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VirtualBox Tips and Reports

Tips and issues running Windows with VirtualBox on a Mac

Updated March 6, 2013

On This Page:
If you’ve tried the VirtualBox how it worked for you.


Oracle's VirtualBox for Mac OS X is virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs. VirtualBox is free software based on GPL open-source code. VirtualBox was original from a German company called Innotek, which Sun Micrsosystems acquired in February 2008. Oracle then acquired Sun. Like Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, the VirtualBox Beta can run Windows Vista, supports USB, and can be scripted from the command line. VirtualBox also supports VMDK virtual disk format used by VMware. Innotek shipped its first commercial versions of VirtualBox for Windows and Linux this in January 2007.

Sun had plans for VirtualBox (Sun Hopes to Take VirtualBox Mainstream), which Oracle appears to be following.

For more MacWindows coverage of running Windows on Macs, including Parallels and VMware, click here.

Version History

VirtualBox 4.2.18 maintenance update released

Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.2.18, a maintenance update to the virualization software for OS X, as well as other host systems. The release increases reliability and fixes several bugs, including a problem with virtual machines resuming network connectivity when resuming from sleep. Version 4.2.18 also fixes some problems with mouse movement and fixes problems with Windows 3D graphics in a virtual machine. (You can read the changelog of all fixes is here.)

Virtual Box is free for personal use, or $50 for the Enterprise Edition for commercial use.

VirtualBox 4.2.8 updates for bug-fixes

Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.2.8, a minor update to the virtualization software. The update fixes a number of bugs and improves some specific behaviors. The update includes fixes for a problem with causing a kernel panic when running a Mac OS X 10.6 host, and for several problems related to storing data to a hard drive. VirtualBox is available free for personal use, and is available for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and other host operating systems. It can (For more on VirtualBox, see Running Windows on Macs: A Comparison of Available Solutions.)

VirtualBox 4.1.16 can run Mountain Lion in VM

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.1.16, a maintenance update to the virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The update fixes several bugs and addresses some issues with running Mountain Lion Developer Preview 3 in a virtual machine on a Mac OS X host. VirtualBox is free for personal use.

If you've tried VirtualBox 4.x what you think of it.

Oracle issues VirtualBox 4.1.10 maintenance release

Monday, March 19, 2012

Oracle released VirtualBox 4.1.10, a maintenance update for the free-for-personal-use virtualization software for Mac OS X and other platforms. The update improves stability a fixes a number of small bugs. VirtualBox for Mac and run Windows, Linux, and other OS's in a virtual machine.

If you've used VirtualBox what you think of it.

Oracle releases VirtualBox 4.1.2 maintenance update

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.1.2, and updated to the virtualization software fro Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. This maintenance release that fixes a number of bugs, including some problems with Windows running as a guest OS in virtual machine. VirtualBox is free for personal use.

If you've used this new version of VirtualBox what you think.

VirtualBox 4.1 adds support for Windows Aero

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.1, a major release of the virtualization software for Mac OS X and other platforms. The update adds "experimental" support of WDDM graphics for Windows as a guest OS. This adds support for Direct3D and the Windows 7 and Vista Aero theme features, such as Windows Flip 3D, Aero Peek, and translucent objects. Aero support is one feature that VirtualBox lacked that other virtualization software for Mac supported.

Other new features include the ability to clone virtual machines and an enhanced wizard for creating new virtual disks. VirtualBox 4.1 also fixes a number of bugs. VirtualBox is free for personal use.

If you've used VirtualBox 4.1

Oracle releases VirtualBox 4.06

Wednesday, April 27, 2011 -- Oracle has release VirtualBox 4.06, a maintenance release to the virtualization software for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Unix hosts. The update fixes a number of minor bugs, some specific to each host OS, and some common to all versions. VirtualBox is free for personal use. If you've used VirtualBox 4.06

Oracle releases VirtualBox 4.0.4

Monday, February 21, 2011 -- Oracle released VirtualBox 4.0.4, a maintenance release of the virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and other operating systems. The update fixes a number of minor bugs and issues. VirtualBox is free for personal and starts at US $50 per user for enterprise use. If you've used VirtualBox 4.0.4

VirtualBox 4.0.2 maintenance release fixes a box of bugs

Monday, January 24, 2011 -- Oracle has released VitualBox 4.02, a maintenance update to the virtualization package for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The update fixes several dozen bugs and issues, including crashes during various scenarios, as well as some minor usability issues. VirtualBox is free for personal and starts at US $50 per user for enterprise use. If you've tried this new version of VirtualBox

Oracle VirtualBox 4.0 revamps user interface, improves networking

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 -- Oracle has released VirtualBox 4.0, a major new version of the virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris hosts. The new version sports a revamped VirtualBox Manager, the window that displays a list of installed virtual machines, and makes improvements to networking and other virtual hardware, and usability enhancements, among other changes.VirtualBox 4.0 is free for personal use, and starts at US $50 per user for enterprise use.

