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VirtualBox 2.1 Supports 64-Bit VM In 32-Bit Host

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the big-box-inside-a-little-box dept.

Upgrades 374

Stephen Birch writes "Following closely behind the mid-November 2.06 release of VirtualBox, Sun Microsystems has released version 2.1. This has a number of new features, but one of the most interesting is the ability to run a 64-bit VM inside a 32-bit host. Another useful feature is integrated host-based networking; no more fiddling around with network bridges. Sun is really giving VMWare a run for their money."

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.. and .. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201507)

.. opengl acceleration on windows guests on any opengl capable host! beat that vmware!

Re:.. and .. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201763)

The part of this I am looking forward too is the future plan to allow DX using the host hardware iwthin the guest. So I can finally drop a native windows install for gaming.

Re:.. and .. (5, Informative)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202011)

Done [vmware.com]

  • Support for DirectX 9.0c with Shader Model 2 3D graphics

Re:.. and .. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202107)

VirtualBox is free. VMWare Workstation costs money (the free Server products don't support 3D graphics).

Re:.. and .. (0)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202123)

The difference is VMWare emulates DirectX, using Wine. Which has implications for performance. Virtualbox plans to actually pass through OpenGL calls (nowhere done yet in this version, thats why its slow and buggy, but may improve to native-level performance).

Re:.. and .. (5, Informative)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202353)

The difference is VMWare emulates DirectX, using Wine.

What are you talking about? VMWare does no such thing, there is no connection between vmware and wine whatsoever.

Re:.. and .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201967)

Uhm.. while I agree VMWare lags in that area (I believe it is DirectX only at the moment), they have it all over Virtualbox in terms of stability.

security issues? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201999)

When I am running virtual box do I create new security holes?

That is to say, suppose for example, the host is a mac and it has a firewall and various TCP wrappers turned on. Now run ububtu or windows in the VM.

Are all my ports now open again? or is the host both firewalling and TCP filtering all the communications?

THat is should I be thinking of the hosted os as being behing a firewall or NAT router or is it fully exposed to the outside?

second suppose my hosted OS gets infected. If it launches a network attack on the host computer is it now attacking from within the fire wall and thus making the host more vulnerable.

Somehow it seems like at least one of these cases must be true.

Re:security issues? (3, Informative)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202337)

Thus far, my virtual boxes have all been on a private network. I'm not even sure if they see each other, though I've not really tested that. I'm not even really sure how to open up the guests to the public network, though I'm 100% positive that it can be done. It's just that the defaults are all pretty secure.

That all means that your host is acting as a NAT router (by default anyway) and thus all the firewall that the host has will protect the guest(s).

Yes, if your guest gets infected, it's inside the firewall. Though, like I said, I'm not sure it can see the other guests, just the host. However, it's fairly easy to solve: turn off the VM, and roll it back to a clean state. I mean, if you're paranoid enough to be worried about such issues, you'll have old states which are known-good to roll back to. However, I've turned off pretty much all of WindowsXP's protections because it's hiding inside my Linux box, behind a cable-router (another NAT). The ability for something to get in and infect it is pretty much nil. Especially as I don't use IE or Outlook inside there (I use kmail for email, and firefox and konqueror on Linux for browsing, so no need) either.

what about performance fall off? (4, Funny)

flyingpastor (1436913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201511)

Would a 32 bit emulating a 64 be like a fat man in the 200m dash?


LogicallyGenius (916669) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201885)

I Hope they use the same logic in combining the power of multicore CPU into virtual machine and create a super fast virtual computer. i mean if we use the 1600 processor GPU card, and use those cores to simulate a processor then think how fast the normal APPs will run. Hope someone figures this out.

Re:what about performance fall off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202383)

I'm betting they are using Intel's VT or AMD-V to do this, so there's probably hardly any performance penalty.

Good products (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201515)

Virtual Box is really a good product.

And have been more stable for me than VMware workstation..

Re:Good products (5, Insightful)

seizurebattlerobot (265408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201975)

I have to disagree. VirtualBox has the makings of a good product, but right now is too buggy and unreliable to be used in a production environment.

