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VirtualBox 3.0: Oracle Wants VMWare's Market and VirtualBox Makes Rapid Progress

By Armstrong Hammer in Technology
Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 09:38:07 AM EST
Tags: VirtualBox, Virtual Machines, Sun, Open Source, Free Software (all tags)

Sun recently merged with Oracle, but they bought out some virtual machine software like Virtual Iron, Xen, etc to combine over four virtualzation technologies into VirtualBox.


VirtualBox reached version 3.0.0 recently and seeks to replace such virtual machine programs as Virtual PC, VMWare, QEMU, BOCHS, Parallels, etc. You might remember a project named Xen that was targeted for Linux and other Unix like operating systems. Red Hat added Xen support in their kernel and other Linux companies followed suit. Well now they have VirtualBox support via a kernel mod.

Why should you care that another virtualzation program has hit the market? Freedom of choice, and support from Sun are good answers to that. VMWare Workstation costs money and the free VMWare Server has issues running on certain operating systems. VirtualBox seems to be working better than VMWare in my tests under Linux, and I don't think VMWare supports USB devices or 3D video support yet, at least I couldn't get those when I tried it out in the 6.0 release. But VirtualBox may or may not be right for you. You might be happier using VMWare, Virtual PC, QEMU, BOCHS, Parallels, etc if you are comfortable with them and don't want to switch to a new product.

Sure Sun owns the product, but they also own OpenOffice.Org, StarOffice, Glassfish, Netbeans, MySQL, OpenSolaris, and Java. At least this way you can have support for other Sun products and see how they work together. Sun isn't Microsoft, but they are not Apple or Amiga either.

While VirtualBox does not support as many guest operating systems as VMWare it supports the major ones. BeOS doesn't work, unless you are willing to copy over a hard drive image, but HaikuOS does. OS/2 only works for a certain type. Windows 98 works but has no addons. Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.0 works. Most of the Linux and OpenSolaris systems work. Of the BSD Unix only OpenBSD works, but has no addons.

VirtualBox runs as a host on Windows XP and up, most Linux (with the 2.6 kernel, 2.4 is not supported) and Solaris systems, Intel Mac OSX, but no BSD Unix systems yet.

VirtualBox supports the VRDP remote access service via the display properties, so you can run it on a server and let clients connect to a virtual machine remotely through a VRDP client.

When Windows 7.0 comes out, I heard that the XP Virtual Machine has compatibility issues already and is only available for Windows 7.0 Pro and Business and up, not the Home versions. So I'd recommend the VirtualBox running a copy of Windows XP Pro instead.

Keep in mind that VirtualBox is still new technology and they will support more host and guest operating systems in the future. Some day there may be a BSD Unix hosted version, some day it might support BeOS as a guest operating system as well as the BSD Unix operating systems as a guest OS. If you need those for now, stick with VMWare Workstation if you can afford a license.

VirtualBox supports 3D video display, however, it is turned off by default. You can turn it on with the display properties via a check box. The open source OSE version of VirtualBox does not support USB devices, however, you can get around that by mounting the USB device in Windows or Linux and then adding it in as a shared drive, but you won't get USB access or a USB port in VirtualBox OSE edition, you'll need the commercial version for that to synch up to USB devices, but Sun allows the commercial version to be downloaded for free, but without the source code.

Fedora Forums has a thread with instructions on how to get VirtualBox to work with Fedora 10 and it also works on Fedora 11. You just need to install a kernel mod to get it working.

Using Fedora 11 as a guest operating system under Windows XP Pro caused it to freeze when I did a Software Update. I was able to work out the problem by turning on PAE and Nested Paging options and installing the VirtualBox addons for Linux. The problem went away after that. Reading the VirtualBox documentation and Fedora Forums helped me resolve that.

It is a good virtual machine for supported operating systems, but could be better. I'd like to see VirtualBox support the BSD Unix operating systems, BeOS, AROS, and even Mac OSX under Mac OSX to run older versions of OSX in a VirtualBox. Some guest operating systems need tweaks to the virtual machines settings in order to work properly.

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Poll
Would you use VirtualBox?
o Yes 31%
o No 31%
o Maybe 26%
o It does not support my host OS 5%
o It does not support my guest OS 5%
o I boycott Sun products 10%
o I use VMWare instead 15%
o I use Virtual PC instead 0%
o I use a different virtual machine 0%
o Hey wait, this makes too much sense to be an Orion Blastar story, what have you done with the real Orion Blastar you fiend! 10%

Votes: 19
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o VirtualBox
o guest operating systems
o runs as a host
o has a thread with instructions
o Also by Armstrong Hammer


Display: Sort:
VirtualBox 3.0: Oracle Wants VMWare's Market and VirtualBox Makes Rapid Progress | 34 comments (21 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Affective flattening caused me to kill 48 people $ (2.75 / 8) (#1)
by schlouse on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 03:49:22 AM EST



OpenStep (none / 0) (#14)
by horny smurf on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 08:44:37 PM EST

I've seen a couple pages with screenshots showing OpenStep 4.2 running under virtual box, but that wasn't my experience. It will install fine, but when booting, it has kernel panics (vfs_mountroot: cannot mount root).

I've also had problems with freebsd as a guest. Heavy io (compiling a program) caused drive geometry errors. I couldn't get NetBSD 5 beta to work at all.

