Hash: SHA512

On 2016-09-21 18:03, Andrew David Wong wrote:
> 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").

Correction: "HVM" usually refers to a StandaloneHVM, not a
TemplateBasedHVM. We don't actually have a term for a TemplateBasedHVM
(so I'm adding that to the glossary now).

> For more on Qubes terminology, see the glossary:
> https://www.qubes-os.org/doc/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
> filesystems.
> 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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