VirtualBox Manager adds some of the features of the virtual machine lists in Parallels Desktop and VMWare Fusion. It now provides preview images of the current state of virtual machines. Users can sort the list and edit virtual machine settings from this window. VirtualBox 4 also makes it easier to create shortcuts to launch virtual machines from the Desktop, without having to open VirtualBox Manager......Read entire story here

VirtualBox 3.2.10 update improves stability, fixes bugs

Thursday, October 14, 2010 -- Oracle has release VirtualBox 3.2.10, a maintenance update of the virtualization software for running Windows, Linux, and Unix in Mac OS X and in other host operating systems. The update fixes several dozen bugs in areas including general computing, VGA and 3D graphics, audio, and shared folders. There's also a performance increase for virtual machines with more than 2 GB RAM allocated.

Note that there is an open-source edition, which does not include USB support, and a “closed source” edition, which has more features. Both are free for personal use. Use for enterprise (include tech support) is $50.

If you've tried VirtualBox what you think. Or, post a note in our new VirtualBox forum.

Oracle VirtualBox 3.2 runs OS X guests in VMs, at odds with Apple EULA

Friday, May 21, 2010 -- Oracle's VirtualBox 3.2.0 is the first virtualization software to add support for running Mac OS X in a virtual machine--and the first to be at odds with Apple restrictions on the use of the OS. The new version of VirtualBox adds "experimental" support for running Mac OS X as a guest OS on Apple hardware, a use that could violate Apple's end user license agreement (EULA). Apple's Mac OS X EULA permits only one copy of the operating system to be run on a Mac at one time--even with a 5-license Family Pack. The EULA for Mac OS X Server, however, has not had this restriction since Apple changed the Server EULA at the end of 2007......Read entire story here

VirtualBox 3.1.6 deals with bugs and crashes

Friday, April 2, 2010 -- Sun has released VirtualBox 3.1.6, a minor update to its free virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The update fixes a number of bugs and issues that can cause crashes and other problems. If you've tried VirtualBox 3.1.6

Sun releases VirtualBox 3.1.2 maintenance update

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 -- Sun released VirtualBox 3.1.2, an update to the free virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The update fixes bugs for these hosts, including for 3D video on Mac OS X. Sun calls 3.1.2 maintenance, whereas it referred to the previous version 3.1.0 as a major update. (See also Sun's change log page.)

Sun's VirtualBox 3.1 can move a VM while it's running

Sunday, December 6, 2009 -- Sun has released VirtualBox 3.1, an update to its free virtualization software for Mac OS X (Intel Macs), Windows, Linux, and Solaris hosts. The new version includes several new features and several dozen bug fixes. A unique new feature is Teleportation, the ability to move a virtual machine over a network from one VirtualBox host to another -- while the virtual machine is running. The two host computers can be different operating systems, such as a Mac and a PC. This is a feature that is unique.

Windows running virtual machines now get 2D acceleration. VirtualBox 3.1 does not have the 3D acceleration features of VMware Fusion 3 and Parallels Desktop 5, and cannot display Aero features of Windows 7 and Vista.

VirtualBox 3.1 adds the ability for users to restore virtual machine states from any previously saved “snapshot.” Previously, VirtualBox could only restore from the most recent snapshot. Storage and networking is more flexible: users can attach CD/DVD drives to an arbitrary IDE controller, and there can be more than one such drive. Users can also change the network attachment type while the virtual machine is running. There's also experimental support for EFI.

For related stories, see VMware Fusion 3 beefs up support for Win 7, Snow Leopard, graphics, and performance, and Parallels fires back in virtualization wars with Desktop 5.

Sun VirtualBox 3.0 looks to multi-CPU server virtualization

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 -- Today Sun Microsystems released VirtualBox 3.0 for Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix/Linux host systems. The new version of the virtualization platform adds support for symmetric multi-processing, enhanced graphics, and enhanced support for USB storage and iPhones. The new version can also now support Window 7 and Windows Server 2008 as both guest and host operating systems. (Snow Leopard is not yet supported.)

