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Red Hat Open Sources SPICE Desktop Virtualization

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the one-desktop-at-a-thyme dept.

Red Hat Software 79

laxl writes "Linux vendor Red Hat has open sourced the Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment (SPICE) virtual desktop protocol it acquired last year with Qumranet, which used SPICE for its own commercial desktop-virtualization product, called SolidIce. SPICE can be used to deploy virtual desktops from a server out to remote computers, such as desktop PCs and thin-client devices. It is similar to other rendering protocols used for remote desktop management such as Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol or Citrix's Independent Computing Architecture. SPICE supports rendering virtual instances of Windows XP and Windows 7, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux. According to Red Hat, SPICE has advantages over other protocols in that it can dynamically customize desktop instances to fit specific operating environments. According to the article, most of the SPICE code is available under the GNU GPLv2, though parts are also licensed under LGPL- and BSD-styled licenses."

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79 comments

Dune (5, Funny)

ckulpa (611178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401500)

I wonder what the CHOAM will think about this?

Choam Nosky? (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401510)

Yuck Fou.

Re:Choam Nosky? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401536)

You've been hitrolled [youtube.com]

way to go, arschloch (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401586)

You are being goatsed [goatse.fr]

Re:Dune (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401942)

I wonder what the CHOAM will think about this?

Better ask Paul. (see sig)

Re:Dune (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403184)

Better ask Paul. (see sig)

Better call Saul [amctv.com] .

Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (5, Insightful)

Octorian (14086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401544)

Seriously, SPICE stands for "Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis" and is a circuit simulator.

(If this was a couple years ago, I'd rant that UML stands for "Unified Modeling Language" (not User-Mode-Linux), or that X stands for "X Window System" (Not MacOS 10))

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (5, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401690)

He who controls the SPICE controls the universe. (Unless it's been open sourced)

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401988)

He who controls the SPICE controls the universe. (Unless it's been open sourced)

He who controls root controls the universe. Then he who controls the SPICE only has the powers he's delegated.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#30406806)

IF, and ONLY IF, there's sudo in the box. If not, then its one root to rule them all, and he who controls the SPICE can only do it within /home....

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

n1ckml007 (683046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402008)

...The spice must flow!

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401742)

I too thought the same thing. My immediate reaction was, "isn't SPICE already open?" I also got quite excited about the implications of SPICE in the title. Albeit, not the SPICE that I am all too familiar with.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402526)

the porn channel?

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401898)

When I saw this story, I thought, "When did Red Hat enter the engineering design market?!"

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404182)

My thoughts, in order: (I get /. feeds via my Google home page.)

"Holy shit, SPICE is open source now?"

"When did Red Hat buy SPICE?"

"Why would Red Hat buy SPICE?"

"Hopefully there's some documentation."

"Oh, they mean SPICE, not SPICE."

"Maybe I can post something like 'as an EE, fuck you for getting my hopes up'."

"Aw, Octorian's posted about SPICE."

"Fucking Slashdot."

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30407604)

Calm down. Did you forget about the several open source and public domain SPICE implementations, including the original SPICE? It's actually kind of bizarre.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401976)

So, would this be a bad time to introduce my newly designed thin-client PC called the "Generic Network Unit" (GNU) and my new programming language for thin client computer graphics, the "GNU Graphics Programming Language" (GNU GPL)?

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (2, Funny)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404198)

That depends. Will it have a Special Purpose Internet Connection Enhancement?

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404978)

How did you know?

Don't forget about the Enhanced Memory Acceleration Circuitry System (EMACS). That's one of the GNU's best features!

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30407910)

But, of course, none of the circuitry, the EMACS included, can work with the Voltage Inhibitor and Manipulator (VIM).

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401998)

This was the first thing I thought of too.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

bperkins (12056) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402256)

I agree that it's annoying, though in my experience people never refer to SPICE without prefacing it with "Berkeley". SPICE all by itself is used as a generic term.

TFA could also use some more references. It sounds intriguing, but I've been around long enough to be distrustful of what's in press releases.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (3, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402364)

Yeah, and while we're at it, NASA: "Orion" means exploding nukes under a blast plate, not providing a cushy crew cabin. :)

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

Ded Bob (67043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403148)

To MIB, "Orion" is a cat.

Two for the price of one joke. :)

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403490)

Yeah, and while we're at it, NASA: "Orion" means exploding nukes under a blast plate, not providing a cushy crew cabin. :)

I enjoy when the names they pick have myths that somewhat match the goals of the project.

So for the original 'Orion' would Hephaestus have been more appropriate? What's a good myth for 'Lighting a fire under your ass'?

