Virtualbox – Virtually twice as fast as vmware (and open source!)

A relatively unknown bit of virtualisation software called ‘virtualbox‘ from InnoTek has recently become open source’d. I’m actually quite surprised it hasn’t received more publicity. After hearing people rave about virtualbox in #hantslug on the blitzed irc network, I thought I’d give it a whirl. Setup was far easier and much more sane than vmware player/server, all configured via nice gui rather than weird perl script.

The best bit was yet to follow…the performance. Now, I’ve never used xen before, but compared to vmware, this thing flew. Honestly, I’ve never seen virtualisation so fast. Windows installed in no time at all on my Celeron 1.4ghz 768MB ram. Very impressive. So I thought I’d put it to the test. I loaded up a high def xvid video (960×528 w/5.1 sound).. it played flawlessly. This was stunning. I’d say it’s probably somewhere between 5-10% off native speed, and closer to the 5% than the 10%.

I’ve yet to comment on stability as I’ve not used it that long. The setup window did disappear once, but I think that may have been a one off.

There’s also USB support on the non-free binary, so it’s very close to having a native setup…virtually!

Try it now!!

Setting up VirtualBox on Ubuntu.

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