Sun said that VirtualBox 3.0 is suitable for running servers with heavy workloads due to the symmetric multiprocessing. Although most virtualization products support SMP, VirtualBox enables users to assign up to 32 virtual processors to a single virtual machine. A Sun representative said that users can designate up two twice as many virtual CPUs in a virtual machine as there are real processing cores in the computer. Competing virtualization products allow up to 4 virtual processors per virtual machine.

VirtualBox 3.0 adds some graphics support that other virtualization packages have had. This includes Microsoft Direct3D support for Windows guest operating systems, which is common in gaming. VirtualBox 3.0 also adds OpenGL support for several different guest operating systems.

Sun also said that VirtualBox 3.0 supports a wider range of USB devices than earlier versions. This includes storage devices, iPods, and smart phones.

VirtualBox 3.0 is a free for personal use. For businesses and education, Sun provides subscription pricing starting at US $30 per user per year, and includes 24/7 tech support.

If you've used VirtualBox 3.0 what you think of it.

VirtualBox 2.2.2 adds OVF, Snow Leopard support

Thursday, May 7, 2009 -- Sun has released xVM VirtualBox 2.2.2, an update to its free, open source virtualization package for Mac OS X, Windows, and Unix/Linux. The new version adds support for the Open Virtualization Format (OVF) for importing and exporting virtual machines from VMware, XenSource and other virtualization environments.

The Mac version of VirtualBox 2.2.2 also adds preliminary support for running on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X still under development by Apple. There are also a number of bug fixes, including a problem with cursors in Windows guests.

If you've used xVM VirtualBox 2.2.2 for Mac OS X

VirtualBox 2.1.1 improves its Win 7 Beta support

Monday, January 26, 2009 -- Sun has released xVM VirtualBox 2.1.2, an update designed to better support Windows 7 Beta 1 in other host operating systems. VirtualBox is Sun's free virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and OpenSolaris.

A Sun spokesperson said that this version of VirtualBox is the first to fully support Windows 7 Beta 1 as a guest operating system. Previously, however, MacWindows readers reported success with running Windows 7 in VirtualBox, though not without some limitations. The spokesperson also said that VirtualBox 2.1.2 supports more than 1,000 virtual machines per host operating system.

(See also Sun Hopes to Take VirtualBox Mainstream.)

If you've tried VirtualBox 2.1.1

Sun to do commercial version of VirtualBox; says new version 2.1 faster than Parallels, VMware

Wednesday, December 17, 2008 -- A Sun Microsystems spokesperson told us that it will partner with a third party to release a commercial version of its xVM VirtualBox virtualization software in the US during the first quarter of next year. At the same time, the company today released the open source xVM VirtualBox 2.1, which includes performance enhancements that make it faster than Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, according to the spokesperson. xVM VirtualBox is currently a free download for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and other...

Sun releases VirtualBox 2.0 with 64-bit guest OS support, offers enterprise tech support

Monday, September 8, 2008 -- Last week Sun released xVM VirtualBox 2.0, a major new version of its free open source virtualization software for multiple host platforms, including Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Solaris, and OpenSolaris. The new version adds support for 64-bit guest OS's, including Windows Vista 64-bit and RedHat Enterprise Linux, running on 64-bit hosts. Mac users get a new Leopard-native user interface and improved networking. (Sun has a complete list of major new features here.)

Sun also introduced a paid tech support plan called the Sun xVM VirtualBox Software Enterprise Subscription, starting at US$30 per users per year. The plan provides 24/7 tech support and a Right-to-Use License, which allows customers to deploy xVM VirtualBox using their own software deployment tools.

For more on Sun xVM VirtualBox, see our VirtualBox Tips and Reports page.

For more on Sun's plans for VirtualBox click here.

Sun posts VirtualBox 1.6.4 maintenance update

Friday, August 15, 2008 -- Sun has released VirtualBox 1.6.4, a bug-fix update for the free virtualization software for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, and Solaris. The update fixes a number of bugs in networking and other areas, including issues with shared folders and with rdesktop RDP client and RDP server. It also fixes a bug that caused crashes when a USB device was unplugged in certain circumstances.

Sun releases maintenance update to VirtualBox VM software

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 -- Sun has released VirtualBox 1.6.2, an update to its free virtualization software for Mac OS X and other operating systems. The update fixes a number of bugs, including network issues and crashing in Mac OS X under certain conditions.

VirtualBox can run Windows, Linux, Solaris, and other Unix operating systems. VirtualBox does not have the more advanced features of Parallels Desktop or VMware Fusion, such as being able to use the copy of Windows installed in a Boot Camp partition.