Most of the unreliability that I've encountered stems from virtual disk management. For example, if you have a virtual machine with a CD ISO mounted, what happens if you stop that machine and delete the ISO? This:

VM cannot start because the hard disk '/home/seizurebattlerobot/.VirtualBox/VDI/Windows Vista.vdi' is not accessible (Could not access hard disk image '/home/seizurebattlerobot/.VirtualBox/VDI/Windows Vista.vdi' (VERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)).

Result Code:
NS_ERROR_FAILURE (0x80004005)
IConsole {ddc6fda1-a435-45ca-b43d-f9e88746e53e}

The only way to get the machine into a usable state again is to manually edit the virtual machine definition, which is a lot more complex than one would immediately think. Just look at the VirtualBox bug tracker for some horror stories.

The disk snapshot feature is also a mess and can result in data loss if you are not extremely familiar with how the underlying implementation works. The GUI dialogs that control snapshots are poorly documented and are definitely not production quality.

It is also not possible to shrink a virtual disk that uses snapshots. Normal GUI based activity has resulted in an inconsistent snapshot tree state that has caused data loss for me numerous times.

In short, I would recommend VirtualBox for anyone that wants a virtualization sandbox to play around in. To anyone concerned about data integrity, hates troubleshooting obscure and difficult to track down error messages, or wants to use disk snapshots at all, I would recommend waiting a few years before considering VirtualBox.

Re:Good products (3, Informative)

Sen.NullProcPntr (855073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202601)

The only way to get the machine into a usable state again is to manually edit the virtual machine definition, which is a lot more complex than one would immediately think. Just look at the VirtualBox bug tracker for some horror stories.

This confused the hell out of me the first time it happened on a virtual CD mount. But it only took a few minutes to realize that all that needed to be done was to disable the CD from the GUI. It should be just as easy to disable a hard drive.

While it is bad form to refuse to boot over something so trivial I don't see this as a show stopper.

Disclaimer: I'm not using VirtualBox in a production environment.

Great, needed this as of last week.. (4, Funny)

ehaggis (879721) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201527)

I can't justify purchasing a 64 box for the house, but a beefed up 32 running 64 virtually is just the ticket to get SAP on Linux up and running. Merry Christmas to me!

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (4, Funny)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201573)

Getting SAP at home for Christmas is worse than getting beat over the head with a stocking full of coal.

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (3, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202659)

Give the market a few years and the cost of the fossil fuels will make the stocking worth it.

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (3, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202737)

Getting SAP at home for Christmas is worse than getting beat over the head with a stocking full of coal.

Could be worse......Microsoft Small Business Manager anyone?

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (5, Informative)

hedrick (701605) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201611)

sorry, the hardware has to be 64 bits. The most likely situation where you'd use this is 64-bit Linux or Solaris under 32-bit Windows. Most recent machines have 64-bit hardware, but a lot of people are wary of running 64-bit Windows. So I think this will be a useful configuration, if the performance penalty isn't too high.

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201833)


Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202691)

VMWare Workstation 6.5 has this and I'm doing that under Win XP 32.

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (5, Informative)

drhank1980 (1225872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201719)

A quick check of the user manual states hosting a 64-bit OS requires 64-bit hardware. So I think you are out of luck.

This update is really just adding support for running 64-bit on systems where the host OS is not taking advantage of 64-bit hardware they already have.

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202159)

This is perfect. My 64bit laptop is running a corporate mandated 32bit XP Pro SP3. About time I get to use >1.25GB of heap for Java.

TFM in Context (0, Troll)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202719)

VirtualBox is a hardware emulator. If it emulates the x86_64 instruction set properly, there's nothing to prevent you from running any 64-bit application under it. You'll take a performance hit, since those 64-bit "hardware" instructions are really running in software, but that's true for any emulation.

Re:Great, needed this as of last week.. (1)

kickedfortrolling (952486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201879)

IIAMIG (I am an MI geek) and I can think of hundreds of uses for this over the festive period.. from reporting Santa productivity to analysing mince pie consumption..

