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VirtualBox 4.3 Comes With New Multi-Touch Support, Virtual Cam and More

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the abstractly-wrap-your-collection-of-virtual-boxes dept.

Virtualization 114

donadony writes "Oracle announced the release of VirtualBox 4.3; this is a major release that comes with important new features, devices support and improvements. According to the announcement, 'Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.3 adds a unique virtual multi-touch interface to support touch-based operating systems, and other new virtual devices and utilities, including webcam devices and a session recording facility. This release also builds on previous releases with support for the latest Microsoft, Apple, Linux and Oracle Solaris operating systems, new virtual devices, and improved networking functionality.'"

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114 comments

Hmm (0, Troll)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#45152005)

The NSA version?

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152061)

The NSA version?

No, they didn't have enough money.

We need to have everyone "pay their fair share" of taxes so out government will have enough resources to do things like that against us.

Taxes - they WILL be used against you.

Re:Hmm (4, Interesting)

hodet (620484) | about 6 months ago | (#45152383)

Does it even need to be said anymore when it applies to commercial products? Not to be the guy with the tinfoil had or anything, but given that Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Yahoo etc etc have cooperated with the NSA (not much choice) why would Oracle not also be a part of that? I will still use VBox for my little uninteresting personal needs. Maybe a nice Hi NSA motd or desktop wallpaper.

Re:Hmm (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#45152443)

Does it even need to be said anymore when it applies to commercial products?

Even the open source [virtualbox.org] ones?

Re:Hmm (1)

hodet (620484) | about 6 months ago | (#45152831)

I don't know. The source may be as clean as freshly fallen snow. I usually download the binaries and trust that it is clean. Most likely fine but who really knows. I don't have the skills (or time) to do a whole audit of the source and then compile it myself. So I stay away from obvious problems out there and trust things like virtualbox to be clean for my personal use. I also trust that this open source project has many smarter people then me looking after these things. That is the beauty of open source in my opinion, it's just more trustworthy. But I still don't give it "ultimate" trust.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152963)

Firewall limitation if you are that paranoid about that? Unless you think the NSA has compromised your NIC, the Linux Kernel, and IP tables. At that point, you might as well be learning to whistle into a phone using only one time pads.

Re:Hmm (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#45152457)

You can get the source and compile it yourself if you're that worried.

Re:Hmm (0)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#45152821)

What would that do for me? You actually think anyone can read through that code and catch everything?

Look at the company fronting it, Oracle, is that a name you trust?

You spew someone else's words with a venom such that you appear, for all intent and purpose, to be a little more than a cartoon of a person.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45154561)

If you can audit the huge amount of source code yourself to ensure that its clean, you can also review the compiled binary, IDA Pro isn't exactly rocket science. However, both of these things are beyond the scope of most people. The present of source code available as such does not alleviate any problems should they be present for the vast majority of users.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45154873)

No, even worse: the Oracle version.

What are the current options? (3, Interesting)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#45152045)

OK, somewhat related question ... what are the current workable options for virtualization?

I've used VMWare at home for years. Virtual box, being Oracle, isn't necessarily something I'm interested in.

Anybody got a link to something which covers the current state of virtualization stuff suitable for home use?

Re:What are the current options? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#45152107)

It's unfortunate that VirtualBox is in the hands of evil, because it really is a solid product :(

Re:What are the current options? (3, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | about 6 months ago | (#45152453)

I never judge products based on who builds them. To me, software is like art. It doesn't matter whether the author was a drunk homosexual, all I care is whether the product has value.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#45152525)

I can respect that view, and I'm not one of those guys that points and screams "EVIL DOER!!" every time someone buys from a company I don't like.

I guess it's just a personal thing. All companies are evil, however I view certain media companies, Oracle, and Apple (though a little less so) to be excessively evil in ways I personally care about so I try to avoid doing business with them when practical (and occasionally when not).