If you've tried VirtualBox what you think of it.

First Sun release of VirtualBox virtualization for Mac

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 -- Sun Microsystems has released xVM VirtualBox 1.6 for Mac OS X, Windows, Sun Solaris, and Linux. This is the first Sun release of the open source virtualization environment since the company acquired VirtualBox and its developer, a German company called Innotek.

xVM VirtualBox 1.6 is available as a free download. The previous version from Innotek was called Beta 3; though Sun didn't indicate if it considers version 1.6 a "beta" or a finished release. xVM VirtualBox can run a variety of Windows and Unix/Linux releases on a Mac. Sun says that it will run anything from Windows 98 to Windows Vista, though drivers need to be installed manually in Vista.

Sun lists some features found in Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion, such as the ability to display on application windows of the guest OS instead of the entire desktop. Also like other virtualization software, xVM VirtualBox 1.6 lets you move files between Mac OS X and Windows (or other guest OSs).

If you've tried xVM VirtualBox 1.6

VirtualBox Mac Beta 3 adds Leopard support. Wednesday, February 20, 2008 -- Innotek has released VirtualBox Mac Beta 3 (also called version 1.5.51), a new prerelease version of the virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs. The main new feature is that VirtualBox now runs in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. The previous betas were incompatible in Leopard and would crash. Also new is the addition of SoundBlaster 16 emulation. Previous betas did not have audio. The new beta also includes several dozen bug fixes.

For previous reports, see our VirtualBox Beta Tips and Reports page.

If you've tried VirtualBox Beta 3

VirtualBox Mac Beta 2 available. July 23, 2007 -- Last week Innotek released VirtualBox for Mac OS X Beta 2, a new version of the pre-release virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs. The company did not indicate what changes were in the new version. The company did note, however, that the beta does not yet support flash memory from inside the virtual machine. no audio input.

VirtualBox is commercial software based on GPL open-source code. The company said that VirtualBox can run Windows Vista, supports USB, and can be scripted from the command line. VirtualBox also supports VMDK virtual disk format used by VMware. Innotek shipped its first commercial versions of VirtualBox for Windows and Linux this past January. Innotek released the first Beta for Mac OS X in April.

If you've tried the VirtualBox Beta 2 what you think of it.

VirtualBox, new virtual machine for Mac, goes beta. April 26, 2007 -- A German company called Innotek has released a free public beta version of VirtualBox for Mac OS X, new virtualization software for running Windows and Linux on Intel-based Macs.

VirtualBox is commercial software based on GPL open-source code. The company said that this first beta release of VirtualBox can run Windows Vista, supports USB, and can be scripted from the command line. VirtualBox also supports VMDK virtual disk format used by VMware. Innotek shipped its first commercial versions of VirtualBox for Windows and Linux this past January.

If you've tried the VirtualBox beta what you think of it.

Reader Reports and Tips

First reports of VirtualBox are guardedly optimistic | Top of Page |

April 30, 2007
A pair of readers sent reports on the VirtualBox beta, a new vitualization product for running Windows on Mac OS X on Intel Macs.

Nik Sands compared it to Parallels Desktop:

I've been trying out the new VirtualBox beta for Mac OS X and found it to be quite polished for a pre-release product. Its performance is vastly superior to that of Parallels (at least on my MacBook), particularly when switching between the virtual machine and any other Mac OS X applications. This is instant with VirtualBox, but usually requires some waiting with Parallels. It sure boots Windows a lot faster than Parallels, too.

There appears to be a few features that are not working or limited in this beta version (such as the folder sharing doesn't seem to work and requires command line to set up, networking restricted to NAT). But it promises to be an excellent means of running Windows applications on Mac OS X when the final version is released.

John Melby said USB doesn't work yet:

I installed Windows 2000 Pro on the Virtual Box Mac beta yesterday and was surprised at how well it works, especially for a first beta. It's missing several important things, such as USB support (although the blurb suggests that there is USB support, there appears not to be) and audio support, but it seems to be a great start. I'm looking forward to future releases.

Reader report on VirtualBox Beta 2 | Top of Page |

August 21, 2007
Eric Cooper shared his thoughts on the most current VirtualBox Beta 2, an open source virtualization program for running Windows on Intel Macs:

VirtualBox works pretty well. I just installed it on a MacBook and installed Windows XP. It is pretty responsive. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of Parallels and VMWare, but it does a decent job.

If you've tried the VirtualBox Beta 2 what you think of it.