Quite want one myself now

id be interested to see a bare metal server deal (1)

TheSovereign (1317091) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201533)

i wonder if it would be able to compete with esx, if so maybe we can escape the huge amount of price gouging by vmware

Re:id be interested to see a bare metal server dea (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201979)

Look into Xen/KVM for your open source hypervisor needs. If you want a supported solution most of the application houses have one or you can go with Citrix Xenserver for generic ESX style virtualization. We use the HP branded Xen Express because it gives us a nice virtual KVM (not the same as the KVM app, stupid opensource people reusing an already popular TLA) through the iLo for our Windows guests.

Re:id be interested to see a bare metal server dea (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202279)

Wouldn't solaris fulfill that part? Its not like esx doesn't contain an OS, it just doesn't export its interface(s).

VirtualBox (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201537)

AKA: "QEMU for retards"

How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (2, Informative)

Nasser (80677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201575)

here's a howto install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu Linux:


Re:How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201753)

Do we really need a HOWTO?

While adding VirtualBox repository to apt might be useful for automatically updating, but all you need to do to install Virtual Box is just download .deb file from its site, and double click it.

Re:How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (3, Funny)

Trahloc (842734) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201871)

Did I just see the words "double click" in reference to an install on a linux box? ... I feel soiled.

Re:How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202147)

Yeah, stupid new fangled inventions like mice... all we really need is a numberpad. I can type the ASCII codes just as fast as a normal keyboard!

Re:How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (1)

IAmNotBillGates (949262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202157)

apt-get install virtualbox

Was that so hard?

Re:How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202425)

It's not that easy, or at least 2.0 was not that easy: http://johnbokma.com/mexit/2008/11/27/virtualbox-puel-ubuntu.html

Re:How to Install Virtualbox 2.1 in Ubuntu (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202585)

Oh please. Somebody who needs to know something like this can find it in five seconds with Google. Everybody else could care less. Let's try to limit the Wikipedia notion that knowledge and trivia are the same thing.

Host based networking? (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201577)

> Another useful feature is integrated host based networking, no more fiddling around with network bridges.

Can anyone explain what this "host based networking" is? And what's wrong with the bridges?


Re:Host based networking? (1)

shadwstalkr (111149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201829)

That's what I was thinking. I've been using VMWare and VirtualBox for a long time, and I've never had to "fiddle with network bridges." I've never tried to do anything very complex though, so maybe the networking only works for common setups.

Re:Host based networking? (5, Informative)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201847)

It means that the virtual network adapter can get IP connected without resorting to NAT. This was usually done by bridging a physical interface to a tun device and setting that tun device as VirtualBox's network device. Setting up this bridge requires using a script outside of VirtualBox to get everything set up. Now VirtualBox can do it from the GUI with no scripting required. In short, one can dedicate a physical NIC to VirtualBox by bridging it or allow VBox direct access to the host NIC.

The easy way to do networking with virtuals is to use NAT to pass TCP traffic to the virtual from the host's IP connection. That suffices for web surfing and other apps that don't severely exercise networking but it doesn't work well for things like VPN clients.

Re:Host based networking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202005)

Sounds great. Now where do I find the documentation to allow it to actually, you know, WORK? I just did an upgrade and all my host based networking is now down, and I cannot figure out what changes I need to make to either my host or guest configurations to make it work again. I did what seems "logical": I've stopped creating my bridge, and I changed the configuration to specify the actual physical adapter as the "host" adapter in the gui, but the guest OS cannot talk to the gateway address, let alone any other address.

Re:Host based networking? (1)

pegdhcp (1158827) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201917)

Bridges tend (in my case(s) anyway) to throw some organic waste material to the fan, if you are using your box connected to one Cisco that is connectod to another one -uplink side that is- thru a trunk encapsulating link. Especially is you need to change anything from defaults. But yes, when they start to work, there is nothing wrong with them.

Hardware 3D acceleration (OpenGL) (4, Interesting)

De Lemming (227104) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201589)

Another interesting new feature is the experimental 3D acceleration via OpenGL. From the manual:

With this new feature, if an application inside your Windows guest uses 3D features through the OpenGL programming interfaces, these will not be emulated in software (which is slow), but instead VirtualBox will attempt to use your host's 3D hardware.
This works for all supported host platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris), provided that your host operating system can make use of your accelerated 3D hardware in the first place.

