[vbox-dev] questions regarding the new group feature

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Mon Oct 1 04:10:30 PDT 2012

On 28.09.2012 06:49, Willi Burmeister wrote:
> Hi Sergey,
> thanks for you answer.
>> - Why is it not possible to have empty groups?

Because they're 'ad hoc' - if there is no VM in a group it ceases to exist.

>> - Groups are 'ad hoc' which means the fact 'the group exists or not'
>> depends on VMs it contains.
> If groups are 'ad hoc' why are files moving around everytime membership
> changes? On CLI this is really irritating.

A VM can be in several groups, so it's not a purely hierarchical 
concept. But it was considered appropriate to organize VM directories by 

There is a primary group, which determines the location of the VM. You 
seem to consider this irritating, but in many ways this just acts as an 
extension of the VM name, which also changes the directory name when the 
VM name is changed. I'd call it consistent...

All further groups do not influence the directory location.

>> - GUI and CLI are inconsistent in displaying group names. Why? GUI
>> shows groups as "name" while CLI shows "/name".
>> - Reflecting group names as "/name" in GUI was decided as
>> 'unfriendly' (users feedback), so we decided to reflect if the way
>> it is now.
> Please add an RFE removing '/' in CLI too.

No, because if we remove the leading slash then we lose the ability to 
extend the feature towards explicit group creation (the "human readable" 
group name will then be without leading slash, and there will be a group 
uuid etc etc).

There's a lively discussion about groups in the forums, and once this 
produces a somewhat representative/implementable result (I can see 
reasons for disabling the otherwise useful primary group behavior of 
determining the subdirectory, but it's not clear what semantics is 
required to make people happy - per VM, global, ...) we'll see what we 
can do. The feature has seen more design than most people might suspect.


> Thanks again.
> Greetings
> Willi

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