ivoras’ FreeBSD blog

October 15, 2007

VirtualBox

Filed under: FreeBSD — ivoras @ 7:14 pm

I’m trying out VirtualBox VM software and so far I’m pleased. It seems to have significantly better performance then VMWare Server, and it’s maybe better than VMWare ESX 3:

INDEX VALUES
TEST BASELINE RESULT INDEX

Dhrystone 2 using register variables 116700.0 6479416.5 555.2
Double-Precision Whetstone 55.0 1636.4 297.5
Execl Throughput 43.0 355.2 82.6
File Copy 1024 bufsize 2000 maxblocks 3960.0 71113.0 179.6
File Copy 256 bufsize 500 maxblocks 1655.0 29474.0 178.1
File Copy 4096 bufsize 8000 maxblocks 5800.0 114875.0 198.1
Pipe Throughput 12440.0 244627.7 196.6
Pipe-based Context Switching 4000.0 9561.1 23.9
Process Creation 126.0 926.1 73.5
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent) 6.0 23.0 38.3
System Call Overhead 15000.0 117599.8 78.4
=========
FINAL SCORE 122.1

(these results are comparable with the VMWare Server benchmark from a few days ago; the VMWare ESX benchmark in the same post was done on a slower hardware)

I’s only shortcoming is that it doesn’t seem to support “background” VM instances :( If that gets implemented, VirtualBox could become the best very best VM choice for FreeBSD.

There were some noncommittal talks about maybe porting VirtualBox to FreeBSD (in “host” mode) so the product is becoming very exciting.

Update: It might be fast but apparently it doesn’t work yet. The guest OS doesn’t survive a buildworld. After some time the kernel complained four times about unexpected eflags in sigreturn (like 0×80283), and I had four unrelated processes stuck in a tight CPU-using loop.

1 Comment

  1. Hi, the no “background” vm support is REALLY the deal-breaker. BUT, there is a hack. I used the setsid command and made the vm run in a separate session, so even when i exit ssh, the vm still runs.

    Hope this helps. Also, if you figure out the “official” way of starting a vm in the background, PLEASE email me :)

    -Adam

    Comment by Adam — November 26, 2007 @ 3:37 pm

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