Virtualization with VirtualBox – Part 3

In part 3 of this article about VirtualBox we will take a deeper look at the settings for our virtual machine.

Settings

VirtualBox Einstellungen

General settings

The general settings panel is quite simple. You can choose a name for you virtual machine and the base settings it should use. You can choose of many pre defined settings. There you first have to set the type of operating system and the needed version. These settings can be changed when the machine is turned off. The settings are stored outside the virtual disk, so you can run the same disk with different settings. You can get problems if you use for example 32bit for a 64bit installation.

On the extended panel you can enable the shared clipboard to enable copy and paste between host and guest system.

System

The most important settings here are memory and processor power. These settings have impact on both, host and guest system. If you use too much memory for your virtual machine, then your host system gets slow. For this setting you can experiment a bit. It mostly depends on the operating system and on the programs that are executed parallel. So it is possible, that different settings are perfect for two Windows XP guest systems.

Another important point is the absolute cursor. With it you have a fluent integration of the guest system in a window on your host system. This is only needed if you run the system in a window.

Display

The main setting of display panel is the memory for your graphic card. Here you can also activate 2D and 3D acceleration. For some programs this can increase the performance dramatically. The problem is, that 3D for DirectX applications is experimental so it is only useful for tests but some games might work already. You should not forget, that VirutalBox gets better with each new version.

Remote control enables you to use your virtual computer on the network. I have not personally tested it, because for my virtual Linux server I use only SSH login.

Mass storage

Here you can control your hard disks. If you used he wizard  you already have one hard disk configured. But like real computers, you can add other disks. So it is possible that different systems use the same hard disks. I have not tested yet, if this works also in parallel operating.

Audio

In this panel you can choose a audio driver. Normally you do not need to change anything here.

Network

At the network part of the settings you can define up to four network devices. This can be interesting if you want to configure multiple virtual systems to run parallel and the want to communicate. Normally you only need one device. This device does the communication with the host system. With it you can use the internet of your host system. NAT is default and ok, but if you want to for example ping your guest system or to login over SSH you have to change NAT to network bridge.

Ports

Here you can activate a serial device, but the USB setting is much more interesting. With it you can enable your USB ports of your host machine and you can also enable USB 2.0 acceleration. For this you have to download and install an extension.

Shared folder

The most important point for working on both host and guest system is the option to share folders. You can define a folder from you host system and then decide if you get only read or also write access. So you can define a folder (for example install) with all you programs you need for your guest system and a folder with all rights with productive data.

Part 1 | Part 2

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