I am a huge fan of Ubuntu. Each new release seems faster, smoother and easier to use. The latest release called “Maverick Meerkat” is no exception. You can even run Ubuntu in a “Live CD” mode so no changes are made your system. If you are a Windows user and haven’t taken the Linux plunge, check out Ubuntu 10.10, you will not be disappointed.
Okay, Ubuntu praise aside, I am a huge VMWare fan and am somewhat skeptical of other virtual desktop software. I have seen several people using VirtualBox and decided to try it out. Wow, I was truly impressed.
VirtualBox was developed by Sun Microsystems for home and corporate users and is open source software (translated “Free”). It also runs equally well under Windows or Linux. Having never run a virtual system on Linux, I decided to give it a test run under Ubuntu.
Installation was painless, and quick. I just went to the VirtualBox site, picked the “Ubuntu” version and installation was automatic. When it was installed, creating a new virtual machine was extremely easy. You just hit the “New” button, pick what OS you will be installing, set a few options if you want, create the virtual disk then power it on and install the OS.
The picture above is Windows XP running in a VirtualBox session on my Ubuntu system. The XP system was fast and responsive. The only problem I did have was getting my USB camera to connect to the session. But, since I had the same problem with VMWare on my Windows 7 desktop, I was not really surprised.
According to the documentation, VirtualBox can read VMWare images and also has a cool RDP remote desktop option that I will have to try.
I highly recommend both Ubuntu 10.10 and VirtualBox. If you get a chance, check them out, you will not be disappointed.