Lead Image © Liubomyr Feshchyn, 123rf.com

Lead Image © Liubomyr Feshchyn, 123rf.com

Goodbye cloud VMs, hello laptop VMs

Local Launch

Article from ADMIN 69/2022
Multipass lets you launch and run Ubuntu virtual machines, use cloud-init to configure the VMs, and prototype cloud launches locally in minutes.

In a previous article [1], I explored how to bring up cloud-like virtual machine stacks on a laptop with container machine tooling. That approach didn't require a lot of computing resources or any hardware-based virtualization support. However, security is a downside of containers because they provide thinner isolation compared with the strong isolation provided by virtual machines. Does a lightweight and fast solution exist to create cloud VM types of stacks on a laptop? Also desirable is tooling that works out of the box without a lot of dependencies to gather, install, and so on. The answer is "Yes." You can have your cake and eat it too with Multipass [2]!

The tooling provided in this article is for newer machines that have virtualization capability provided by the processor. Still, the container machine approach presented in the previous article is an option, in case you don't have such hardware available. I tested the snippets shown or referenced in this article on my four-core, 8GB COREi7 laptop running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, but I have also used the tool on macOS in a professional setting.

CloudVMs Through Multipass

Multipass [3] is a tool to bring up Ubuntu virtual machines that, like public cloud VMs, can be configured by cloud-init. The tool is a lightweight, cross-platform, virtual machine manager (VMM) that uses the standard underlying hypervisors on the respective platform to keep the overhead minimal. With Multipass, you can enact a public-cloud-like VM environment anywhere on demand.

Getting Started

To begin, install the latest stable version Multipass on an Ubuntu machine through snap mechanism:

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