Nested Virt KVM control panel

I've been toying with the idea of consolidating some VPSs into a single solution with nat. Now I have a shiny ryzen VPS with dedicated cores and plenty of ram plus ssd so it's time to test and maybe even do a write up. Initially I thought about going the lazy route and doing windows server 2016/2019 with hyper-v. But after some testing its just too much overhead, as expected not very stable, and even more as expected insecure.

However in my age I'm getting a bit tired for straight command line setups. I have enough documentation to write a book of setups and configs. What I would like to do is do a base secure config of centos 8 (stable and has KVM support built into the system) and a webpanel that I can lock away behind a firewall but access via an ssh tunnel.

I want the panel to allow me to setup KVMs with hardware limitations (CPU treads/utilization, Ram, HDD, etc) along with easy nat/masq for port forwarding. Maybe also support for additional IPs for future growth.

This isnt for commercial purposes. I won't be selling KVMs or giving them away so SolusVM and the like aren't a consideration. I don't want to pay for a panel and I don't want an iso.

I've heard "cockpit" with the KVM machines plugin is a good option and I've also been digging through this list

https://www.linux-kvm.org/page/Management_Tools

But I'm busy and lazy, don't have the patience to try a bunch of different solutions. Also my provider doesn't have snapshots so doing a base secure config trying a new panel hating it then wiping and starting fresh would be a giant PITA.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Comments

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    Are you set on it being a web-based panel? I ask because virt manager is awesome and you can open it over ssh with x-window forwarding.

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  • I think it will be hard to find a panel to match your requirements without a bit of testing. Maybe test it on a virtualbox on your desktop first?

    I tried Cockpit but I couldn't get it to work. Installed cockpit, then the Virtual Machines plugin but I couldn't do the basic, like create a VM. It seemed like you need to do some additional groundwork on the background with storage and network. I may give another try on CentOS 8.

    Few suggestions:

    • Kimchi: it's very basic but provides enough functionality to create VMs, templates, snapshots, etc. The project has been going through some growing pains after IBM dropped it's support for the project and there are just a few developers but it offers enough for my needs for home use.
    • Cloudmin: I tested it few years ago and found the interface a bit clunky. Among other limitations, at the time it didn't support QCOW2 based VMs only RAW and snapshots only on LVM based VMs and not file based. On the upside, the installation was very easy, it has a good integration with Webmin and use system tools, so it doesn't "take over" your system.
    • Not exactly what you are looking for, but maybe Proxmox would give you all the functionality you need? I don't use it, so not sure if it works virtualised.
  • AbdullahAbdullah Hosting ProviderOG

    Have u considered OpenNebula panel? They do have a Virtual router to configure nat(can't figure how to use it), but u can also use iptables.

  • edited July 9

    @AnthonySmith said:
    Are you set on it being a web-based panel? I ask because virt manager is awesome and you can open it over ssh with x-window forwarding.

    Not 100% I don't want to have to install a full x environment if it can be avoided but virt manager looks very good! Can it handle the networking as well.

    @beagle said:
    I think it will be hard to find a panel to match your requirements without a bit of testing. Maybe test it on a virtualbox on your desktop first?

    I tried Cockpit but I couldn't get it to work. Installed cockpit, then the Virtual Machines plugin but I couldn't do the basic, like create a VM. It seemed like you need to do some additional groundwork on the background with storage and network. I may give another try on CentOS 8.

    Few suggestions:

    • Kimchi: it's very basic but provides enough functionality to create VMs, templates, snapshots, etc. The project has been going through some growing pains after IBM dropped it's support for the project and there are just a few developers but it offers enough for my needs for home use.
    • Cloudmin: I tested it few years ago and found the interface a bit clunky. Among other limitations, at the time it didn't support QCOW2 based VMs only RAW and snapshots only on LVM based VMs and not file based. On the upside, the installation was very easy, it has a good integration with Webmin and use system tools, so it doesn't "take over" your system.
    • Not exactly what you are looking for, but maybe Proxmox would give you all the functionality you need? I don't use it, so not sure if it works virtualised.

    Really like the idea of kimchi a lot thanks for the suggestion. Kinda wish it had more development since Jan 2020 but hey it's still definitely active and alive.

    Proxmox would be my "screw it lets just get this off the ground" final result but I would really prefer to start with a centos 8 base first if I can. Centos 8 in my experience is stable as a rock and updates well.

    Cloudmin is based around webmin which I don't like. It's too much control over the system in my opinion and a bit clunky.

    @Abdullah said:
    Have u considered OpenNebula panel? They do have a Virtual router to configure nat(can't figure how to use it), but u can also use iptables.

    Hey thanks for the response! OpenNebula looks amazing. Full featured and able to handle growth but decent defaults to get it off the ground. I might start here so I can put my initial energy towards something full featured before potentially back dropping to a more simple and similar experience to hyper-v as virt manager! Then if all else sucks just do proxmox and call it a day 😆

  • @sureiam said: Proxmox would be my "screw it lets just get this off the ground" final result but I would really prefer to start with a centos 8 base first if I can. Centos 8 in my experience is stable as a rock and updates well.

    I installed Proxmox in my hotlineservers VPS (might be that the one you are talking about) and while it is good, it does have some overhead, mostly on RAM (1GB after installed). And for myself, RAM is always the thing I'm missing the most when setting up VMs, so keep that in mind.

    I'm very intestered in your findings, since avoiding the Proxmox overhead would be good.

  • AnthonySmithAnthonySmith AdministratorHosting Provider

    @sureiam said: Not 100% I don't want to have to install a full x environment if it can be avoided but virt manager looks very good! Can it handle the networking as well.

    I just used a super lightweight install and run a script that starts it as part of the x window forwarding and kill it off after, you can keep it very lightweight and on-demand, probably uses around an extra 256mb ram when running.

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  • Another tool I looked over when I was searching for the same thing as yourself, was this one : https://github.com/subuk/vmango

    It's actively developed, I evaluated a way back and I can see big differences in the UI.

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