Does a virtual machine continue to use my ram after shutdown

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Mac OS X hosts.

Does a virtual machine continue to use my ram after shutdown

Postby MacOSxpBox » 15. Oct 2011, 00:32

I've just started using VB, I discovered someone at work had installed it and thought it worked remarkably well and decided to try it at home. I allocated 1.5 GB of memory for my virtual machine on my MBP 2011 and I just remembered that part of what had impressed me about the Virtual Box at work was how quickly the virtual machine started up, but it now occurs to me that this is probably because it's continuing to use the ram. Is that the case? If so is there a way to tell Virtual Box to completely kill a virtual machine so it doesn't use resources until I next start it up?

Also, my instincts tell me this will be fine but, is it safe to install xp drivers for my graphics card? I think if it's a virtual machine it's unlikely to mess anything up, but then I wonder if the graphics card is software emulated rather than my physical hardware since it has a different name "standard VGA adaptor" and since I don't see how else I could continue to see and interact with mac os at the same time as run the virtual box. Perhaps I'm a bit green on the virtual machine concept. Can anyone tell me what would happen if I tried to do this? I want a proper full screen and the windows box's max resolution is much less than my screen.
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Re: Does a virtual machine continue to use my ram after shut

Postby Perryg » 15. Oct 2011, 00:51

1) When you close down the guest all RAM that the guest was using is released. If you leave the VirtualBox program up it will use a small amount of RAM but closing that releases it as well.

2) You can't install drivers in the guest. They will not work. Install the guest additions (in the guest) instead. See Chapter 6 Guest additions in you VirtualBox users manual.
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Re: Does a virtual machine continue to use my ram after shut

Postby MacOSxpBox » 15. Oct 2011, 01:54

Thanks mate you're a star. Also, surprisingly, daemon tools seems to work. I didn't expect that, it's virtualisation within virtualisation, it's like inception lol
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Re: Does a virtual machine continue to use my ram after shut

Postby BillG » 15. Oct 2011, 02:08

Why would you need daemon tools in the vm? A vm can read an iso file directly. It doesn't need a virtual disk.
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Re: Does a virtual machine continue to use my ram after shut

Postby theDaniel » 20. Oct 2011, 02:49

MacOSxpBox wrote:I allocated 1.5 GB of memory for my virtual machine on my MBP 2011 and I just remembered that part of what had impressed me about the Virtual Box at work was how quickly the virtual machine started up, but it now occurs to me that this is probably because it's continuing to use the ram. Is that the case? If so is there a way to tell Virtual Box to completely kill a virtual machine so it doesn't use resources until I next start it up?

When you put the guest into the Saved state, whatever is in memory (RAM) of the guest is written to your hard drive as a (date-and-bunch-of-numbers.sav) file. So when you start it up again it loads that file into memory again, allowing it to start up much faster than a full OS boot-up. How much drive space is used depends on how much memory your guest was using at the time it was put into the Saved state, up to your allotted 1.5GB. If you shut down the guest it does not write this file. In either case your Mac's RAM is not being used when the guest is not running.

-Daniel
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