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153125)

Well, I can see the point when buying stuff (because then you directly support the company), I can even see the problem with proprietary no-cost software (it might lock you in with the company), but the beauty of Open Source/Free Software is that the "owner" has not absolute control over it because if anything goes wrong (be it non-free relicensing, stalled development, a problematic development model, a bad direction of development, or whatever else), it still can be forked (cases in point: MySQL/MariaDB, OpenOffice/LibreOffice, XFree86/X.org, gcc/egcs [later re-merged], GNOME/Mate).

Re:What are the current options? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152539)

What's wrong with being a drunk homosexual?

Re:What are the current options? (4, Funny)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | about 6 months ago | (#45153149)

What's wrong with being a drunk homosexual?

I know right? Unless he is making the comment that Larry Ellison is a drunk homosexual, which is probably more offensive to drunk homosexuals.

Re: What are the current options? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153553)

He should have worded it "a drunk homosexual, or a drunk homophobe. " That would have added clarity.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 6 months ago | (#45152541)

Kind of right, but this art was done by a drunk homosexual who made you sign an agreement to let him change the artwork whenever he likes and installed a remote-controlled self-destruct mechanism in the artwork.

How he lives might not affect his art, but it doesn't mean you trust him to install an auto-update mechanism on your PC.

That said, I use VirtualBox and like it. The Oracle connection makes me nervous, though. With other Oracle products you have to run updates very carefully to avoid all the crapware that comes with them (eg Ask Toolbar with every Java update). How long before that happens to VirtualBox?

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153583)

To me, software is like art. It doesn't matter whether the author was a drunk homosexual, all I care is whether the product has value.

To be fair, almost all artists are/were alcoholics and a large proportion of them are/were homosexual.

Re:What are the current options? (2)

AbbyNormal (216235) | about 6 months ago | (#45152121)

If you have some bare-metal lying around, I would recommend XenServer (http://www.xenserver.org/). I used to be a VMWare proponent for SMB's, until I saw that product. If you need a virtual container on an existing workstation, VirtualBox is really the only player in town. I used to use VMWare Server, but Vmware doesn't support it anymore. Its a shame, it was a great product and I'm still running a few VM's on my beefy workstation for testing.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#45152175)

If you need a virtual container on an existing workstation, VirtualBox is really the only player in town. I used to use VMWare Server, but Vmware doesn't support it anymore. Its a shame, it was a great product and I'm still running a few VM's on my beefy workstation for testing.

That's the exact use case I'm looking for -- when I bought my current machine it was specifically bought to be beefy enough to run VMWare Workstation so I can keep some stuff sandboxed in VMs.

Looking at the current price (and license durations) of VMWare it's not as attractive as when I first bought it, and VirtualBox being in the hands of Oracle doesn't exactly make me happy.

I'd been hoping there would be a good free version out there by now.

Re:What are the current options? (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#45152269)

VirtualBox is open source. Having a lot of Oracle contributors doesn't make much difference. Oracle may decide to make a closed fork, but the builds for FreeBSD and in most Linux distros' package systems are from the open source tree, so they'll keep being supported even if Oracle decides to do something evil.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#45152317)

so they'll keep being supported even if Oracle decides to do something evil

Except it sounds like USB 2.0 support only comes from Oracle.

And it seems like USB 2.0 would be pretty basic functionality to me, considering the only input devices attached to my computer are USB -- if I need some Oracle proprietary stuff to use my keyboard and mouse it's kind of useless (no idea if keyboard/mouse is special and still works or not).

