In a previous article I provided links to get the VMware Player installed and a “workaround” to install the associated VMware Tools. The website EasyVmx.com will provide you with a configuration file and a virtual disk image. That’s one way to do it. Another way is to use the freeware VirtualBox. Which should you use? Decide for yourself, but here is my experience.
Both products install easily. VMware installs from a script and VirtualBox installs from a repository. Caution: VMware also uninstalls from a script and you may have difficulty finding it. After installation, VirtualBox requires that you add yourself to the vbox user’s group. Not a big deal, but people who miss it can’t get USB to work.
2. VMware Tools – VirtualBox Guest Additions
These tools or additions are necessary if you want to be able to control screen resolution and other attributes in the guest machine. Thy also enable “seamless” behavior of the mouse. As a test case I installed Fedora 11 in two virtual machines, one created in VMware and the other in VirtualBox. In both cases it was necessary to install some libraries not included in Fedora by default. Having done so, VMware tools installed with numerous warnings. VirtualBox Guest Additions installed without complaint.
VMware showed up in my System Tools menu. VirtualBox showed nowhere. It could be launched from the command line with “VirtualBox”. Knowing this, I manually entered a menu launcher for it.
Both virtual machines performed equally well.
The target audience for VMware is an enterprise environment with a server and numerous workstations. The cost of a workstation is $99. This is inappropriate for the single user hobbyist who just wants a means of trying out different operating systems. VirtualBox is clearly the choice for a hobbyist.