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May 1, 2009

Playing with Virtual Box

With my work begining on JDK 7, I went to download the latest version and realized I need to build the JDK from source. This seems like a perfect opportunity to give Virtual Box a try on OS X. I decided Ubuntu would be the best guest operating system to run, so I downloaded the software and and installed it.

To help me out I found this article on installing Ubuntu 9.04 on Virtual Box. Well everything worked great until I got to the part where I need to boot off the installer CDROM. When I tried to do that, I got this error: No Bootable Medium Found. So Googling around I found this support article which identified the fact it wasn't a problem with my boot disk. After a little sniffing around I found that you have to enable "Passthrough" for you CDROM drive for the boot disc to work. After doing that, the VM started up fine and I was installing! Yay!

The installation went very smooth. When you are done everything works, but the VM screen resolution was only 800x600. Virtual Box has a set of tools for fixing this sort of thing up like VMWare. But instead of being call the Virtual Box Tools, they are the Virtual Box Additions. Different name, same thing as VMware tools. However, the installer for this is much, much better than the VMWare tools. I just ran one script, and everything is installed. This was much easier than my last experience with VMWare and Ubuntu. Anyway, after the reboot, everything worked fine. The screen resolution is much better and the mouse no longer gets captured in the VM. The CPU utilization seems a tad higher then VMWare, but other than that, getting things up and running was pretty easy. I'm looking forward to playing around more.

Note: For full disclosure, I am an employee of Sun Microsystems which owns Virtual Box.

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