Re:What are the current options? (5, Informative)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 6 months ago | (#45152569)

Your keyboard and mouse do not require USB 2.0 to work. For two reasons: 1. Most keyboards and mice do not have bandwidth requirements that justify USB2. Almost every keyboard and mouse out there is USB1. 2. VirtualBox does not use the keyboard and mouse as USB devices directly. You install a virtual keyboard and mouse driver which redirects events from the host operating system. Otherwise you'd have to have a separate keyboard and mouse for the host and guest operating systems.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 months ago | (#45153051)

In VMWare you can also choose to present a Mouse / Keyboard to Windows as a USB device instead of a keyboard/mouse specifically. As you said, this way the keyboard/mouse is only connected to the VM, which is one way to create a multi-seat setup.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 6 months ago | (#45152573)

Keyboard/mouse are special. My keyboard and mouse are both USB and worked fine with the open-source version of VB. I went to the closed version to try to get a USB headset to work, as well as to try to connect to my kids' LeapFrog Tag pens. Didn't work, but haven't switched back as much out of laziness as anything else.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152579)

so they'll keep being supported even if Oracle decides to do something evil

Except it sounds like USB 2.0 support only comes from Oracle.

And it seems like USB 2.0 would be pretty basic functionality to me, considering the only input devices attached to my computer are USB -- if I need some Oracle proprietary stuff to use my keyboard and mouse it's kind of useless (no idea if keyboard/mouse is special and still works or not).

It's the USB 2.0 passthrough support that is proprietary, for example plugging a USB gamepad or printer or modem or some other "weird" device into a physical host and having it be detected as being plugged into the virtual machine instead of being plugged into the host. It has nothing to do with whether or not your USB keyboard and mice will be working on the VMs end.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 months ago | (#45153179)

it's the USB 2.0 passthrough support that is proprietary, for example plugging a USB gamepad or printer or modem or some other "weird" device into a physical host and having it be detected as being plugged into the virtual machine

Running USB devices that only have Windows drivers is one of the main reasons I use VMWare Workstation. Years ago this was somewhat flaky but more recently works well for me. (The main hiccup is high CPU usage when the wireless dongle for my Garmin watch is connected to the VM, even when not transferring data.)

Is use it for my all-in-one printer, garmin gps watch, TomTom GPS, and a pedometer we're supposed to wear for our health plan at work. At work I use a USB webcam on my Windows VM because Microsoft Lync is our corporate video conferencing solution and isn't available on the Mac. All of these except the pedometer would be really impaired by USB 1.1 speeds.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | about 6 months ago | (#45156191)

I use it for my ... garmin gps watch

Have you tried gant [wordpress.com] ? It'll read tracks out of your watch; I use it with a Forerunner 405. Linux 3.11 has proper support for the USB ANT+ stick too (suunto.ko...guess Suunto also uses ANT+ for some of its products), so you no longer need to load usbserial.ko with vendor & product parameters).

If you're doing more than just downloading tracks from your watch, you'll most likely need to stick with what you're using, but this does what I need without having to spin up a VM.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 months ago | (#45156775)

That sounds interesting. Although I would still need to leave run the VM running since my printer, though supposedly supported by linux, doesn't really work right.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152741)

USB works without Oracle extensions, but you won't get USB 2.0 speed or features.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152285)

https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/lxc.html

Re:What are the current options? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 6 months ago | (#45153093)

How well does Xen work at virtualizing graphics cards for gaming? I know "vga passthrough" exists, is it stable and performant? I assume I need to dedicate a graphics card for Windows?

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153365)

There are caveats to getting passthrough to work, but I've had good luck (after some screwing around). I tried with an Nvidia card without any luck, then snagged an AMD card and have that passed through without a problem. I'm using 1080p video and 7.1 audio over HDMI and don't get any lag or stutter in XBMC. Also have a USB 3.0 card with PCI passthrough so that I get ports that directly map into the same Windows 7 DomU.

I had been using vSphere ESXi, but had no luck at all getting VGA passthrough working there.

Re:What are the current options? (2)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | about 6 months ago | (#45153825)

I have no issues using esxi/Vsphere. It is still free, and fully functional as long as you don't need enterprise management (moving VM's between hypervisors and what not).

