[Haifux] QEMU/KVM vs. VMWare: The beauty and the beast

Sorana Fraier sf10095 at gmail.com
Mon Jan 11 01:29:39 MSK 2010

the only drawback of virtualbox open source is that it doesn't allow to
attach a usb. The binary version allows that.

On Mon, Jan 11, 2010 at 12:01 AM, boazg <boaz.gezer at gmail.com> wrote:

> have you tried virtualbox? it's GPL, and i've had some good experience with
> it.
> On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 21:06, Eli Billauer <eli at billauer.co.il> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I've been playing around with my new Fedora 12 computer (Intel i7 quad
>> core) for a few days, mainly for the purpose of making educated
>> decisions about how to virtualize two old computers, which I want to get
>> rid of. They are running Windows 2000 and Redhat 7.3. I only tested the
>> Windows part (Linux should be much easier). Fedora 12 is the host, of
>> course.
>> I've looked at QEMU/KVM vs. VMWare.  I want to share my experiences and
>> insights with you, because I don't like the bottom line, which is the
>> VMWare is better for almost all home purposes (I'm not talking about
>> cloud servers and such). Which makes me wonder: Is VMWare a honey trap,
>> or is it currently the preferred choice?
>> In case you wondered, both tools can run simultaneously on the same
>> computer, seemingly without disturbing each other. It looks like I'm
>> going to take advantage of this.
>> I ran VMPlayer (free as in beer version) with VMTools in the Windows
>> guest machine. I take it that their licenses don't limit me in time nor
>> the number of guests I can run simultaneously. Please do correct me if
>> I'm wrong on this.
>> The concept is to copy these machines' disks as image files, and then
>> seamlessly go on working as if nothing happened. The most important
>> issue for me is that after the transition I can go on doing everything I
>> did before (including using electronic development hardware through USB).
>> I should mention, that both tool's documented and encouraged flow is to
>> install a new operating system from scratch on a blank (virtualized)
>> disk, and not run a previously installed one. Indeed, a preinstalled XP
>> image tends to give me the blue screen. The Windows 2000 image runs
>> beautifully.
>> QEMU/KVM Pros
>> * Free (as in freedom)
>> * Allows incremental images (good for running possibly malicious software)
>> * Can be run from the command line, and is generally script friendly.
>> * Appears to be more secure (SELinux is all over)
>> * Display on VNC allows remote access to guest
>> QEMU/KVM Cons:
>> * Doesn't currently have an EHCI driver (and hence guest sees only USB
>> 1.1, not 2.0)
>> * Didn't manage to attach a USB device I need for electronics
>> development (Xilinx programming cable).
>> * Has Windows paravirtualization drivers for network card only. Display
>> is slow.
>> * Using the mouse is annoying (poor tracking, clicks are sometimes
>> missed).
>> VMPlayer Pros:
>> * VMTools offers a nice set of paravirtual drivers
>> * Very good emulation of graphics card (through paravirtual driver).
>> Feels like a real computer, it's possible to play movies. The guest's
>> desktop size is dynamically adjusted to the virtual machine's window
>> size, which is pretty convenient.
>> * Very good handling of USB hotplugging. Needless to say, it handled my
>> special piece of hardware seemlessly.
>> * Easy to feel with mouse.
>> VMPlayer Cons:
>> * Feels like it was designed for Windows host. If you can't do it
>> through GUI, you can't do it at all (?)
>> * Everything about their website says "we'll give you this for free (if
>> you manage to find it), but you really want our million dollar version"
>> So this is my grim bottom line: I don't like the music I get from
>> VMWare, but VMPlayer does the job, and QEMU is almost there. But almost
>> is not enough when you want something to work. Remember that I'm the one
>> who wants his computer working, first and foremost?
>> Your information, comments and insights are mostly welcome.
>>    Eli
>> --
>> Web: http://www.billauer.co.il
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