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Re: Virtual Box

 Jerry Feldman wrote: 
> There was some discussion at the last meeting regarding Virtual box 
> 1.

I missed that reference, but coincidentally read an article yesterday in 
the latest Linux Journal on VirtualBox. Another article on it here: 

Virtualbox on 64-bit Ubuntu works like a charm

and as usual there's a decent overview at Wikipedia:

and you can see how it compares to other virtualization solutions here:

A notable difference from some of the other (newer) virtualization 
solutions is that it does not require virtualization support in the CPU, 
so you can run it on old hardware. 

> 2. Virtual Box is a fully GPL'd virtualization product... 

There's a GPL version and a proprietary version, which has additional 
features. The proprietary version is free for personal use. The major 
differences are that the proprietary version has (from Wikipedia): 

     * built-in Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) server. 
     * USB support and support of remote USB devices (via RDP). 
     * iSCSI support for virtual hard disks. 

> ...can you run an application under the guest os that shows up as a 
> separate Window under Linux. 

I wondered about that as well, and the answer seems vague, but I get the 
impression that if you install the Guest Additions (virtualization aware 
drivers for the guest OS), it might be possible. For example, Wikipedia 

   As a graphics adapter, by default, VirtualBox virtualizes a standard 
   VESA card with 8 MB RAM, which can be adjusted. With the Guest 
   Additions (for Windows or Linux guests) comes a special video driver 
   that allows for better performance and features such as dynamically 
   adjusting the guest resolution when the VM window is resized. 

It may also be possible to accomplish this using RDP. 

> ...can you get to the guest's virtual drives from the host os.  The 
> answer is no since the disks are vurtualized within each VM, but... 

The proprietary version will do this using iSCSI. As you mentioned, you 
could do this with either version using NFS, SAMBA, etc. 

As far as among guests, the Linux Journal article mentioned that the 
virtual drives could be marked as sharable. 

If the host access is happening when the VM is shut down, you can 
probably use a dedicated partition on a real disk, rather than a virtual 
disk, and thus avoid the specialized virtual disk format. 


Tom Metro 
Venture Logic, Newton, MA, USA 
"Enterprise solutions through open source." 
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