Ever since I first learnt about virtualisation and started using it on my laptop for playing around with new operating systems and development, I’ve been using VMWare. I first used the Workstation edition, but when Vista came out, it didn’t support it without buying a new copy, so I moved to the free VMWare server.
The trouble is, the free version has lost a lot of the cool features I liked about Workstation, such as being able to drag and drop files directly into the guest OS. But most annoyingly I had to wait between 10-20minutes every time I started up VMWare on Windows Vista as it allocated resources the first time. It was very slow, very heavy and very clunky. But I remained loyal, and for the past year I’ve been using it on my laptop, waiting 10-20 minutes each time I started up the server. Fortunately as long as I put my laptop to sleep and didn’t shut down, this was only a one off until I next rebooted my laptop.
However, for the past year I’ve been hearing my colleagues Ale and Jo both going on about SunVirtualBox and how great it is. I resisted as I couldn’t be arsed to install a new one and try it (even though it didn’t really take that long) but eventually this week I tried it, and ITS GREAT! Starts up instantly, is open-source and free of any limitations, and runs Windows 7 RC like a charm! Once you install the Guest Add-ons it pretty much provides all the functionality of VMWare. One thing I don’t like is all the separate windows, I would prefer all the machines to run in tabs like VMWare, but other than that its fast, no more waiting time, no limitations and FREE!
Now that VMWare is getting clunkier and clunkier with only limited free editions, I think from now on I’ll be using VirtualBox, in fact I’ve already uninstalled VMWare, its gone…