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VirtualBox Seamless Mode: The only way to virtualize

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Software

I’ve been putting off writing about VirtualBox for a while now (mostly because other topics have come to the front of my mental queue.) But when I finally started poking around at some of the nuances of this tool I realized that I had to bring it up here on Techrepublic. One of those “nuances” (if you can actually call it that) is Seamless Mode. To sum it up, Seamless Mode is amazing. If you’ve not tried it (or VirtualBox) you are missing out on a feature that can help to make the guest operating system seem, well, seamless within the host.

But seamless isn’t something new. VMWare started it with their “Unity” mode (which in turn is a direct copy of the “Coherance” feature in OS X’s Parellels Desktop.) But VirtualBox does all of this under the GPL 2 (If you’re using VirtualBox OSE) and for free.

I have used plenty of virtualization tools. I started using VMWare back when it was first released. I had to do this when working in an environment that required I use a certain template for documents that I had trouble using in Linux. With the help of VMWare I was able to use this template in a guest Windows operating system on a Red Hat host. Back then there was no “Unity”, “Seamless”, or “Coherance” (heck there wasn’t an OS X at that point.) so I was always working in a window within a window within a desktop. When other users would see this it would confuse them…very common reaction to new users trying to work with virtual machines. The very concept of VMs escape them. Imaging having to explain to an new user they are working on a “program in an operating system within an operating system”. For the average user this is too much information. And that’s why the VirtualBox seamless mode is a perfect solution for a problem that could easily plague admins.

rest here




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today's leftovers

  • DRM display resource leasing (kernel side)
    So, you've got a fine head-mounted display and want to explore the delights of virtual reality. Right now, on Linux, that means getting the window system to cooperate because the window system is the DRM master and holds sole access to all display resources. So, you plug in your device, play with RandR to get it displaying bits from the window system and then carefully configure your VR application to use the whole monitor area and hope that the desktop will actually grant you the boon of page flipping so that you will get reasonable performance and maybe not even experience tearing. Results so far have been mixed, and depend on a lot of pieces working in ways that aren't exactly how they were designed to work.
  • GUADEC accommodation
    At this year’s GUADEC in Manchester we have rooms available for you right at the venue in lovely modern student townhouses. As I write this there are still some available to book along with your registration. In a couple of days we have to a final numbers to the University for how many rooms we want, so it would help us out if all the folk who want a room there could register and book one now if you haven’t already done so! We’ll have some available for later booking but we have to pay up front for them now so we can’t reserve too many.
  • Kickstarter for Niryo One, open source 6-axis 3D printed robotic arm, doubles campaign goal
    A Kickstarter campaign for the Niryo One, an open source 3D printed 6-axis robotic arm, has more than doubled its €20,000 target after just a couple of days. The 3D printed robot is powered by Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and Robot Operating System.
  • Linux Action Show to End Eleven Year Run at LFNW
    Jupiter Broadcasting’s long-running podcast, Linux Action Show, will soon be signing off the air…er, fiber cable, for the last time. The show first streamed on June 10, 2006 and was hosted by “Linux Tycoon” Bryan Lunduke and Jupiter Broadcasting founder Chris Fisher. Lunduke left the show in 2012, replaced by Matt Hartley, who served as co-host for about three years. The show is currently hosted by Fisher and Noah Chelliah, president of Altispeed, an open source technology company located in Grand Forks, North Dakota.