Sun xVM Virtual Box - the Killer Virtualization Tool? The Smoke Test.

I got an OpenSolaris CD during the CommunityOne conference and became curious about the content. Instead of trying it out with VMWare,
I decided to evaluate VirtualBox for that purpose and downloaded it during a not so exciting JavaONE's AMD General Session :-).

I was surprised by the size - there are only about 22 MB. The last VMWare upgrade to 6.0.3 was exactly 330 MB.
VirtualBox is very similar to VMWare. It allows you to create an image from a CD, or start an existing one. You can manage and create the virtual drives.
The installation of OpenSolaris was smooth and without problems.
VirtualBox is opensource, and seems to be free. The opensource model could become really important in the future for VM-tools, because of the properietary image format. Right now you have to trust your virtualization vendor - the images are not standardized and not compatible.

I'm not sure about the performance, but OpenSolaris (the CommunityOne edition :-)) runs fast under VirtualBox. So what are the caveats/drawbacks? :-)


No caveats, no drawbacks! :) VirtualBox is much smaller, a bit faster (+15% for me than VmWare), and free.

There are some usability issues in the UI, but nothing really major.

One possible drawback is that it's much harder to move away from VirtualBox than move towards it. VirtualBox understand Vmware file formats, and Vmware can understand VirtualPC formats, but nobody could import VirtualBox (or, maybe, this info is not up-to-date, last time I checked half a year, and I never really needed to get away from VirtualBox).

Posted by Vladimir Sizikov on May 14, 2008 at 08:37 PM CEST #

Uhm, where was the smoke test?

Posted by on May 15, 2008 at 01:28 PM CEST #


you will find the definition of smoke test here:

An excerpt: "...The tester "touches" all areas of the application without getting too deep..."

This is what I did - and there was no smoke so far. However I'm going to install ubuntu as well - let see what happens...

Posted by Adam Bien on May 17, 2008 at 06:38 PM CEST #

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