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Does VirtualBox VM Have Much A Future Left?

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  • #81
    I still have all my VMs in Vbox exclusively for the GPU acceleration support. That, and the GTK only UI for KVM is still a cumbersome mess considering you have to manually set up a bunch of permissions. Vbox still has a fantastc Qt interface after all these years.

    At the end of the day, if I'm running servers or anything important in a vm, its in a container anyway. I use VMs to test out other distros and show them off to other people (and I used to use them to run Windows, albeit I haven't touched those in over half a year now). That requires GPU acceleration.

    I think the next major innovation in this space will be a Gallium backend for GPU paravirtualization. So you can either forward Mesa shaders through a knowledgeable pipe, or share the GPU hardware. Surprised the AMD guys aren't working on it, it seems like it would have a lot of market utility for their business partners driving the FOSS development in the first place.

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    • #82
      Originally posted by Maxim Levitsky View Post
      Although the parent poster sure referred to run a separate VM, but on vmware nested virtualization is somewhat possible

      This is what I did for amusement.

      Heh, nice nesting. I tried out a classic VM guest today too.

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      • #83
        I've used both VirtualBox and qemu heavily.
        VirtualBox definitely has a better GUI, but libvirt is getting better all the time. The only thing it needs is better graphics support, but since libvirt is designed to allow management of the VM from a different computer to the host system, features that would break that model aren't a high priority for them.

        The other issue is that the VirtualBox kernel modules are known for their terrible quality - they're the only FOSS modules which taint the kernel

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        • #84
          Nice, I've never seen the 95 beta before. Such a mismash between 3.11 and 95.

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          • #85
            Originally posted by elapsed View Post
            The only thing I need from VirtualBox is them to lift the dumb VRAM limit.

            I want to run Windows in a VM for games, and I'm not really interested in installing WINE. VirtualBox isn't a solution with the VRAM limit. GPUs are coming with 4GB+ of VRAM these days and games are using more and more.

            I think the limit was something ridiculous like 256MB. Totally useless and the main reason why I still have to (annoyingly) dual boot Windows, and as a result, spend a lot more time in Windows than I'd like, because of the annoyance of rebooting.
            Giving you more VRAM won't help you at all. Even if you give the VM 4GB of VRAM, the virtual GPU still lacks the features and the power to run modern games. The only way around this limitation is to pass the videocard through to the VM.

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            • #86
              Originally posted by MoonMoon View Post
              Giving you more VRAM won't help you at all. Even if you give the VM 4GB of VRAM, the virtual GPU still lacks the features and the power to run modern games. The only way around this limitation is to pass the videocard through to the VM.
              Hmm. How does one accomplish this in VBox?

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              • #87
                Originally posted by elapsed View Post
                Hmm. How does one accomplish this in VBox?
                I don't think vbox supports GPU passthrough.

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                • #88
                  Originally posted by duby229 View Post
                  I don't think vbox supports GPU passthrough.
                  EDIT: and also as far as I'm aware, you have to have a second video card to pass through, you can't pass through the video card the host is using. qemu with KVM supports this.

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                  • #89
                    Originally posted by michael-vb View Post
                    ...I think there must be some confusion here, there are definitely more than four of us! I think reports of our death must have been slightly, should I say, exaggerated? I won't go into too any detail, but as one commenter said, take a look at our svn log to see what we are working on. Hope you will enjoy the results!
                    You are all playing a dirty trick, using a group pseudonym named "vboxsync". This is all corporate obscurity, not a proper Open Source way. This isn't part of the Open Source Community, you are all mercenaries coding for your lords.

                    And this product is dual licensed, CDDL and GPL. Are you still using that Trojan from the Sun days?

                    I hope Oracle gets destroyed as soon as possible and a proper Virtualbox alternative appears. KVM looks promising, but needs a more mature SPICE and a GUI that doesn't suck.

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                    • #90
                      Originally posted by Nelson View Post
                      VirtualBox has a fairly complete API for programmatically creating environments. libvirt nicely replaces most of that though. It doesn't seem like it should need a ton of work, it's always been a little rough, IMO, it's heavier than VMWare.

                      Are people leaving it because it's not updating every 3 weeks? Or is it not updating every 3 weeks because fewer people use it?
                      As I told, for me KVM is clean winner due to being built-in feature of Linux. Also, if I need one-shot VM to try some advanced setups, and is is not a group of identical VMs, easiest and fastest thing is to launch VM instance from command line, giving all options I need by entering command line. QEMU got load of options, so its possible to configure VMs very precisely in direct way. Yet, I do not have to resort to hardcore programming for such one-shot tasks. But sure, libvirt is good to have on my side, too.

                      Then KVM got another obvious advantage: it is good to run Linux on Linux (to provide extra separation/area for system experiments which can break OS). Linux kernel of most distros inherently supports "better" KVM drivers ("virtio"). Which are working much faster than fully-emulated virtual hardware. In most other cases you'll need some "additions", "tools" and other custom crap. But when you run Linux on Linux, guest usually well aware how to use these better interfaces WITHOUT any extra tools installation. So guest runs at decent speed you expect from modern VM solution without messing with installing "additions".

                      Also, virtualization is on rise. If someone fails to find any new feature to add... this likely indicates their project got some serious issues. Since Oracle is well known for screwing up MySQL (forked as MariaDB) and OpenOffice (forked as LibreOffice), I have reasons to think VBox is about to face similar fate, too. Except nobody from Linux side would bother self to fork when there is already KVM in mainline Linux kernel. And KVM got a lot of traction - just google something like "cheap VDS", "cheap VPS", "cheap cloud VM" and get idea: yeah, this technology is not going to disappear anyhow soon and got serious market demand. Not something Vbox can afford.

                      I simply fail to understand why someone would use VBox. Can it do something better than competitors? For me it looks like if Oracle mostly abandoned project and there was no community to continue development either (unlike in case with MySQL or LibreOffice).

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