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."

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.

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 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

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Customer of the week: Liverpool Direct Limited

Liverpool Direct Limited (LDL) is helping transform the way citizens in Liverpool access public services. A public/private enterprise of its kind, LDL's vision is to offer "joined-up government" whereby everybody has access to new technology for communicating with Liverpool City Council and its Business Units. Among LDL's responsibilities are contact centers, benefits services, human resources and payroll, and revenue services.
Liverpool Direct Limited
The organization was aiming to increase computing power and capacity, reduce operational and management costs, cut power and cooling costs and increase space available for scaling hardware platform.

Sun Professional Services provided LDL with a turnkey solution that included a high-performance, cost-effective platform based on Sun SPARC Enterprise T2000 servers running the Solaris 10 OS, Solaris Cluster, and Sun Interim Operations Management to ensure a successful adoption of the new technology.

"Liverpool Direct Limited couldn't deliver Solaris-based shared services without the Sun SPARC Enterprise T-Series servers running the Solaris 10 OS," noted Frank Oakley, Solutions Architect, LDL. "The platform has reduced our costs and doubled processing performance."

Check out the complete details here.

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."

Sunday Feb 15, 2009

VirtualBox users chime in...

1. Virtualization Picks -- Rants and Raves, 2/10
Roger L. Soles picked the best available virtualization software based on cost, robustness, ease of use and performance, and VirtualBox came out at the top. While VMware and Parallels also offer some great solutions, Roger noted they were too expensive and had high maintenance costs. Roger stated that VirtualBox was the most appropriate choice for people looking for a great virtualization tool, and ideal for Linux or Intel machine users.

2. VirtualBox Performance on AMD Phenom II (AMD-V & Nested Paging) -- Jayson Rowe's Ramblings, 2/9
Jason Rowe discussed why he relies on Sun's VirtualBox for home use. "It is an excellent workstation product which is not only free (and even has an Open Source variant), but in my opinion, better than some commercially available products," noted Jason. One of his favorite VirtualBox features is its ability to make full use of AMD-V and Nestle Paging -- something that dramatically improved performance. Jason highlighted that when VirtualBox is coupled with Nestle Paging and AMD-V, it performed just like a "real world" CPU.
Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. VirtualBox on OS-X -- Rants and Raves, 2/7
The blogger went through an extremely poor experience with his upgrade to VMware Fusion 2.0.1 but "VirtualBox was a totally satisfying experience." According to him, VirtualBox lacked all the "whizzy" features that VMware offered but it ran virtual machines very reliably -- the only thing he really cared about. He liked VirtualBox's interface because it was clean and simple, and he found the documentation and FAQ's to be excellent.

Friday Feb 06, 2009

User Opinions of Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1

1. Setting up Windows 7 Beta on VirtualBox -- TTC Shelbyville - Technical Blog, 2/2
S. Mallard set up Windows 7 Beta in VirtualBox. The post notes, "VirtualBox's version 2.12 works flawlessly." He advised readers that virtualization solutions such as VirtualBox not only save money and allow for the testing of beta operating systems, but also can be set up for production servers or used for testing when programming.

2. Installing a virtual Ubuntu LAMP-server on Mac OS X using VirtualBox -- Johan Mares, 2/2
The blogger chose VirtualBox as the virtualization platform for his Mac as it ran on Windows, Linux and OpenSolaris and supported a large number of guest operating systems including Windows, DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux, Solaris, OpenSolaris, and OpenBSD. Moreover, the simple and straightforward installation of VirtualBox made it all the more appealing.

Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. VirtualBox 2.1 for Mac OS X is Open Source Mac Virtualization -- Palluxo! Mac Dose of all Things, 2/1
The blogger thought that it was time for people to wake up on this Max OS X virtualization solution: VirtualBox 2.1, with which additional operating systems could be loaded and run - each with its own virtual environment. He believed that VirtualBox was the ultimate choice for many developers as it let users easily build, test and run cross-platform, multi-tier applications on a single laptop or desktop computer.

4. Linux Kernel Installation with VirtualBox -- Trumpton Blog, 2/1
The blogger found VirtualBox particularly useful in building kernels, checking appropriate boots, and switching between operating systems to have applications that run only under Microsoft. He described the installation of VirtualBox on Linux Mandriva and provided step by step instructions on how to build a Linux kernel.

5. VirtualBox vs. Virtual PC 2007 -- Amptools, 1/31
Michael Herndon installed VirtualBox on Windows Vista 64 and highlighted that it ran great and boasted better features than Virtual PC or VMware. He was impressed by the software for its ability to not only support windows on Mac seamlessly but also load vhd files (Virtual PC 2007 files). Michael concluded, "I look forward to moving to VirtualBox, especially since they plan to support running 64bit guest systems one day."

