[vbox-dev] showing empty disks attached to controllers via command line

Klaus Espenlaub Klaus.Espenlaub at Sun.COM
Tue Dec 1 11:06:25 GMT 2009

Hi Geoff,

Geoff Nordli wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Klaus.Espenlaub at Sun.COM [mailto:Klaus.Espenlaub at Sun.COM]
>> Sent: Monday, November 30, 2009 3:03 AM
>> To: Geoff Nordli
>> Cc: vbox-dev at virtualbox.org
>> Subject: Re: [vbox-dev] showing empty disks attached to controllers via
>> command line
>>> Ideally, I would really like to see a "--force" switch, which will
>> allow
>>> you unregister and delete a VM, even if there is something attached
>> to it.
>> We already thought about such a change, there was just no time yet.
>> It's
>> just one of those features which are not really high priority since
>> customers normally don't rely on VBoxManage for constructing a VM
>> management solution. Contributions accepted.
>> Also note that this will share one problems with the GUI - what should
>> be the exact semantics for deleting the images? We've already received
>> loud complaints that VirtualBox is responsible for losing free space...
>> Klaus
> Hi Klaus.
> I understand it is a fairly niche use option.  Though, it could be a good
> clean up tool, when your images get out of sync.  For example, right now in
> my testing I have several different images, and I have messed up a few
> snapshots.  I can't delete the VM from the GUI now, because the snapshot
> file has been deleted.  Having the command line option to "--force" would be
> beneficial here.

This is niche use, and what you describe below is your personal way to 
use VirtualBox. I wouldn't even call that a niche...

> I can see some users being challenged by having large vdi files in limbo,
> but isn't that the responsibility of the individual to manage?  If anything,
> my suggestion is moving to a central directory like "c:\vbox"
> "/var/lib/vbox" to hold all of the vbox files instead of burying it in the
> home directory. 

That's the curse of Windows brainwash... files which are created, owned, 
manipulated etc. by an individual user belong into his home directory. 
Nowehere else. The exact location is certainly a different story, but 
the general approach is clear. Putting personal files of several users 
in a central location doesn't sound like a good design to me.

Sure, for a setup where only a single user will be present it might be a 
viable solution.

> That is one of the first things I do when I install vbox, is to relocate the
> default hard disk and machine folder path.   

You're free to do so, but don't expect us to make this default.

> If there is enough of a problem, maybe a little clean up tool that goes out
> and searches for vdi/vmdk/vhd files on the local drives, which aren't
> attached to any vms.

There are plans for reducing/eliminating the medium registry, and then 
this gets more and more tricky. Should the tool also search for ISO 
files? Some people might like that as well. In general, tools can't 
replace the user's brain.


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