Migrating from Virtualbox to KVM

After doing some much needed research into virtualisation on Linux, it’s become apparent that I should migrate my virtual machines from Virtualbox to KVM. KVM has significant performance benefits and it is a solid ‘production’ system. It’s also clear that if I want to advance my technical skills in the enterprise Linux space, then I need to learn more about KVM and implement it on my systems.

I love Virtualbox because it is cross platform- I can create a VM on a Linux host, and move it to a windows host if needed. The remote desktop server built into the program, too, is a very handy feature. However I will admit, that I very rarely will spin up a VM on Linux and move it to another OS (if ever) and since discovering MobaXTerm on windows, I can now easily, from any windows machine (read: my laptops) access the virt-manager X window session of a running VM on KVM. As an aside, MobaXTerm is an amazing program and compliments putty quite nicely!

My concerns so far about the migration are 3 fold:

  1. I need to convert the disk images into a native format for KVM and virt-manager to use.
  2. I currently automate my VM startup and shutdown with VBoxTool so I will need to either find a preexisting automation solution, or create my own init scripts.
  3. Virtualised hardware: Clearly Virtualbox and KVM will virtualise hardware in their own ways, so I need to be sure that the machines can migrate to the new environment and still work. I’m mostly concerned with networking as experience has taught me that Linux is very forgiving of hardware changes, however with the new naming conventions of Ethernet devices, my network configs will need to be updated.

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