For those curious whether the forthcoming Oracle VirtualBox 4.2 virtualization platform delivers on any performance enhancements, at least as it pertains to Linux virtualization, here are some quick benchmarks.
Many Phoronix readers have written in asking about new VirtualBox benchmarks for the forthcoming VirtualBox 4.2 release, especially following the recent Phoronix articles showing how VMware's graphics stack for OpenGL on virtualized guests beats VirtualBox and also how VMware Fusion generally has an advantage over VirtualBox in other workloads too. I will have more benchmarks once VirtualBox 4.2 is officially released, while for this weekend are just 4.1 vs. 4.2 benchmark results for a lone Intel Linux system.
The VirtualBox 4.2 OpenGL guest graphics performance continues to be a wreck, so those results were omitted from this article. The tests of VirtualBox 4.2 RC1 for this article are mostly focused upon the CPU performance and to some extent the virtualized disk performance. Between VirtualBox 4.1.20 and VirtualBox 4.2 RC1, the same virtual machine was used with the same VM settings being used between releases. The matching version of the VirtualBox Guest Tools was installed for the respective release. Besides comparing VirtualBox 4.1.20 to 4.2 RC1 on this Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" system, there's also the performance numbers when running the benchmarks "bare metal" on the CompuLab Intense-PC itself. The guest and host OS was Ubuntu 12.04 LTS with all available updates.
Some Phoronix readers may have noticed that VMware Fusion 5.0 was recently released, that too will be benchmarked in a future article especially with VMware claiming to have delivered more performance improvements to this compelling but proprietary and non-free virtualization software product.