I currently have it running on a quad quadcore E5 Xeon series with 64G ram and and an SSD, with 15 1TB drives and 2 SSD's in the same chassis, but assigned to a Storage VM (Nas4Free fork of FreeNas) using VT-D.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | about 6 months ago | (#45152123)

Other than those two you have Microsoft's Virtual PC and HyperV. Then you have Qemu. For Linux users there are also a couple of Linux-only solutions I'm not familiar with like Xen. I think that covers all the major players.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 6 months ago | (#45154803)

Xen is great and powerful, but after having worked more on RHEL 6 lately (which forced a move to KVM if I want to stick with the official repositories for updates - no Xen kernel from Redhat any more!) I've developed a new appreciation for Qemu+KVM. As a nice bonus when I run it on a workstation I do not have to resort to fugly hacks to use the NVIDIA drivers.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

twocows (1216842) | about 6 months ago | (#45152171)

Regardless of whose hands it's in, VirtualBox is free software, excluding a small extension pack which is not included by default. Unlike other proprietary products, like VMware, you have the freedom to fork it if you don't like the direction development is going or don't like the vendor. And if you're worried about security, you can always audit the software.
As for other options, you may want to check out Wikipedia. Usually they have lists/comparisons of classes of software, and I do remember seeing one for virtualization software a while back.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#45152437)

Regardless of whose hands it's in, VirtualBox is free software, excluding a small extension pack which is not included by default. Unlike other proprietary products, like VMware, you have the freedom to fork it if you don't like the direction development is going or don't like the vendor. And if you're worried about security, you can always audit the software.

Not only that, but it works quite well, at least for me and my use cases, and has for years. I will definitely be checking out the new release.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152195)

If you want Windows/Mac software virtualization your choices are: Parallels, VMware, VirtualBox. Hyper-V on just Windows.
For Linux hosts: VMware, Xen, VirtualBox, KVM, OpenVZ

For dedicated host hardware implementation: ESXi, Xen both free. Hyper-V is also a choice.

VMware/Parallels are the best choice still right now. If you want free go VirtualBox.

Re:What are the current options? (3, Informative)

fast turtle (1118037) | about 6 months ago | (#45152721)

The only problem with Virtual PC is it doesn't support anything older then XP unless you have a copy of Virtual PC 2007. That's the version that still supports Win98 with working sound. I've got a copy and refuse to give it up as it's the only option for those win95 apps that simply do not work in Win7 - the damn things tend to do some very screwy things and a VM instance is the safest way to run em.

Re:What are the current options? (4, Informative)

DeathToBill (601486) | about 6 months ago | (#45152747)

For cross-platform desktop virtualisation, your options are:

VMWare Server - free but essentially abandoned by VMWare. Requires ancient versions of web browsers to work.
VMWare Player - free but only for non-commercial use. No snapshotting. I've found the console interaction randomly buggy.
VMWare Workstation - full-featured. Currently quoting £190 per seat.
VMWare vSphere / ESXi - bare-metal virtualisation. Not free and not really suitable for desktop virtualisation.
VirtualBox - free and fairly full-featured. If you want to use USB2 or boot it from a network drive then you need an add-on pack from Oracle. This is free for 'individual' use which Oracle defines to include single users installing it for commercial purposes but not having it installed by IT admin.

If you're happy running on Windows then Hyper-V might be an option. It comes in bare-metal or Windows-hosted variants. Supports most operating systems as guests.
Or VirtualPC might be an option. It only 'supports' Windows guests but says that "you can install most x86-based operating systems" as well.

Xen might be an option. It's a bare-metal hypervisor that runs Linux as a management environment and can run any x86 operating system as a guest. I've not used it. This sounds attractive, but keep in mind it imposes some limitations, too - you probably can't keep the disk for one operating system as a file in the host operating system and copy it around at will, for instance. A bare-metal hypervisor requires that the guest disks all be physical devices, as though the guest OS was running on the bare metal. So when you want to add a new OS, you either need to have thought ahead and left some space unpartitioned on your disk, or you need to add more disk. Even something like Wubi won't work if you plan to run Windows and Linux side-by-side.

