Jonatan Schlag

Feature Spotlight: Libvirt
by Jonatan Schlag, September 18

Since 2011, we ship qemu as a package which makes it possible to virtualise another system on IPFire. This was very hard to use because there was no really nice way to create a new machine and to administrate them. Until now! After a lot of work and testing, I am happy to announce that libvirt is now available as a package for IPFire.

What is libvirt?

Libvirt is a library, which makes it very easy to administrate and control virtual machines, which are virtualised with qemu. It takes care of everything which is needed to control your VM: storage images, the network, the start and stop of the VMs, everything!

So what is the difference for IPFire users?

But there is also one huge issue with virtualization on IPFire:

Security

With every VM and every service inside a VM, the number of possibilities to attack and compromise your server grows. It is not impossible that somebody breaks out of the VM and damages your network, so be careful what you do. This should not make you scared, but you should know the risk.

We did our best to make the use of qemu and libvirt as safe as possible, but nothing can substitute a careful user. Of course this is an add-on as usual. So everyone can make the decision whether to use it or not on their own based on their risk evaluation which depends on the environment the IPFire system is running in. Of course a VM is cheaper to run than a second physical machine and sometimes you need an extra machine for testing and development; so there are good arguments on both sides.

How to get started?

If you now want to try out libvirt and qemu there are some things you should pay attention to:

And now, have fun with this great new feature!

Greetings Jonatan.


Posted: September 18 • 1800 views