As a follow-up to the thread [opensuse] KVM v. Vbox (howto fix kvm artifact
and provide seamless mouse integration), I thought I would drop a note on the
implementation I settled on and why.
After testing both Linux and Windows guests on KVM and Virtualbox, I settled
on virtualbox, for no other reason than convenience. KVM is fantastic, but it
currently lacks the same ease of use (even with virt-manager/virt-viewer) that
vbox does out of the box. (Note: virtualbox actually uses KVM
paravirtualization by default when you have hardware virtualization available,
so you are not losing anything in making either choice).
The graphics configuration, options for 2D/3D video acceleration (although
the 3D is experimental -- it does work to provide Aeroglass decor on Win7
guests), the seamless mouse integration (capture/release) all weigh in favor
of the vbox decision. The real kicker is the ease of network configuration
under vbox for most normal network needs. Simple to switch between NAT/Bridged
setup without having to worry about startup scripts for TAP networking or
manually bridging or configuring networking with VDE2.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking KVM. It is a fantastic option, supports
all versions of windows guests, and I continue to use it, but for daily
driving, and ease of maintenance (rpm updates provided by Oracle or those from
openSuSE, make version updates a snap). As infrequently as I need windows,
vbox provides brainless guest access to just get done what I need done.
As for the choice between openSuSE rpms or those from virtualbox.org
prefer the virtualbox.org
rpms. Traditionally if you wanted USB functionality
you needed the virtualbox.org
rpms and the ext-oracle extension pack, but I'm
not positive that is still the case. I've never had problems with the
rpms and kernel updates/kernel module rebuilds are now handled
by dkms, so there isn't even a need for rcvbox setup anymore.
If you want to experiment and configure a guest and you want to try KVM,
then just load libvirtd and create a host and you are off to the races. There
are many areas where KVM excels in providing scriptable flexibility in the way
guests are started and configured. If you want the shortest path to getting a
guest up and running with the shallowest learning curve, it's hard to be vbox.
Either choice is a solid virtualization solution, so take your pick, but for
ease of general use, I lean toward vbox.
Footnote 1: accounting/quickbooks and appellate briefing in word are the only
need I have for windows. There is no capability to generate Table of
Authorities for cases, statutes and rules and no auto citation identification
in Open/LibreOffice writer (and I prefer word 2003 that allows manual field
manipulation for that). I rarely do appeals. but when I'm in a crunch I don't
want to have to dork with a guest config, I just want to get the work done..
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
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