool for a desktop user. A desktop user might not be interested in the
details involved in creating and managing virtual machines (IT department will
work on that). But, at the same time, the desktop user would definitely want to
access the virtual machine console and have some kind of control over the
machine, even though he/she don't want to interact with any other complexities
related to the virtual machine infrastructure. In that scenario, I am really
targeting something in between from what virt-viewer and virt-manager console
viewer provides today.

The specific use cases I am interested in are:

1) Pause/Resume virtual machine

As a desktop user I want to be able to pause/resume the execution of the
virtual machine. This is important in cases in which I want to temporarily
suspend the work being executed at some point and resume the work in a later
time. From my point of view, this operation is similar to the suspend operation
in my desktop/laptop and it is intuitive for me to execute the same action in a
virtual machine.

2) Restart virtual machine

As a desktop user I want to be able to restart the virtual machine. This is
important in cases in which the applications running on the virtual machine
blocks its operation for some reason (specially when using Windows virtual
machines, which happens to be a very common case).

3) Shutdown

As a desktop user I want to be able to shutdown the virtual machine. The use
case here is similar to the one above: sometimes it is needed to simply turn
off the virtual machine to recover from a bad behaving state. Also, it is
intuitive for myself that I would be able to shutdown the virtual machine the
same way I do with my desktop/laptop. More importantly, this is the more
effective way to free up resources being used by the running virtual machine.

4) Forced shutdown

As a desktop user I want to be able to forcefully turn off the running virtual
machine. This is important in cases where the virtual machine is not responding
anymore, e.g. BSOD.


I think having the above 4 make sense, esp. since 1-3 are things which can be
triggered from inside the guest using guest specific menus too, so we're just
adding a more convenient way to do this, not adding new options.


But everything below to me clearly belongs in the realm of a management tool,
not virt-viewer.

5) Delete Virtual Client

As a desktop user I might be interested in deleting the current virtual
machine. This is important when, for instance, IT is deploying a new version of
the virtual machine and I need to decide whether I want to continue using the
old one, whether I want both versions (temporarily or in a definitive way), or
whether I would, eventually, destroy the old machine and start using the new
one.

6) Create shortcut on Desktop

As a desktop user I want to be able to easily access my virtual machines.
Ideally I would be able to do that from a desktop application launcher shortcut
that would: 1) Check if the virtual machine is running and, if not running,
start it; 2) Connect to the virtual machine console.

This desktop shortcut will be pre-configured by IT in my machine, but I need an
easy way to recover it if I mistakenly delete it.

Notice that the desktop shortcut would led me directly to the virtual machine
console viewer with all the features I am interested in. I don't want to look
on all the complexities shown by the virt-manager management window, for
instance.

7) Changes the console viewer exit routine to shutdown the guest when the
application is terminated.

As a desktop user it is counter intuitive that the virtual machine continues to
run when I left the console viewer application. I am used that when I close an
application all the resources being used by it are also freed up. In that case,
I would want to link the viewer exit routine to the virtual machine shutdown
action.

Of course that this might be configurable, as little bit more advanced desktop
user might understand the fact that the virtual machine can continue to run
even though the viewer is closed.

8) Leave virtual machine running in the background

As a desktop user, I want to be able to quit the viewer application but leave
the virtual machine running. This is the default behavior in viewers today, but
if we introduce the use case #7 (which is interestingly a cause of a good
amount of desktop users' requests) and the user configures it to be the default
behavior, we need to leave a way for myself to keep the virtual machine running
while I quit the viewer application.

As said all management tool things.


9) USB redirection functionality

As a desktop user I want to be able to attach a USB device in my laptop/desktop
and get it available in the running guest if the console viewer has the UI
focus at the time the USB device is attached. I would also be able to manually
select which USB devices already attached to the host I want to make available
to the guest.

??? This is already supported in virt-viewer in combination with using spice
as display protocol and works exactly as you describe.

Use case #9 is currently implemented only in virt-viewer.

Ah, right, that is something which we ought to fix, is that why point 9 is
on your list ?

Use cases #6, #7, and #8 are currently not implemented in any tools.

We are working an a virt-viewer ini-like vm-connection description
format, whereby you can create a simple text file with some
connection-details + settings in there, and a file-association
to this new file-format and then double-clicking such a file will
open virt-viewer and connect to the specified vm.

Regards,

Hans


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