Multipass cloud server?

Hi there :wave:

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I wondered how I could teach labs from remote, for all courses that usually happens on actual computers (introduction to Linux, robotics, cybersec…). Some of them may require root access or sandboxed VMs.

A possible solution for such remote labs could be a bare metal server allowing students to instantiate images created by the professors and destroy them (almost) as they want (all IaaS services run software like this so that their clients can buy and destroy VMs).

What do you think about such a server software that would use multipass as the backend and stream both a SSH console and a graphical desktop (with Guacamole) through a web browser. The professors would upload images in the form of cloud-config configurations (or Qemu images) with pre-insatalled software required for the course, that would then be available to be instantiated by authorized students.

What are your thoughts about such a system, in terms of already-existing products, technology selection, safety, usability…?

Hi @yoan, Multipass is primarily an end-user solution, and there’s currently no way to “upload images” the way you describe, so you’d have to build that user experience yourself.

You could have a look at microstack, which is more of a “micro cloud” solution. There, you can manage users, images, resources etc.

Let us know how you fare! If you decide on Multipass after all, we’d love to help where we can.

Thank you @saviq

That was planned, I am asking for opinions and inputs about the idea; such as the advice about microstack :smile: I am going to try it and see how it works.

Back to Multipass, is there any way to launch it programmatically, with an API or similar? Or any risk to call the commands with concurrency?

We don’t (yet) have a public RPC, but we promise CLI stability. And any issue with doing things concurrently would be a bug :).

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