By Fat Bloke on Apr 30, 2008
FatBloke has been absent for quite some time....and to what do we owe this absence:
- vacation - FatBlokes are machines! They don't need vacation.
- beer - hmmm, FatBlokes like beer but even so, 2 months absence is a bit rich.
- love - That's it! FatBloke has a new love in his life and her name is VirtualBox
For sometime now, FatBloke has had an opinion on topics around Desktop Virtualization. Most of the time he has solved the need for:
- a more secure desktop
- a more functional desktop
- a more available desktop
...by taking a server based computing and SGD approach to life. This approach used servers and wires to deliver a richer, but more secure desktop than could be delivered traditionally.
And while this is a great approach, which delivers on the needs above, VirtualBox is a different client-side based approach which is compact, self contained and very elegant. Let me explain...
VirtualBox is a Type-2 hypervisor which means it installs like a program on top of your existing system. So you don't need to wipe your existing machine. Once installed, you create Virtual Machines into which you can install your desired OS's. So here's what it looks like on a Mac host running OpenSolaris and Windows XP:
It can install on:
- Windows Hosts - Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2008;
- Linux Hosts - Ubuntu, RedHat, SuSE, Debian....
- Solaris Hosts - Solaris 10u5, OpenSolaris (beta at the moment);
- Mac OS X Hosts - 10.4 and 10.5 (Beta)
And Guests can be:
- Windows Guests - Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2008, Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000...
- Linux Guests - Ubuntu, RedHat, SuSE, Debian....
- Solaris Guests - Solaris 10u5, OpenSolaris (beta at the moment);
So on his MacBook Pro the FatBloke has all he needs: Mac, Windows, Solaris, Linux apps all at once.
In the next few posts I'll cover cool features of VirtualBox and explain why this is the coolest piece of technology that Sun has acquired in a long time.
And the first reason is that VirtualBox is FREE (as in free beer) and Open Source (as in free speech).