Kasm vs. VirtualBox

Having installed Kasm on my MacPro 5,1 Homelab and installing 4-5 different images, I think I prefer VirtualBox.

Just wondering what other people’s preferences for virtualisation are and, possibly, why?


Virt-manager, because it’s pure QEMU + KVM, uses the well-known libvirt and it’s working very well.

Obviously, you’re using a Mac, so you’re not going to get a linux kernel feature.


My biggest problem atm re virtualisation is getting access to the Mac EFI to enable it. Having tried all published key options to access it, I am now waiting to take delivery of an original GPU as some source’s report Mac keyboard shortcut issues with non-original GPU configurations, we’ll see.


(I actually want try a metal installation of Qubes on it.)

+1 for QEMU and KVM.

+1 for QEMU and KVM.

Well I managed to get QEMU and KVM up and running on my Mac Pro 5,1 with Ubuntu Server 22.04 LTS following a full system ‘rebuild’.

Using ZFE RAID(2 x 1Tb mirror) with 48Gb of EEC RAM.

Webmin reports entire system uses 2% of Real Memory and 2% of my 250GB NVME at idle.

Everything seems to work well and I am now happy with the base setup of my Homelab.

Thanks all.

Sadly virt-manager (a Red Hat project) has been deprecated from RHEL. The replacement is cockpit-machines (also a Red Hat project) which is very solid.

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Interesting. Currently looking at virt-manager and options in that area as my genuine VM needs are very basic. Probably a Windows system and maybe a MacOS as well.

I can always ‘play’ with other VM’s in Docker if I want to and use Portainer for management.

Also, I guess, Kasm could be the cherry on the cake in this scenario.

Exciting times…

Virt-manager is still robust and uses libvirt in the backend, so unless libvirt commands or APIs (like, idk, qemu changing its xml templates to json) change so much that makes it incompatible with virt-manager, then you can drop it.

If you really want something new, there’s gnome boxes or aqemu. Didn’t try either. The former uses libvirt, not sure about the latter. And I don’t think cockpit-machines has as many features as virt-manager.

Why I like it is because you can use it to control another machine’s VMs via ssh and it also has live migration. I control my hypervisor from my PC (separate boxes) all the time, but I haven’t live migrated since working in the field (I thankfully moved away from all the virt-manager stuff at my previous company, but that sure wasn’t fun).

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I’m actually more than happy to use virt-manager. I’ve installed on my laptop and run it, it reminds me of basic Oracle VM VirtualBox, which is fine for my immediate needs.

I assume I’m meant to setup SSH to the KVM Bridge IP address, virbr0, rather than the localhost’s IP, enp10s.

Any particular port?


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Virt-manager doesn’t need any special port or IP, it just connects to the host. Whatever IP address your virt-manager box can use to access your other libvirt hypervisors is fine, as in the backend it basically just runs libvirt commands (like virsh list --all and stuff).

Virt-man connects via ssh (so port 22) and as long as libvirt is installed on the other system and the user you used is part of the libvirt group (or if you ssh via root, ugh) then you’re done, no need for anything else.

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Awesome. All working. Cheers.

(People can say what they like about ChatGPT, but using it to look-up Linux commands to install packages, in this case ssh-askpass, makes life so much easier).

Now to download some ISOs…

I like Virt-Man on my desktop because it lets you tweak everything I want/need to tweak. I also just realized I can then open my Virt-Man VMs with Boxes, which has a more streamlined interface, IMHO. I have only just begun to play with this combo on my new machine, but most of my VMs get run in a Proxmox host.


Gnome Boxes sounds like it’s worth checking out then.

Yeah, not sure I need a Proxmox setup, but I’m planning on buying an old server machine as a dedicated Qubes setup running on 100% solar(via 1500W pure sinewave inverter) as an experiment, so I might try some sort of dual-boot system then.

I’ve ran my lab from a portable power station, could’ve powered them via solar. Don’t use an inverter, that thing will drain a battery overnight. Buy a 12V PSU, like a PicoPSU and power it on with a decent voltage regulator / step-down converter to exactly 12v coming into the pico.

Of course, you’ll need a decently low-power computer. I have a thinkpenguin 4-bay NAS with a core i5 11400T and 4 ssds, running on a picoPSU. I don’t have a decent step-down converter yet, planning on finding something that can sustain it.

Old optiplexes are good contenders for solar power if you replace the PSUs (if they aren’t using the properietary dell stuff, although you could reverse engineer the pinout and adapt a picoPSU to it). I plan my whole lab to be solar powered eventually, but for that, I need to find a good workflow to power things up and down based on how much sun is available and how much battery’s left. IDK if that’ll have to be a using a battery or a sensor that can plug into a NUT server, or if I’d have to do a custom setup with homeassistant or something.

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Yeah, I run my freezer on solar, but I suppose if/when I run out of meat I could use that to run my home lab. It cost far more to build out the solar system than I would spend on electricity, but still less than the value of the freezer’s contents.


I guess I could dial back my power requirements a bit. I have 2 x 200W panels, a MPPT controller and 272A(2x136A) @ 13.8V AGM batteries to operate with.

Considered a fixed DC regulator in the past as I figured DC-AC-DC would have to be less efficient than DC-DC, so I’ll checkout your reccomendations.

I’m in southern Australia so sunlight hours is very, very rarely an issue.

And besides, I’m just playing around and none of this stuff is as critical as a freezer…

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Probably need at least one battery to smooth out the power delivery (for instance when clouds reduce your solar gain momentarily). Many of the DIY Battery Management Systems (BMS) for LifePO and Lithium batteries can be monitored via serial or Bluetooth, so you can track the charge level of the battery (and estimate available runtime). Typically, you would buy enough battery capacity to carry the load for 2 or three days without sun (depending upon your location), but that can get expensive. You will either spend more for low power hardware or more for batteries, but it is hard to say which is the better option until you do the math.

I had fantasized about building some Threadripper Monero mining machines and running them (and the air-conditioners keeping them cool) off of the sun, but I couldn’t see a way I would ever make my money back.


Haha, ditto on the Monero mining.

Nah, not interested in lithium stuff thanks. Apart from the ethics of building/recycling the things, they are way too temperamental for mine.

I have a good old 3.5Kva genset on standby if needs be.

Yeah, I have a stack of Pi’s (and a 12v monitor) that I would like to make more portable so I can run them at home or (grab and go) take them with me as a portable home lab. I have some 100W panels and 100AH batteries that I used to power electric fence that I could repurpose to power the PI’s for days.