Microsoft's revealed a plan to make Ubuntu 18.04 a "first-class" guest under Hyper-V.
Microsoft's definition of first-class may sound a bit ho-hum for users of other desktop hypervisors, as it includes window resizing, a clipboard that goes from host to guest and back again, something Microsoft's called a "Better mouse experience", Drive redirection and the Enhanced Session Mode that allows a guest to access host hardware. The Register's virtualization desk has enjoyed such features for quite some time in VirtualBox and VMware's desktop hypervisors.
The new features may therefore be less interesting than the way Microsoft's implemented them. The Windows giant explained that it worked with "open source folks at XRDP, who have implemented Microsoft's RDP protocol on Linux." Canonical has helped out too so that once Ubuntu 18.04 drops in April, Hyper-V's Quick Create VM Gallery will offer the chance of a three-click Ubuntu install with all the new features ready to roll.
"The technology behind this mode is actually the same as how we achieve an enhanced session mode in Windows," wrote Microsoft's Craig Wilhite. "It relies on the RDP protocol, implemented on Linux by the open source folks at XRDP, over Hyper-V sockets to light up all the great features that give the VM an integrated feel. Hyper-V sockets, or hv_sock, supply a byte-stream based communication mechanism between the host partition and the guest VM. Think of it as similar to TCP, except it's going over an optimized transport layer called VMBus. We contributed changes which would allow XRDP to utilize hv_sock."
Microsoft's virtual ambitions have also seen it flick the switch to make its Azure Migrate service generally available. The service "enables discovery of VMware-virtualized Windows and Linux VMs" and "provides an optional, agent-based discovery for visualizing interdependencies between machines to identify multi-tier applications."
If you give it a run, you emerge with a plant to migrate vSphere-tended VMs to Azure.
Microsoft's so keen on having you ditch Virtzilla that Azure Migrate can't yet work on Hyper-V VMs! ®