Hash: SHA512

On 2016-09-21 13:14, Otto Kratik wrote:
> On Friday, September 16, 2016 at 4:44:10 PM UTC-4, Andrew David Wong wrote:
>> I think you (or someone else) would have to put in the coding work in
>> order to make this work in the desired way. However, a lot of work
>> has already been done on the Archlinux Template (which, I assume,
>> can be run as an HVM if desired, though I haven't tried it myself):
>> https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/templates/archlinux/
>> Some work has also been done on an Ubuntu template:
>> https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/templates/ubuntu/
> Generally speaking, is it the case that running apps directly from a 
> TemplateVM (whether it's Debian, Fedora, Arch, Ubuntu) is functionally 
> equivalent and identical to operating that template/distro as a 
> self-contained standalone HVM? Meaning if I wanted a Debian HVM, it's just as 
> easy to clone my Debian TemplateVM and treat it as an HVM, instead of 
> creating an actual new HVM the classic way and then installing a Debian ISO?
> Is there any fundamental intrinsic difference between how a Template behaves 
> if used in this fashion, and how a normal HVM would behave?

The term "TemplateVM" describes any VM that supplies its root
filesystem to another VM. TemplateVMs are distinct from
TemplateBasedVMs, which depend on other VMs for their rootfilesystems,
and StandaloneVMs, which do neither. By contrast, the term "HVM"
(Hardware Virtual Machine) refers to any "fully virtualized," or
hardware-assisted, VM that utilizes the virtualization extensions of
the host CPU (e.g., VT-x). HVMs are distinct from PV (paravirtualized)
VMs, which do not require virtualization extensions from the host CPU,
and other variants such as PVHVM (PV-on-HVM).

So, TemplateVMs and HVMs are categorically different. The former refers
to the VM's degree of (in)dependence relative to other VMs in the
system, whereas the latter refers to the manner in which a VM is
virtualized. An HVM itself can be a TemplateVM (in which case it's
called a "TemplateHVM"), a TemplateBasedVM (in which case it's
typically just called an "HVM"), or a StandaloneVM (in which case it's
called a "StandaloneHVM").

For more on Qubes terminology, see the glossary:

Since your question is about the functional or behavior differences
between TemplateVMs and HVMs, I take it that what you're really
interested in is the practical difference between using TemplateVMs and
StandaloneVMs as VMs which do not depend on any other VM for their root

The only significant difference I'm aware of is that using a TemplateVM
allows you to retain the option of creating TemplateBasedVMs based on
this TemplateVM in the future, whereas a StandaloneVM does not. If you
one day decide that you'd like to have a TemplateBasedVMs based on your
StandaloneVM, you'll have to re-create it as a TemplateVM. There's no
(easy) way to turn a StandaloneVM into a TemplateVM.

- -- 
Andrew David Wong (Axon)
Community Manager, Qubes OS



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