[virt-tools-list] dropping some uncommon features from virt-manager/virt-install

Daniel P. Berrangé berrange at redhat.com
Tue May 1 17:15:02 UTC 2018

On Tue, May 01, 2018 at 01:04:14PM -0400, Cole Robinson wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'd like to drop some uncommonly used features from
> virt-manager/virt-install. Comments welcome
> * non-virDomainOpenConsole serial console in virtManager/serialcon.py.
> qemu, libxl, bhyve, lxc all support this API, qemu since libvirt 0.8.6
> in Nov 2010. Directly connecting to /dev/ptsX only works for
> virt-manager if using qemu:///session or if using qemu:///system and
> running the app as root. It's not much code to maintain but it's hard to
> test and I don't think anyone will miss it, so I'd like to remove it.

Makes sense.

> * --location nfs handling. You can pass an nfs: or nfs:// URL to
> virt-install/virt-manager, it will try to mount it, then treat it as an
> install tree and pull out kernel/initrd per usual. I doubt anyone uses
> this with virt-manager since it would require running the UI as root.
> People are possibly using this with virt-install though. I think 10
> years ago it was more common to do at least RH distro installs over NFS,
> but I hear very little about usage of this nowadays, and I think most
> NFS servers probably have http exports as well. NFS mounting is tough to
> test and annoying to handle in the code, and inflexible in that the user
> can't pass in mount options. If someone is dependent on it they can
> manually make it work by mounting the share, doing --location
> /path/to/mount/point, and use --extra-args to specify method=/repo=
> kernel option for RH distros.

Yeah, having either virt-manager or virt-install screw around with
adding NFS mounts feels pretty dubious to me.

> * --cdrom $location installs. Did you know you can do virt-install
> --cdrom http://mirrors.mit.edu/centos/7/os/x86_64/  and we will fetch a
> boot.iso, save it to a tempfile, boot the VM from it, then delete the
> ISO? Probably not. I think this is a leftover from the old old days when
> xen HVM could only boot off cdrom but not kernel/initrd. if you are
> going the route of specifying an install tree url, kernel/initrd via
> --location is superior (at least for RH distros) since you can easily
> pass in kernel options like install parameters and kickstart files, and
> it's less stuff to download. As a workaround, if I remove this I'll wire
> up --cdrom to handle http paths directly to an ISO and the VM accesses
> it directly; this works with qemu+libvirt for a few years now. Dropping
> this saves a decent chunk of code and test cases from the URL test suite
> matrix.

BTW, on subject of automation, I've proposed an RFE to anaconda to
allow passing installer args via the SMBIOS OEM strings feature I
added to QEMU/libvirt. This would allow parity with kernel/initrd
based installs.


So if Anaconda accepts it, this would be something we would want
to support in virt-manager/intsall

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