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22.3. GNOME Boxes

Boxes is a lightweight graphical desktop virtualization tool used to view and access virtual machines and remote systems.
Unlike virt-viewer and remote-viewer, Boxes allows viewing guest virtual machines, but also creating and configuring them, similar to virt-manager. However, in comparison with virt-manager, Boxes offers fewer management options and features, but is easier to use.
To install Boxes, run:
# sudo yum install gnome-boxes
Open Boxes through ApplicationsSystem Tools.
The main screen shows the available guest virtual machines. The right side of the screen has two buttons:
  • The search button, a magnifying glass. - the search button, to search for guest virtual machines by name, and
  • The selection button, a tick. - the selection button.
Clicking the selection button allows you to select one or more guest virtual machines in order to perform operations individually or as a group. The available operations are shown at the bottom of the screen on the operations bar:
Operations bar. From left to right: favorite, pause, delete, properties.

Figure 22.3. The Operations Bar

There are four operations that can be performed:
  • Favorite: Adds a heart to selected guest virtual machines and moves them to the top of the list of guests. This becomes increasingly helpful as the number of guests grows.
  • Pause: The selected guest virtual machines will stop running.
  • Delete: Removes selected guest virtual machines.
  • Properties: Shows the properties of the selected guest virtual machine.
Create new guest virtual machines using the New button on the left side of the main screen.

Procedure 22.1. Creating a new guest virtual machine with Boxes

  1. Click New

    This opens the Introduction screen. Click Continue.
    The Introduction screen says "Creating a Box will allow you to use another operating system directly from your existing login. You may connect to an existing machine over the network or create a virtual machine that runs locally on your own.

    Figure 22.4. Introduction screen

  2. Select source

    The Source Selection screen has three options:
    • Available media: Any immediately available installation media will be shown here. Clicking any of these will take you directly to the Review screen.
    • Enter a URL: Type in a URL to specify a local URI or path to an ISO file. This can also be used to access a remote machine. The address should follow the pattern of protocol://IPaddress?port;, for example:
      spice://192.168.122.1?port=5906;
      The protocols can be spice://, qemu://, or vnc://
    • Select a file: Open a file directory to search for installation media manually.
    The source selection screen, showing one available .iso file, and options to type a URL or select a file manually.

    Figure 22.5. Source Selection screen

  3. Review the details

    The Review screen shows the details of the guest virtual machine.
    The Review screen, showing the memory and disk size of the new guest virtual machine.

    Figure 22.6. Review screen

    These details can be left as is, in which case proceed to the final step, or:
  4. Optional: customize the details

    clicking Customize allows you to adjust the configuration of the guest virtual machine, such as the memory and disk size.
    The customization screen, showing slider bars for memory and disk size.

    Figure 22.7. Customization screen

  5. Create

    Click Create. The new guest virtual machine will open.