Virtualization using VirtualBox – Simultaneously running 5 operating systems

I have been experimenting with VirtualBox for the past 3 months. My experience so far has been good. VirtualBox is simple to configure and use. VirtualBox OSE is definitely something you don’t want to try out. Its very buggy. However, the licensed version shipped with the installer is good. The best part of VirtualBox is that the images are very portable. My friend installed Solaris on his mac using VirtualBox and I had to copy the image to get it running on my x86-64. Sweet.

VirtualBox performs well. I have a AMD Athlon X2 x86-64 with 6 gigs of RAM. I was able to run 5 operating systems simultaneously on my openSuse 10.3 guest with VirtualBox installed. Check out the screenshots at the end of this post. Absolutely no performance lag. Everything worked smoothly. I could burn a DVD and play some music on my guest with the 5 operating systems running. Many would attribute this to the hardware configuration. However, I give equal credit to the hardware and the software.

Apart from the above, I have also tried running legacy operating systems on VirtualBox, like Slackware 96. For Slackware 96, Installation started but then it conked. Had some luck with Red Hat 5.2, but the installation hung at the last stages. Planning to try out BeOS and OS2Warp in the near future. The other interesting thing that I tried was the nested virtual machine installation. Installed Windows XP on openSuse 10.3 x86-64 host. Then installed Virtual Box on Windows XP and then tried Ubuntu with Windows XP as guest. The installation did not start. Not sure why. Will give this a try again. If anyone got any of this working, let me know.

The following screenshots show VirtualBox on openSuse 10.3 x86-64 host with 5 guest operating systems running simultaneously – Ulteo, Mandriva, Open Solaris, Slackware and Windows XP.


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