Personally I use VirtualBox and it does alright.

Re:What are the current options? (2)

eedwardsjr (1327857) | about 6 months ago | (#45155035)

ESXi is free. It replaced vmware server. You still need equipment on the hardware compatibility list to run it but it makes for a nice virtual server. Google 'ESXi free' and you should see one of the hits as a feature matrix.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45155855)

You're comment on Xen requiring separate physical disks for guests is wrong. Xen has no problem using VHD files, along with other disk setups.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45156335)

Xen might be an option. It's a bare-metal hypervisor that runs Linux as a management environment and can run any x86 operating system as a guest. I've not used it. This sounds attractive, but keep in mind it imposes some limitations, too - you probably can't keep the disk for one operating system as a file in the host operating system and copy it around at will, for instance. A bare-metal hypervisor requires that the guest disks all be physical devices, as though the guest OS was running on the bare metal. So when you want to add a new OS, you either need to have thought ahead and left some space unpartitioned on your disk, or you need to add more disk. Even something like Wubi won't work if you plan to run Windows and Linux side-by-side.

Your understanding about bare metal hypervisors and their limitations is wrong, which is entirely understandable since you haven't actually used them. Xen doesn't have any restriction to using only physical disks. Most common virtual disk formats are supported. Of course some are better supported. I use VHD format on my Debian Xen system. Yes I use Xen with Debian as the host system on my laptop. Been using it daily since Squeeze without any issues. One of the advantages with Xen is you can go with full hardware assisted virtualization like VirtualBox or para-virtualization which doesn't need CPUs that have special instructions set to assist in virtualization.

Of course there is KVM-QEMU also which has higher traction with normal linux users than Xen has. Entirely understandable since Xen is targeted towards enterprise customers and as a competitor to VMWare. In fact the enterprise class Oracle VM for x86 is a rebadged Xen. As such common desktop user documentation is hard to come by for Xen. I use command line tools to manage my Xen and KVM VMs but nowadays there are also good graphical frontends like virt-manager [wikipedia.org] comparable to that of VirtualBox.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45156631)

The main problem with Xen and KVM is that they can't do hardware accelerated 3D graphics. This is compared to VMware or VirtualBox that can.

I'm speaking for desktop uses of course which is where sometimes you need it.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153083)

If you're running Linux as your host machine, I have been happy with KVM.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

fa2k (881632) | about 6 months ago | (#45154545)

KVM/Qemu is good on the Linux desktop (and probably servers, don't know), seems to be well integrated with the kernel for things like process management, and it has solid support for PCI pass-through. The user interface is pretty decent, with virt-manager, but not as polished as VirtualBox or VMWare. If you need things like high performance graphics, low latency sound, etc., it is somewhat slower, but you can make up for it by giving the VM real hardware (perhaps not convenient on laptops).

Re:What are the current options? (1)

magic maverick (2615475) | about 6 months ago | (#45156473)

Yeah, I use Qemu (and DosBOX) for all my virtualization needs. It just works. The interface is really easy too:
$qemu-system-i386 -m 200 Windoze
Will run the image Windoze and allocate 200 megabytes of memory. That's fine for me.

Re:What are the current options? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#45154869)

One nice thing I've discovered is chroot.
It's low overhead, easy to use and doesn't require all of the fiddling of a VM.
It only works with the Linux/OSX world so if you need Windows, you're out of luck (but, in general, if you need Windows, you're out of luck).

Re:What are the current options? (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#45156263)

If you have a CPU with virtualization support, go with KVM and libvirt. If not, VBox OSE really does have the best performance.

Re:What are the current options? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45157417)

On OSX (thus may not apply), Parallels and vmware are king. Virtualbox, Xen and Qemu only seem to show up on win/lin systems.

