Saturday, December 27, 2008

My First Test Run with Sun VirtualBox 2.1.0

Ever since the release of the VirtualBox 2.1.0, I've been wanting to try it out. Today, I finally decided to kill a part of the holiday and give it a first run.

I looked around on the website but didn't find separate installations for the open source edition and the regular edition so I just clicked away on the only link for the VirtualBox Windows x86 version I saw. The installation popped up a few driver signing warning dialogs which was pretty annoying, but apart from that the installation went without any concern.

I then whipped up a quick guest setup for Ubuntu with most of the default options but without the virtual hard drive setup, I tossed in my Ubuntu bootable DVD and off I was. I noticed after bootup that Ubuntu didn't detect the sound hardware from within VirtualBox. Also, the Windows-Tab keyboard combo for switching between windows Vista-style didn't seem to work when Ubuntu ran within VirtualBox.

I noticed the status bar of Virtual Box displays if the mouse has been captured by VirtualBox, which is a pretty neat feature - it also indicates the 'host' key to un-capture the keyboard and mouse.

When I finally close a VirtualBox guest window, I popup dialog prompts me to shutdown or save the state of the guest virtual machine - that's a pretty neat feature, especially since Ubuntu takes so long to boot off the DVD.

I find VirtualBox pretty responsive compare to some other virtualization software that I've tried. The fact that it is open-source ought to make it more appealing to some. Over the next couple of days I'll be running Ubuntu within VirtualBox so I'll post about any glitches if any happen to show up.


Bruce said...

Windows 7 WinXP crash.

Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1.0 running on Windows 7 version 7000 beta.

I have an image that I have used for months. It's Windows XP sp3
using about 16 Gigs. The image is on a USB hard drive.

When I try to start it using Win7 I almost get to the desktop
and then it blue screens with a hard drive error. I guess it
is at the spot where the boot code switches from 16 bit to 32 bit
disk access. Safe mode does not help.

I find that VirtualBox is much better than Virtual PC so I
hope that there is a workaround.
(The video sizing on the MS product is wrong 50 percent of the time.)


Nitin R.K. said...


I didn't get a chance to try out Windows 7 yet; I'll probably download the public beta release this week.

It's still a beta, so they'll probably have things worked out by the time they go RTM.


Walter Heck said...

you say your sound didn't work, but in the first screenshot of your post it clearly shows you have configured your sound to be off ;)

Nitin R.K. said...

@Walter: You're right! I didn't update this blog post with my later experiments.

I was able to get audio working later, but when I enabled sound for VirtualBox, it would stop for the host machine. I'm running Ubuntu 8.10... I wonder if it works as expected on Windows.