Thursday Jan 07, 2010

InfoWorld on VirtualBox: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."

VirtualBox 3.1 wins 2010 Technology of the Year Award from InfoWorld. The Test Center reviewers at InfoWorld credited VirtualBox as a "disruptive product" that sneaked up on an established category and shook up the apple cart. The judges were impressed with VirtualBox's unrivaled features like 32-way virtual SMP support and "teleport" -- capability to dynamically move running VMs between VirtualBox host systems. Check out the original review here for details.

InfoWorld concluded, "[VirtualBox] is a huge development for Sun Microsystems, one that places it on a collision course with heavyweights VMware and Microsoft in the virtualized datacenter. But the most remarkable aspect of this story is how quickly the company has brought this virtualization platform along. In a little over a year, Sun has turned this relatively unknown fledgling from an obscure German software developer (Innotek) into a potent threat."
Sun VirtualBox -- InfoWorld's 2010 Technology of the Year
InfoWorld's final take: "Our advice to VMware (and Microsoft): Be afraid. Be very afraid."

Congratulations to the Sun VirtualBox team!

Monday Jul 20, 2009

Windows IT Pro: "A hearty thumbs up" for VirtualBox 3.0

Windows IT Pro’s Jeff James awarded top marks to VirtualBox 3.0, calling VirtualBox “an impressive product with an unbeatable price tag” which offers “a perfect solution for quickly creating dev and test environments.”

Jeff emphasized VirtualBox’s unbeatable free price tag and highlighted user-friendly features like VM creation wizard. He also noted that “from a usability and performance perspective, VirtualBox 3.0 works like a charm,” performing “on par (if not a bit faster) than…VMware Workstation.”

Other notable features included improved 3D Support, Guest SMP and the mini toolbar for full screen and seamless modes which “makes it even easier to switch between VMs.”

The reviewer, who gave VirtualBox 3.0 “a hearty thumbs up,” ultimately concluded that VritualBox 3.0 is “an impressive virtualization product that competes well with the likes of VMware Workstation and Parallels Desktop.”
Sun VirtualBox

Monday Jul 06, 2009

Positive VirtualBox 3.0 Reviews in eWEEK, Ars Technica (and Chicago Sun-Times!)

The new release of VirtualBox received three great reviews over the long weekend.

eWEEK's Cameron Sturvedant tested VirtualBox 3.0 on a Sun Fire X4170 server and concluded that version 3.0 of VirtualBox "is certain to give VMware Workstation a run for its money." Cameron highlighted VirtualBox's support for multiple guest processors, which, along with its appealing price tag and broad host platform support, make VirtualBox "a serious platform of IT pros."

Overall, Cameron was extremely positive, noting that VirtualBox "continues to improve its position as a potential challenger to workstation products from VMware and Parallels."
Sun VirtualBox
Ars Technica's Ryan Paul also gave VirtualBox his stamp of approval, calling it his "current preferred desktop virtualization solution." The reviewer, who made the jump to VirtualBox after growing frustrated with "VMware's lousy Linux support," praised VirtualBox's integration between the guest environment and host environment and its improved support for snapshots. Ryan also highlighted advancements in 3D graphics support, which "could make VirtualBox a viable solution for 3D gaming."

Rounding out the group was Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun-Times, who agreed with Cameron and Ryan that VirtualBox 3.0 represents "a significant upgrade." In a double review of Windows 7 Final Candidate and VirtualBox, Andy hails VirtualBox's "practically seamless integration" between the virtual and real PCs. The reviewer's final verdict: "Download VirtualBox from It's truly the equivalent of the wish that you use to get more wishes."

Wednesday Jul 01, 2009

ZDNet Review: Virtualbox 3.0 is "Virtual Developer's Delight"

ZDNet's Jason Perlow reviewed the new VirtualBox 3.0 release, stating it "represents a culmination of hundreds of bug fixes and significant performance enhancements, including the ability for the product to permit guest OSes to use up to 32 virtual CPUs each."

Jason focused on VirtualBox's ability to work across multiple OSes, as well as the new features around using multiple cores per OS and remote console capability. Though Jason was only able to test the update on OpenSolaris and Fedora 11 Linux host OSes, he "was easily able to move VDI files between the systems for my virtual Windows 7 system."

