Ran out of USB ports running OMV in Virtualbox

  • As far as I can tell, there's no fix for this. It's a hard limit with Virtualbox and there's no solution or workaround. Feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong.


    The thing is, I have all of my files stored on external drives (I have 3x 18 TB, 3x 12 TB, 4x 8 TB, 2x 3 TB and a 2 TB drive.) I've been running into another issue other than just the limit of how many hard drives I can connect. I'm also experiencing slow transfer speeds. When I try to watch videos, whether through Plex, Jellyfin or even directly from the share in a local video player, I get severe buffering issues. I also found out that passing through hardware encoding to Plex is a bit of a pain.


    My goal with this machine was to have it pull double duty as a workstation and a media server running Plex and various related apps.


    Originally, I had thought to just throw Windows, Stablebit's Drive Pool, Plex, Shoko and so on directly on it. However, for various reasons I want to get away from my reliance on Windows. I also really like the features of OMV, Mergerfs, SnapRAID and Docker.


    I went with Manjaro as the host OS, simply because it appealed to me and I needed a simple way to test that the new hardware worked. I put OMV in Virtualbox because I don't have a lot of experience running VMs and VIrtualbox seemed as good as anything else to me.


    I've spent the better part of a month trying to get OMV and Plex to work in the VM; most of that time was spent shuffling files around. I don't feel great about the idea of starting over at this point but I've hit a few walls here, most notably the limit on USB ports for Virtualbox.


    So, my question is, can I make this VM work somehow, whether through another software like VMWare or by a fix I don't know of? Should I just give up and install OMV without the VM? Would it be better to just go back to what I know, Windows?


    This thread suggested installing webtop in OMV as a way to run a desktop and OMV at the same time and I find the idea intriguing. If I install OMV without a VM, this sounds like a good approach. The only thing I find disappointing is that I liked the idea of easily being able to migrate the VM to new hardware or backup/restore it. OMV MAY NOT HAVE A DESKTOP ENVIRONMENT !!


    I'm running out of spare time to play around with this. Rather than continuing to just stab in the dark, I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has advice on where I should go with this. I've found this forum to be generally helpful with my previous problems, so I'm asking here. Any advice is greatly appreciated, thank you.

    • Official Post

    So, my question is, can I make this VM work somehow, whether through another software like VMWare or by a fix I don't know of? Should I just give up and install OMV without the VM? Would it be better to just go back to what I know, Windows?

    20 years of running VMs and I've never heard of someone hitting the max number of usb ports. I honestly don't know if VMware allows more. OMV running on hardware would definitely eliminate the problem. I wouldn't go back to windows since virtualbox would be the same.


    Do you have another computer? If you could rdp into a Windows VM running on the OMV box with kvm plugin, that would be the best situation. Do not try to run a desktop on OMV installed on hardware. Or maybe you should consider removing some of the usb drives from their enclosure and putting them in the system itself connected via sata port.

    omv 6.2.0-1 Shaitan | 64 bit | 6.1 proxmox kernel

    plugins :: omvextrasorg 6.1.1 | kvm 6.2.8 | compose 6.6.1 | cputemp 6.1.3 | mergerfs 6.3.5 | zfs 6.0.12


    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please try ctrl-shift-R and read this before posting a question.

    Please put your OMV system details in your signature.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • 20 years of running VMs and I've never heard of someone hitting the max number of usb ports. I honestly don't know if VMware allows more. OMV running on hardware would definitely eliminate the problem. I wouldn't go back to windows since virtualbox would be the same.


    Do you have another computer? If you could rdp into a Windows VM running on the OMV box with kvm plugin, that would be the best situation. Do not try to run a desktop on OMV installed on hardware. Or maybe you should consider removing some of the usb drives from their enclosure and putting them in the system itself connected via sata port.

    I had this really long reply written out but my conclusion was that I should do one of the following.


    Note: My "new server" is an 11th gen NUC with 2 core/4 threads and 32 GB of RAM. My "old server" is a custom build with a 4 core/8 thread Xeon and 16 GB of RAM. The new server has an iGPU capable of encoding/decoding newer codecs like x265, the GT 710 on the old server cannot. 16 GB is the limit of the motherboard on the old server and cannot be upgraded. Neither has space for internal SATA drives.


    Listed in order of least effort to most:


    Install OMV on the new server, use the old server as a Windows workstation. The biggest downside is the loss of the NUC as a Manjaro workstation, which would actually be a little painful considering how well the hardware favors it.


    Install Windows on the new server, retire the old server. The biggest downside here is Windows and the unstable, insecure mess that involves. Obviously, I wouldn't have spent a month trying to make OMV work, if I was a fan of this idea.


    Install OMV on the old server, use the new server to run Manjaro and Plex. The biggest downsides are the complete loss of Windows. and having OMV and SnapRAID limited to 16 GB of RAM, which will be a bigger deal for long term hard drive upgrades.


    I actually favor the third option but that would require a lot of work to get setup, due to having a very complicated setup that I'd have to untangle and migrate over from Windows to Manjaro, somehow. Reinstalling OMV on the old server would basically be the easy part.

