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Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?

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  • Virtualbox's BIOS disk support is bad

    I did some work running DOS programs in Virtualbox recently, and can say its int 13h BIOS emulation is riddled with bugs. Some BIOS disk support functions are not implemented. The BIOS does not catch errors reported to the drive and pass them on to DOS programs. Even worse, on drives greater than 2.2TB reads and writes don't even make it out to the drive (I think it's because their BIOS emulation doesn't support drives that big though actual BIOSes have since 2003). They end with some kind of internal error that gets logged but not passed on to the DOS program.

    While there isn't much of a need for DOS emulation and BIOS calls these days, it shows that the program needs a lot of work. I did submit a minor bug report to Virtualbox, and when you log onto their bug tracking system it says there are thousands of outstanding bugs and don't expect your bug report to be addressed any time soon.

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    • Did you try out dosbox instead? It would most likely be faster than virtualbox and folks

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      • Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
        Did you try out dosbox instead? It would most likely be faster than virtualbox and folks
        DosBox is designed primarily for legacy DOS games; it's not meant to be used as a substitute platform for running legacy DOS productivity software. Getting those to work on it is going to be pure luck.

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        • Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
          DosBox is designed primarily for legacy DOS games; it's not meant to be used as a substitute platform for running legacy DOS productivity software. Getting those to work on it is going to be pure luck.
          It's aimed at dos games hence focus is on performance. Speaking of productive apps, I think there was an effort to get win3.11 running on it years back

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          • Originally posted by darkbasic View Post
            Fast compositing for example?
            Sure, it is "good to have". But neither it really requred to do most kinds of work, nor it good enough for games. So it sounds like some minor/low priority feature, not something groundbreaking at all.

            Originally posted by duby229 View Post
            I wouldn't call it exotic. It makes sense for anyone wishing to play video games on windows through a VM. Right now the only way to do that realistically is to have a second video card, with a second monitor hooked up to that. The only thing I know of that can do it is qemu with KVM.

            EDIT: Even then if you have an Intel CPU that had the Virtualization capabilities gimped, you may be SOL.
            I doubt it is possible to get reasonable performance this way. Stuff like 3D assumes realy huge data flows where each and every operation counts. Virtualization inherently assumes "extra" operations on the way. Passing whole GPU through PCI-E passthrough is probably least evil in this regard. Also as I can see, quite many people here are just using wine and even bother self with quite advanced techniques like gallium nine.

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            • Originally posted by nanonyme View Post
              It's aimed at dos games hence focus is on performance. Speaking of productive apps, I think there was an effort to get win3.11 running on it years back
              "Effort to get win3.11 running"? It runs Windows 95 at the "supported" level:

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              • Well, we use VirtualBox + vagrant a lot at work to get developers who are running Windows, Mac, and Linux hosts up and running quickly with the web-based software that we write (based on jboss, java, and apache and Linux server guests)

                What used to take several days and be very brittle is now a 20 minute process, and allows installing old versions for support purposes with ease.

                Until kvm works on windows and mac (never), we'll be reliant on some other cross-platform virtualization solution.

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                • Originally posted by darkbasic View Post
                  Qemu doesn't support 3d acceleration (with the exception of vga passthrough), so it isn't a viable alternative. Virgil3d seems pretty dead.
                  virgil3d isn't dead at all, there are 3 RH devs hacking around the edges of getting it upstream, its just a large project,

                  https://plus.google.com/104877287288...ts/Uh89CHUyRXr

                  Its mainly waiting on Gerd in upstream qemu to get the basic virtio-gpu into qemu. The renderer is doing GL3.3 and has been in some ways secured.

                  then the libvirt/spice integration needs to be finished, Marc-Andre has added UNIX socket support to SPICE to add this on top off.

                  So lots of little projects need to move forward to get the integrated end product.

                  maybe Fedora 23.
                  Dave.

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                  • Originally posted by airlied View Post
                    virgil3d isn't dead at all, there are 3 RH devs hacking around the edges of getting it upstream, its just a large project,

                    https://plus.google.com/104877287288...ts/Uh89CHUyRXr

                    Its mainly waiting on Gerd in upstream qemu to get the basic virtio-gpu into qemu. The renderer is doing GL3.3 and has been in some ways secured.

                    then the libvirt/spice integration needs to be finished, Marc-Andre has added UNIX socket support to SPICE to add this on top off.

                    So lots of little projects need to move forward to get the integrated end product.

                    maybe Fedora 23.
                    Dave.
                    Thank you for your work on this Dave, that looks very cool (especially when passthrough is not an option...)!

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                    • Originally posted by airlied View Post
                      virgil3d isn't dead at all, there are 3 RH devs hacking around the edges of getting it upstream, its just a large project,

                      https://plus.google.com/104877287288...ts/Uh89CHUyRXr

                      Its mainly waiting on Gerd in upstream qemu to get the basic virtio-gpu into qemu. The renderer is doing GL3.3 and has been in some ways secured.

                      then the libvirt/spice integration needs to be finished, Marc-Andre has added UNIX socket support to SPICE to add this on top off.

                      So lots of little projects need to move forward to get the integrated end product.

                      maybe Fedora 23.
                      Dave.
                      Yes, sounds like the future is almost here. I've been waiting for the future since the past. I'm so excited!

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