There are ostensibly some tools and ability to use vmware instances and other forms of virtual machines across parallels, virtualbox, vmware and other hosts/masters. I haven't done more than wake up vmdx'es in virtualbox and parallels, but that tends to work well enough to where I don't walk away from virtualbox just because I hate oracle: when they inevitably screw their user base, or do something to force lock-in, I'll abandon virtualbox. Until then, meh.

Of the big players, I like Parallels most. It works well, it utilizes the video hardware for faster graphics (not sure if it's full game-strength 3d or not, I don't virtualize for gaming), and it's like the David in between vmware and oracle goliaths. If I had tinkering time, I'd probably still be using Qemu or another free vm engine.

DeathToBill sounds better informed than me on this, but didn't mention osx/parallels. My uses are creating and using vms occasionally for half a dozen different use cases (testbed, legacy systems virtualization, fun, or to run software that needs a different os), not as a core admin that really has to know these.

USB Support (1)

PetiePooo (606423) | about 6 months ago | (#45152099)

Do they still require a paid license to forward a USB device to the guest?

That killed it for me when they added that "feature" a few years ago now... I think it was the first major release after Oracle took over.

Re:USB Support (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#45152151)

Was that ever a paid feature? A closed feature for sure, but I thought it was made available at no cost.

Re:USB Support (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 6 months ago | (#45152283)

Technically, the USB2 support is a personal / evaluation use license, so you may not be allowed to use it without paying Oracle in some situations.

Re:USB Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153091)

read the license, they have a weird definition of personal use

you're allowed to install it on any pc you use, even for commercial usage
your system admin is not allowed to install it for you

USB support still sucks though (3, Informative)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 6 months ago | (#45152113)

USB support, at least with Windows hosts, still seems to be broken though. It just never, ever seems to work, or at best once and then never again. That made me switch to VM Ware a while back.

Re:USB support still sucks though (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152593)

Are you using the extensions pack? USB support seems to work pretty well for me with it enabled. Of course, it's not free software, but it is freeware.

Re:USB support still sucks though (1)

mrdogi (82975) | about 6 months ago | (#45155885)

I've actually had good luck with previous versions, actually. I have a USB-Serial adapter that I need to use for device management. The software, however, will not run on Windows 7 or higher. I've created an XP VM on the Win7 host that has pass through for the device. Works just fine.

I think I've done this for for a USB-HDD adapter as well. Works for the old laptop disks, for certain. I think for the SATA adapter as well. Haven't actually tried it for the normal ATA drives, but don't see why it wouldn't work. The HDD adapter has worked for both an XP VM and a Solaris 10 VM.

why is this product still viable? (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 6 months ago | (#45152181)

use LXC (Linux containers) or KVM or OpenVZ instead. Remember, this is the same company that killed solaris, pissed on RHEL, and shit all over the idea of open source recently. Now its trying to turn a buck on an open source product?

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 6 months ago | (#45152261)

My main use case has been running a windows VM for the small but unavoidable number of windows-only apps I need to run. Obviously this means LXC and OpenVZ are out, but KVM is starting to look attractive. I haven't done much research, but biggest requirement for me is probably USB support.

VirtualBox in the hands of evil was a real kick in the teeth, because it really is a great product :(

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

JImbob0i0 (1202835) | about 6 months ago | (#45154321)

I use USB passthrough with my KVM guests fine on Fedora 19 ...

Have Windows (XP and 7) VMs with full virtio drivers installed along with the SPICE agent etc etc

Re:why is this product still viable? (3, Informative)

OzPeter (195038) | about 6 months ago | (#45152303)

use LXC (Linux containers) or KVM or OpenVZ instead. Remember, this is the same company that killed solaris, pissed on RHEL, and shit all over the idea of open source recently. Now its trying to turn a buck on an open source product?

