Using Virtual Box - Some Quick Tips

Using Virtual Box: Tips

Create a New Virtual Machine:

VM Details](

VM RAM Settings](

Create New Virtual HD

Using a Fixed size always seems to work better for me:

You can use .iso files on your real HD and mount them as the installation source. It gives better performance than using your cd/dvd drive](

I discovered this gem a few months ago and fell in love. At home, I use it to try out distros and run Winders™ (that’s the Southern USA version, for those who don’t know) on those rare occasions when I want to punish myself. I have Slackware, CentOS and Ubuntu guests available home, as well as a Free DOS “box” when I want to experiment with some old software lying around.

At work, we use it on a production server to run virtual machines. I prefer it to XEN. We’re running it headless. The networking is in “bridged” mode, which lets us expose a completely different IP address to the network. I can get into either the host or the guest on different IPs.

One other tip: if you’re going to use it a lot, especially on a headless, text-only server, it’s worth it to learn the command line tools. To run a guest as headless “box,” for example, you simply enter something like

VBoxHeadless -startvm "NameOfVM" &

… and it runs in the background. This also starts an RDP server that listens on the default port of 3389.

Are you being serious? A Howto for a Wizard; don’t recall seeing one of those before (leaving aside the ubuntu forum). :slight_smile:

Can’t figure out this comment mate. I must be loosing it.:stuck_out_tongue:

There could be a separate newbie forum for this kind of stuff.

BTW, I am not referring to the simple style/format of your work. VirtualBox probably has the easiest GUI of any such application. Those are really basic features of the product. Wizards are meant to guide users with little knowledge anyway. Why does it need a Howto, and why do basic features qualify as tips and tricks? If you did this for every application or just many of the applications on the distro, it would make it harder to find the difficult stuff; it dumbs down the distro and the forum; and you could end up with a bunch of lazy users who never do anything for themselves or RTFM. Just my view, but I suspect Ubuntu and Windows already arrived there. :slight_smile:

You are quite correct of course. But I’m surprised you haven’t noticed that users do get in to difficulty with even the simplest of things. Just trying to cater for all levels really. If you don’t need the guide you ain’t even going to look for it. If you or I want to re-install grub from the CLI using a live cd, we just do it, we don’t go searching for answers.

I think this tutorial may have another nice use, that is make clear what one can expect, especially to people that do not know much about it and about the difference with other VMM. So one may think it is not worth the hassle but seeing that the steps are few and clear he/she may be encouraged to install it…
Thats why I rated this page with 5 starts :slight_smile:

I think this one has to be included for reference also.
VirtualBox - openSUSE
VirtualBox Installation - openSUSE

Back on topic.

We can never have too many good tips and turorials. Thanks for taking the time and putting in the effort to do this. I for one, have not taken the time to try out any of the Virtual Machines, and I really need to do so.

This is different from the Hypervisor tools in YaST?

I am more familiar with Xen and VMware than VirtualBox from the technical/performance point of view, so my comments about VirtualBox may not be very precise, but as far as I know VB is more user-friendly and simple, while Xen, especially in paravirtualized mode, is better as to performance, in particular if you want to run many guests at the same time on the same host.

Now hardware-assisted mode is quickly improving and the second generation of hardware assisted VMs implements memory virtualization in hardware, resulting in similar or even better performance than software virtualization, but it has less flexibility and of course it requires specific hardware. First generation hardware-assisted virtualization was significantly worse than software virtualization. I don’t think VirtualBox supports any hardware-assisted virtualization at all, at present.

Testbeds have confirmed that in some types stress tests, VMware is the best as to performance isolation (e.g. when there are many guests and one of them tries to get lots of resources, the other guests’ performance is not affected). Xen is very close to VMware as to performance isolation in tests that heavily use CPU, mem and network, while it is significantly worse for disk-intensive tests. VirtualBox suffers a bit in all the tests. But this would be noticeable in special cases, such as public cloud computing (which in fact does not use VirtualBox, as far as I know).
To my best knowledge, the performance loss in PCs with VirtualBox is quite small for most types of uses, while its advantage for being so handy can be significant.

I’m not an Ausie, but anyone can call me mate anytime and it won’t bother me in the least. I’ve been called a lot worse.:slight_smile:

The avatar was cast away, need a soulMATE

Virtual Box:

  1. There is the main site, the openSUSE repository, an OSS, a non-OSS, a binary, a build …
    Some install with guest some without. Some allow shared folders others don’t. Some allow USB others don’t. Some allow sound or networking others don’t.

  2. For me, I want a virtual box that can shared a folder with Linux while I am running Windows whatever as a VM. I want USB access, CDROM/DVDRW access, printer, scanner, webcam, networking, sound and video.

Currently, I have Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista VM’s. I have one folder (actually a whole partition mounted as file) shared between Linux and VM:Windows 2k. Mouse focus follows window through guest extensions. Window size of VM’s won’t change to a decent size, Windows Vista and XP won’t access shared folder, no USB access, no network access, no scanner or webcam but printer is ok. Sound is unavailable (some kinda pulse audio cr** cause I get a fallback error in Linux too). CDROM is also not available because guest is using .iso .

I tried several installs and am using the only one which I could install without everything breaking. It was the openSUSE-OSS one.

Hi ppl

Seems this thread became obscure due to a left-field, off topic discussion, so for the sake of the new virtual box users like me, I’ve pruned it back to the issue in the title.


Hi, I am just doing some reading before trying to set up Virtual Box and your post is very interesting as I think you are doing what I want to do. That is to have the VM using a different IP and Name although using the same NIC. Is this possible (not sure if MAC addresses can be spoofed in VM so I have doubts but…) or will I have to install another NIC. Any pointers/threads and also help with definition of “bridged” in this context would be much appreciated.