So recently i’ve been playing around with unRAID and it’s VM management, which is using the QEMU system with a OVMF which I custom compiled for myself replacing the logo’s, still not quite happy with how that looks yet tho.
The main issues I have ran into regarding this, was setting up the PCI Stub’s and various other IMMOU issues with are mostly related to an issue with the HP server I am using, most of this was rectified by using a patch https://github.com/AnnabellaRenee87/Unraid-HP-Proliant-Edition which fixes the main issues with the Proliant not allowing IMMOU groups to be passed thru to VM’s
The Elephant in the room?
Enter NVIDIA… well this was actually ALOT simpler than I expected, I’ve read enough online about issues with using GeForce cards on VM’s as a pass-thru that I was expecting issue’s… I was rather surprised actually, no hitches there what so ever, so lets move onto other things, USB… this wasn’t fun at all, I had so many issues passing thru my VIA Technologies VL805 USB 3.0 Host Controller that I ended up having to run several things off the on-board USB ports and use no pass-thru, the main issue I had experienced here was actually that when audio was playing on my USB mixer I would actually lock up the USB stack or something as my mouse and keyboard wouldn’t accept any input’s while the audio was playing… check unRAID forum’s people are talking about Message Signaled Interrupts (MSI), no this wasn’t the issue in my case as it was already enabled, it got to the point where I just couldn’t be bothered with this one anymore so I moved on.
So I’ve reached a point where I was happy enough to start playing around properly with this… now this is where things started getting interesting… I up-to this point was having 0 issues with the thing as a whole, I was pulling decent FPS in games like Rocket League, Minion Masters and even Elite Dangerous was running with acceptable frame rates, but all of a sudden for no reason at all everything starts to stutter, what have I done, nothing, I’ve not changed anything with the VM at all, throw a few more CPU cores at it maybe that will help… Nope didn’t do much at all to help me, So as of writing this I am back to full bare metal for now, I’ve learn’t quite a bit doing this to be honest with you, its been a fun experience and something I would honestly love to delve into again, the idea of running my home system off a VM on my server is still alluring from a logistics point of view, the server run’s 24/7 its not that much extra power/overhead to run the VM.
While VM’s are looking good for running basic workstations and I have seen projects like LTT’s 7 Gamers, 1 CPU, which really do show off the power of this whole thing, my own hardware, mostly my server CPU and probably actually my server in general isn’t up-to this task, would I do it this experiment again.. Of course I would, its worth looking at and playing around.
unRAID has been a good choice for me in the whole playing around with VM’s and general server stuff, its easy to work with and setup and is only getting better!
The only downside is this is paid software but its highly worth it
As a free alternative to unRAID you could also look at Proxmox which I have heard good things about