Reader notes VirtualBox Beta 2 lack of audio/video I/O

August 22, 2007
Domenico Ceglia points out a flaw in the current beta of the VirtualBox virtual machine software:

I am using the Virtual Box Beta 2 on my MacBook for to use Windows XP, it works well, only audio in and video in/out doesn't supported at the moment, I hope in the future that they are supported.

If you've tried the VirtualBox Beta 2 what you think of it.

Reader says VirtualBox Beta incompatible with Leopard

Monday, November 26, 2007

Irving Kanefsky reports the current beta of VirtualBox, a virtualization environment for running Windows on Mac OS X, doesn't work in Mac OS X 10.5:

VirtualBox Beta 2 ran very well on Tiger. It was fast and very polished for a beta. It of course was incomplete. Now that I upgraded to Leopard, it does not work at all on my MacBook Pro. It seemed to run faster than VMware Fusion and Parallels and probably would be my choice if it could work in Leopard.

If you've seen this problem

Another report of VirtualBox crashing in Leopard

Monday, December 10, 2007

Simone Zoffoli in Bologna, Italy, is a second reader to report VirtualBox Beta 2 crashing in Leopard:

When I'm lucky it crash on the boot of the virtual machine, if not it crashes when it starts up.

VirtualBox is prerelease virtualization software that can run Windows on Macs.

For more on this topic, see our VirtualBox beta Tips and Reports page.

More reports of VirtualBox Beta2 and Leopard

Monday, December 17, 2007

Two more readers report that VirtualBox Beta2 virtual machine software is incompatible with Leopard:

Sekou Abodunrin notes that the guest OS doesn't matter:

I have just upgraded my tiger to leopard. VirtualBox keeps crashing irrespective of the guest OS I try to install on it.

Glenn Dixon:

VirtualBox and Leopard -- no go. Had the same problem here: turned off all extra services, no audio, no network, etc. Could not get XP virtual machine to finish loading before crashing.

VirtualBox still silent on Leopard; more incompatibility reports

Friday, January 4, 2008

Two more fans of VirtualBox for Mac OS X Beta report that it doesn't work in Leopard. VirtualBox is virtual machine software for Mac OS X. (See our VirtualBox Tips and Reports page for more.) The VirtualBox web site still doesn't mention Leopard, though there was a recent update for the Windows version.

Markus Müller describes the symptoms:

I just updated to Leopard 10.5. VirtualBox 1.4.1 Beta2 ran under Tiger with hardly any crashes, now I get unexpected quitting.

In more detail: First start of VirtualBox after booting. It "Quits unexpectedly." Selecting "relaunch" brings up the main VirtualBox window.

Starting one of the virtual machines brings the black screen, then the message "starting the virtual machine," then unexpected quit of the VM Selecting "relaunch" shows no visible result. However, now there are two instances of VirtualBox shown running. But the virtual machines do not start.

Sometimes, VirtualBox doesn't even start (hangs before displaying the main window).

Nevertheless: VirtualBox is a great product!

Eduard Prats Molner in Berlin, Germany:

Hello, mine crashes too. I would like to know if someone has actually a positive experience. Really sad, I love VirtualBox!

Linux/VirtualBox Beta 3 networking problem in Leopard

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Botond Orbán has a problem with the last version of the VirtualBox running Linux. Virtual Box is an open source virtualization environment. Orbán said:

I have tried Virtual Box 1.5.51 on Leopard. I struggled a lot to make the network working on an Ubuntu guest OS without any success.

If you have a suggestion

TIP: fix for Virtual Box Linux networking in Mac OS X

Friday, March 7, 2008

Botond Orbán sent in the solution for a problem he was having with networking in Ubuntu Linux running in VirtualBox Beta3 in Mac OS X 10.5.x:

I figured out what happened. The DNS was set incorrectly by the Ubuntu guest on Virtual Box. I found this spread across on different Ubuntu and VB forums.

Report on VirtualBox and secure Linux

Monday, August 4, 2008

Thomas Wantz doesn't use Macs, but does use the Linux version of VirtualBox to run another Linux in a virtual machine:

I have been using VirtualBox for a year now. I use 64-bit SuSE 10.1 as a host, and 32-bit SuSE 10.1 as a guest. I do all of this for security purposes, as I put the entire VBox application inside an Apparmor MAC [mandatory access control] profile, which provides me with superb security.

(Apparmor is security software for Linux.) If you've used VirtualBox for Mac what you think of it.

(See also Sun Hopes to Take VirtualBox Mainstream.)