The 3D acceleration currently has the following limitations:
1. It is only available in Windows XP and 32-bit Vista guests with the Windows Guest Additions installed.
2. Only OpenGL acceleration is presently available in those guests; Direct3D is not yet supported and will be added in a future release.

Re:Hardware 3D acceleration (OpenGL) (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201915)

I thought that sounded good too.

If this was done right, would that allow it to replace wine? or not really?

Re:Hardware 3D acceleration (OpenGL) (2, Informative)

AusIV (950840) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202021)

You'd still need a copy of Windows. It would go a long way to replacing the dual boot, but Wine will still have its place. That said, I'm sure this is better than software rendering, but I have my doubts to the usability of 3D graphics in VirtualBox.

Re:Hardware 3D acceleration (OpenGL) (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202109)

no, this is an emulator. Wine Is Not an Emulator. You would have to have a purchased and installed copy of Windows. You would have to load up all of windows, and its services. Wine is an app, that loads just the bare basics needed.

Hope it works behind a corporate LAN? (1)

DSmith1974 (987812) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201617)

Excellent, I really liked VBox over VMWare-Server it's just so much easier and straight forward to use and configure and the big plus is seamless windows for free. But then out IT dept. rolled out some network loop protection that had the rather unfortunate effect of blocking your port from the network - leaving the guest (and host!) without a network whenever you fired up a VBox with the bridged network settings (VMWare just worked out of the box, OK). Sure hope that's not the case any more with the new network settings.

Improved snapshots? (4, Interesting)

WD (96061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201705)

Aside from a clunky GUI, the thing that stood out the most for me about VirtualBox is the abysmal snapshot support. Both VMWare and Parallels allow for a snapshot tree where you can instantly jump to any powered-on machine state that you have saved. VirtualBox, on the other hand, seemed to only support a linear, multiple-level undo.

Anybody know if any progress has been made in this area?

Re:Improved snapshots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201905)

dunno. virtualbox just segfaults when i try to restore a saved state.

Re:Improved snapshots? (3, Insightful)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202589)

This feature is allegedly in progress.

I completely agree - I have a pair of mutually-incompatible versions of the same application that won't co-exist on the same Windows machine, so I set up a VBox machine to put them on. I had to clone the base install, about 2GB, rather than just making a snapshot and installing either version on top of that snapshot and snapshotting them. If you want both versions, you have to sacrifice another 2GB of disk space or install one version natively (which isn't exactly convenient - one of the major reasons for having the VMs is that it's a complete pig to install correctly).

It's not like the virtual disk model is unprepared for it - it does support immutable and delta disks, and uses them when taking snapshots. You are allowed multiple nested snapshot levels. For reasons I don't grok this has not been translated into branching snapshot support.

Good Alternative (3, Insightful)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201709)

I have found that VirtualBox is a perfect alternative to VMware's expensive Workstation product. Before a friend told me about VirtualBox I was using VMware's Server free product as to how Workstation was meant to be used and not as a server side virtualization solution as VMware expected. So as soon as I checked out VirtualBox I dumped the ever-so-getting bloated Server program suite. I did previously pirate Workstation a couple of years ago before the free Server got released and decided I would try to go legit at that time which made it easy since Server and Workstation were compatible with each other on virtual machine files. As for Workstation product its ~$200 price tag is just way too expensive for my taste.

Now I'm using VirtualBox and I really do like it a lot. It seems to even be less resource intensive than VMware's offerings. Now the question is has anybody tried, or even if possible, to convert a VMware virtual machine to a VirtualBox machine?

Re:Good Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26201799)

I like the fact that I can use the (Linux) host's md volumes as vdisks for a guest, something VMware doesn't (and won't) support.

I'm just afraid that Sun's going to go the way of SGI and VBox along with it. At least they have their Open Source Edition if it comes to that.

Re:Good Alternative (3, Interesting)

domatic (1128127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201907)

VirtualBox is supposed to be able to open up VMDKs. Whether or not one can get it to boot on the other hand........

Speak for yourself (3, Insightful)

coryking (104614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202613)

But the ability to take multiple, branching snapshots is worth the price of admission alone. Version 6.5, which they pushed out a short while ago, has a new featured called "Unity mode", which basically takes programs running in the Guest and draws them on the Host so they act like any other program running on your host.