Tuesday Jan 27, 2009

Recent reviews from VirtualBox users

1. VirtualBox on Linux: my new workstation virtualization setup -- Dan Newcome's Weblog, 1/14
Dan Newcome had been a longtime user of VMware but recently switched to VirtualBox. He noted that after installing the software, VirtualBox did experience occasional crashes. However, Dan admitted that irrespective of sacrificing some CPU efficiency, his user experience had definitely improved compared to his VMware VMs.

2. Developer Toolbox: VirtualBox --, 1/14
Jim Priest found VirtualBox while looking for an alternative to VMware. He highlighted some particularly novel features including simple installations, the availability of a host of easily downloadable images at the VirtualBox VDI Index, ease in sharing folders between the guest and host, and seamlessly running Windows inside the host OS. He concluded by saying, "If you haven't yet checked out VirtualBox I'd certainly recommend giving it a try."
Sun xVM VirtualBox
3. Virtualization: VirtualBox -- JJinuxLand, 1/14
Shannon Behrens had been using VMware Fusion for quite some time, but decided to give Sun's VirtualBox a try. He was surprised to notice that though the software seemed a bit rougher around the edges, it worked faster than VMware Fusion, and was free and mostly open source. After playing around with VirtualBox for a while, Shannon stated that it was "good stuff" and the fact that it was available for free made it all the more appealing.

4. Windows 7 on the Mac Under VirtualBox --, 1/13
Hawkins Dale discussed VirtualBox - Sun's free, open-source virtualization tool, noting, "I had some adventures, mostly stupid, getting it installed. But now it's working and mostly correctly with some issues." On installing VirtualBox, Hawkins noted that the playback was smooth, even when Windows was performing other things in the background. However, he had difficulties with the sound card but later he found two solutions which enabled him to fix these issues.

Wednesday Jan 21, 2009

At A Glance: OpenSolaris, VirtualBox, NetBeans and Reviews from Last Week

Peter Wu from Windows Live noted that the Nimbus theme "looks really fantastic" and that the ZFS file system was "rock solid!"

A blogger from Linux-Hardcore tested OpenSolaris 2008.11 and said he "felt honored to write a review." He wrote, "It's a system that works, even there are some compatibility issues which, according to the designers and developers, is in progressive solution." Calling it "clean, neat, nice, and well done," he stated that the OS looked very promising, and went on to congratulate its developers.

Sun xVM VirtualBox
InfoWorld's David Marshall discussed the new features of VirtualBox 2.1, noting that "despite the version numbering, this update doesn't appear to be a minor dot release of features, updates, and fixes. Instead, the product offers quite a few new enhancements." David summarized Sun's work with VirtualBox by saying, "with an impressive 25,000 downloads a day, and downloads up 120 percent over last quarter, Sun seems to be doing a good job at breaking through the noise of the desktop virtualization market."

Hawkins Dale wrote that he used VirtualBox at work to run a relatively bulletproof Ubuntu install on his Windows laptop, and at home to run Windows XP on his Mac. He stated, "I love it."

A blogger from stated that VirtualBox is one of the best virtualization products for x86 machines, noting that was "extremely feature rich" and available in an Open Source Edition.

NetBeans received endorsements from several developer blogs, including a developer who was impressed with the ability to successfully manage USB, seamless mode, and networking all within VirtualBox.

The blogger from Panda and Python and Me (oh my!) was also impressed, noting that NetBeans "kicked the trash" out of its competitor Eclipse. He concluded by saying "Wouldn't Eclipse benefit from an easier interface that acted a little more smartly? I declare that NetBeans has done just that."
A blogger from Downloads described OpenOffice 3.0 as the result of over 20 years of software engineering, and its consistency could not be matched by any other product.

Jonathan from Teacher Meets Linux was especially impressed by the new Math Interface, and described the software as a "great GNU alternative."

Wednesday Jan 14, 2009

eWEEK praises VirtualBox 2.1

Following up the recent slideshow, eWEEK Labs' Cameron Sturdevant has posted the full review of Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1. "Any IT professional who wants to get more familiar with virtualization technology that goes beyond a 30-day trial version provided by competitors should get a hold of Virtual Box," noted Cameron.

The review is quite positive about the new additions in VirtualBox 2.1, highlighting improved drive image file support as well as support for hardware virtualization from Intel and AMD.

Cameron also highlighted VirtualBox's support for VMware VMDK files and Microsoft VHD files, stating "the ability to share hard drives across virtualization platforms is an important step in bringing VirtualBox into more useful and direct competition with VMware's Workstation product."
Sun xVM VirtualBox
The reviewer liked Sun's commitment to future product development and developer focused feature enhancements -- 64-bit guest OS support and new 3D graphics support via OpenGL topped his list.

In closing, Cameron stated, "Sun Microsystems' xVM VirtualBox desktop virtualization software is an increasingly powerful, no-cost alternative to VMware Workstation and Parallels Desktop products and should be added to the consideration shortlist of software developers and IT managers."

Tuesday Jan 06, 2009

eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1

Ahead of a full product review of VirtualBox 2.1, eWEEK's Cameron Sturdevant has published a slideshow on the offering. Check it out here.



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