VirtualBox 3.0: No More Booting Windows

Jul 01, 2009

VirtualBox 3.0, with its improved 3D support, can ensure that some users won't need to boot Windows even when gaming.

With its version 3.0 of VirtualBox, Innotek/Sun/Oracle made a significant step forward. End users will probably like the 3D graphics support the most: you can now run Ubuntu with Compiz. The new version brings enhancements and support for OpenGL 2.0.

Almost more interesting is a Windows feature: the virtualization software now supports Direct3D 8/9. With OpenGL and Direct3D on board, it's theoretically possible to run Windows with all your favorite games on a virtual box. If the games normally run well and error-free on existing systems, Linux users can from now on spare themselves the obligatory Windows boot. Finally, VirtualBox fixes a few 3D support bugs involving rendering and memory leaks.

Linux users will also appreciate the improved USB support that, according to the changelog, allows running webcams and other USB devices on the virtual machine. SUSE Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11 now runs as a Linux guest and PXE boots show a marked performance increase. Shared Folders also had some file permission and timestamp errors removed.

Running the new VirtualBox requires deinstalling the old package and installing 3.0 from the download webpage.

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  • Wine?

    >Can anyone explain to me what a virtual machine does that Wine can't?

    I never got Wine to run anything but one piece of old game software. The applications usually crash due to missing dll files, simply crash, or do not even install. No such problems with VirtualBox, everything just works.
  • usefullness of virtual mashines for private use

    The most interesting point about virtual mashines at home is to replace maschines in your home, for example:

    Network Monitoring.

    Since you can store the virtual-mashine-drives on hidden encrypted containers, so you have space to do stuff that actually isn't tracable by forensic analysing your regular operating system.

    Virtual mashines are useful if you want to check out what malicious viruses or anything else do.

    Short: VMs and Sun's VirtualBox is essential damn important stuff.
  • Works for me

    I've been running Windows as a virtual machine for years now- starting with Win98 running under the incomparable Win4Lin 9x, moving to VMWare server (when I had to move to XP), and now Virtual Box (2.2 on up to 3).
    I've got to say, while I didn't see any improvement for my use in the switch between 2.X and 3, it was painless, and- for me at least- runs much *much* faster than VMWare did.
    I've had zero problems installing virtual machines, from Ubuntu to Win7 RC (base OS is Debian Lenny x86_64.
  • Hmm ... what exactly is the point of virtualization for end-users?

    Can anyone explain to me what a virtual machine does that Wine can't? Unless it's running (and booting !) a full-fledged copy of Windows in that virtual machine?
  • virtualbox and detached machines

    virtualbox can handle detached machines! read the manual...
  • VB 3.0 does in fact support 3D

    I installed ubuntu with compiz running after installing guest additions, and it worked. It is still instable but a major step forward. Thank you VirtualBox.
  • @ Axel

    Axel, if you're comparing VirtualBox to ESX Server I think you're comparing apples to oranges.

    VirtualBox is not meant to be a data center virtualization solution. It is desktop virtualization -- i.e. a user brings up a virtual machine to do something, 99% of the time he's there interacting with that machine the entire time it is running. Then the user shuts the virtual machine down when he's done.

    That being said, you can start machines via command line so if you really wanted to create an init.d script to bring them up. But doing that requires just a bit of reading, which is often beyond the skillset of today's users.
  • Re: 3d not really fast

    You need to install guest additions in safe mode and then enable direct3d, it will work then (check the manual).
  • VirtualBox 2.x does not meet the Basic needs or virtualisation...

    a few months ago ive tested the last VirtualBox version. Compared to VMWARE Server 2.01 and ESX it realy sucked!! not even the BASICS been solved. Like create a VM with the GUI, install some os and then just "DETACH" from it, keeping it up running in the background is just IMPOSSIBLE in VB 2.x - totaly crap i would say. So what happened in VB3 ? got any further ?
  • 3D support is not very fast.

    While there is support for 3D with DirectX, the speed is too slow to run most games. As an example I tried to run Warcraft, a game from 2002, will all settings on low on a GeForce 8800GTS and was getting < 1 FPS.
  • No more booting windows?

    Rather: Still booting Windows, but only in vbox blunk
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