If you are a developer who uses virtual machines every day, $200 is a bargain for a tool like Workstation.

I thought VMWare already did that (5, Informative)

DeHackEd (159723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201713)

I have an Athlon64 but run a 32 bit OS. I tried running a 64 bit virtual machine using VMWare Server 1.0.x a year or so ago and it worked. The performance was not noticeably poor.

So... assuming I haven't missed anything too obvious, my response would be "No, vmware is not getting a run for their money." Not today anyways.

Re:I thought VMWare already did that (4, Interesting)

phasm42 (588479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202275)

I have a Core2 Duo running 32-bit Windows, with 64-bit Ubuntu Linux running in VMWare Server. I've been doing this for nearly two years now, no problems at all.

Re:I thought VMWare already did that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202297)

So... assuming I haven't missed anything too obvious, my response would be "No, vmware is not getting a run for their money." Not today anyways.

You also forgot to mention that VMware is giving away ESXi for free.

Network bridge (2, Informative)

nighty5 (615965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201731)

was the reason why I tossed out Virtual Box.

It was prone to problems, and became so annoying I ended up buying a license of VMWare.

There is also one area which is very unstable - OpenBSD support. It crashes the latest versions of OpenBSD, reports out-of-disk errors etc. OpenBSD is definitely more picky on the hardware it runs due to its strong security features, which Virtual Box doesn't appear to implement properly to make it look "real enough"

Sun has recognised problems with OpenBSD but has said its so far down the important-list it won't bother for some time.

Re:Network bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202139)

"OpenBSD is definitely more picky on the hardware it runs due to its strong security features"

Can you elaborate on this? I just thought it was generally drivers not written quite as well, but I'm curious how the security aspect of OpenBSD features.


Re:Network bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202285)

OpenBSD is definitely more picky on the hardware it runs due to its strong security features

I call bullshit. There's no connection between being picky about hardware and strong security features. A more accurate statement may be that OpenBSD has prioritized security over hardware compatibility. That's a choice made in allocating finite engineering resources, not a technical tradeoff.

Re:Network bridge (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202365)

For me, Virtualbox often caused kernel panics on boot (host machines run Ubuntu 8.04 LTS). Basically, the system would crash and the caps lock and scroll lock keys would start flashing. At first, it was limited to only one machine, so I suspected that something was wrong with that machine's hardware support. The same thing also happened on one machine that has had perfect hardware support in the past. (logs on both machines indicated a kernel panic caused by something going wrong with the Virtualbox kernel process)

Re:Network bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202391)

> There is also one area which is very unstable - OpenBSD support.

Enable hardware virtualization support and it works just flawlessly.

Re:Network bridge (1)

IceDiver (321368) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202587)

I tossed it because it has such poor support for Win98 guests (no shared folders, or other tools). I run many older OSes as guests, so I'm sticking with VMWare.

Re:Network bridge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202619)

I ran into the same disk issue mentioned on the Calyptix blog [calyptix.com] when trying to run OpenBSD. The last comment on the blog says if you select a Win98 disk it will resolve the issues. I havent tried it yet.

Memory supported? (4, Interesting)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201773)

Does this mean if I have more than 4G of memory the client will actually be able to use more memory than the client can see? So I can have a full 12G client on a 16G host that only sees/uses 4G of it?

Re:Memory supported? (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202451)

I presume the host must need PAE enabled, either that or VirtualBox somehow manages to supplant or extend the host OS's memory management logic somehow.

Re:Memory supported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202481)


Re:Memory supported? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202559)

In GNU/linux (Debian,PIII, VirtualBox 2.0.2) there is no problem with assigning more "real" RAM than your host have. The host will start to use more swap, as is expected.
Probably you are talking about the windows version.

Re:Memory supported? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202621)

No, i'm talking about addressable memory space. Physical or not. Go add 5G of swap space to your 32 bit OS and see how usefull that is for ya.

Re:Memory supported? (1)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202579)

I doubt it, when you config a VM you assign memory to it, you probably cannot assign more memory than the VirtuaBox sees, and VirtualBox will see just as much as the OS sees.

