Free Virtualization on Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac OS and Software Assistance' started by tomster2300, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. tomster2300

    tomster2300 I like monkeys

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    Does anyone know of free virtualization software for the Mac? Perhaps something open source? I want to run Windows 7 on my Mac, but don't want to have to buy Parallels, nor do I want to dual boot with Bootcamp.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Force Flow

    Force Flow Barefoot on the Moon! Staff Member

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  3. tomster2300

    tomster2300 I like monkeys

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    I found that after I posted. Have you had any experience with it? It says it can only assign one core towards the virtualization instead of two, whereas Parallels can assign multiple. Does that matter with a C2D?

    Thanks!
     
  4. Lespaul20

    Lespaul20

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    What do you plan on virtualizing? Yes, VB will only give the guest OS one virtual CPU but I believe the load is spread on all of the host OS cores. SMC support is supposed to be coming up in a future release. I'm not sure what you mean by it that matters. The limitation only affects what the guest OS sees.

    Keep in mind VB is free and Paralles is not.
     
  5. tomster2300

    tomster2300 I like monkeys

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    Right, I'm currently running Windows 7 on the Parallels free trial and am looking for a free solution. I assumed something open source would be better quality, so I'll definitely check it out. I thought you could spread the load across one or both CPUs, depending on the settings to make it run more smoothly. Say I'm running Windows on my Macbook in order to play a game. I'd want the majority of my CPU to focus on the game.

    That is unless OS X needs the entire focus of one core, then of course manually switching them wouldn't matter.
     
  6. Lespaul20

    Lespaul20

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    What game are you looking to play? The reason I ask is most virtualization platforms don't do well with graphics. VirtualBox does have OpenGL support, however I don't think there is anything out that that will allow guest access to GPU resources. They are suppose to be working on DirectX support in the future as well.

    VirtualBox is open source but it's being actively developed by Sun. They release updates on a regular basis and Major revision I think every quarter. It's also part of their VDI product so I trust it's quality.

    Give it a shot and see how it holds up for you.
     
  7. Force Flow

    Force Flow Barefoot on the Moon! Staff Member

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    There's actually both open source and closed source tracks for virtualbox. I go with the closed source track since, honestly, I don't need access to the source code for whatever reason.

    Also, just because something is open source doesn't make it "better" than a closed source competetor. Honestly, unless I want to contribute to the project, I don't particularly care as long as it does what it's supposed to do. Remember, free doesn't always mean open source.

    For years, vmware was considered top teir for virtualization even though it's closed source. Not sure if that's still the case today, but it still certainly ranks up there, especially for business use.
     
  8. Spearball

    Spearball Guest

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    I've used virtualbox for a long time and never had a problem with it. It continues to grow and get better and hopefully multiple cores will be a future update.
     
  9. inflames988

    inflames988

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    i have a few friends who gave up parallels for virtualbox. ive used it for ubuntu and it seems to work well.

    though apparently vmware fusion is better (according to others - can't speak for it myself). My school sells it for $30 but im not sure how much it is retail.
     
  10. tomster2300

    tomster2300 I like monkeys

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    One solution I've been tinkering with is setting up a remote login into my Vista desktop via UltraVNC. I used to use Windows remote connect (they have a Mac client too), but it never actually let me do much. VNC is much faster, and allows complete control over my desktop.

    This isn't ideal unless you have a fairly fast internet connection at the house as well as where you're trying to connect from. It also is useless if you have any physical media you need to install.

    But, it lets me login and access my apache test server and IE for website work when I'm away from home...

    My Parallels trial is expiring soon, so I'll try out virtualbox next. I'll also look in the college bookstore and see if they have Vmware fusion or even parallels on sale. Those education discounts can be very nice. I was in there yesterday and they have Final Cut Express for $70, regular price!
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  11. Lespaul20

    Lespaul20

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    Just an FYI, VirtualBox 3.0 was recently released. Included is SMP which allows to assign multiple cores to a VM.
     
  12. Spiritinthesky

    Spiritinthesky Banned

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    I might have a look at that myself.
     
  13. moban

    moban

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    Q is a good one - it's based on Qemu. http://www.kju-app.org/

    I've not tested it thoroughly myself, but I tried installing XP on it and it seemed it would have worked had the disk not been scratched to hell. You can assign multiple cores, virtual partitions, allocate RAM, etc - it's very customisable. :)
     

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