None of those solutions run on anything other than a linux based system. So how do you propose I run my VM's on Windows and OSX? And please don't tell me that I can move to Linux .. it ain't going to happen due to all the OS specific software that I am using as a part of my work.

Re:why is this product still viable? (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 6 months ago | (#45152379)

You know if you have OS specific software that you need for work, there's a solution for that...

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152441)

Or I just want to run a VM here and there on my desktop? Switch out my whole work chain to support some vague notion of 'they will break it'. IF that happens I will move to VMWare.

I use linux hypervisors all the time and 99% of the time I never touch them and do not even know they are there. But to suggest switch you whole work process chain out for something as 'they might screw it up'? Seriously?

Someone is mixing up server setups with desktop user setups again...

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152501)

...it ain't going to happen due to all the OS specific software that I am using

You know the topic at hand is virtual machines--those things that enable you to run multiple operating systems on one machine--right?

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153153)

No, he's right. LXC is a BSD jails type of product. What he needs is a Qemu, Virtual Box, etc type full virtualization.

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

shadowknot (853491) | about 6 months ago | (#45153285)

His point is valid though. I would LOVE to run everything on my laptop under KVM but my company requires it to be a Windows-based laptop due to the awful, Windows-only full disk encryption suite they employ so I, and possible many others, _have_ to run a Windows-based virtualization solution like VirtualBox. It's ironic in my situation as my job is looking after SuSE Linux servers running virtualized under z/VM on an IBM System z mainframe!

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45155467)

Wait a second, so we are discussing a thread about virtualization, and you say you can't move to another OS because of the software of a specific platform? Hmm... so you can't run linux and virtualize Windows and OSX? Windows is a piece of cake (at least last time I tried), and for mac you can get the iatkos isos. I'm using a virtualized macosx now running on windows 7 machines to teach iOS programming in the simulator.

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45156615)

He is probably stuck on a corp laptop/desktop. Some companies get really twisty if your main computer is not 'standard'. Some go even further and disallow it all together.

For me at home I would love to do something similar with a hypervisor. Only I do like to run my video games (1500+ of them). So a hypervisor is not in the cards. I can pull of dual boot if I am willing to sacrifice the HD space. So that leaves me in a VM sort of thing for playing with things from windows.

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152393)

uh what?

Solaris is nowhere close to dead - going strong.

They made their own re-branded RHEL, just like CentOS, offer it for free, and if you want support, it's cheaper than buying RH support. Hardly pissing on RH, unless you claim CentOS pissed on them as well.

Yeah they closed their wallets on open-source development, it was good while it lasted under Sun's control - but look where that got Sun...

illumos is the current caretaker for OpenSolaris now. openzfs is working to consolidate all of the *other* zfs variants to make a more unified code-base for all parties. libreOffice has taken over where OpenOffice was.

I'd say that Oracle going hands off has only improved those projects, rather than hurting them.

JMTCW

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#45152599)

why is this product still viable?

Because they were one of the first out of the gate with a cheap, workable, windows oriented product.

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152737)

Because it works quite well for trivial test stuff?

-The video performance is way better than kvm (out of the box). I never succeeded in getting the paravirtualize video stuff working well in kvm.
-creating a bridged adapter is way less hassle than creating custom bridge+firewall rules for use with kvm
-3d sometimes works (no easy 3d in kvm, last that I tried)

I think oracle is doeing a pretty good job on VirtualBox, better than they do on a lot of other stuff.

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

cpghost (719344) | about 6 months ago | (#45153233)

use LXC (Linux containers) or KVM or OpenVZ instead.

I'm running FreeBSD, you insensitive clod. How am I supposed to run other OSes from within that OS, when LXC, KVM and OpenVZ are all Linux-based? VirtualBox is perfect here, thank you very much.

Re:why is this product still viable? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 6 months ago | (#45154085)

Because those are not in the same market. With vb and vmware workstation I can run whole freaking networks and domains. I can test software pushes and group policy changes. I can create host only clients that only talk to my virtual router to simulate a real business network! I can test vender updates with a multitude of systems and unix scripts on my own network.

