New Version of VirtualBox

is a great virtualization program similar to VMWare or VirtualPC except it is open source (and recently acquired by Sun, by the way). What’s cool about VirtualBox is that it has “additions” for the guest OS that really makes cursor and video management work well. For example, right now I have Kubuntu (the KDE version of Ubuntu) running on my right hand screen (full screen) watching a Youtube video. On the left I have my Windows host operating system. I can move the mouse between screens as though it was just one single computer (although I wish they’d integrate the Alt+Tab key combo — when you Alt+tab into Linux you get “stuck” until you use the mouse.

Youtube is sort of my standard test for virtualization. It won’t be as good as watching it on the host OS, but playing a flash video in a browser is a pretty good stress test for the audio and video virtualization. The new VirtualBox does just fine — even full screen works pretty good. Of course, VirtualBox also supports USB and serial device virtualizaton which is key for a lot of what I do. On the other hand, VirtualBox lacks some 64 bit support and doesn’t make good use of my multiprocessors (would love to dedicate one CPU to Linux).

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