Poking Around VirtualBox

I have recently discovered VirtualBox, and to say the least, it is really amazing and very powerful tool. For example, I wanted to try out Debian running KDE, and behold:

Debian 5.0.5 in VirtualBox on Limited Edition

Debian 5.0.5 in VirtualBox on Limited Edition

Yeah, that’s Debian 5.0.5 Lenny running virtually on Limited Edition after only a few minutes of VirtualBox configuration — the install took longer than anything else! This is really awesome, because now I can try out more distros more easily that I could otherwise — while I don’t have the resources to burn unlimited numbers of CDs and/or DVDs, I do have hard drive space (and RAM, for that matter) I can burn in the name of science! I can even install Haiku, Plan9, MINIX, or ReactOS, just to have a different perspective on all things OS!

And if I want to, I can ignore my home OS and work exclusively on a virtual machine, transferring files when I need to via folder sharing through the VirtualBox virtual server — how cool is that?

I think VirtualBox would be the perfect tool to test my programs for cross-OS compatibility — just pop in the OS I’m working on porting it to, and voila, instantly available testing environment! If I want to test OSs that run on PowerPC architecture (e.g., OS X, AROS, MorphOS, Yellow Dog Linux), I’d have to use QEMU or bochs, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

As a side note, I’m still going to keep my native Windows XP Pro install around, especially seeing as it’s already on a separate hard drive — I’d rather have a native copy for the occasional Windows-only game. I’ll still poke around with virtual Windows installs, since I now have the option to fool around with some older versions of Windows that I have lying around (95, 98SE) without worrying about that they’ll destroy my MBR — and yeah, that’s happened to me before 😥 .


3 thoughts on “Poking Around VirtualBox

    1. bgbraithwaite Post author

      That’s a good option for trying out Live CDs that I hadn’t considered — I’ve used the Windows version of Universal USB Installer for installing before, but UNetbootin seems like it supports many more distros out of the box, even some BSDs!

      I still like the idea of running two or more OSs concurrently in the same machine, though — especially if I only need the OS for a few small things — and that’s where I think VirtualBox really shines.

  1. Pingback: Ah, Now This Was Ill-Advised… « Becoming A Glider

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