Reader report on VirtualBox 1.6.2 and 1.6.4: speed good, but not with graphics | Top of Page |

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mars Sjoden is happy with Sun's free VirtualBox virtualization software. It runs Windows quickly on his Mac, though not with 3D graphics. He also had some problems with shared folders and bridged networking:

I have been watching VirtualBox for a few months now, and decided to jump in at Version 1.6.2. I have used Parallels and VMWare Fusion extensively for 3 years now on my Mac's in production scenarios.

Initial impressions of VirtualBox 1.6.2 running an XP SP3 Guest, was, "Wow, this is fast!" VirtualBox is by far and away the most efficient Virtualization software on the Macintosh, and feels very close to native performance. (Parallels advertises native performance but comparably feels like a slug, VMWare is only slightly better IMO.)

However, that speed does not carry over to 3D performance as there is still no virtualization/pass-through to the graphics card.

There were certainly some problems with shared folders in version 1.6.2 which required installing the Guest Additions, (like Parallels Tools and VMWare Tools) numerous times.

As of version 1.6.4 the Virtual Machine is rock solid and I have been working hard, with GIS, databases, spreadsheets for 10 days now with no issues at all.

It should be noted that at this time there is no support for Bridged Networking however from what I understand it will be rolled out soon in version 1.6.6.

The community is very active and helpful, support is very knowledgeable as is the case in most Open Source projects.

At this point VirtualBox meets my production needs, and is the best choice for my lab versus Boot Camp, Parallels, and VMWare Fusion solely on performance needs, and stability issues have been met nicely.

Reader is optimistic about VirtualBox

Monday, September 15, 2008

Terry Hunt has tried Sun's free xVM VirtualBox virtualization software for Mac and other host platforms. He sent a report:

I have found VirtualBox to be both easy on system resources and relatively easy to use. The shared folders not found in VMware server is also a plus. I look forward to a "VMotion" type feature in the future which should drive down the cost ESX server which my company also utilizes. I use it on Ferdora 9 and have Solaris, and Windows XP running in virtual machines.

Xinerama support for multiple desktops in seemless mode and automatic bridge networking will also be a welcome relief of some minor though greatly annoying tasks.

Time will tell if Virtual Box will be stable enough for mission critical CPU and Memory intensive applications though it seems well on it's way.

For more, see our VirtualBox Reports page.

Reader reports on VirtualBox, mixed success

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ian Orchard in New Zealand reports that Sun's free VirtualBox virtualization software isn't as easy to use as other virtualization packages might be. He describes his successes and failures:

I've installed Win XP on VirtualBox and Leopard on my MacBook, twice. Both times with only a few stumbles and fiddles. It's not something I'd expect Granny to undertake, or 95 percent of the population in general. It is working well although I haven't figured out how to share files between XP and OS X. I've created documents in XP and saved them to all the likely locations, but neither Spotlight or EasyFind have been able to trace them. I've also been unable to connect to a printer, in spite of installing Bonjour for Windows. To be fair, it's asking a bit much to track down an AppleTalking HP Laserjet 2200 on the network or a shared Canon 750 that is connected to an elderly iMac, both via Airport Extreme. I'll try connecting directly via USB.

VirtualBox had no problems at all finding the WiFi connection, that part was spooky. I downloaded and installed Firefox, Avast antivirus, Service Pack 3 and Adobe Reader without any particular problems, but OMG, XP is a dog of an OS?

If you've tried the latest version of VirtualBox

Reader reports VirtualBox 2.2.2 installation issues, good speed

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dan Foster reports that the most recent build of Sun's free VirtualBox was difficult to install, has a problem with an anti-virus program, but performance is good:

I installed VirtualBox 2.2.2 on my early 2008 Mac Pro last weekend under 10.5.6 and now 10.5.7. It was my first experience with VirtualBox. Outcome: installation was more difficult than it should be owing to lapses in the product manual. Once installed, with Guest Additions (also a cumbersome install) it was snappy running Windows XP. It was, in fact, much snappier than my Fusion VM. To be fair, I imported a Boot Camp installation as my Fusion guest, while I used the actual XP install disk to create a fresh guest in VirtualBox. Don't know how performance would compare if I had used actual XP install media inside Fusion. That aside, my one critical Windows program - Qimage - opens in 5 seconds under VirtualBox 2.2.2 compared with up to 2 minutes under Fusion. And I'm having fewer printer issues too. So far, a nice improvement over Fusion.