In the accompanying slide show, ZDNet noted that "VirtualBox is ideally suited for desktop virtualization applications but also has some nice features for prototyping and developing enterprise-quality applications and environments."
Sun VirtualBox

Tuesday Jun 30, 2009

Podcast: What is new in VirtualBox 3.0?

Today we announced VirtualBox 3.0 -- a major revision to our high performance, cross-platform virtualization software. VirtualBox 3.0 introduces the capability to create and run multi-processor virtual machines that can handle heavyweight server-class workloads. It also delivers enhanced graphics support for desktop-class workloads.

VirtualBox software has been rapidly growing in popularity, surpassing 14.5 million downloads worldwide and 4 million registrations since October 2007, with in excess of 25,000 downloads a day. A mere 50 megabyte download, VirtualBox software is incredibly compact and efficient and installs in less than five minutes.

Andy Hall, Senior Product Manager of VirtualBox, joined me to discuss the updates in this release. Listen to the short segment below for an insider's insight about the product.
Sun VirtualBox

Monday Jun 22, 2009

How-To and Reviews from VirtualBox User Community

The blogger writes that VirtualBox is characterized by its “easy installation, operation, and convenient graphical interface.” He says the free utility can make you “totally independent” and notes that there are a number of different operating systems supported by the program.

2. Installing and configuring VirtualBox for virtual OSes --, 6/14
Installing a Windows XP as a virtual machine on VirtualBox --, 6/15
Install Guest Additions for a Better VirtualBox Experience --, 6/17
Jack Wallen wrote several “inside look” and tutorials on VirtualBox, including setup and installation of the software and guess OSes. He also looked at how to optimize the virtual machine saying “the implications of this software are only as limited as the imagination of the user.” He demonstrates how to change the default settings concluding that “with the help of VirtualBox you can, effectively, have your cake and eat it too.”
3. VirtualBox – Free virtualization software for Mac OSX -- Free Software Downloads, 6/13
The blogger has posted a video that covers the highlights of VirtualBox which he calls “a rattling solidified competitor to Parallels or VMware Fusion at no outlay for bag users.”

4. virtualbox with vista: driver for system controller required -- Willing wheels, 6/14
The blogger reported having problems getting into his native host resolution but then discovered “going to your native resolution is in fact a lot easier than you think.” He then lays out the steps to change the resolution noting “you do NOT need to change the resolution from within the guest.”

5. WYMWTTLinux - #5 Sun VirtualBox -- The Giornale, 6/13
The blogger notes that VirtualBox lets a user run “for example, Windows XP, alongside other OSes you might want to install, inside a Linux OS.” The blogger then goes through the procedure to download and install VirtualBox as well as a virtual machine OS, and provides screen shots for every step in the process.

6. VirtualBox in 3 minutes! --, 6/13
The blogger has uploaded a short video to YouTube that shows how to set up VirtualBox. The blogger notes you just “need a different OS to play with or test,” and that you can just “use the iso with VirtualBox for quicker boot.”

7. How to Install Fedora 11 KDE on VirtualBox 2.2 -- Kombitz, 6/12
Fedora 11 and VirtualBox 2.2 Guest Additions -- Kombitz, 6/12
The blogger says VirtualBox is a good choice for those who “want to try Fedora 11 without buying a new machine or partitioning your hard drive,” and gives an in-depth tutorial with screen shots at every step on how to install Fedora 11KDE on VirtualBox 2.2. In the second article, the blogger goes through the steps to install VirtualBox 2.2 Guest Additions on a Fedora 11 virtual machine and again provides screen shots for every step in the installation process.

Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

At a Glance: Last Week's Developer Reviews

JavaFX 1.2 drove several positive review and tips blogs this week, starting with a blogger who decided to try it after hearing Larry Ellison's encouraging comments at JavaOne. He noted, “I definitely had a much more pleasant experience with JavaFX than I was expecting,” and said “it is one of the better documented developer technologies out there with no lack of tutorials.” A blogger upgraded to JavaFX 1.2 to continue working on a mobile JavaFX app he was developing, then published a second post with user tips saying “JavaFX is great for the UI…it’s also a good candidate for writing controllers.”

