Xen Project vs KVM

I have a Ubuntu server, I would like to run some VMs on it. What are your opinions on these 2 pieces of software?

KVM isn’t software. If you just want to run some VMs on top of ubuntu you could run Virtual Box.

Can I use Virtualbox on a headless server? Also I would like to have the ability to use VLANS.

VirtualBox on Headless Server

Take a look at the above

I assume you are talking about the Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine https://www.linux-kvm.org/. I have not used it, as you probably already know I prefer XCP-NG as it is a very complete system. I still use Virtualbox on my laptop and desktop as it is really convenient system for testing projects.

Yes I was talking about the Linux Kernel VM. I mainly want file storage and a few VMs but I want to file storage to be on the disks directly not running inside a VM. With that in mind would FreeNAS and using their VM feature be my best option?

Currently I need a VM for a friend that took a chromebook to school and needs a windows machine so VLAN support is important and I would like to setup a simple web server to test sites locally.

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Or maybe just going with XCP-NG and doing a sync between drives. I do not have any RAID cards so I have been doing an RSYNC between the 2 8TB drives in Ubuntu. I also have a 4TB drive I use as an NVR and I copy files from it to the 8TB backed up drive if something interesting gets recorded.

There are a number of ways to skin this cat.

If you just need like one server, virtual box is pretty easy. However I don’t think of virtual box like a server per se (it could function like that) – its more like – I’m logged into my computer, I need a Linux application to do things with, then I’ll turn off my computer when I’m done which in essence stops the Virtual Box application as well,

In terms of KVM - yes its possible to run VMs inside of Ubuntu. @TheFu over on the Ubuntu forums is really well versed on this – he’s a really good resource.

In terms of Type I or bare metal hypervisors you have some choices ESXI, KVM, Citrix. I suppose Bhve used by FreeNas falls into this category, however it lacks a lot of optimizations present in the other 3. I have 3-4 VM’s running through bhyve on FreeNAS. They function as web servers, mail servers, bitwarden servers, etc. They work well, however they are not graphic intensive. I’ve never performed a Windows installation within bhyve but I know it’s possible however its probably not going to function well for graphic intensive apps or gaming. It would work great for simple web server.

In terms of application hypervisor suites — meaning dedicated distributions of software whose pain job is to host VMs - Esxi, Citrix, and Proxmox and three main choices I can think of off the top of my head. (Xcp-ng is the open source version of Citrix). Proxmox is a Debian distribution and creates VMs using KVM underneath. Usually these three would run on a dedicated machine or bare metal, and host hypervisors underneath. Features that distinguish these three are licensing issues or costs (how many VMs can you run before possibly needing to pay), administration (how easy is it to spin up, install, backup, and manage all your VMs), and scaling (meaning if you had multiple pools of hypervisors – could you manage these all in one place). @LTS_Tom has wonderful videos regarding use of xcp-ng. Very easy to follow. I’m aware many of the users of this forum also use Proxmox. ESXi seems more of a business or corporate product although I know your could use it at home for up to 10 VMs ?? (correct me if I’m wrong on this), but some of the features are crippled without paying for upgraded product.

VLAN support is tricky – meaning yes hypervisors support VLANs (not sure about Virtualbox on this one but answer is probably). The use of VLANs also requires a VLAN aware router and possible VLAN aware switch or access point or wireless router. Using VLANs is fun, however you might need to invest in more hardware if you don’t have the capabilities with your own current setup.

I hope I answered at least a portion of your question. A lot of rambling unfortunately.

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Yes it did thank you. I think I am going to get FreeNAS setup and use the bhyve VMs for now that seems like it will solve 80% of my use cases and I will probably plan on getting another server down the line for VMs maybe utilizing the FreeNAS as its storage.

You might also consider the use of jails rather than VMs – it just depends. jails use FreeBSD so you’d have to be familiar with FreeBSD over lets say Linux. jails in some respect are easier to work with since it’s really easy to mound FreeNAS datasets inside and make use of the FreeNAS storage. On the other hand if you are not accustomed to some of the BSD ways of doing things, then they can also be a headache. With VM’s you would have to use traditional methods to backup to other datasets within FreeNAS – like SMB,NFS,rsync etc.

Not really familiar with Linux so I will look into jails too thank you