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VirtualBox Review
Written by Dsio   
Sunday, 24 February 2008 17:11
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Since I have a bit more memory and CPU power available on my new laptop, I decided to give some desktop level operating system virtualization a go. The copy of Windows Vista Business that came with this laptop gave me a mountain of misery from the day I received the computer, but since it was removed completely in favor of Fedora 7 Linux, I figured I should put it to some use, and install it in a virtual state on top of my Fedora install.

There are many Virtualization technologies available for linux at the moment, including KVM, Xen, Virtuozzo, VMWare, and many, many others. Most of these are either overly complicated and obtrusive (VMWare, Xen), or restrictive, allowing only Linux virtual servers (Virtuozzo). None of these really fit my needs, which are that it be lightweight, lean, OS independent, and flexible.

A possible solution for this problem was suggested by someone, in the form of Virtualbox ( which is made available for FREE.


Virtualbox is a very lightweight virtualization technology, which supports the intel VT / AMD-V hardware acceleration features, sits more on top of the host operating system than inside it, and allows for very easy setup and configuration.

Virtualbox is a cross platform technology, and is supported on Windows, Linux, and OSX (beta). For Linux, multiple packages are available, for all major distros, including Fedora 7, Mandriva, RHEL 4/5, Debian 3.1/4, and the three most recent flavors of Ubuntu.

Installing Virtualbox under Fedora was quite a simple affair, with the rpm provided simplifying matters. All up the installation was only 30MB in size, and went without any difficulty. Once installed, a directory is assigned as storage for the virtual file systems, which are stored as regular files on the host system's hard drive.

A virtual hard disk is then created, which can be used to create a new instance of an operating system. There were several choices given for the guest operating system:

  • Microsoft DOS
  • Microsoft Windows 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98
  • Microsoft Windows ME
  • Microsoft Windows NT4
  • Microsoft Windows 2000
  • Microsoft Windows XP
  • Microsoft Windows 2003 Server
  • Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Linux 2.2/2.4/2.6
  • OS/2 Warp 3/4/4.5
  • FreeBSD
  • OpenBSD
  • NetBSD
  • Novell Netware
  • Sun Solaris

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