Bloggers eagerly discussed NetBeans upgrades and tips, and Sunny Talks Tech kicked it off by urging readers to go download the “shiny and new NetBeans 6.7 RC2.” The author at MySpace Pros reviewed 22 different IDEs and concluded of NetBeans, “This open-source IDE is a sweet deal: whether you’re developing in PHP, Ruby on Rails, JavaScript, or something else, you’ll find rich editing features, as well as support for FTP and MySQL.” Finally, a NetBeans Zone blogger said, “NetBeans has got improved IDE support for JavaFX, beyond the SDK update -- much improved.”

VirtualBox positive reviews were in full swing this week – starting off with who recommended using VirtualBox as a “completely free replacement for the popular virtualization software VMware,” noting that because VirtualBox is dedicatedly supported by Sun it “ensures that it always meets professional quality criteria.” Blogger Rkania was disappointed with VMware as it could not support the Compiz effects in Ubuntu, she then found that VirtualBox could handle the task. Finally, an App your Mac blogger wrote that despite being free, VirtualBox “is still feature rich, and equals its rivals in a variety of ways.”

OpenSolaris 2009.06 received a stellar review in ZDNet, titled, “Getting Better All The Time,” by Jason Perlow. Jason said, “OpenSolaris 2006.09 is indeed a significant release for the project and is an excellent enterprise workstation and server OS, and I’m looking forward to tracking future progress of the developers working on it.” Blogger Ganesh Navingre commented this week on DTrace, calling it a wonderful concept available for programmers to utilize for debugging purpose.”
The functionality of drew positive reviews from Linux Journal and blogs this week, as reporter Bruce Byfield walked through the process of creating a query in any database set up in Base. Bruce concluded that Base queries “are simple enough that anybody can use them.” Potpiegirl blogger also provided OO.o tips by writing a tutorial on how to create a PDF Ebook through, noting when using OO.o “all the links WILL work...they will all 'take' and work great.”

Monday Jun 15, 2009

ZDNet Austraila praises VirtualBox in review round-up

ZDNet Australia's Chris Duckett examined a handful of Type 2 hypervisors aimed at the workstation and found VirtualBox to be "a no-frills approach that keeps managing VMs dead simple." Also tested were VMware Workstation, Parallels Workstation, KVM and Wine.

Chris tested each of the products on an HP workstation with dual-Xeon W5580 processors running at 3.2GHz, 2GB RAM and a 1TB HDD. Also highlighted was an Nvidia Quadro FX 5800 with 4GB RAM graphics adapter. The guest OS employed was Windows XP SP2 and a quantitative test suite comprised of Cinebench was used to define performance. VirtualBox installed well; "the pre-packaged version available from the VirtualBox site worked liked a charm. Simply download the appropriate file, click to install it and you will have VirtualBox up and running in no time," noted the reviewer.
Sun VirtualBox
Overall, VirtualBox stood tall with VMware, performing solidly and being highlighted for the platform's simplicity. Chris stated, "the clear tear-away from the pack in terms of performance was VirtualBox. When VirtualBox works it is very good and only has issues on the rarest of occasions. The new 3D acceleration built into the product gives it a leg-up on the competition and the fact that it is free only sweetens the deal."

In closing the reviewer noted, "we would recommend VirtualBox. It's fast, easy to use and has that sweet price point: free."

Wednesday May 06, 2009

Glowing VirtualBox Review in Bright Hub

The popular online technology publication Bright Hub has recently published a very positive review of VirtualBox.

The reviewer, Steve Mallard, tested VirtualBox 2.2.2,  rating it a 5 out of 5 in each of the three separate categories he evaluated: installation, features and performance, and value and price. Steve proclaims that VirtualBox is "easy to use and setup," and it is "one of the best virtualization programs available."

Steve describes the installation of VirtualBox as "straight forward and easy." Among the highlights he notes that VirtualBox is supported by many other major operating systems which makes VirtualBox "an excellent easy-to-use and powerful virtualization application."

Sun VirtualBox
Steve notes that the features and performance available in VirtualBox are the same as the "dozens of options and features found in virtualization software that cost hundreds of dollars."

He walks through the steps of installing an operating system onto VirtualBox as well as the settings features to optimize the guest operating system to include Remote Desktop, USB and Com Ports, SATA and associated hard drive settings, CD/DVD, and audio settings. Steve states that overall "VirtualBox is an excellent program that performs well."

Steve concludes "the value of virtualization cannot be stressed enough," as he points out the multitude of uses for VirtualBox. Noting that there is no better value for the price, Steve also highlights the benefits of the "excellent support forum and community" for VirtualBox, and that licensing is available for organizations.