That was earlier this year, they've had a few updates since then. Windows 2K and XP work fine, though one of the releases a few months back screwed up cdrom support.

FreeBSD 5.2 works OK, but no X11 mouse (none / 0) (#19)
by MichaelCrawford on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 02:12:04 PM EST

I'm sure it's some configuration problem, but haven't been able to come up with the solution.

The reason I'm running 5.2 is that that's the version that The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System covers.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


[ Parent ]

I tried FreeBSD 7 (or maybe it was 8) (none / 0) (#20)
by horny smurf on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 05:09:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I HAVE 4.3BSD RUNNING IN SIMH (none / 0) (#15)
by Nimey on Wed Jul 01, 2009 at 09:49:45 PM EST

YOU MAY SUCK MY PENIS.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

lol BSD is weak (none / 0) (#26)
by Ron Paul on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 03:08:50 AM EST

linux is better

This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


[ Parent ]

I have 32V (none / 0) (#34)
by Del Griffith on Mon Aug 17, 2009 at 03:48:31 PM EST

Ultrix & 4.2 ... AND VMS!

HA!

-------
I...I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. Because I'm the real article. What you see is what you get. - Me


[ Parent ]

xgrid$ (none / 1) (#16)
by mirko on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 12:20:02 AM EST


--
Finally I managed to make the decision that I would work on it. - MDC
we had to huddle together - trane
vwware doesnt support usb devices? (none / 0) (#18)
by loteck on Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 12:17:28 PM EST

vmware has supported usb devices since forever and with 6.5 fixed all issues with usb2.
--
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich
"WHAT AN ETERNAL MOBIUS STRIP OF FELLATIATIC BANALITY THIS IS." -Harry B Otch

A big thank you (none / 0) (#21)
by Armstrong Hammer on Fri Jul 03, 2009 at 11:25:51 AM EST

to everyone who voted for this story. I can't begin to thank you enough. This will inspire me to write more stories later, and maybe I can improve my writing skills via feedback.
Learn about the true liberal agenda in the United States of America.

nice article (none / 0) (#22)
by negyvenot on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 04:14:54 PM EST

I haven't voted for this because I'm not an active k5 contributor/editor/whatever, I'm just reading k5 posts in Google Reader via the k5 rss feed. I clicked on this article because I recently started using Virtualbox, and was curious what you have to say about it. I liked the article in general, I specially liked it's simplicity, and am specially thankful for pointing out the thread for the fedora issue. The only thing I miss is an additional option for "I already use it" in the "would you use virtualbox?" poll. Keep up posting! m

[ Parent ]
Kill yourself. $ (none / 0) (#23)
by Nimey on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:55:08 PM EST


--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
Why thank you again (none / 0) (#25)
by Armstrong Hammer on Sun Jul 05, 2009 at 12:13:00 AM EST

I only write these articles to help inform people and see what kind of issues a user may face with the software.
Learn about the true liberal agenda in the United States of America.

[ Parent ]
I have always beleived in you. (none / 0) (#27)
by Ron Paul on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 03:09:26 AM EST


This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


[ Parent ]

K5 is dying (none / 0) (#24)
by Nimey on Sat Jul 04, 2009 at 10:55:38 PM EST

Our standards are now low enough that a Blastard story got posted.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

Trollaxor and Blaster ar ethe entire front page. (none / 0) (#28)
by Ron Paul on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 03:09:57 AM EST


This [Ron Paul] Diary! has brought Kuro5hin back to life! HUZZAH


[ Parent ]

Hi (none / 0) (#29)
by amino on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 02:15:54 PM EST

It made me smile once.

Jesus Christ, you signed in just to say that? (none / 0) (#30)
by anaesthetica on Thu Jul 09, 2009 at 01:13:10 AM EST

For this article, of all things?

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
VirtualBox 3.0 allows multiple CPUs (none / 0) (#31)
by MichaelCrawford on Sat Jul 11, 2009 at 06:32:55 AM EST

... but I have the impression that the multiple virtual CPUs aren't actually implemented by multiple physical CPUs.

I used the "time" command to time the build of ZooLib's ButtonMessage demo on Haiku just now. With a single CPU, it took 1 minutes and 53 seconds.

With three virtual CPUs, it took 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

Again with three VPUs, I did "make -j 6", which should have run quite a lot faster, but it took more than eight minutes!

This was on a quad core Xeon.


--

Live your fucking life. Sue someone on the Internet. Write a fucking music player. Like the great man Michael David Crawford has shown us all: Hard work, a strong will to stalk, and a few fries short of a happy meal goes a long way. -- bride of spidy


Context Switch (none / 0) (#33)
by k31 on Sat Aug 15, 2009 at 10:52:40 PM EST

There's probally even more of an overhead in the context switch... wait, what am I talking about?


Your dollar is you only Word, the wrath of it your only fear. He who has an EAR to hear....
[ Parent ]
what the fuck is this? (none / 0) (#32)
by Linux or FreeBSD on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 02:00:43 AM EST

how did this garbage get posted? christ, this place has really gone downhill recently. this idiot is trying desperately to fill this site's content vacuum, and since everyone has apparently abandoned any semblance of standards, he is succeeding. what a shithole.

VirtualBox 3.0: Oracle Wants VMWare's Market and VirtualBox Makes Rapid Progress | 34 comments (21 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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