Using VirtualBox software

  goforit 19:01 15 Aug 2008

A friend has suggested I use virtual box software. The reason I am insterested is I teach all the popular Microsoft software and I need to be able to do screen prints of XP and Vista, Office 2003 and Office 2007.

Has anyone got any experience of using this software? I have had a demonstration of how it works and it looks brilliant. Whether I can work out how to set up a virtual OS and everthing else is another matter.


  dms_05 09:24 16 Aug 2008

I use Virtual Box to run various Linux distro's on my Vista laptop. It seems bug free and easy to use. I've yet to find any OS that won't run inside Virtual Box but I've never tried the various variations of Windows.

You will need a reasonable amount of memory and hard disk space. You essentially steal memory from the resident OS as you will be operating two or more OS's - so it depends upon how much memory each of the OS's will run in comfortably. In my case I keep 1GB for Vista and divide the remaining 1GB between the OS's I want to run.

You can chose a dynamic hard dish size (you specify a minimum size and if the OS's needs more it will increase to the minimum size it can operate with).

You will find a few wrinkles. For example when I'm running email from Linux I find that my Vista version of Avast email scanner still checks the mail and stamps it virus free.

Taken all round this is a simple and useful way to run a second OS without the need for special formatting or partitioning of your hard disk.

Finally when exiting Virtual Box you have several options including 'save machine state' which is a bit like hibernation - the next time you start it takes you back to exactly where you were when you last closed Virtual Box.

  goforit 15:48 16 Aug 2008

Thanks very much dms_05. That is most encouraging. I have a PC and am about to get a Toshiba laptop with plenty of memory so I hope to try this software out.

Thanks for your useful tips.


  rossgolf 16:13 16 Aug 2008

i also use VirtualBox and have found it very user friendly

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