VirtualBox tutorials from the user community

1. Tutorial: Boot existing Ubuntu Partition using VirtualBox inside Windows --, 4/28
The blogger wanted to reconfigure his setup to have Ubuntu run inside windows (instead of as a dualboot), and wanted to find a way to boot into his existing Ubuntu partition. After research and testing, he discovered a way to do this and has written a tutorial on booting Ubuntu partitions inside Windows through VirtualBox.

2. How to Install VirtualBox 2.2.0 in Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) -- Ubuntugeek, 4/28
The blogger has compiled a tutorial with more than a dozen screen shots that walks one through the process of installing VirtualBox 2.2 in Ubuntu 9.04.

3. Using VirtualBox Host Interface Network --, 4/26
The blogger wants his virtual machine to have the same prefix IP address as his host machine, and gives a complete tutorial on how to setup the VirtualBox Host Interface to do so.
Sun VirtualBox
4. How to Fix Mouse Pointer Integration in Ubuntu 9.04 installed on VirtualBox --, 4/24
Blogger Axel writes that after installing Ubuntu 9.04 on VirtualBox, there was no mouse pointer integration - even when pressing the ctrl button, he couldn't capture the mouse. He discovered a method to automatically integrate the mouse when changing from the host to the guest OS, and provided a tutorial on how to do so.

5. Ubuntu Studio 8.10 Install in VirtualBox tutorial --, 4/23
The administrator at has posted a video tutorial on how to download and install VirtualBox with Ubuntu Studio 8.10 as the guest OS.

6. Installing Ubuntu 9.04 in VirtualBox 2.2.0 -- moxiefoxtrot, 4/23
Blogger Ryan is a regular VirtualBox user who reported that the installation process of the application is "pretty simple!" Ryan has written an article that guides users through the step-by-step installation of Ubuntu 9.04 Desktop inside of VirtualBox without having to multi-boot the computer.

7. How to Install Ubuntu 9.04 on VirtualBox 2.2 -- Kombitz, 4/23
The blogger said "VirtualBox is a good choice," for those who want to try the new Ubuntu 9.04 without buying a new machine or partitioning the hard drive. The blogger then gave a tutorial on how to create a new virtual machine in VirtualBox to run Ubuntu 9.04 as the guest OS.

8. Ubuntu 9.04 on VirtualBox 2.2 --, 4/23
Andy Hawthorne has disclosed the results of his installation of Ubuntu 9.04 in Parallels, VMware Fusion, and VirtualBox, which he says "copes admirably well where Parallels fails." The blog points out where VirtualBox performed admirably during the install.

9. iPhone Synching and Linux -- The Pan-Galactic Memory Bank, 4/22
Blogger Nathan Wood, who uses Linux as his host OS, found an easy way to synch his iPhone to iTunes using VirtualBox. Nathan gives a tutorial on how he set up VirtualBox's command-line tools to boot the VM when he plugs the iPhone in, and to automatically shut down when he unplugs the phone.

Wednesday Apr 22, 2009

eWEEK's positive VirtualBox 2.2 review

This week eWEEK has published a positive VirtualBox 2.2 review. Additionally, eWEEK provided a slideshow demo of VirtualBox 2.2 as well.

The reviewer, Cameron Sturdevant, praised the desktop hypervisor and noted, "VirtualBox now offers support for the emerging virtual appliance standard Open Virtualization Format, host-only networking that broadens how virtual machines communicate, folder sharing, and OpenGL and 3D graphics support. With these new features, the free xVM VirtualBox is an even more compelling alternative to the $189 VMware Workstation."

Overall, Cameron is quite positive about this release and stated, "Sun Microsystems' xVM VirtualBox, the no-cost virtualization tool that enables guest virtual machines to run on a desktop computer, continues to improve its position as a potential challenger to VMware Workstation."
Sun VirtualBox

Tuesday Apr 07, 2009

Sun News in Review: VirtualBox 2.2 Now Available

Today we announced the availability of Sun VirtualBox 2.2, the latest release of our high performance, free and open source virtualization software. VirtualBox 2.2 introduces support for the new Open Virtualization Format (OVF) standard, as well as significant performance enhancements and updates.

VirtualBox software has been rapidly growing in popularity, surpassing 11 million downloads worldwide, 3.5 million registrations since October 2007, with in excess of 25,000 downloads a day. A mere 50 megabyte download, VirtualBox software is incredibly compact and efficient and installs in less than five minutes.