Project 'Wan Hu'?

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402402)

Tru dat. This forces me to boycott Red Hat from now on.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402442)

nobody calls "OS X" "X".

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402488)

no, SPICE is someone's idea of a clever attempt at manufacturing a cool-sounding acronym based on an extremely short and common word (the only one that's shorter and more common might be ICE, which this is derived from).
No one can claim ownership on such a stupid, short, generic acronym. There are at least 20,000 meanings of "ICE", and adding "SP" on the front does not make you special or original. They're both lame, get over it.

This is not nearly as bad as Microsoft calling its product "Windows", or Google calling its javascript library "Closure".

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#30405592)

the only one that's shorter and more common might be ICE, which this is derived from

Really? I thought it was derived from aromatic herbs.

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402562)

I have yet to see worse than overloading IP to mean both "Internet Protocol" and "Intellectual Property". Now that's confusing.

      --- Mr. DOS

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30406120)

Please stop signing your posts.

--- Mr. DOS

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

ThinkingGuy (551764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30406138)

I've seen worse. How about...
RMS = Richard Stallman [stallman.org] - Mister Free Software himself
RMS = Windows Rights Management Services [wikipedia.org] - Microsoft's proprietary system for restricting access to documents

acronyms and abbreviations (1)

mollog (841386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403264)

Pedantic, I know, but it's a pet peeve with me.

Although SPICE could be a legitimate acronym, neither UML nor X would be acronyms, they would be abbreviations.

Examples of acronyms; radar - RAdio Detecting And Ranging, sonar - SOunt NAvagation Ranging Examples of abbreviations; IBM, XML

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403734)

It would be nice if this tehcnology is coupled with the new " Protocol of Enhanced Network Information and Security ". SPICE/PENIS ftw !

Re:Stop overloading common tech acronyms! (1)

Creepy (93888) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404332)

exactly my first thought... you'd think there would be some originality with FLAs* that you can't really get with TLAs*@...

* Five Letter Acronyms
*@ Three Letter Acronyms

But how many (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401556)

How many thinclients/hosts support the protocol to connect to it?
Isn't this different from RDP or ICA which are pretty much supported everywhere?

VDI here we come (2, Insightful)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401604)

This really solves the last remaining hurdle for VDI thin client vertical engineering domain. Going to grab the git source tonight and test it out. Would be cool if an in browser NSAPI based plugin architecture was built on this. Run your thin clients on Google OS ( or something else), and then you can run all your legacy fat clients on your virtual servers and your uses just access them through a browser. I noticed that people have even worked on Javascript level RDP and No-machine client implementations. Obviously a bit slow for real world. Anyone know if KVM has dedicated VDI infrastructure servers yet ? Ged

Re:VDI here we come (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402948)

There are browser plugins already for Firefox and IE. I assume the FF one uses NSAPI.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Desktops will provide VDI server capability.

Re:VDI here we come (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30408096)

wow. got a url or project name for these ? Or are they backed into the SPICE code ? I went through their web site. there is not a lot of info on their wiki yet.

SPICE is a circuit simulator (1, Insightful)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401608)

Why would they take the name of an existing well-known software program?

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401632)

I love their movies!!!!

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401636)

Additionally, SPICE (circuit simulator) is already open source.

I came here thinking what the heck is Red Hat doing open sourcing an open source program?

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (1, Troll)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401770)

Arrogance? Ignorance? Pick one.

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (2, Insightful)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401870)

Because it does not matter as both programs are not related at all?
I don't know the fuss about it, I am a IT professional, did some exercises with SPICE (circuit) while in the university and now SPICE (VM) may be interesting for my job as sysadmin. As a sysadmin, I do not need to design circuits anymore, so I don't think I will be ever confused.

Of course, my apologies if your post was just a joke...

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401914)

What about places that might have a need for both SPICEs?

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (5, Funny)

Ashcrow (469400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402060)

What about places that might have a need for both SPICEs?

They will need a SPICE rack.

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402112)

They can advertise it with the Spice Girls;)

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402978)

I've seen SPICE. Nice rack.

Re:SPICE is a circuit simulator (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403016)

Oh, in a month they'll change it to FireSPICE.

Multi monitor support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401610)

Hoping for remote multi monitor support or I'm stuck with X terminals over ssh.

BUT DOES IS ACCELERATE DX (video) BUFFERS ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401644)

If not, go home. We don't need yet another "hero".

Very cool I think. (2, Informative)

erktrek (473476) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401848)

I currently use NXClient w/Neatx for that kind of remote access/management. It works well with both Linux and Windows backends.

