Looks like version 1.6.2 is well worth the upgrade, at least for 64-bit PCs. I'm also happy to see many of Linux and Solaris host-related fixes, the stability of VirtualBox has really improved since version 1.5.
Many of us have heard about hardware virtualization, but as far as I can see there is still a lot of confusion around this term and surrounding technologies, so today I've decided to give a really quick intro. Some time in the future, I'll probably cover this topic in detail.
What is Sun xVM VirtualBox?
VirtualBox is an absolutely free virtualization product for x86 platform. It supports both 32bit and 64bit architectures and can be used in both server and desktop virtualization.
Last week, Desktop Vitualization blog was added to the Planet V12n list, and I'm really proud to join the rest of great blogs already featured there. Thanks for adding me to the list! And to all the new readers of this blog – welcome and thanks for stopping by, hope to see your comments!
Head over to the VMTN blog to look at the full list of participating blogs, it's an excellent way to learn more about the virtualization community.
Last week saw a rather interesting release: a VDDK – Virtual Disk Development Kit by VMware, which seems to be a complete toolset for working with VMware VMDK disk images and coding your own applications which interface with them.
Virtual Machine Disk Format (VMDK image specification) is used by many vendors, and so such an SDK from VMware is a great way to reinforce VMDK position on the market.
What is VMware VDDK?
Virtual Disk Development Kit is essentially the following three things:
- VMDK disks mount utility (mounting Windows or Linux partitions directly from VMDK images)
- VMDK disks management utility (growing VMDK images and changing their type, even shrinking VMDK images under certain conditions)
- VMDK Virtual Disk API – a programmatic interface to access VMDK images from your applications
Last Friday saw the long-awaited release of VMware Server 2.0 beta 2, Build 84186.
New features in VMware Server 2.0 beta 2
VMware website highlights the following new features of this VMware Server 2.0 release:
- Updated VMware Infrastructure (VI) Web Access management interface: With the faster performance, improved stability and broader range of configuration options, the VI Web Access management interface provides a simple, flexible, intuitive and productive management experience. In addition, embedded help files are context sensitive based on the task being performed.
- Independent virtual machine console: With the new VMware Remote Console, you can access your virtual machine consoles independent of the VI Web Access management interface plus resize the virtual machine console windows as needed.
- Support for USB 2.0 devices: Transfer data at faster data rates from USB 2.0 devices.
- Multi-tiered permissions: Configure different levels of permissions to access virtual machines in different ways, including browsing, interacting, configuring and administering virtual machines.
- New hardware editors: Edit and add devices such as USB 2.0 devices and legacy devices such as floppy drives, serial and parallel ports.
- Automatically start your virtual machines: Select which virtual machines that you want to automatically start when VMware Server starts. In addition, there is also an option to boot the virtual machine directly into the BIOS Setup Screen.
- Link to Virtual Appliance Marketplace: Access thousands of pre-built, pre-configured, ready-to-run enterprise applications packaged with an operating system inside a virtual machine. This speeds up time to value and simplifies software development, distribution, and management.
I've been spending increasingly more time researching topics for Unix Tutorial on one of my desktops. Ubuntu has replaced the Windows Vista I had and so far I quite like the experiment. Out of the box, all of the hardware was properly supported and even the NTFS partitions left from Vista install are easily available.
One of the first things I've decided to install was the trial version of the latest VMware Workstation: 6.0.3 build-80004. And although it installed without a problem, when I tried to run one of the previously created virtual machines, I got the following error:
VMware Workstation unrecoverable error: (vcpu-0)
Failed to allocate page for guest RAM!
As it turned out after a quick investigation, that was a result of running a VM from a NTFS partition, because its default mounting settings don't have the exec option.
Since you shouldn't be running anything critical through an NTFS driver anyway, I simply moved the VM onto one of the ext3 partitions and, sure enough, it fixed the guest RAM allocation error.
Update: if your scenario prevents you from moving a VM to a native partition, use the following option:
mainmem.UseNamedFile = "FALSE"
You should add it to the vmx file of your VM. Thanks for the tip, benito!