Linux Based Virtual Workstation/KVM Idea

Discussion in 'Linux Admins, Storage and Virtualization' started by Eric Faden, Mar 25, 2017.

  1. Eric Faden

    Eric Faden Member

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    Question: With a set of Proxmox Servers is there a way to setup a Thin Client/PXE/Live CD on a NUC, RPi, or ?? using VNC or SPICE that could act as a KVM w/ Audio for the VMs?

    Explanation: Right now I have two servers running proxmox and a QNAP. I would like to setup a computer for my son to use so he can start learning how to use a computer. Since I'm doing this I was thinking it would be interesting to use the Proxmox servers or Linux Station on the QNAP to setup a Keyboard, Monitor, Mouse, and Speakers that we could use as a "console" to a VM. Ideally I would have an interface with a selection of several VMs to connect to (maybe with passwords or something) and he could pick his and I could use it for mine. I was thinking of virtualizing it so it would be easy to restore if he did something... and I could also setup Windows, Linux, OSX, etc all as VMs.

    I have looked at VDI and terminal services type things. But was looking for a bit of guidance if anyone knew anything that would work well for this idea.

    Does this even make sense or am I making it way more complicated?
     
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  2. Eric Faden

    Eric Faden Member

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    Basically thinking about it like a thin client/zero client based interface with KVM and Audio as an interface into a bunch of VMs (right now ideally proxmox).... but just an idea. Looking ideas at this point?

    As if I had 6 different computers connected with a single KVM switch.... Just all virtual....
     
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  3. manxam

    manxam Active Member

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    With a Windows guest you can enable the RDP role and then use any thin client or RPi (Raspberry Pi Thin Client project). You should be able to accomplish the same use VNC and some thin clients or RPi (as above).
    RDP is far faster and more feature rich than VNC so I'd suggest a Windows guest.
     
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    Blinky 42 and Patrick like this.
  4. Blinky 42

    Blinky 42 Active Member

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    For everything but full-screen games you should be set with a small linux box with RDP to connect to a windows VM, and VNC for others. The RPi Thin client project that @manxam mentioned looks pretty sweet way to get up and running quick. I'll have to give it a try.
     
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  5. kcallis

    kcallis New Member

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    I have just ran across this thread. I followed the link that @manxam, but I see that a this project is geared towards VMWare/Citrix. How does one apply this for Proxmox? Although I tend to push linux where ever I can, my 13 year old son would like to be able to use Windows for school, etc. So I thought it would be interesting to setup up Windows Server 2008 on Proxmox and then use a TC for him to access.
     
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  6. manxam

    manxam Active Member

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    Hello @kcallis, the RPi thin project doesn't connect to the host, just the guest via RDP, VNC, or VMware Horizons. If your son is using a Windows server guest, then he should be able to use the above w/o issue.
     
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  7. MikeWebb

    MikeWebb Member

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    On my Proxmox VE server I have a windows 10 VM installed on it's own SSD with AMD GPU passed through acting as a gaming machine with a pi connected to a TV so I can play steam games. passthrough and the vm stuff is standard linux stuff. Works really enjoyably great. I have another windows 10 VM that just clone so I can blow it away without issue, when I connect to it I use spice and it handles duel 1080p monitors no issue
     
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  8. niekbergboer

    niekbergboer Member

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    I have found that GPU pass through works better on E5 than on E3 based platforms. I don't know whether that is due to the fact that I never managed to untangle the IOMMU groups on E3, or because there is no proper PCIe Access/Addressing Control on E3, but I never got it to work.

    My current workstation is an X9SRA with a Xeon E5-1660v2 in it. I boot the host off an el-cheapo GPU I had lying around, and I pass through the 1080ti, a USB controller, the board's sound card, and a virtual function of the X520-DA1 to the VM. The host runs Proxmox VE, the guest Debian Buster (or Windows 10, in another VM, only one at a time of course).

    Works well; gaming on 4k is smooth, and it works well as a workstation, too.

    I am haven't been able to do this with a fully headless just yet, so without the small GPU. I may be possible though; I don't know.
     
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  9. MikeWebb

    MikeWebb Member

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    I forgot to add:
    I'm doing this on a X11 motherboard, I posted the IOMMU grouping info here
    https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...-groupings-for-x11sph-nctf.20419/#post-193726

    My GPU is currently connected to a monitor. For headless, consumer (GTX and RX) need a dongle to "trick" them.

    When I go headless, I'm debating either the dongle or biting the bullet and hunting down a second hand Nvidia grid card which will also give me SRIOV. Perfect for VDI
     
    #9
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