Saturday, October 13, 2012

Virtual Box with Windows 8

A few years ago I had compared Virtual Box, VMWare Workstation and Virtual PC, and ultimately I chose VMWare for running my development environments. At the time, VirtualBox came up short in a few key areas and wasn't even really a contender in my opinion.

With my recent snafu involving trying to get a stable Windows 8 machine running under VMWare Workstation 9, I decided to give VirtualBox a try since it's free. I didn't have anything to lose at that point.

Now I have a stable, 64 bit install of Windows 8, and the performance is superb. It didn't do much for me the last time I tried it, but now I'm really impressed. I am running Visual Studio 2010 and 2012 as well as some basic software like Office 2010, and everything runs smooth as silk. VMWare Workstation 9 has been giving me some grief lately with my Windows 7 machines too, so I'm strongly considering moving to VirtualBox for all my development.

VirtualBox with Windows 8: Start Screen
Not a big fan of Metro, but it works fine under VBox
VirtualBox with Windows 8: VirtualBox main window
VirtualBox main window - you can see VM info at a glance
VirtualBox with Windows 8: VirtualBox Media Manager
It has a nice media manager - it shows all your hard drives and ISO files
VirtualBox with Windows 8: VirtualBox Guest OS Settings
Guest settings are intuitive and on par with VMWare Workstation

VirtualBox with Windows 8: VirtualBox Log Window
It has an extensive log

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