Thursday, October 30, 2008

VirtualBox on the Mac now runs VHD, and supports Host Interface Networking

Updated 5 Nov 2008: Problem with compressed VHDs

It has been some time since I've installed VirtualBox on my Mac. I've written a post here on my experience previously.

VirtualBox has made some improvements for the Mac platform since then. Now host interface networking is available, meaning that I would be able to talk to my VM from my Mac since my VM has its own IP address. That would be useful if I need to run Oracle Express database for example.

The recent VirtualBox v2.04 has also just resolved the VHD problem. The previous versions of VirtualBox has a problem with VHD bigger than 4GB. I have successfully run a VHD of about 10GB by Microsoft using the latest VirtualBox. Not only that, I find that restoring snapshots seems to be quicker using this latest version. Hmm...

To use the VHD, refer to my previous post here. Under the section of Create a New Boot Harddisk, just select the VHD file instead. There was only one problem I've encountered with the VHD (Windows 2003 server). It seems that the guest additions do not work on the VHD, or it does not work on Windows 2003 server. It causes the Windows 2003 server to crash after I installed the guest additions.

Anyway that aside, it's easier now to demo on my Mac. And best of all... It's free. :)
Looks like I spoke too soon. I have tried out 2 VHDs from Microsoft on VirtualBox. Only 1 of them managed to start up. Both of them are writethrough VHDs. Once I rebooted, the Windows 2003 server gave a harddisk error. This leads me to believe that there's something wrong with VirtualBox's way of writing to the harddisk on VHD writethroughs.

Looks like I have to wait longer in order for me to use VirtualBox to demo VHDs.

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