[vbox-dev] Updated Automated-guest-installs for VirtualBox ! (beta5)

Klaus Espenlaub klaus.espenlaub at oracle.com
Mon Jun 8 13:34:16 GMT 2015


On 06.05.2015 22:17, Alexey Eromenko wrote:
> 0. Unattended core functionality itself *is* stable.
> What isn't stable:
> 1. Installer needs work; For now installing unattended templates is a
> manual task.
> I couldn't figure out how Oracle kmk Makefile system works.
> Is there any documentation?

We use kBuild, which in its core is GNU make with LOTS of goodies on 
top, with a strong focus on template-based rule generation. It has 
proven its strength in cross-platform use and also with extremely 
complicated projects (where some files have to be compiled with specific 
options, and linked with some others in specific ways).

Its home is at http://trac.netlabs.org/kbuild

Due to the complexity of VirtualBox its Makefiles contain many of the 
cases. It can be a big challenge to find a similar situation, though.

> 2. Compatibility with Oracle VirtualBox is unstable: I defined new VM
> types for Red Hat guests, like RHEL7_64, which Oracle VirtualBox fails
> to understand and renders RHEL VMs inaccessible.

It also changes the API (and forgets to change the UUID of IMachine, 
which means that compiled API clients using the "native" interface would 
crash or call the wrong method). If the UUID of IMachine would be 
updated then existing 3rd party API clients using the "native" interface 
would refuse to work. In other words: there is no solution which truly 
solves the incompatibility.

With the API groundwork of VirtualBox 5.0 it will be possible in the 
future to support multiple interface versions once several generators 
and tools are extended further (no idea when we have time for this). 
Then such API incompatibilities can be handled cleanly. The API wrapper 
generator is designed to be far more than yet another quirky abstraction :)

> So if a user later upgrades to newer version of Oracle VirtualBox, and
> have Red Hat VMs, they will be screwed.
> I need to figure out a patch,  to allow unknown VM OS types to be
> handled. Reverted to unknown OS type.

Right. This area is a trouble zone, not only with such inherently 
incompatible extensions. It already can happen when one downgrades to an 
older VirtualBox version, which means it's not only this change which

> 3. License is simple BSD.

Previously it was MIT, but that's just a reminder. It's your change, and 
therefore you're free to use whichever license you like (including 
several of them).

> 4. I plan to maintain it as time permits.
> 5. Some pieces of the patch aren't portable to Windows hosts, and I need
> help.
> 6. Final answer : until I solve #2,  I can't recommend this for normal
> users. (But it can go into Debian-experimental under virtualbox-te name,
> if you feel like it.)

Thanks for that statement. Yes, it's a great feature and will be 
included in VirtualBox (I'm pushing for 6.0, and I hope that this isn't 
1.5 years away...). The incompatibilities can cause great frustration 
and thus it's not suitable for "Joe User".

> On May 6, 2015 8:46 PM, "Gianfranco Costamagna"
> <costamagnagianfranco at yahoo.it <mailto:costamagnagianfranco at yahoo.it>>
> wrote:
>     Hi Alexey, Debian Maintainer here.
>     I just read your mail, but I didn't look/download the code.
>     Do you think such addon would be ready/useful for Debian? is it
>     stable? which license does it have? do you plan to maintain it?
>     I would like to understand if a pakaging would be useful for the
>     Community!
>     Cheers,
>     Gianfranco
>     Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
>     <https://overview.mail.yahoo.com/mobile/?.src=Android>
>     ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     *From*:"Alexey Eromenko" <al4321 at gmail.com <mailto:al4321 at gmail.com>>
>     *Date*:Wed, 6 May, 2015 at 19:18
>     *Subject*:[vbox-dev] Updated Automated-guest-installs for VirtualBox
>     ! (beta5)
>     vbox-unattended.
>     This is an unofficial addon patch on top of Oracle VirtualBox. Highly
>     experimental !
>     It allows fully-automatic installs of virtual machines in VirtualBox
>     and provides tight integration with each supported OS. Very fast !
>     Summary of v0.9-beta5: (compared to v0.8 series)
>     - ported to VirtualBox 5.0 ! (mostly COM interface changes)
>     - added support for Windows 8, Windows 10 and Debian Linux 7 guests.
>     - added support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and 7 guests.
>     - fixed support for 64-bit Windows 7 and Vista guests.
>     - added ISO image file picker
>     minor changes:
>     - handled a few common dependency errors. (if user forgot to install
>     dependencies such as unattended scripts, mtools or 7-zip)
>     - few GUI bugs fixed
>     - disabled unattended mode (auto-install), if guest OS type is
>     incompatible.
>     - disabled first-time wizard, if in unattended mode.
>     - AutoCompletion names during new VM creation: RHEL.
>     - enabled drag-n-drop and shared clipboard by default for new VMs
>     - GUI/New VM wizard: skip "unattended" section if not used.
>     - added option to disable Guest Additions install.
>     - GUI: added description to auto-install new VM wizard.
>     - several optimizations for Debian guests, leading to smaller
>     debian_boot.iso images.
>     Overall it is more stable now, much more feature-complete and
>     pleasant to use.
>     Available for Linux hosts or as source-code.
>     Download here:
>     https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=67710&p=320651#p320651
>     Best wishes,
>     --
>     -Alexey Eromenko "Technologov"

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