Good product, not Enterprise ready yet (3, Informative)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201801)

I've been trying out VirtualBox for a while. VMWare had recently updated to v2.0 and had some annoying problems with the new tomcat based web front-end. It was unusable and drove a lot of people to other options. This was why I'd looked at VirtualBox.

It is easy to install and runs most OSes as a host. I tested the last two versions on CentOS 5.2 on 64bit and 32bit. The 32bit version running on my Inspiron E1505 laptop had issues with CPU utilization. No matter what was running (or not running) in the guest, it would completely spike the machine to 99% utilization. Fiddling with the CPU virtualization settings and other BIOS features had no effect.

Anyhoo, VMWare released an update that fixes the Tomcat issues. Xen is running great. Right now I don't have a lot of reason to switch, but VirtualBox does look very promising.

It works .. sort of (1)

bluefrogcs (656231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201855)

I installed, it upgraded my 2.06 vms to the new format .. now when I shutdown my vm, it makes my host bluescreen .. nice feature .. ;> Works great otherwise ..

xVM/VB is NOT giving VMWare a run for its money (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201859)

VMWare's compatibility list, and the fact it's been supporting 64-bit for a half of a decade doesn't make VBox any better-- for its half-an-hour-old-now support of 64-bit processors. The management interface isn't there, and the add-in bits aren't there, either. It's way late, like most other Sun promises.

Is it ok for hackers and people that want personal use? Probably. But VMWare, Parallels, Citrix/Xen, mainstream distro Xen, and a bunch of others still have lots of maturity where VBox is what always happens to Sun-- a latecomer with possible technical stability (as Sun code is usually pretty solid).


Virtualbox is superior to VMware (4, Interesting)

sammydee (930754) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201877)

Virtualbox doesn't just give VMware a run for it's money, it's considerably superior in many respects:

- It's open source
- The gtk interface is at least as good as vmware's gui
- It's considerably faster on my system (no hardware virtualisation), windows xp boots in about half the time in virtualbox than in vmware, and applications generally open/run much more snappily.
- It's considerably more stable (on linux) than vmware is. In my experience vmware crashed about 30% of the times I used it, I even got a total system crash once that needed a hard reset (I think due to problems with compiz?). It uses quite an intrusive kernel module that creates a lot of latency in the kernel. This manifests itself mostly as skipping audio when audio is playing. Virtualbox has none of these problems, it's rock solid stable and doesn't hog the cpu like vmware does.
- Virtualbox seems to need less ram than vmware, I only have 1GB of ram in my laptop and swapping was unbearable with firefox and vmware open, yet firefox, virtualbox AND other applications can coexist fine with only limited swapping.

That's all the advantages I can think of of the top of my head, the only disadvantage I can see is that vmware supports USB devices whereas the free version of virtualbox doesn't. Other than that, virtualbox is just better all round.


Re:Virtualbox is superior to VMware (5, Informative)

oever (233119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202111)

The VirtualBox GUI is written with Qt [ubuntu.com], not GTK.

I'm using VirtualBox to run 32 bit Windows XP on a 64-bit Linux machine. VirtualBox 2.0 runs really well for me. I'm glad I can use an open-source package for this.

Re:Virtualbox is superior to VMware (4, Insightful)

mc900ftjesus (671151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202289)

My anecdotal evidence disagrees with all of your anecdotal evidence. I have never had a problem with VMWare stability, RAM usage, CPU utilization or interface.

But really, your entire argument is crap the second you use the term "snapily" or "snappy." If you're angry at VMWare, and you install VirtualBox, your first impression will be that it's so much "snappier" even if the two are neck and neck. This is a stupid term, stop using it.

Sorry, but your points are pretty worthless because you don't back any of it up, you just cry "unstable" and we're all supposed to agree with your blind rage.

Re:Virtualbox is superior to VMware (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202675)

Meh. My experience is the exact opposite. I have been running VMware since the beginning (I mean the beginning, I using the pre-1.0 VMware beta like 9 or 10 years ago) and I have never had any crashing issues or stability problems with VMware. It has to be one of the most if not the most stable software product I have ever used. I have only run it on Linux hosts though.

VirtualBox's snapshot support sucks ass compared to VMware Workstation.

