Do you use VirtualBox as your VM?

If you use VirtualBox, check out this great script utility that allows you to AUTOMATICALLY recompile the VBOX drivers when you update your kernel.

If you would like to use the VirtualBox VM to load LiveCD’s, you have got to read about this bash script as well:

And what are your suggestions for using a VM? If you have any good ones, let us know what they are.

Thank You,

On 12/15/2011 07:56 PM, jdmcdaniel3 wrote:
> And what are your suggestions for using a VM? If you have any good
> ones, let us know what they are.

I have two reasons for using a VM.

The first is that I have a few Windows applications that do not run under Wine.
For them, I have a VM with Windows XP on it. When I need one of those apps, I do
not need to reboot the machine, and I do not have to fool around with any
Windows nonsense in the boot blocks.

The second reason is for early testing of a new openSUSE release. It is easy to
install on a VM, and nothing is hurt if it fails.

Thanks so much Larry for your comments. Can you tell us which VM you prefer or which ones you have used before?

Thank You,

On 12/15/2011 11:16 PM, jdmcdaniel3 wrote:

> Thanks so much Larry for your comments. Can you tell us which VM you
> prefer or which ones you have used before?

I tried VMware briefly, but found it difficult to use. Now, I use VirtualBox
exclusively. Most of the time, I download the latest version from the RPM on the
Oracle web site. I started using the pre-built version because I needed USB
passthru, which was not a feature of the VB OSE release. As I usually run
kernels from the wireless-testing git tree, I do build my own VB kernel modules.
When the kernel API changes with a new kernel release, I submit the necessary
patches to Oracle.

Wow that is great information Larry. I also use VirtualBox so far. I have loaded Window XP in a VM in order to get a DVD HTML based manual to work for my wheel chair van, written to work only with an older version of Internet Explorer. It does work just fine in XP, but nothing else seems to work. AND VirtualBox has been a great help in running different versions of openSUSE, most recently 12.1 with both the GNOME and KDE desktops loaded. I must also admit to loading a few other Linux distributions, just to see how some of the others seem to work, but nothing that beats openSUSE for me so far.

Again, thanks for the information on your usage of VirtualBox.

Thank You,

I can echo some comments here by Larry.

Though I use VM software less now, preferring to use actual HD partitions for installations. I no longer use windows for anything even in Virtual Box.

The real advantage of VM’s (And I use Virtual Box) (It’s less troublesome to install), is when making tutorials/install guides. You can easily grab good quality snapshots of the install process.

Personally i use Vbox, its a great tool to have. Under it i have Windows XP (for certain sites that require I.E.), openSUSE Factory and Debian Testing :slight_smile:
jdmcdaniel3 nice scripts

On 2011-12-16 06:16, jdmcdaniel3 wrote:
> Can you tell us which VM you
> prefer or which ones you have used before?

I use vmware player. Previously I used the server version, and was forced
to change because they dropped support for it.

Why vmware and not virtualbox? Because VB does not support officially
oldies like Windows Me.

Cheers / Saludos,

Carlos E. R.
(from 11.4 x86_64 “Celadon” at Telcontar)

jdmcdaniel3 wrote:

> If you use VirtualBox, check out this great script utility that allows
> you to AUTOMATICALLY recompile the VBOX drivers when you update your
> kernel.
> If you would like to use the VirtualBox VM to load LiveCD’s, you have
> got to read about this bash script as well:
> And what are your suggestions for using a VM? If you have any good
> ones, let us know what they are.

I use VirtualBox with XP for those “can’t there from here” Win apps I
sometimes need. I also have VMs running Win2K, DOS, OS/2, and eCS. The
last is mainly for some testing and curiosity but both DOS and OS/2 are
frequently needed for recreating apps/data from old projects (and disks we
had forgotten about).

Will Honea

I have Virtual Box installed on two PCs which I use to run WinXP, and on occasion LXDE desktop (in openSUSE).