Andy Hall, Senior Product Manager of VirtualBox, joined me to discuss the updates in this release. Listen to the short segment below for an insider's insight about the product.
Sun xVM VirtualBox

Monday Mar 16, 2009

VirtualBox review in Macworld

As a follow on to his review of VirtualBox 2.0.6 in December, Rob Griffiths revisited 2.1.4, specifically noting the addition of Intel VT-x hardware and OpenGL acceleration support.

Rob rated the product 3.5 out 5 and highlighted VirtualBox's "good virtual machine performance; multiple snapshot support; SATA hard drive emulation; virtual machine manager; 64-bit support."

In addition to Macworld, the review also ran in PC World and Network World.

The reviewer performed OpenGL testing using CINEBENCH and found, "VirtualBox took 300 seconds to complete the OpenGL animation test. With OpenGL acceleration enabled in VirtualBox, the time dropped to about 45 seconds, a tremendous improvement."
Sun xVM VirtualBox
Rob noted, "With the addition of hardware virtualization, support for 64-bit guest operating systems, and OpenGL support, VirtualBox has become an even-better free solution."

He concluded, "I've been impressed with how well it works for most typical projects, and you can't beat the price. If Sun continues to improve VirtualBox at a rapid rate, it may soon catch up to its competitors in the virtualization arena."

Monday Feb 23, 2009

VirtualBox Experiences

1. Installing Windows 7 on Mac -- Computerize the world, 2/18
The blogger notes VirtualBox is a favorite for many of his colleagues since it is available for free and "will always be fairly robust." The blogger notes that in addition to offering a plethora of novel features, VirtualBox is also compatible with Windows 7 as a guest operating system, thus making the software even more appealing to developers.

2. VirtualBox 2.1.4 - x86 virtualization software -- Apple Bloog, 2/16
The blogger notes that VirtualBox comes from a family of powerful x86 virtualization products from Sun. He adds that VirtualBox is extremely feature rich and is also the only professional solution freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The blogger writes that VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases, boasts an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms that it can ran on.
Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. VirtualBox -- Life as a Physicist, 2/11
Blogger Gordon Watts notes, "I've recently become a huge fan of VirtualBox." Gordon states VirtualBox has the "nicest user interface" of the three virtualization solutions he tested. Gordon adds that he now uses VirtualBox all the time, mostly to run Linux for work related applications.

4. VirtualBox as a low cost, high quality desktop virtualization client -- enVirtua, 2/10
The blogger reviews Sun's VirtualBox for Windows, Linux, OpenSolaris and Mac platforms. He notes that the software offers some very interesting features such as better modularity, virtual machine descriptions in XML, guest additions for Windows and Linux, shared folder options, remote desktop protocol and virtual USB controllers among others. "Virtual Box may well be an excellent starting point for people in organizations that need a robust product but are not quite ready for VMware Workstation," he adds.

Thursday Feb 19, 2009

Computerworld review of VirtualBox (hosting Windows 7)

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of Computerworld tested how Windows 7 runs on a virtualized environment, noting he chose to use Sun's VirtualBox software because it is free and also because it can used as a host for other operating systems.

Steven discussed in detail the installation process for both Windows 7 and VirtualBox, highlighting VirtualBox's ability to load ISOs over both a network or from a local drive as well as noting VirtualBox Guest Additions. He stated, "They only work with Linux and Windows guest operating systems. But in either case, they're darn useful."

Steve also noted that unless one wants to run a high-end game, "VirtualBox gives you everything most of you will need to decide for yourself whether Windows 7 will be worth your time. As far as I'm concerned, Windows 7 and VirtualBox are a great combination."
Sun xVM VirtualBox
Following the conclusion of the article, Steven added a section regarding VirtualBox and why it is his virtualization program of choice. He noted, "I've been a VirtualBox user for some time, and I really like it a lot. It's simpler to use than Xen; it's largely open source, unlike VMware; and it runs on pretty much any desktop operating system you care to name, which is certainly not the case with Parallels or Microsoft's Hyper-V."

Steven concluded, "There may be better desktop virtualization programs available than VirtualBox, but I haven't found one yet. Its combination of flexibility, speed and features makes it my PC virtualization program of choice. If you give it a try, I think you'll find you agree."




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