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Virtual machine

On 12/02/2010 08:36 AM, Rich Braun wrote:
> Edward Ned Harvey <blu-Z8efaSeK1ezqlBn2x/YWAg at> remarked:
>> Virtualbox is pretty good for what you get for free.  But it's
>> kind of buggy, the performance isn't great, you can't customize
>> your "host" key to the point of being useful for me, it's not
>> compatible with any other hypervisor...
> Ned, are your comments about VirtualBox 3.2.6 or later?  I've moved to =
> version since OpenSuSE 11.3 came out a few months ago, and it's lightye=
> ahead of what I'd seen in the past.  What I *love* about VirtualBox com=
> to others is the command-line utilities to manage virtual machines (the=
 GUI is
> pretty good too).  Also, its ease of installation is such that I don't =
> any rival could improve on it.
> VMware Inc gave up on their Linux desktop version (the one called "VMwa=
> Server") after terrible performance and installation problems with the =
> version, so they no longer have a viable product in that category; thei=
> customers are being steered toward bare-metal (ESXi) or Windows hosts.
> As for performance, I don't see the issue.  One tip that I have to maxi=
> VirtualBox performance is this:
> Put your virtual disk drives in raw Logical Volumes (LVM)!
> When you do this, you get remarkably high disk I/O performance.  On a s=
> 2-disk RAID1 setup, in October I ran benchmarks comparing the host syst=
> with two client installations (both OpenSuSE 11.3), one installed under=
> host's ext4 volume and the other installed on a raw LVM.  The numbers w=
> Random I/O:  host 1.619 MB/s; cl-1(fs) 1.521 MB/s; cl-2(lvm) 2.274 MB/s=

> Sequential:  host 64.675 MB/s; cl-1 35.93 MB/s; cl-2 88.819 MB/s
> That's right, the client installed under LVM is *faster* than the host.=
> leave it up to the group to repeat my observations and explain why, but=
> is my reality on a Core-i5 server with 16GB of RAM and about 8 virtual
> machines so far.
> As for bugginess of the past, the bugs are fixed.  Period.  Haven't run=
> any.  As for compatibility with other hypervisors, the disk images are =
> sequences of bytes.  There are in fact specific tools to convert betwee=
n vdi
> and vmdk files (Oracle vs. VMware).  I'm not trying to run multiple
> hypervisors on a single host so I'm not concerned about run-time
> compatibility.
> I've also been able to script my own VM creation to fully automate task=
s that
> under VMware Server with its clunky vSphere GUI would easily take 20-30=

> minutes of error-prone manual work.  This stuff is just a lot smoother =
> better.
> Unless there is a specific feature you need that's present in some othe=
> virtualization manager but lacking in VirtualBox, I see no reason to lo=
> beyond the free version of VirtualBox.
> I'm not often this gushing and effusive about a technology product; mos=
t have
> significant downsides.  Not VirtualBox.
Actually, VMWare has a desktop version, VMWare Workstation. We use that
here on our Windows hosts. But, my experience is that Virtualbox
performs very well. I use it on my netbook (ubuntu 10.10) as well as on
my desktop although I have not checked KVM on Fedora 13 yet. The issues
I have with KVM in the past was limited support for USB and sound when
spawned from the Gnome panel. (command line has more options).=20
Additionally one reason I do use Virtualbox is that I have some VBox
VDIs on a portable drive that I can use not only on a Linux host but
also on a Windows host (such as at installfests). There are Linux
utilities you can use to convert VMWare to VirtualBox as well as to KVM
compatible VMs.

Jerry Feldman <gaf-mNDKBlG2WHs at>
Boston Linux and Unix
PGP key id: 537C5846
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