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The VirtualBox Kernel Driver Is Tainted Crap

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  • #31
    It's not hard to find Linux users having a troublesome VirtualBox experience.
    It's also not hard to find Linux users having a troublesome experience with the graphics drivers. A lot of the things (random memory corruption, weird crashes, lock-ups) in this article also apply to the open graphics drivers. Are they also going to be marked as 'tainted crap' ?

    I can't help but to think that there's some politics involved here. Red Hat vs. Oracle, and Michael also throwing in VMWare closed source crap in the article.

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    • #32
      I prefer VMware to VirtualBox any day of the week, especially in enterprise (Workstation kind of enterprise) deployments. I would never even consider using VirtualBox in any sort of environment that required any sort of quality so to speak (servers, workstation). I use VMware Workstation on workstations (Yes, on Linux too). It might be proprietary but that's not the end of the world tbh, as I'd rather it work than be open source. If it was truly open like something like Qemu + Xen/KVM that would be a very different story (XenServer being by far my favorite server virtualization platform). The only reason VirtualBox even exists still is because it's the only good free virtual desktop solution on windows. The people who use virtualization for any real purposes (as in not hobby) use pretty much anything else. Hobbyists make up for such a small amount of anything that it's safe to say VirtualBox is in fact a tainted piece of crap.

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      • #33
        I find it ironic that the patch comes from a Red Hat developer as they have an expensive virtualization themselves. I have been using virtualvox with success for some years now. We also use it at work to run development machines. Those are heavy loaded guests and we see close to double the performance we got from whatever vmware crap version was before it. Actually pretty much every complaint users wrote above about VirtualBox applied to us in vmware and was *cured* by virtualbox. So the conclusion is simple, there is no "one size fits all" when it comes to virtualization

        I'm pretty sure that any virtualization solution will induce issues depending on kernel options and versions used. It seems to me that what they did was to take personal opinions & frustrations too far.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by nepwk View Post
          The guest additions have been a big no-no in Linux for about a year or so. Virtualbox-ose works well for me, and the Windows guest additions work well, but I don't even waste my time on the Linux guest additions anymore.
          I would be interested if you could elaborate a bit. If you think it is too off-topic for this thread, you could also use e.g. the vbox-users-community@lists.sourceforge.net mailing list (I will answer there).

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          • #35
            Originally posted by michael-vb View Post
            Just a quick(ish) comment as a member of the VirtualBox development team. I have only used VMWare a couple of times, so I won't comment on them or on comparisons to them (though I see that there are enough people with strong opinions in either direction, so I suspect there is an element of one failed to work as well as the other in some given situation). I do think though that Dave was a bit quick with name calling when he started the LKML thread. If you read his first post, it starts "The number of bug reports we get from people with virtualbox loaded are truly astonishing." Given that our kernel module is usually loaded when our software is installed, even if it is not currently in use, it is hardly surprising that people occasionally have kernel oopses when the module is present. I'm sure that some are related to our module (particularly as many people still use old versions with known issues), but assuming that even a large minority are is quite a jump.

            Other than that, I'm very sorry that VirtualBox didn't fit all previous posters needs. Obviously there is always a bit of pressure between being conservative with new features and still providing the features everyone (and our customers!) want. I realise that IOMMU is still work in progress and that USB is not always problem-less (USB devices tend to be finicky creatures, just ask some of the people writing drivers for device classes!). Those wanting less features and more stability might note that we are still maintaining the 4.0 and 3.2 series. And people having issues with some particular kernel setup should note that we are open source and accept patches
            Oh, but I use it too and I like it very much. Keep up the good work.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by not.sure View Post
              For that, I found qemu-kvm a much better choice. Sure, doesn't have a nice native gui, but once it's set up, it works forever.
              I actually found that libvirt with it's virt-manager fills that gap quite nicely.

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              • #37
                I work at a large finance company. I virtualized a big financial system onto a Linux VM, using VMware. We traveled to other countries to demonstrate the system - it crashed. Our system costs like 50 million USD, an it crashed in front of top guns in finance. It was no fun. I have now filed a support issue at VMware.

                I dont say that VB is more stable, I am only saying that VMware is not really stable either.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by nepwk View Post
                  The guest additions have been a big no-no in Linux for about a year or so. Virtualbox-ose works well for me, and the Windows guest additions work well, but I don't even waste my time on the Linux guest additions anymore.
                  I've tried virtualbox with guest additions on a opensuse guest running on top of an ubuntu host and it worked fine. Opensuse does come with the guest additions installed on live images so they must be testing it and making sure it works properly.

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                  • #39
                    I've had my share of vbox issues too, and prefer KVM. OTOH, KVM has caused a kernel panic too a couple times (on the host).

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                    • #40
                      Very generic and surprising criticism.

                      When did the linux kernel community get so exclusive? Virtualbox is an open source project with accessible and friendly developers. What is the point of being open if nobody cares to reach out to you?

                      I never used VMware so it might be that it is a better (closed source) product, but at least I'm happy running Virtualbox on Ubuntu, Windows XP, MacOSX and Solaris without any major hassle, which is great because I rely on it for my daily work. That is far from 'crap' unless you consider most anything crap and you end up living in a world of shit.

                      I hope RedHat honors the open source spirit and shares the bug reports and proposed solutions to the Virtualbox team for the greater good of most everyone.

                      /K

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                      • #41
                        Hi all,
                        we use Virtualbox 3.x branch on a CentOS 5 server since 3 years and we had zero problem with this setup. This server virtualizes about 10 virtual machines and at least 3 guests are heavy utilized (2 of them are Windows AD Controllers/fileserver and 1 is a Linux mailserver running Postfix).

                        While I can not directly comment on module quality of the new 4.x branch, I run some heavy benchmark on Virtualbox 4.0 and I didn't notice any instabilities. As a side note, performance wise it was mostly on-par with KVM (link: http://www.ilsistemista.net/index.ph...on-rhel-6.html).

                        So this position from the kernel community seems a bit strange to me...

                        Regards.

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                        • #42
                          So VMware has a free solution with all or more of the same features as VirtualBox? If so, please link I'd like to check it out.

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                          • #43
                            Linux-kvm ftw

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                            • #44
                              Anyone know the status of KVM usb pass through support? Specifically at USB 2.0 transfer speeds. I googled around a little but could not find a definitive answer if it's implemented reliably or not.

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                              • #45
                                Do they give it 5 pedobears rating?

                                Because it deserves a 10 pedobear rating.

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