Hypervisor recommendations for home

This one might be a little niche for this place, but do any of our more geeky types have any experience with virtualisation platforms and home labs?

I’ve been running XenServer at home for a couple of years, running VMs for a domain controller/vpn/dns, my NAS, email server and my live Sat TV server.

I chose Xen because I could get PCI passthrough working with little trouble. I need this to pass my satellite tuners on the host through to the VM running TVHeadend.

The settup is getting a little old and I can’t really update to a later version of Xen because 1) Citrix keep stripping features from the community version and 2) from using newer versions at work, I can safely say it’s becoming less reliable.

I’ve been having a little look around to see what my options are.

I was wondering if anybody had any recommendations or relevant experience that would be of any use?

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I’m using ESXi on my home server. They provide free licenses for up to 8 vCPUs per VM (so you can use it on a bigger server, just that you can’t allocate more than 8 to a single VM).

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I moved over to Proxmox in the end. It’s done its job well for the last year.

ESXi always scares me a bit as it’s a bit of a behemoth. If I am totally honest - as somebody who manages a vmware cluster for a living - I am terrified of the day it goes down and I am not able to put it back together again.

oVirt seems to be another one worth a look.

In more recent times, I’ve considered doing away with VMs all together and doing something with a bunch of Raspberry Pis and Docker/Kubenetes. (thinking about power consumption)

I am terrified of the day it goes down and I am not able to put it back together again.

I’ve had mine going for over a year and no worries. Maybe I’m not doing crazy enough stuff with it? (don’t give me any ideas :joy:)

doing something with a bunch of Raspberry Pis and Docker/Kubenetes.

A Kubernetes microservices mess scares me. Had to deal with one at a client’s place and I wouldn’t recommend it. You spend more time managing & troubleshooting the thing itself rather than what’s supposed to run inside. I guess it may make sense from a career point of view if that’s something you want to do in the future, but for personal projects I’d steer well clear.