    • Official Post

    Install OMV on the old server, use the new server to run Manjaro and Plex. The biggest downsides are the complete loss of Windows. and having OMV and SnapRAID limited to 16 GB of RAM, which will be a bigger deal for long term hard drive upgrades.

    I think this is your best option. OMV and SnapRAID don't need 16GB of ram and you could run a Windows VM on that system using the kvm plugin.

    omv 6.2.0-1 Shaitan | 64 bit | 6.1 proxmox kernel

    plugins :: omvextrasorg 6.1.1 | kvm 6.2.8 | compose 6.6.1 | cputemp 6.1.3 | mergerfs 6.3.5 | zfs 6.0.12


    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please try ctrl-shift-R and read this before posting a question.

    Please put your OMV system details in your signature.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • I think this is your best option. OMV and SnapRAID don't need 16GB of ram and you could run a Windows VM on that system using the kvm plugin.

    Thanks for suggesting the KVM plugin and confirming that as my favored path forward. If you have any other suggestions for easing the transition like, I recently found a video about Virtualbox having a file manager, I would appreciate it. The fact I can just copy the config for Plex, Jellyfin and Shoko off of the VDI and onto the main drive will make migrating them out of the VM a lot easier.


    Since Mergerfs can easily recreate a pool, just by adding the same hard drive and giving the same name is great but I do have a question about that. What if I want to delete a share from the pool? Like, I have a Media share and a Users share and I'm thinking about deleting Users or renaming Media. How would I do that and have the old file system show up? Simply deleting the share doesn't remove the files and renaming a share seems to create a whole new file structure with the old files missing from it. I'm guessing I could rename whatever root folder was involved through WeTTy or SSH but I was wondering if there was a way to do this in the GUI. How would you go about it?

    • Official Post

    If you have any other suggestions for easing the transition like, I recently found a video about Virtualbox having a file manager, I would appreciate it. The fact I can just copy the config for Plex, Jellyfin and Shoko off of the VDI and onto the main drive will make migrating them out of the VM a lot easier.

    The kvm plugin allows you to convert your virtualbox drives to qcow2 (kvm format). You could create a tiny OMV VM and attach that drive to it. Then share it via nfs or samba.

    What if I want to delete a share from the pool?

    A sharedfolder OR smb/nfs share OR something else?

    Like, I have a Media share and a Users share and I'm thinking about deleting Users or renaming Media. How would I do that and have the old file system show up?

    shares/shared folders are just folders on a filesystem. You wouldn't actually delete the filesystem. If you want to remove a folder, just delete it.


    g if there was a way to do this in the GUI. How would you go about it?

    Try the filebrowser plugin or use WinSCP to connect via ssh.

    omv 6.2.0-1 Shaitan | 64 bit | 6.1 proxmox kernel

    plugins :: omvextrasorg 6.1.1 | kvm 6.2.8 | compose 6.6.1 | cputemp 6.1.3 | mergerfs 6.3.5 | zfs 6.0.12


    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please try ctrl-shift-R and read this before posting a question.

    Please put your OMV system details in your signature.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

  • The kvm plugin allows you to convert your virtualbox drives to qcow2 (kvm format). You could create a tiny OMV VM and attach that drive to it. Then share it via nfs or samba.

    A sharedfolder OR smb/nfs share OR something else?

    shares/shared folders are just folders on a filesystem. You wouldn't actually delete the filesystem. If you want to remove a folder, just delete it.


    Try the filebrowser plugin or use WinSCP to connect via ssh.

    It's just a regular shared folder but you answered my question, thanks.


    I didn't realize the KVM plugin could do that. That does sound useful. I have a bit to think about in how I'm going to approach things now.


    Overall, I like the idea of converting my Windows install to a VM. I know I've seen some convoluted directions somewhere before on how to do that. As an alternative, I can install Windows from scratch, which would probably take a while longer.


    My current thoughts are that I'll do this:


    Copy the appdata share I made for docker containers in a VDI on the host OS SSD directly to the SSD. This step will take a while.


    Reinstall Docker and the Plex, Jellyfin and Shoko containers in Manjaro using the config data that I copied in the previous step.


    Prepare and copy Windows into a virtual disk. I'm a little fuzzy on the details involved.


    Install and setup OMV on the old server. Install the KVM plugin and add the Windows VM.


    Delete the OMV VM from the new server, clean up anything leftover and carry on from there.


    That's about as far ahead as I've thought at the moment.


    I read this guide but it doesn't really mention how to add an existing VM or set one up from an existing install. [How-To] Use the Openmediavault-KVM plugin

    • Official Post

    I read this guide but it doesn't really mention how to add an existing VM or set one up from an existing install.

    It isn't easy with Windows. But just about any kvm tutorial on converting a win vm to kvm combined with the howto you linked to should help.

    omv 6.2.0-1 Shaitan | 64 bit | 6.1 proxmox kernel

    plugins :: omvextrasorg 6.1.1 | kvm 6.2.8 | compose 6.6.1 | cputemp 6.1.3 | mergerfs 6.3.5 | zfs 6.0.12


    omv-extras.org plugins source code and issue tracker - github


    Please try ctrl-shift-R and read this before posting a question.

    Please put your OMV system details in your signature.
    Please don't PM for support... Too many PMs!

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!