However, VirtualBox choked big time with my BitDefender 2009 anti-virus app. Trying to scan or update the app locks the VM up solid. A known issue apparently, from what I could Google.

If you've used Sun VMware Fusion 2.2.2 what you think of it.

More reader feedback on Virtual Box 2.2.2: problems and good experiences

Monday, June 1, 2009

Two more readers sent reports on the latest Mac version of Sun's VirtualBox virtualization software.

David Iwanicki has an unusual setup. He's running a Dell notebook hacked with Mac OS X, then using Virtual Box to run Windows 7 Beta. (There are directions on how create a "Hackintosh" on a Dell notebook here.) He's also running VirtualBox on a real Mac. He has problems with both:

I'm running VirtualBox 2.2.2 on my Dell Mini 9 Hackintosh (2GB RAM, Dell 64GB SSD, 10.5.7, DellEFI 1.2b5). I had no issues installing Windows 7 RC as a guest OS (from the .iso disk image) and it runs very, very well. I have not been able to install either the Desktop or Netbook Remix versions of Ubuntu 9.0.4 as a guest OS, however - the VM boots as expected thru the "BIOS" screen, but fails to find bootable media, no matter what configuration I try with the .iso/.img files, or USB stick. I've burnt 9.0.4 Desktop to a DVD, and may try that this weekend, using a USB DVD drive.

I've also tried VirtualBox 2.2.2 on a Mac Pro, attempting to use the Open Virtualization Format support to import a known good VMware Fusion 2.0.4 XP Guest. It will boot after nearly a half hour in Safe Mode, but always hangs at the Windows XP splash if I try to boot the guest normally. Disappointed with these results, as VirtualBox does seem faster and I was hoping to use it to replace VMware at work.

If you've seen these problems with VirtualBox 2.2.2

Wayne Folta has had a better experience:

Installed without a hitch. So far, I've loaded Windows XP, Windows Vista, and the latest Ubuntu Linux, and they all work great on my first-generation Intel MacBook Pro. In fact, my laptop's internal drive is so full, all the virtual disks, etc, are on an external FireWire drive. (Which of course means I can't use them on the road, only at my desk, but that works for me, for now.)

I've got a computer science background, so can't totally comment on how the install would go for someone without that kind of experience, but on the other hand I've never used any virtualization software and it went pretty smoothly. I did run into a problem where a virtual CD image would not unmount, so I could not install additions, but eventually I got it to "eject" properly and everything worked.

I also once managed to delete a snapshot when I thought I was deleting a follow-on snapshot and falling back to the earlier one.

On the other hand, I installed the driver for an older USB-serial adapter (in XP) and also some software that used that to access a glucose meter to download blood sugar readings, and it worked perfectly. I guess I'm a little naive, but I was amazed that it worked perfectly without weird driver issues.

The shared folder if a little flakey for me -- I won't always see things in it from the Windows side, and it likes to have its default name and not what I named it -- but it does effectively pass files Windows to the Mac side. Networking, including wireless, works fine. Ubuntu actually has a rather nice software update, too. I highly recommend it.

Current news on the MacWindows home page.

Reports on VirtualBox 3.0

Reader says VirtualBox 3.0 is fast

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chris Guest shared his experience with the recently released Sun VirtualBox 3.0 virtualization software:

I have installed VirtualBox 3.0 on a Mac Mini 2.26Ghz, 320GB hard drive. I installed Windows XP Pro, Office 2007 Enterprise, and Norton Internet Security. I allocated 2Gb RAM to VirtualBox, with 20Gb virtual hard drive.

In comparison with my wife's Toshiba Satellite Pro A200 (Core2Duo 1.6Ghz) laptop (also running XP Pro), VirtuaBox feels 'snappier' than the Toshiba. Apart from that, the Mac Mini experience is no different than running a native PC.

I also have CrossOver Mac Professional 8.0 - which will not run MS Access, MS Groove, nor MS Infopath - so from that perspective, VirtualBox is the better bet if your require these particular applications.

If you've used VirtualBox 3.0

VirtualBox runs in Snow Leopard 64-bit

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Andy Jackson reports running Sun's VirtualBox virtualization software in Snow Leopard 64-bit mode. He even ran a 64-bit guest OS:

I downloaded and installed Sun's VitrualBox while in 64 bit mode! It works. I then downloaded and installed Ubuntu 9.04 64-bit inside of VirtualBox. It works too. It is updating as I type this. I checked VitrualBox under system profiler and it was listed as a 64-bit app. So far I have not encountered a problem while I have been booted into 64-bit mode.

