This tutorial has Jeff Schroeder and Aaron Toponce to thank for their tips and prodding to try VirtualBox again. Thanks guys… now if one of us can just document simpler proper network bridging we’d be in good shape!
I’ve previously written on how to install VMware Server on Ubuntu 7.10, install VMware Server on Ubuntu 7.04 and install VMware Tools, but installing VirtualBox has a few of its own benefits. One, it is actually Open Source / Free Software whereas VMware is freeware. This is very important to a lot of people, myself included. When possible I prefer to run the “Free Stuff” vs the lock-in, trade-secrets, we-don’t-get-how-open-source-can-save-us stuff. VirtualBox will do that for us. It has also been found that VirtualBox can be faster than VMware Server in many cases. I haven’t done any direct side-by-side comparisons, but many of the articles that I have read refer to this. If anyone is able to do some direct testing I would be interested in hearing about it.
Installing VirtualBox Open Source Edition
Update: If you are running the final release of Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” you can cut down these steps as a pack of the modules are already built. Use the following:
You can now skip to step #3 below.
One of the benefits of running the Open Source Edition is that we get to compile it for our machines. This should lead to a bit better performance and, again, we’ll be rid of the binary blobs. We’ll need to install the following:
We’ll then use module-assistant to prepare the kernel modules for our Virtualbox installation:
- sudo m-a prepare
- sudo m-a a-i virtualbox-ose
- sudo usermod -G vboxusers -a username (your username)
- sudo chmod 666 /dev/vboxdrv (this is only done to avoid a logout/login for the group-change to take effect)
You are now ready to launch VirtualBox. You can launch it from the command line using the virtualbox command.
I will be writing a few follow-up posts on configuring bridged networking and guest-additions for better performance within the guests.
If you’re not familiar, currently the NAT setup in VirtualBox means that your guest machines can get out, but nothing else can connect in. To use this viably for any type of guest-based-server we need bridging. I’ll be hacking together some steps for that soon.