Another Virtualization Option: No, not VMware, or Xen, or Virtual Server…

by Dustin Puryear

Okay, actually, there are a number of virtualization options not listed in the title, but the one nobody seems to be talking much about Sun’s xVM VirtualBox. But, wait! you say, Sun begs to differ: “Sun xVM VirtualBox software is the world's most popular open source virtualization platform because of its fast performance, ease of use, rich functionality, and modular design.”

Some cool features of VirtualBox include:

• Seamless windows - rather than a whole desktop environment, just the guest application windows can co-exist alongside native host applications.
• Shared Folders - easily move documents and files between the host and guest systems.
• Mouse pointer integration - it just works how you'd expect it to.
• Dynamically adjustable screen resolution in the guest.
• Time Synchronization.
• Shared clipboard.

A lot of that is available elsewhere (e.g., time sync and shared folders), but seamless windows is a nice touch.
AND, VirtualBox is open source!

Do check it out.


2008-05-11 21:12:30
I've been using VirtualBox for a long time. Its fantastic, easily the best virtualization option for me. I have had many guest OS's but am using Ubuntu guest on WinXP Host atm.
2008-05-11 23:43:49
I very much like VB. I own a copy of VMWare workstation 5 but I'm not sure if I'm going to upgrade to 6. The only feature missing in VB is that you can't clone a machine (or at least I couldn't find it). With VMWare I used to create images of different types of machines for quick deployment. Eg. if I need a Linux server I just clone the base image and within 60 seconds I have a fully configured Linux server running ready to go.