The only tool you absolutely need in order to manage your isoho.st remotely is SSH, although we do provide some convenience tools below that can make things a lot easier when using Linux. Our secure shell interface provides the following menu system:
which is accessible by logging in using your machine identifier as a user name on remote.isoho.st. Note the use of the private machine key in the ssh command given in the caption. This is used to securely access your machine without a password. The isoho.st script (man page) provided by the tools package can manage these keys for you automatically using user defined aliases so that you don't have to remember machine identifiers.
The first menu option presents you with the SPICE protocol information you need in order to connect to your isoho.st remote keyboard, video and mouse display (KVM):
Installing and configuring the SPICE client can be tricky business (Windows instructions). Some clients expect a spice:// URL while others want you to provide host and port information. You also need to install the server's CA signing certificate so that the client will trust our servers and remember your password so that our servers can trust you are who you say you are. Note that the above details will change over time too as your isoho.st may be migrated from one physical machine to the next.
Under Linux, a much easier way to deal with this is to simply install the isohost-tools package for your distribution below. This will automatically pull in all the necessary dependencies to install the SPICE client and provides the isoho.st script (man page) which does all the above for you with a simple call to the isoho.st display command. The script can even install you a nice desktop shortcut for accessing your virtual machine display at the click of a mouse button as in this screenshot:
If you're in a bind, you can also access a SPICE client via X11 forwarding over SSH, as in the example below (substituting your machine identifier and key):
$ ssh -XCqi xc0d77e2.key firstname.lastname@example.org display
Of course, X11 forwarding is far less efficient than the SPICE protocol and so the above command may be slow and is only suitable for text based isoho.st installations, not full graphical desktops.
Another way to access your isoho.st console remotely (text mode only) is to configure your installation with a serial terminal interface. Under Ubuntu this is done by configuring an upstart service by placing ttyS0.conf in /etc/init. On most other distributions the same can be achieved by uncommenting or adding the following line to /etc/inittab:
s0:12345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 9600 ttyS0 vt100
It is also possible to configure your kernel with serial console support and access the entire boot process via this mechanism (as opposed to only accessing a login getty). As a shortcut, you can trigger the tty console directly via SSH (substituting your machine identifier and key):
$ ssh -ti xc0d77e2.key email@example.com tty
Selecting a snapshot from the restore backup menu reverts your isoho.st to the state it was at the time of the backup:
Automated snapshots are captured every morning. Weekly snapshots, which are made on Sunday mornings, are retained for a month and daily snapshots are retained for the duration of the day until the next snapshot is taken. Snapshots are performed at the block level without knowledge of what the guest operating system may be doing at the time and are thus merely crash consistent, potentially containing partially written transactions (as if the power plug was yanked just prior to the snapshot being made). A journalling file system is therefore recommended to ensure that on disk data structures can be made consistent again on the next boot.
Power control and remote reboot functionality is also possible using the administration interface:
Turning off your isoho.st has the side effect of ejecting any virtual CDROM/DVD devices. Essentially the virtual machine ceases to exist when powered down, losing transient configuration state such as the image that was inserted in the virtual drive. This is an important consideration when attempting to boot an ISO image, as power cycling the machine will not have the desired effect of booting the image that was inserted prior to power down. Thus, in order to boot a ROM image, it is necessary to insert it and perform a hard reboot, which is equivalent to pressing the hardware reset button on a physical box. Soft reboot requires support from the guest operating system and will fail to reboot your machine in the absence of ACPI drivers.
ISO images can be inserted and removed from the virtual CDROM drive as follows:
We have tried to provide a broad selection of images to chose from and will gladly add others on request.
spice_cert.zip (extract into root of user home directory)
RemoteViewer-0.3.1.dmg (URL and password available using SSH interface described above)