I guess the difference is accessing various os's with a single protocol rather than using NX & RDP (like the NXclient does) + also possibly getting around some of the builtin limitations (available only on certain flavors of Windows, limited # accesses by default etc) of RDP.

Sounds interesting if the performance is decent.

ta3o (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402132)

poor p8iorities,

So what the FUCK does it do? (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402338)

I've seen a dozen blog posts in my reader about this, and I have been unable to far to figure out WTF that thing is supposed to do. Is it a remote display protocol? If so, how does it differ from RDP or NX?

Re:So what the FUCK does it do? (2, Informative)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402678)

If so, how does it differ from RDP or NX?

It seems to be better [spice-space.org]

Graphic commands - processes and transmits 2D graphic commands
Video streaming - heuristically identifies video streams and transmits M-JPEG video streams
Image compression - offers verios compression algorithm that were built specifically for Spice, including QUIC (based on SFALIC), LZ, GLZ (history-based global dictionary), and auto (heuristic compression choice per image)
Hardware cursor - processes and transmits cursor-specific commands
Image, palette and cursor caching - manages client caches to reduce bandwidth requirements
Live migration - supports clients while migrating Spice servers to new hosts, thus avoiding interruptions
Windows drivers - Windows drivers for QXL display device and VDI-port
Multiple monitors
Client for Linux and Window - can be easily ported to additional platform platforms.
Two way audio - supports audio playback and captures; audio data stream is optionally compressed using CELT
Encryption - using OpenSSL
Two mouse modes - provides client (more user-friendly) and server (increased accuracy and fully synchronized) modes
Lip-sync - synchronizes video streams with audio clocks
Spice agent - running on the guest and performs tasks for the client

Re:So what the FUCK does it do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403116)

So, can someone lead me through the stack for X11? Is there a special EXA driver that plugs in to Xorg,
which then. . . does what? Instead of manipulating a graphics card it uses a library to send "graphic commands"?

Re:So what the FUCK does it do? (2, Informative)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403362)

Is it a remote display protocol? If so, how does it differ from RDP or NX?

It's more Citrix than RDP or NX. You have a Linux server with multiple qemu/kvm instances, each of which are accessed from a client (Linux/Windows).

The advantage is that you can have multiple clients on a single server, push CPU/GPU-intensive display operations to the client and have access to client-side hardware from within the virtualized server instance.

Normally I'd add a RTFA-sneer, but I read through the site and am only moderately sure I got the above correct. Should be very useful for large-scale Linux desktop deployments however: server-side maintenance with client-side display speed & hardware support. In theory.

Re:So what the FUCK does it do? (1)

gedw99 (1597337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30408104)

The difference is HUGE. They are able to export the opengl command to the client or not to the client. so its not just compressed jpegs like all the others. google virtualGL as this did it too. G

more than 1 screen? (1)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402394)

are there any remote-desktoppy protocols/systems out there that do the Right Thing(TM) with a two-screen client machine? I'd like to move to Terminal Services (or NoMachine/SPICE/Whatever) for performance reasons, but giving up on my niche 2 screens (one for IDE, one for the software i'm developing/testing to run on) would be kinda a step back.

Re:more than 1 screen? (1)

La Camiseta (59684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402632)

Sun's SunRay clients can support multiple monitors, I've seen over 4 monitors on their system.

Re:more than 1 screen? (2, Informative)

sargeUSMC (905860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402736)

Sunray's cap at 16

Re:more than 1 screen? (1)

qnetter (312322) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403418)

And Citrix XenApp does multiples fine - up to 8, I think.

I attended a RHEL conference (1)

IMightB (533307) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402398)

where they demoed this and other VM technologies. I think that RH has some really interesting VM Management stuff in the pipeline. The nice thing about SPICE is your browser is the client.

Platform independence depends on implementation (2, Interesting)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402540)

From the summary:

Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environment (SPICE) supports rendering virtual instances of Windows XP and Windows 7, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux

(Emphasis mine). Aha, so it's platform independent? And they support... Two! *badum-ching* operating systems: Windows and Linux. Compare that to VNC, of which it is hard to find an OS that doesn't support it.

Er? Wait a minute (1)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402778)

If its Open source then what is to stop you from taking said source and compiling it for your chosen platform?

Nowt methinks.

Re:Platform independence depends on implementation (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404954)

VNC is definitely not in the same league as SPICE. SPICE more directly compares with and competes with Citrix and MS Terminal Server. It not only ports the display, it can port individual apps, connects drives and printers, and is capable of doing fancy graphical things like movie playback in a way that's much more optimal and efficient than VNC can do. SPICE might compare in some measure to NX, but NX is really about optimizing an X11 command stream, which is only an X11 thing, so it's of more limited use than what SPICE is intended to be.

