[Haifux] QEMU/KVM vs. VMWare vs. Virtualbox: The beauty, the beast and the wannabe
eli at billauer.co.il
Mon Jan 11 15:04:05 MSK 2010
> have you tried virtualbox? it's GPL, and i've had some
> good experience with it.
As a matter of fact, I didn't even consider it before you suggested it.
So I gave it a try. I didn't let the company which is behind the project
turn me down. Neither was I stopped by the fact that the package which
is marked for Fedora 12 had failed dependencies, which weren't resolved
even by "yum localinstall" (I grabbed the libraries manually, and
learned something about installing libraries on a 64 bit machine ).
I also skipped the annoying registration form.
The thing is, that when I finally got the VirtualBox to run, and
configured a trial machine to boot with Knoppix, I was told that the
virtual machine failed to start, because it couldn't run in VMX root
mode. It suggested to do pretty nasty things, such as to remove KVM from
the kernel (recompile?) and REBOOT (they said the R-word). At this
point, I marked a big X on Virtualbox. Despite all I said about its
shortcomings, I like KVM. But I went on to check it, just for the heck
It turned out that they were too dramatic. All that was really necessary
was "rmmod kvm_intel kvm" and Virtualbox was ready to go.
Virtualbox didn't accept just a dd-copied image as a disk image, so I
copied the image into /dev/hda (within a virtual Knoppix) through
netcat. (Note to self: Getting used to write to /dev/hda is not a good
idea...). Booting from this image, the Windows bootloader got stuck at
an early stage, so I gave this up.
Instead, I went for installing XP from scratch on the virtual machine. I
have to admit, that the installation went very fast (compared with
QEMU/KVM). The system went up with no problems, and I managed to connect
my Canon EOS camera, which clearly indicates that USB 2.0 works properly
(even though I got the feeling something went quirky with the camera).
As for my hardware programming cable, Virtualbox put it on the list of
USB devices possible to attach, but greyed it out so I couldn't pick it.
It was detected as an "unknown device" so maybe that's why. This way or
another, no programming cable for me.
The graphical interface was pretty fast with no apparent paravirtual
drivers installed and the mouse interface feels OK.
So it looks like VirtualBox is yet another clone, in the same company's
family of wannabe projects, like Openoffice and Eclipse. The interface
is good, it looks good, but somehow misses the crucial points. Sounds
familiar, I have to say.
My bottom line for this tool: Almost did the job, doesn't allow me to
run KVM in parallel. It's a no.
But thanks for suggesting it, Boaz.
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