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Re: Supported VM environments under MacOS dom0

On 4/26/10 3:17 PM, Giles Lean wrote:
My experience of OS X virtualisation products for use with the *BSDs has
not been happy.  Linux and Windows seem safest; step outside those two
(or even use less common variants of those two) and you're in a world of
pain on OS X.
Since moving to OS X I've actually been really satisfied with virtualization... besides a minor issue here and there, it's been very good for me. My worst case scenario has been rolling back a minor version of VirtualBox, which isn't at all painful. TBH, I was using VMware Fusion exclusively until about four months ago when I found that VirtualBox's performance was streets ahead of Fusion for my purposes... so now I only use Fusion for the legacy VM's I have already.
I completely concur with Thor about Parallels: forget both versions 4
and 5.
I remember beta-testing Parallels a few years back, possibly for their v4 release and found that (at the time) qemu was much more stable and gave me better performance.
My best success was with VirtualBox (although it didn't like 64 bit
FreeBSD, from memory) and as Mike Bowie recommended I'd go for NAT or
host only networking: when I was using bridged networking I saw strange
network errors and machines (real machines, not VMs) were falling off
the network.  Turning off TCP checksum offload and setting up various
cron jobs to run ping from time to time helped, but what a kludge ...
Besides the Ethernet bridging issue, I have Windows (2000, XP, 2k3 R2), FreeBSD (4.x+) and NetBSD (5.0+) VM's running very well under VirtualBox. Some with multiple processors, a good mix of i386 vs amd64 and up to 3584MB (aka the max offered in my options) of RAM. I know there are issues with non-VT enabled hosts for NetBSD... and that there were problems installing with earlier VirtualBox versions, but I've not encountered said problems.
I know the general recommendation (other than Virtual Box) is for VMware
Fusion, but note that it doesn't claim support for NetBSD, and while I'm
willing to believe what they _do_ claim support will likely work (unlike
the other clowns' marketing claims) I'd be very very wary about trying
an unsupported OS: reports I've seen around the 'Net are not

I always found VMware's "ignorance" of BSD platforms to be frustrating... but that said, they've always "Just Worked(tm)" for me as an "Other" OS. Again, VirtualBox's performance against identical Fusion VM's was enough to sway me. (And the cost of migration didn't hurt either!)

Obviously people's use cases tend to vary by individual, but overall I'm pleased with both the options (VMware, qemu, VirtualBox, Parallels) and the outcome of virtualization for OS X.



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