Ticket #5851 (closed enhancement: invalid)

Opened 4 years ago

Last modified 4 years ago

Request for "Merge" to distinquish from "Discard" with Snapshots

Reported by: pmikep Owned by:
Priority: minor Component: GUI
Version: VirtualBox 3.1.2 Keywords: Merge, snapshots, differencing, clonehd
Cc: Guest type: Windows
Host type: Windows


I see this is ongoing in ticket #1040. I thought it was just me, but I see others are challenged too.

The problem is, it's not clear when one is "discarding" a snapshot (i.e. deleting it) or when one is merging (flattening) a differencing image into a parent. Even tho the wording is the same in the GUI when discarding (i.e., "Discard"), the behavior is different if one is discarding a specific snapshot or if one is clicking "discard" at the top-most level parent of the snapshot(s). So, when you click the top most parent, instead of "Discard" shouldn't it say "Merge" or "Flatten"?

Aside from simply being obsessive and liking to fold a working snapshot into the parent, I think this is necessary from a clone hd perspective. How do you clone a parent drive that is tweaked to Snapshot 5 without merging?

The 3.1.2 manual doesn't make it very clear when merging occurs either. And now, that there's branching going on with snapshots, this might not be intuitive. For example, if you want to merge Snapshot 5 out of 10 with the base parent, does that mean you will make the current state be base plus 1 through 5 and automatically delete all the following snapshots? (I think, yes. Might need a new function then, "Export snapshot" to bring them back after a lower merge.)

You would need this enhancement if you were installing a vanilla OS, then slowly adding drivers / apps until you got everything tweaked right. After running that way for a month or two, you would want to Merge all the snapshots into the parent so you could clone the virtual disk. As it is now, it's too easy to click "discard" on a snapshot, expecting that to be the same as "Merge." Can you make the Merge function clearer please?

Change History

comment:1 Changed 4 years ago by klaus

  • Status changed from new to closed
  • Resolution set to invalid

Sorry to be a tad direct: I really don't understand where the problem is. The GUI doesn't use the "Discard" terminology any more, there is "Delete Snapshot". If there is any remaining occurrence, please report.

I don't see that the term "merge" or "flatten" is actually better than what we use right now (delete). Snapshots don't get merged as a result of this operation. Disk images are merged, and that means "merge" would be confusing concepts. Additionally, if you add a disk after a certain snapshot, then "merge" might apply to some images, but not to others.

Cloning an image (which is command line only right now) is a totally different business, and a completely independent problem. It works correctly for a long time. Either specify the clone source by name or UUID, and you'll get the correct information included in this image (i.e. the state before the NEXT snapshot).

Sure, many VMs only have a single disk, but mixing snapshot based terminology and what actually happens with the disk images will only increase confusion.

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