On my machine (Quad-core Q9550, 8 GB RAM) no matter what the guest is doing (like sitting idle) VirtualBox consumes considerable CPU. Linux guests are especially bad. I know there are a crapload of tweaks, fixes, and shit that help (but don't completely fix) the issue but why should I waste time dicking around with that when VMware is perfect?

Performance-wise VMware blows VirtualBox out of the water. Just installing XP on a VirtualBox VM takes orders of magnitude more time than VMware.

USB support is incredibly important, while VMware is not perfect its USB support is way more comprehensive than even the commercial VirtualBox.

I regularly use VMware on machines with as little as 256 MB of RAM and it works fine. VirtualBox basically completely hangs in those conditions because it's so slow and memory intensive.

VirtualBox or VMWare? (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201883)

I've been using VMWare for the last couple years in in a development environment. We don't run any VMWare stuff in our production datacenter, so for my uses it's mostly been to run pre-packaged VMs or making my own to run an older version of Windows or do something in linux.

However, after upgrading to the latest VMWare server, I REALLY hate the new server interface. It has been nothing but a pain to work with. I also recently tried VirtualBox on my Ubuntu laptop at home. It seemed very slick - fast, small, and I was able to create a VM myself without having to run a server instance in the background.

So, what are my options to work interchangeably between VirtualBox and VMWare? On a development workstation, I hate the new VMWare Server interface, and that I have to run a server instance in the background in order to create my own VMs in the first place. I want to create VMs ad-hoc, and then use them on the occasion I need to. But I do like using VMware on a development server, where I do run a few "server" VMs for other purposes.

But VirtualBox seems much more appropriate for my uses. I can create VMs ad-hoc, and it doesn't seem to eat up as much resources. But I don't think it has as easy to user "server" instance, does it? Are there any other things I should consider?

Re:VirtualBox or VMWare? (1)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202217)

You can run VirtualBox virtual machines in "headless" mode and connect to them via RDP. I suppose this is something akin to a "server" instance which isn't too difficult to do.

Re:VirtualBox or VMWare? (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202521)

It's not nearly as simple to do without going to the command line with VirtualBox unless they've finally updated that in the gui.

I'm not saying it's hard though. I've done it, but it was a lot more intuitive when doing it with VMWare Server. Your mileage may vary though.

Incorrect headline (1)

SirNAOF (142265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201901)

Headline should read "VirtualBox 2.1 Supports 64 Bit VM in 32 Bit Host Operating System".

Big difference between a 32-bit host and a 32-bit host OS.

VirtualBox vs. VMWare ESx Server (1)

johnsie (1158363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26201913)

Virtual Box is good for playing around with on your home desktop. But running a complete desktop OS and another complete desktop OS in a VirtualBox is going to have obvious implications in terms of performance. VMWare ESx however is an operating system with a very small footprint. This gives you more resources to allocate to your virtual machines. Also vmware ESx is pretty good for accessing virtual machines on from a remote location because it comes with VMware infrastructure client which is pretty good.

Re:VirtualBox vs. VMWare ESx Server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202155)

Oui, and don't forget that VMware now offers ESXi free. If you can't afford all the wiz-bang features of ESX, then ESXi and the Infrastructure Client make a good combination. ESXi can even be installed on a USB key and tested against your current hardware. We upgraded from Server to ESX & ESXi and were able to get more use out of visualization.


Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26202101)

I cant get 64 bit guest to boot at all.....I do have a 64 bit host but I dont think that should matter.

"Giving VMWare a run for their money" (5, Interesting)

btarval (874919) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202205)

That's the truth. Sun, Xen and even Microsoft are giving VMWare a run for their money nowadays.

There's one interesting thing which has struck me, that I haven't seen any comments on. Namely, that VMWare is stuck competing between Microsoft on the one hand, and several Open Source projects on the other (with some of the Open Source projects having serious financial backing).

Being positioned between Microsoft and Open Source generally hasn't been a good spot to be in (indeed, has anyone succeeded here?). So I have to wonder how VMWare is going to stand up in the future?

I've been a big fan of VMWare in the past, as it has saved my butt more than once. However, now I find myself using Xen more, and seriously considering Sun's offerings.

