VirtualBox Introduction - An Enabling Technology
By dhsoni on Feb 04, 2014
One of the technologies I find hard to live without is the virtualization technology. On daily basis I utilize Linux OS virtual machine(VM) running on my Windows Laptop. If you're not using this technology yet, perhaps this article can help move towards utilizing it.
Virtualization is seen as one of the enabling technologies of this generation. It enables much better utilization of the huge processing power of machines now available. Still, this was largely seen as domain of enterprise computing not at a laptop level. With advent of laptops of 4GB+ ram, it became more feasible to utilize virtualization at desktop/laptop levels. One such enabling technology is using open source VirtualBox (VB) virtualization (https://www.virtualbox.org/). This is comparable to VMWare if you're familiar to that.
With VB a key benefit is you get a self contained virtualized OS VM platform which you can move around with ease on any other PC you have. The virtual OS could be of many flavors like Windows, Solaris, Linux and Mac OS X. You can install any software on that VM and work with it like you do on a native OS.
You can possibly work with multiple VMs on a single laptop, and you can also relocate the full working environment to other laptops with ease. You don't have to go though painful process of reinstalling your software on OS on other laptop where you're moving to.
Another benefit is to have a snapshot of the VM available, this is a point in time of the current state of your OS and you can revert back to this state later. This allows you to install software and if it doesn't work then you can revert back your VM state of the last snapshot. This saves a lot of time and effort if something goes wrong.
These days many vendors like Oracle give out pre-built VMs
with their software installed on it. So you save lot of time by just reusing
their VMs as your starting point for your development work. Few pre-built developer VMs
are available here at oracle site.
VirtualBox’s many other benefits can be found in its very
useful documentation. You can read
through this manual to get a good understanding on how to go about setting up
and using this technology.