If you've used VirtualBox in Snow Leopard

Reader report on VirtualBox 3.1 and Teleportation | Top of Page |

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chuck Tryon sent a report on the new VirtualBox 3.1 release, particularly the Teleportation feature, which enables you to move a virtual machine while it is running:

I was just looking around for some pointers regarding VBox 3.1, which I JUST downloaded and installed today, largely because of the "Teleportation" feature. I've been using it for quite some time on a Linux host, mostly to run a Windows VM, but also for testing things.

One BIG consideration to mention is the fact that you need to have the same basic VM defined on both the target and the host, and more important, they must share the same storage, either through NFS, CIFS, iSCSI or some similar technology. This is actually similar to the VMware "vmotion" capability. In a production environment, this would basically mean using a central iSCSI server for your VM storage, which isn't really all that difficult, but is another step to figure out. (There are Linux based iSCSI appliances out there that you can download and set up.)

If you've used VirtualBox 3.1

Current news at MacWindows home

Reader report on VirtualBox 3.1.2 maintenance update on Snow Leopard

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sam is happy with Sun's recent update to VirtualBox, a free virtualization application:

I've been running VirtualBox 3.1.2 on two Snow Leopard machines (one MacBook that is 64-bit capable and an Intel iMac that is only 32-bit) for a few weeks with no major issues. I do recall some flaky behavior, but nothing major.

what you think of VirtualBox and the recent updates. For more of our coverage of VirtualBox, see VirtualBox Tips and Reports.

Current news at MacWindows home

Reader report: VirtualBox, VMware Fusion on a "Hackintosh"

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Johnny QQ has an interesting multi-OS setup: A Dell PC hacked to run Mac OS X, running VirtualBox and VMware Fusion. We would advise that his experience with the two virtualization tools likely don't translate to the experience on an Apple Mac. Still, it is an interesting setup:

I have been running VirtualBox 3.1.6. r5935 and Fusion 2.0 for 7-8 months on my Hackintosh OSX 10.5.8 Dell DXP9150 4GB RAM. Fusion 2.0 seems to run Win XP slower than VB and tried upgrading Fusion to 3.0 and found it to be even much slower than 2.0 leaving me to downgrade back to 2.0. The only issue with VB is USB integration and drag and drop. Though I could live without the drag and drop, USB support is vital. Initially I thought the USB integration on VirtualBox was an issue only with the first version 2. But problem persist even after latest update 3.1.6.r5935. Not sure if the USB issue is attributed to it being a Hackintosh or not, or if it is a normal issue with VB. In any case, VirtualBox is fantastic, its much snappier than Fusion and very little effects on the overall Mac's speed, unlike Fusion.

Of course, Johnny QQ doesn't have a real Mac, so your mileage may vary.

Current news at MacWindows home

Reader says VirtualBox on Snow Leopard not running 64-bit OS's

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Louis Hopcraft reports that VirtualBox isn't listed as a 64-bit app and doesn't run 64-bit guest OS's:

I've been using VirtualBox on Snow leopard for quite a while now, and it's been working great, but I have noticed that under Activity Monitor, Virtualbox is not listed as a 64-bit app. I'm running the latest version for OS X. But when I download a 64-bit OS like kdenlive-x64-20090612.vmdk, it won't boot, and displays the following error: "This kernel requires an x86-64 CPU, but only detected an i686 CPU. Unable to boot - please use a kernel appropriate for your CPU."

In Activity Monitor I noticed that I have quite a few 64-bit apps running.

Comment on this by or by posting a note in our new VirtualBox forum.

Current news at MacWindows home

TIP: Disable sleep to prevent VirtualBox from crashing in Mac OS X

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jonathan Sward discovered that disabling sleep and hibernate in Windows 7 running with VirtualBox fixed a problem of VirtualBox crashing in Mac OS X:

In the last week I have been busy setting myself up on my new 27" iMac with Windows 7 running on VirtualBox 4.02. I had been experiencing frequent crashes (3 or 4+ a day). I just made a discovery thanks to this posting at I have not had a problem since.

If you've seen this problem and tried this fix

Current news at MacWindows home

Reader problem with VirtualBox 4 and Direct3D

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Arnaud is having a problem with Windows 7 Direct3D graphics in VirtualBox on a Mac:

I run VirtualBox to have Direct3D but I can't have virtual guest addition when I'm in safe mode. Why is that? My VirtualBox version is 4.1.3 my computer is MacBook Pro. I followed the directions at this web site.

If you've seen this problem or have a suggestion

Current news at MacWindows home

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