Wednesday Feb 20, 2008

Virtualbox guest OS networking on WinXP host

VirtualBox provides a number of networking options for guest OS. NAT is the most simple one to use. I was able to have Internet access without any extra configuration at home. However, it appeared no working at University's network. 

After some research, I find out that the fundamental problem is DNS setting. When I start to use Virtual Box at home, the guest OS automatically get DNS setting from my ADSL router. These DNS server were not accessible when I use virtual OS at University network. The solution is very simple: manually assign DNS server address in the guest OS.

Reference:

http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=2430&highlight=network+proxy
 

Virtual Box Shared Folder between WinXP host and Ubuntu guest

Although Virtual Box provided an option of shared folder, it is not straightforward to use this shared folder. It took me some searches on VirtualBox forum to find it how Ubuntu guest OS can access the shared Folder on WinXP host OS.

1. Add folder(s) to shared folder menu.

 

It is important to write down the folder names at this step. 

 

2. Boot guest system, open a terminal and type in the following commands
 

sudo mkdir /mnt/tao_xp

sudo mount.vboxsf TAO /mnt/tao_xp

The shared folder would be accessible now: read & write!

Reference:

[1] http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=3201&highlight=share+folder

[2] http://virtualdebian.blogspot.com/2007/12/sharing-folders-with-virtualbox.html

Wednesday Feb 13, 2008

Virtualbox - First impression

"SANTA CLARA, CA February 12, 2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA) today announced that it has entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire innotek, the provider of the leading edge, open source virtualization software called VirtualBox." [1]

This is the first time I heard about VirtualBox. Immediately I went VirtualBox website and download VirtualBox binaries on Windows, VirtualBox_1.5.4_Win_x86.msi. It's quite small, only 17Mb. It takes less than one minute to install.

VirtualBox main window

There are a number of options for various virtual images: complete Windows family, Linux, BSD family, OS/2 and Solaris. I created a Linux 2.6 virtual disk and installed ubuntu 7.10 iso.

However, the screen resolution of guest system is surprisingly low, 800x600 and 640x480. After I did some search on VirtualBox forum [2], I finally can get the "real" full screen. I summarize the solution here:

1. Finish guest OS installation and start the guest OS.

2. There is an ISO file in VirtualBox installation directory, called "VBoxGuestAdditions.iso"

   In Windows, by default, it is located at C:\\Program Files\\innotek VirtualBox\\VBoxGuestAdditions.iso

   Click "Device"-> "Install Guest Additions" to mount this iso file.

 

3.  Find "VBoxLinuxAdditions.run" as shown below. Run it in a terminal window, "sudo /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run"

4. Run "sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg". Select "vboxvideo" as video card and all of screen resolutions you want

5. Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf as super user

    Change line

       Driver "mouse"

    to

       Driver "vboxmouse"

6. Restart X by press "Ctrl+Alt+Backspace".  

Conclusion:

1. VirtualBox is easy to use. I did not find that I have to consult any user document in order to start using it.

2. VirtualBox's functionality is equivalent to VMWare Workstation. I can create various virtual images on my own. More importantly, it is free. VMWare Workstation for Windows would cost US$189.00

 

Reference:

[1] http://www.sun.com/aboutsun/pr/2008-02/sunflash.20080212.1.xml


[2] http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?p=15806

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