I have Virtual Box on my Dell Studio 1537 laptop PC (Intel Core 2duo P8400 cpu with 4GB RAM) with WinXP for MS-Office (in support of work, with Word, Excel, Power Point and MS-Access) and also a proprietary product that runs only on MS-Windows which streams our satellites’ telemetry, so I can monitor this from home. Since I take this laptop to meetings, I really need 100% compatibility with documents produced by users who attend various meetings (who are from different organizations) and that means I must pay/own MS-Office. Unfortunately the 99% compatibility of Office Libre and Open Office does not ‘cut it here’ for my use. And the proprietary software that I need to run (for satellite telemetry) pretty much forces me to keep winXP even if it were not for those meetings.

I also have Virtual Box on my Main desktop PC, which is an custom built Asus P6T Deluxe2 motherboard with an Intel Core i7 920 processor and 6GB of RAM. On this PC I do NOT have a really barebones winXP in Virtual Box (where I do NOT have MS-Office) but here again I run the proprietary product that runs only on MS-Windows which streams our satellites’ telemetry, so I can monitor this from home.

I’m using KVM, fooled with Xen a bit but could never get it to do just what I wanted. With KVM I have my NIC cards directly assigned to either the host or to a specific VM. That lets me do things like run my firewall (SmoothWall) on a two port Intel NIC, a server VM on a single port NIC while letting the host use one of the motherboard NICs and bridging the second one for other VMs to use.

The only tricky part turned out to be that a VM has to own a whole NIC, I couldn’t assign a couple ports to one VM and the other two to other VMs. Might be possible if you could find a NIC that didn’t share the reset function across all the onboard NIC systems.

That is great information stan_qaz. Seems like most of us are using VirtualBox. How did you come to try out KVM? Besides Xen, did you even give VirtualBox a try? Now I have used Hyper_V in Windows once and VMPlayer once and in both cases I was running a Windows XP Guest. I seem to have good success with a Windows guests in Windows, but not so much with a Linux Guest with Windows as the host, but it has been a while since I tried that. I can say I have not tried KVM before. Besides the Networking support are there any other pluses for KVM you can tell us about?

Thank You,

Thanks so much for your comments oldcpu. Seems like you have real work you must do using Windows while at home. I do have work to do at home as well, but I have a work laptop which I pull out which is still running Windows XP. We even are still using Explorer 7 which does not work all that well with the openSUSE forums these days. I actually have it out right now loading openSUSE 12.1 onto my external hard drive, buts its not powerful enough to be a VM host I would say. And, the type of software I run is tied to my work’s copy of Windows XP and the domain setup. If it does not connect at least once a month to the home office, most proprietary software from my company will stop working on my Laptop. So, taking the approach you have for work applications is not going to work for me, oh well. None the less, I find that you are working with Satellite data is more exciting that me working on a Prison (not yet open to the public) HVAC control system.

Thank You,

The ability to make tutorials and guides with different openSUSE versions and desktops is a very big plus, that is for sure caf4926. But, I still have some stuff that needs Windows to work. In a few cases, I most likley could find a replacement in openSUSE, but many times I can not. I must say thought, when I first started using openSUSE, my PC.s mainly used Windows & now they mostly use openSUSE and with VirtualBox, there no reason to even reboot into Windows. That is a much better way to go in my opinion. Thanks so much for your comments Carl.

Thank You,

So you are another VirtualBox user then. How did you come to select VBox by chance creatura85? And as you suggest, its a great way to test openSUSE releases that is for sure. Its even a way for me to test my bash scripts with different Desktops under openSUSE. And thanks for your kind words about the bash scripts.

Thank You,

I was basically looking for a server type VM, not something to run on a computer that also has a local user. Aside from that I had to have the ability to directly assign hardware to the VMs and not use bridged networking. With KVM I can log onto any of the VMs or the host using VNC so they are available from any machine on our lan. Technically I could open the firewall and allow connections from anywhere but that isn’t something I’m planning on doing.

I looked at Virtual Box and fooled with it a bit, was pretty decent for running a Windows machine on my OpenSUSE workstation but performance was fairly low, the Windows app I need to run really beats on the hard drive (sqlite db with external blobs) and uses a lot of .Net stuff further eroding performance. I ended up putting it on a dedicated machine with lots of RAM and an SSD to get decent performance. Aside from the one program XP ran quite well in VB.