Can these do these things? Or run a single VM?

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45155281)

It's desktop virtulazation and it works well. It's free-full-fat version has a pretty reasonable non-oss license. The OSS version is missing a few advanced features but is otherwise perfectly usable.

I think oracle mainly keeps it around because it's the only desktop visualization suite that support solaris in a non-broken way, thus making it an invaluable tool for solaris developers. Nobody wants to use solaris as their desktop OS. This lets you spin up solaris VMs on your commodity windows or linux workstation so you can get your solaris development done.

Re:why is this product still viable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45156773)

Because none of the systems you mention can do 3D graphics.in a Windows guest. Well, xen can but you need a VT-d capable motherboard and extra video cards for the monitors you want to drive.

VirtualBox and VMware can do it easily. They're not 100% perfect but better than nothing. For the most part they work with the Windows 3D software that I use most.

But Shared Clipboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152199)

still stops working five times a day and you have to repeatedly restart your machine each time working again.

It's the biggest bug in Virtual Box and its been around for years but it seems it's never going to get fixed :(

Re:But Shared Clipboard (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#45152475)

Really? The shared clipboard works great for me. I use it almost every day without issue between a Linux host, and some Linux and Windows guests.

Re:But Shared Clipboard (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 6 months ago | (#45152861)

It's a common, but not ubiquitous, problem. I have it myself. It either stops sharing altogether, or will (apparently) randomly decide it will only work uni-directionally - usually host-to-guest, but occasionally guest-to-host instead, just to keep us on our toes.

It is kind of a pain in the ass when it pops up.

Does it support multitouch on Linux? (1)

temcat (873475) | about 6 months ago | (#45152215)

(No, I didn't RTFA.)

Re:Does it support multitouch on Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152877)

Linux distros are supported by VB, since it's included in the new release, yes, it's supported on Linux (as long as Linux sees the devices and has drivers for VB to hook into that is)...

Virtual touch? (3, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about 6 months ago | (#45152463)

Virtual touch? How is that supposed to work? Do you get drop down menu with a list of all of the gestures, or do you get a hand icon that you click and swipe with the mouse?

Soooo... (-1, Troll)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 6 months ago | (#45152649)

Does it run OS X 10.9? In the past it's always been easier to get images for Virtualmachine for development, but Virtualbox is easier to set up. Anyway, I'm not going to buy a Crapple(TM) just for testing my free cross-platform apps so I was wondering.

Re:Soooo... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45155985)

I know, right? Why buy a 300$ second hand mac mini when you can pirate mac os x for free.

failz0rs! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45152995)

paper towels, goa7 here? how can

Stopped... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153299)

...reading at "Oracle", what's this all about?

Shared folders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153693)

But are shared folders fixed yet? All I want is decent file access speeds to my shared folders. Why is VB's shared folders on the local host slower than an SMB share going though multiple TPC stacks?

Re:Shared folders? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45153721)

just use samba? ..sshfs? ..nfs? ..ftp?

Have the whiners even tried it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45154177)

Erm, it's free to download, install and use, there are plenty of free OS images available, it DOES support USB really well if you RTFM (plug in a USB drive and a window pops up on my virtual Linux desktop that shows the folder on the device that it just automatically mounted containing all the files).

Great for saving whole OS images, the only thing you need to really be aware of is that you need planty of memory, disk space and processor grunt for it really perform adequately (which is true for all virtualization software).

It's been a great way to exoperiment with various Linux distros for me, and as a professional Java developer who uses the most common "develop on Windows, deploy on Linux" approach it's been wonderful for the tesing / acceptance phases before going to production.

There may be better / faster / whatever alternatives around, but it's free to use, reliable, flexible and of real benefit to me. Not to mention that it can help to get Linux into far more people's computers and ultimately into production environments, where it really shines.

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