I love VirtualBox

This is a discussion on I love VirtualBox within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I can't believe I dual-booted for so long, and paid for VMWare. My new machine arrived a few weeks ago, ...

  1. #1
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    I love VirtualBox

    I can't believe I dual-booted for so long, and paid for VMWare. My new machine arrived a few weeks ago, the first time I've had a Windows-based host in many years. And I might be crazy but I actually love Win7. I also prefer developing under Linux. So instead of mucking about repartitioning my drive and setting up a flaky dual-boot, I just threw Kubuntu on a VBox.

    Since I have a hex-core with 10 gigs of RAM, I can easily dedicate 2 CPUs and 2 GB just for Kubuntu without the rest of the system even feeling it. Did I mention branchable checkpointing? Hey, wanna fool with Debian today? No problem, I'll have it installed in 30 minutes. If I don't like it, I just chuck it without fooling around.

    Now I need to find my old BeOS images and fire them up.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  2. #2
    &TH of undefined behavior Fordy's Avatar
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    I do the same.

    The recent versions are great and really stable

  3. #3
    Ugly C Lover audinue's Avatar
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    I'm using its awesome fast snapshot feature...

    Playing games (which do not have save/load state), creating portable applications, testing my applications, antiviruses sink,...

    However it getting slower and slower this day in my computer
    Just GET it OFF out my mind!!

  4. #4
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    I used to do the same, until the requirements of VS2010 made me run windows 7 in parallel with Linux. As for developing, it doesn't really make a difference -- I've got vim on both

    Plus my TV tuner didn't work through the virtual box (there was no Linux driver).

    PS: ReactOS is funny to play around with.

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Yeah. The days of VMWare exclusive features are gone for us home users. VMWare still has an important role to play on some enterprise levels. But for most other needs it has been either equaled or even surpassed. I guess I too will eventually stop paying for it. Been thinking about that for a little while. A sign that most probably I won't go for the next major upgrade.

    For Windows hosts with Windows clients, I'm also starting to hear good things of VirtualPC for the first time. But although I do virtualize Windows for testing purposes and network simulation, I have no special requirements that can't be served by VMWare or, most likely in the near future, VirtualBox.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #6
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Yep, VirtualBox is the best. Everything they officially support runs extremely stable and with a little hacking you can get most other things to run relatively stable, as well. Currently, I have VBox images for Windows XP, Kubuntu, OpenSolaris, FreeBSD, eComStation (why? Don't ask), and DOS 6.22. I use Microsoft Virtual PC for emulating Windows 98, 95, and 3.1 if I want to mess around with stuff in them (which I never do). It actually emulates the old Windows versions much better then VBox.
    Sent from my iPad®

  7. #7
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Ok brewbuck. I got all excited about your post because the thought of stop paying for VMWare makes me happy. So here's my verdict after having tested Virtual Box for the three days:

    Verdict: No.
    Supplement: But almost.

    I ran it on a Core 2 Duo E4500 (no Intel VT-x support) 2.20 GHz with 3Gb RAM with Windows 7. And tested on a Ubuntu 10.4 guest (I don't use Ubuntu. I use Arch Linux, non virtualized, on a laptop. But Arch is a pain to set up. So Ubuntu it was).

    On that same machine I also set up a VMWare Ubuntu 10.04 guest.

    VirtualBox didn't entirely please me or displease me. As far as performance goes it does lag behind VMWare 7.1. But I didn't think it was that significant. I could work with that and be happy.

    Pros:
    I liked the Guest Additions a lot better than VMWare's tools. VBox are easier to install and don't require a stupid windowed application minimized on the desktop as VMWare does with their toolbox.

    I really did like the fact it lets me mount my shared folders anywhere I like and separate from each other, whereas VMWare mounts them for me and I have to create symlinks if I don't want to use (I never want) the default mnt/hgfs mount point.

    Mouse support seems a lot better than in VMWare. Regardless of how I resize my VM (window, maximized or full screen) it seamlessly retains cursor auto-grab. Whereas in VMWare this is not the case: If I place the VM on my second monitor as full-screen I lose auto-grab. I have to click to grab the cursor.

    Cons:
    Instability man! I'm surprised you haven't noticed this. Hasn't it crashed on you yet? I get an eventual VBox crash every 3th or 4th running session after maybe 1 or 2 hours of working on the guest. In comparison I need weeks to experience a VMWare crash.

    USB support. Have you tried plugging in an USB drive with your VM running? Odds are it will crash. Pronto.

    Graphics. I actually experienced some odd behavior never before seen on a VM. Granted it's been a long while since I virtualized Linux. But something is wrong with the graphics device in place for VBox. For instance, not long after a full reinstall of the guest machine using the same vdi disk, I lost access to tty1-6. Instead of getting the text terminal, I'd get a version of whatever was on tty7 displayed on whatever console mode resolution and bit mode I had in place for my text terminals. If I then would hit the keyboard before returning to tty7, VBox would crash. Note that this was a fresh install. No changes to the default Ubuntu setup.

    Graphics 2. It doesn't recognize certain less common resolutions. For instance, It couldn't recognize a WXGA 1366x780 monitor I have around. It would run at the more common 1360x768, which that monitor would then zoom, resulting I think in some small glitches in the screen (especially 1 pixel wide vertical lines like the top panel applets separators).

    So you almost had me going.
    But I'll have to pass for now. However will start paying more attention to it. USB support for instance is a known bug currently. Should be fixed for next release. I'm more concerned with the graphics device.
    Last edited by Mario F.; 07-29-2010 at 09:57 AM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  8. #8
    Registered /usr
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    It also can't be used for games that use anti-debug tricks to protect their DRM (although Virtual PC will work). Hardware breakpoints I think (do these work in VT-x mode?)

  9. #9
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I can try it out on my main machine (Intel VT-x) to be sure (Vbox and Ubuntu are both a snap to install). This isn't really helpful at all. I applaud the patience of VBox developers. If it was me, I'd be taking the web server down.

    It does seem to indicate they fixed it for Intel VT-x and AMD-V, only. But there's too much noise.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #10
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    > I don't use Ubuntu. I use Arch Linux, non virtualized, on a laptop. But Arch is a pain to set up. So Ubuntu it was

    It's also a pain to keep updated/running, rolling release is good in theory. So after 3 years of using Arch. I'm finally migrating my computers to Slackware

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