To VMWare's credit, they have arguably the best person in the world for the job as CEO (at least on paper). Some might remember Paul Maritz as being one of the top people from Microsoft, as well as having led Microsoft's original *NIX strategy (I.e. Xenix). So if there's anyone who can compete there, it is him.

But still, it is not an enviable position to be in, and it makes me wonder how they are going to compete in the long term? Especially since, from a technology basis, the Open Source efforts are arguably better.

Anyone care to add some insightful comments on this? The only way that I can see VMWare winning is if everyone else screws up. While that's possible, there's a lot of money at stake in the Virtualization field, and I think the odds of that happening are low.

Re:"Giving VMWare a run for their money" (2, Interesting)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202625)

VMWare jumped way ahead of the pack in terms of "basic" VM management early. That's why they're a big name now.

Now their "basic" package isn't doing much more than many of the Open Source projects and Microsoft offering (which is why some of their offerings like VMWare Server have become free). What VMWare has now is a large bundle of enterprise products for managing VMs and their data across the network and across your SAN.

If you want to delve into Virtualization for resume fodder, your best bet is to start looking at the enterprise tools they have to offer. Many have free trials.

At this point though, as a developer myself, if all you're going to do with it is generate multiple environments for testing and you haven't touched VMWare products, I would look at VirtualBox.

Re:"Giving VMWare a run for their money" (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202717)

even Microsoft

Although, somewhat spookily, you really have to mess around with kernel options and whatnot to get Ubuntu to even boot on MS Virtual PC, whereas it just runs as-is on VirtualBox (and I presume on VMWare too).

I've heard that other distros run fine ; what a shame that the most threatening^W popular distro doesn't.

Ah well. VirtualBox is really rather nice, especially for something that is so generously licensed - their no-fee "personal" license runs along the lines of "use it for anything you like, even running your business, as long as you download and install it personally and don't distribute it".

question: (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202245)

32/64 bit support, OpenGL, etc are nice but how about something that matters: OpenStep support. A couple months back, I dug up my old OpenStep 4.2 CD and tried to install it on virtual box. The installation worked, but it couldn't succesfully boot afterwards. I have the (vbox) source code sitting on my hard drive, but it doesn't compile with modern versions of gcc. Maybe I'll try qemu.

Solaris Containers on Sparc and VirtualBox x86 (4, Interesting)

blastwave (757518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202487)

Sun has taken a beating lately, like everyone has, but when I look at its massively multicore Niagara and Victoria Falls systems I see real viable breakthrough in the area of massively parallel computing. With Solaris Containers on Sparc I can take an old production Solaris 8 ( or 9 ) server and literally drop it into a single core of a Niagara machine and then make the old box vanish into a puff of 1U smoke without losing anything. Heck, the new machines will run 256 threads at the same time with no time slice issues. With VirtualBox on x86 we can now park almost anything from the x86 world into a SunFire x4440 ( 16 core AMD Opteron slayer ) in 2U of rack space. The theory, that I would love to test in practice, is that you can make four racks of older gear vanish into 6U of rack space with the SunFire x4440 ( AMD Opteron based ) and the Sun T5440 Server ( 32 core and eight floating-point units per processor ). That would be 256 simultaneous threads all running in one server and 16 cores of AMD Opteron in the other. And that means Linux/Windows and Solaris all running in two machines. I may be wrong but Sun has a hell of a grip on the future multi-threaded world.

I'll bet they still haven't fixed... (2, Interesting)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202495)

...the glaring problem that I have with VirtualBox, VM management.

I love that they use XML for defining a system. I love that they have a virtual disk manager. But they do not have a process for bundling both together if I have a virtual machine with a disk image that I am dedicating to it.

The end result is migrating a VM or even upgrading an install with non-default settings is a huge hassle. And the default puts VM-client xml files in a different location than their virtual disk images.

In VMWare, I just move the entire directory and start a vm with the appropriate vmx file.

QEMU (2, Funny)

morgauo (1303341) | more than 5 years ago | (#26202663)

As far as I can tell, it's just a free as in beer version of free as in speech + beer QEMU.

How long before it comes out that virtualbox actually is QEMU, with a Sun sticker on it?

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