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VMware Player vs. Virtual Box

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May 23, 2012 7:38:10 PM

I decided that I'm going to have a virtualization software rather than dual boot in order to use Windows 7 with Ubuntu 12.04 and I came across these two softwares. Now I can't really decide which one I should go for. Do you guys have any recommendation?

Also, if I install Ubuntu 12.04 using the software, how much space & memory should I allocate for Ubuntu? I'm using 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM. Is there a need for optimizing Ubuntu in virtual machine?

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May 23, 2012 8:53:05 PM

Both are very good, but I have a slight preference for VirtualBox. It is more frequently updated and is slightly more versatile (IMO) than VMWare Player.

For a Ubuntu install I would use a 32GB virtual disk (set it to grow dynamically - which is the default - and it will only use as much space as it needs); I would create this on your hard disk rather than the SSD. Allocating a couple of GB of RAM should be plenty, and I would set it up with two processors. All these factors are easily changed after the event (although changing the size of the hard disk is a little complicated).

One word of advice. If you want to play with using the Ubuntu VM as a web server, or similar, when you come to set up the network card choose "bridged mode" rather than "NAT".

Even if you eventually decide on a physical install, a VM is a very good way to try out Linux initially. You shouldn't have any trouble with devices, and it's easy to try various distributions to see which you like best. Also you can take snapshots of the system if you want to be on the safe side when doing something like an upgrade of the installation; that way if anything goes wrong you can just revert to the previous snapshot. For most purposes, particularly development work, Linux in a VM is just as good as a physical install.
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May 23, 2012 11:47:43 PM

So, if I should just put my Ubuntu in HDD rather than SSD, do you think 128GB is way too much space for me? I mean I have a laptop with 360GB right now, and I only use about 40GB (I have 2TB External HDD which I store all my data... and it's full now). I currently picked a WD Caviar Green 2TB (Intellipower), but do you think it will be better if I just get 64GB SSD and upgrade HDD to Caviar Blue 2TB (7200 RPM)? Also, how much RAM should I allocate to Ubuntu then?
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May 24, 2012 7:07:59 AM

Putting a VM disk into an SSD is a waste of space. TRIM doesn't like that.
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May 24, 2012 11:17:37 AM

I'd let Windows requirements dictate the size of SSD that you choose. I don't have enough experience of that setup to offer you sensible advice. TBH, I'm not a huge fan of SSDs for normal use (or at least my normal use); I'm more in favour of plenty of RAM. Most modern OSs will make use of available RAM to cache disk data so the only performance hit is generally the first time you access a particular program or file. Certainly Linux is very efficient in this respect.

SSDs certainly give faster boot-up times, as everything is being read for the first time, but that don't really matter to me. Most of the time I hibernate my computer, and it comes back up plenty fast enough for me.

Whatever you choose I would still say that a 32GB virtual drive should be plenty for a Ubuntu VM; RAM, no of processors, video RAM, etc. is a matter of choice, but all of these are easily changed so you can tune the VM to your particular requirements. I use a Fedora VM running on OS X for my development work; I've given it a 16GB virtual drive, 2GB of RAM, 12MB of video RAM, and two processors (I have a 60% execution cap on those processors, which means they never use more than 60% of available CPU on just two of my eight cores - four real cores + hyper threading). This works just fine using Eclipse, GCC, and various emulators running within the VM (VMs running on VMs - sounds crazy, but it works for my particular needs - home brew OS development), but I'm probably going to have to up the virtual disk space next time I update Fedora to a new release (real soon now).
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May 25, 2012 4:20:07 AM

funny you should ask this question. I just read:

The VirtualBox Kernel Driver Is Tainted Crap

kaisare said:
I decided that I'm going to have a virtualization software rather than dual boot in order to use Windows 7 with Ubuntu 12.04 and I came across these two softwares. Now I can't really decide which one I should go for. Do you guys have any recommendation?

Also, if I install Ubuntu 12.04 using the software, how much space & memory should I allocate for Ubuntu? I'm using 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM. Is there a need for optimizing Ubuntu in virtual machine?
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May 25, 2012 6:42:28 AM

I gave up on VMWare because of problems with bridged network support, the pain of patching the drivers for newer kernels, and the lack of snapshot support. I've never had any problem with VirtualBox on Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS X, and FreeBSD hosts with a wide variety of guest OSs. The rapid update cycle means that it always works with newer kernels and bugs are quickly attended to. But, then, I'm not a Linuk kernel developer.

But each to their own; both are free so if you don't like one use the other.
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May 26, 2012 1:12:07 AM

VMWARE. Though it is not free, it is quite better. But only for if you are going to be running software in side the vm. Such as games.

Virtualbox doesnt use actual gpu. It uses emulated where as vmware does. Like i can play 3 garrys mod clients at the same time. With vbox you cant because it has no drivers. Or gpu.

But for vbox it is good for quickly testing a os. If you can afford it go for vmware.
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May 26, 2012 6:15:05 AM

1. VMWare player is free.

2. If you are not going to run software in the VM what are you going to do with it?

3. VirtualBox has had 3D acceleration for quite some time.
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May 30, 2012 6:13:04 AM

Tried VMware and Virtual box, found the former is pretty easy to start with as a beginner and had no problem with it. High recommended for VMware.
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May 30, 2012 8:20:25 AM

great! glad to hear it. if you have resolved your issue please mark the thread solved.
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May 30, 2012 10:17:39 AM

Surely it's up to the OP to mark the thread solved (or not), not a third party?
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June 1, 2012 9:13:45 PM

Best answer selected by kaisare.
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June 2, 2012 2:04:55 AM

This topic has been closed by Amdfangirl
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