Whether SPICE turns out to be anything useful to the community at large, as NX has become, I don't know.

Why SPICE is useful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30403522)

It's for people who can't spell VNC.

Re:Why SPICE is useful (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404254)

Hey, VCN is a pretty good program.

Red Hat == "GOOD GUYS!" (4, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404314)

This is yet another example of too many to name, of Red Hat being an all-around bunch of warm and fuzzy penguins, guys! And this is so typical of them: buy a proprietary product, and as soon as they decide to do something with it, they open source it first!

RedHat has NEVER deviated from their policy of releasing SRPMS for all their stuff. You can very literally roll your own distro simply by taking their SRPM and compiling them! And a number of groups have done just that: White Box Linux [whiteboxlinux.org] , CentOS [centos.org] and Scientific Linux [scientificlinux.org] .

Red Hat employs some of the most prolific contributors to the Linux Kernel and is a vital force in making Linux what it is today. Go Red Hat!

PS: No, I don't work for them, just a very happy customer!

SPICE? (2, Funny)

EQ (28372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404474)

If the plural of mouse is mice, shouldn't the plural of spouse be spice? /pinky

The VDI Protocol Wars (2, Informative)

Natales (182136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404638)

This is not a bad thing. For years, the only alternatives for virtual desktops were either proprietary (ICA comes to mind) or OS-dependent (Sun ALP, MSFT RDP, X, NX), leaving VNC as the only OS-independent option. VNC was (and still is) great, but let's face it, it was never intended to be used for real massive VDI-type deployments, even over the WAN. SPICE is supposed to have a good LAN performance, but still doesn't quite cut it for long latencies over the WAN. May be with this move, SPICE can be improved to also address those use cases.

For now, the most advanced thing I've seen is Teradici's PCoIP protocol that works really well in any environment, and they licensed it to VMware to be used in the new View 4 product line as a pure software implementation (as a disclaimer, I work for VMware, but PCoIP blew my mind way before we did anything with them).

In any case, 2010 is shaping to be the year of the virtual desktop, and competition is a good thing!

Re:The VDI Protocol Wars (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30408086)

Too bad vmware decided not to compete for my business. No management from a linux box means I am not buying it.

Any idea if they will ever fix that little oversight?

Re:The VDI Protocol Wars (1)

Natales (182136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424976)

h4rr4r, I would love to comment on this, but I'm under NDA rules... in any case, I can say a lot of very interesting thing are coming from VMware in 2010 that will show there is still a lot of room for innovation in this field.

I encourage you to reach out to your VMware Systems Engineer and ask for an NDA Roadmap for the Management products. You'll leave that meeting with a smile, and the same warm and cozy feeling you get after having some nice pasta... ;-)

Re:The VDI Protocol Wars (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30412172)

SPICE is supposed to have a good LAN performance, but still doesn't quite cut it for long latencies over the WAN

Can you back up that statement with something solid, or are you just being a nice VMware employee and FUDing the competition before it gets chance to eat your lunch?

Spice maintainer on qemu list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30405190)

The primary Spice developer appears to be making a complete fool of himself on the qemu mailing list:

http://lists.nongnu.org/archive/html/qemu-devel/2009-12/msg01182.html

Re:Spice maintainer on qemu list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30405984)

Another developer has now appeared and appears to be a bit more adult.

I'd rather they fixed Windows guest support (1)

melted (227442) | more than 4 years ago | (#30405218)

I'd rather they fixed Windows guest support. I've tried it (in Ubuntu Karmic), and it's horrible if you want to run Windows in it (both XP and Win7). Very slow, timer lags behind, network and disk throughput are super slow even with virtio guest drivers. Linux runs fine as a guest on the same box.

I guess it's unfair to _demand_ anything if something cost you zero dollars (gifted horse thing and all), but VMWare ESX and HyperV Server also cost zero dollars these days, and they both run Windows just fine.

Re:I'd rather they fixed Windows guest support (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30408130)

I am running several Windows machines in kvm, what kind of hardware were you using?

Server 2008 seems to running very fast and the clock is just fine. None of those no-cost options offer live migrate or many other features.

Brian Madden's test results for ICA, RDP, SPICE (1)

bmullan (1425023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30501802)

Saw Brian Madden's video's recently with the results of their testing/comparison of ICA, RDP, SPICE see: http://media.brianmadden.com/qumranetvids/blogplayerstatic.asp [brianmadden.com] It was very clear that SPICE far outperformed either ICA or RDP.
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