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You want your own network in a PC, you want a simple drag-drop to create a new machine, you want simple clicks to join the machines into a network, you want to zoom-in, zoom-out to visit parts of your network and finally you want graphical interaction with machines and links. Well you have it all in a GNU GPL-V3 open source licence at http://clownix.net. The only drawback is the sizes of the machines to download, the biggest being the fedora 11 KVM based, but after the painful download and long unzip, machines (UML or KVM, Debian 5 or Fedora 11) are fast and efficient.

Cloonix is the name of the bunch of software that helps you to make your own network, its most visible module is a GTK gui based on the crcanvas library, but its most important part is an hidden module in constant socket link with the GTK frontend and also connected to all the interfaces of all the machines managed.

The daemon is launched first and it is told where to find the virtual machines file-systems.  The daemon can be given orders through small clients command files, but its main client is the GTK-based gui.

Upon end of the drag-drop, the name of the new machine is transmitted to the daemon with its root file-system name and type of machine. The daemon then chooses an administrative ip number  for this machine, creates a config file-system that will be transmitted to the starting machine as a secondary virtual hard-disk. Then the daemon builds the command-line adapted to either KVM or UML (or cisco with dynamips) and launches the machine with an linux clone command (gives more control over the children processes than fork).
KVM or UML have both a "COW" mechanism that permits to have the same root file-system for any number of machines without any writes on the master root-file-system.

To create a link between the interfaces of 2 machines, first you drag-drop a lan, (a small circle) then you double-click on it then you click on a machine interface (smaller green circles around a machine) the link is transmitted to the daemon and the sockets of each interface of each machine are joined by the daemon. The daemon was started from the uml_switch but it grew a lot!

Hope you try this tool, I use it all the time because I never have enough machines.

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