I’m finding KVM a lot easier to understand the internals of than Xen, the OpenSUSE virtual machine manager makes setting them up very easy, once you figure it out the first time** even the hardware assignments are pretty straightforward. It doesn’t hurt that RedHat has gone to KVM as their main solution, lots of good articles for RedHat, Fedora, Centos and Scientific Linux that can be used as guides to doing things in OpenSuse.

** Kernel parameter of intel_iommu=on and a compatible CPU to allow assignment of hardware.

We don’t run Windows here unless it is absolutely necessary, the one testing box is the only one normally running. We start another from time to time if we have to have Windows for something that won’t run elsewhere. That is rare enough that I find keeping a Windows box available running TightVNC so it can be accessed from anywhere, it doesn’t have any connections but power and Ethernet and just sits powered off under a cabinet until needed.

I use kvm to take snaphots, like the one on this page: openSUSE 11.4 - vm installation guide - but I could use VirtualBox as well. I actually have more slideshows. I should upload them some day.

So far kvm and vm-create allow me to create virtual machines in one shot and install any Linux (and some BSDs) from anywhere (net install) to anywhere (remote server). I never tried remote install with VirtualBox … although I re-used some concepts from vm-create in vboxlive. I put the two scripts in the same package called vmscripts. I should probably update some URLs in the default config files of these two scripts: vmscripts - OBS

Notice that virt-manager is able to administrate kvm and xen guests, as well as (in theory) VirtulaBox ones … but I have no idea how.

VirtualBox is good enough for running Windows or testing distros (with vboxlive ;)) … I guess I should rather say that Windows is not worth a physical machine, IMO.

I could never get Xen to do what I wanted and finally decided that I don’t need it. kvm is easier and doesn’t need a special kernel. But I should say that I really started to enjoy kvm for desktops the day I installed a NX server on the guest system - I wouldn’t spend more then 5 minutes on a VNC client. Beeing unable to use Xen on SDL console was one of the reason for me to give up (some years ago though).

I used qemu for a while on FreeBSD and openBSD hosts with and without the accelerator module. Qemu was actually the master piece that inspired VirtualBox. Today kvm uses Qemu (and vice-versa).

I never used vmware because, at the time as it was popular - and the first and only one - I was always waiting either for more RAM or to be done with something else … and because I’m never done, I miss a lot of things.

I use virtualbox (before the OSE version from repos, now the script version from there site as I am using a "nowhere-land-evergreen 11.1 with customized kernel).
The current version is very powerful. I use it because of the attitude of the industries that revert the sentence: the client is king…Nooop the client is slave and has to be violated twice a day.

  • first problem was a language software that would require(!) the use of IE and concomitantly the use of flash (but only for windows, so no firefox for win, no flashplugin). Just plain old stupid “I force you to M$ because I am either incompetent or corrupt or both” stile. So since I had to have this product (because of circumstances) I had to try it with XP in virtualbox. And it worked.
  • second problem: I possess a Garmin, and these guys are producing for win and a bit for Mac but when it comes to Linux, the same hostility as before. Note: the moment I find a gps navigator producer that does not force me on my OS, I will change to it. Virtualization or not. I guess, Russian GLONAST producer have here a real market. We will see and act accordingly. But for now: with virtualbox it was possible to update the firware and the maps and any other software of the device. Flawless.
  • scanner are a typical problem on why you want to use virtualization on Linux. I would prefer to use them natively so I tend to buy only SANE compatible ones (Epson and HP). But I possess a Canon that forces me … yeap to virtualization. And it works, hurray.
  • The next issue is a good OCR software. I never understood why Omnipage and Abby would renounce to produce for Linux (**Abby does **
    ]( not the same version), but I would tend to belief that it is because Linux as a CLI OS is simply too powerful. A working CLI version of these tools would allow to have a very professional solution, so the have an incentive not to do it. In windows they can argue to sell one “professional solution” here, one “customer” solution there… Maximize profit while lowering functionality. Again I would prefer a native solution (even on payment for the same price as the Win solution or slightly above) to virtualization. - A tv-stick sold by the vendor as linux compatible but after three years it is still not usable, not even when trying to compile the driver. It’s a shame. I tried it on Virtualbox, it so, so works but for the amount of memory of the machine it is not feasible. I will have to put the right amount of Ram into my machine. (Currently 2 GB, shift to 8GB).
  • I do not like certain type of software as I do not trust their code. Perfect “untrustworthy” applications are for me “dropbox” and “skype”. There always where and will be due to their behavior. In some environments they force you by pear pressure to use these. So in these cases I prefer a virtualized version to be able to throw them away (hopefully tracelessly) once not in use any more. This was actually the first of all motivations that time ago brought me to consider virtualization. Again here, I would** prefer a native, save, opensource Linux version**
    of those programs or VOIP but…the sheep govern. So if all sheep say baaaaaahhhhh you have to virtualize (since you are not able and willing to become a sheep). :wink:

So there are a lot of reasons to use Virtualization. I would personally prefer to use KVM (also because - (polemically) - of the owner, as I do not subscribe nor forget as customer certain behaviors) but have still not found the time to make it. It is also true that KVM might be unavailable in my machine, did not check this, but I guess could be compiled with the new kernel. And I do not know if I can migrate the vms created to KVM.
So why Virtualbox: it was the way of least resistance.
One note: the real drawback of the virtualisation is that it does not change the behavior of those industries. VM or not, I had still an old XP copy. But I do not want to buy an MS OS only because of peer pressure, technical incompetency or oligopolistic behavior. If you have a server and want to optimize workload with different environment for different users, that is yes, a good usage and argument. For a PC and laptop it should be IMO the very exception.

P.S. As much as I belief the bold statement “we listened to you, we talked, and now you have a sub forum on virtualization”, I personally belief the reason for this sub forum being created is this, isn’t it? Still it is nice to have a sub forum.

You just need to install kvm, qemu and optionally virt-manager and virt-viewer. There is nothing to compile. But kvm needs hardware virtualization support. It can not do paravirtualization (unlike Xen and VirtualBox).

I do use Vbox as my VM manager.
Why VMs ? for a lot of reasons that have already been mentioned here :
OS testing
Installations manual screen shots (more than comfortable, it is no longer a pain)
Kernel stuff compiling for testing purpose
some weird experiments : did you ever try to run windows7 in a VMbox guest of an opensuse 12.1beta guest of an opensuse 11.4 ?

and mainly : Setting up labs or POCs without having to deal with hardware.
Recently on my laptop, I built a complete network with 1 Winsrv 2003 VM, 1 winxp home VM, 1 winXP pro VM, 1 win7 PRO, a proprietary proxy running under centos 5.5 and an opensuse 11.4 VM to simulate a customer network, and validate all their apps, kerberos proxy authentication setup, group based proxy authorization, with several browsers and web aware software.

I used vmware before, but recently, they upgraded to v8 and I would have had to pay additionnal licences fees to have workstation being updated and upgraded to new technologies, this is unacceptable for me, so I migrate all my VM (12 machines) to VirtualBOX.
A second reason was that I was tired of using regularly the patches provided by the vmware community when I performed a kernel upgrade. Recompile a module is nothing compared to the time and energy lost in searching the solution to have vmware up and running again.

Porting the VMs was really easy, the only thing you have to do is to define a VM in VirtualBox with similar capabilities and virtual hardware, and connect the vmware vmdk to that machine (I mean a copy of …).
VMDK format is supported by vbox, and all the windows OSes in my VMs had been activated more than 120 days ago, so activation was never an issue. I could even do some tricky things like setting up a dual processor in the VM (windows would have anyway asked for re-activation)

The only issue I had to go through, was the hardware compatibility with winXP, that triggered some BSOD (you know the famous AHCI controller mode thing with XP)
I patiently solved them by :
installing on the original VM under vmware the generics windows drivers
or by :
adjusting the hardware in vbox VM (mainly virtual disk controller issues).

To deal with the network at VM setup, I selected the Intel Pro/1000 emulation, the NIC is not recognized by windows, but I only had to install the last drivers provided by Intel for the PRO/1000.

Once done, I really throw away the vmware stuff, and asked my techies team to do the same, either on their Windows boxes or on their linux boxes.
The “most ?” surprising is that they are really happy with this.