Parallels Vs Vbox

Discussions related to using VirtualBox on Mac OS X hosts.

Parallels Vs Vbox

Postby aaltieri » 14. Aug 2008, 22:51

Greetings one and all!

I have two questions. I am currently looking at using VBox to replace parallels. I have an image already in place though and really, rebuilding it would be a giant pain since I have some special software that I'd have to have re-shipped to me to re-install.

So my questions are these:

1) Is there/How is the conversion from a parallels image to one that Vbox can use?

2) if you had to choose one or the other (and cost is not the primary reason for your choice) which would you choose and why?

So far, Vbox looks pretty good and seems to meet most of my needs. However, I'm curious what other people think before I put a large amount of effort into re-tooling the image.

Thanks!

--anthony
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Postby Son of a Beach » 15. Aug 2008, 00:39

For me, I prefer Virtual Box when host interface networking is not required, because it is faster (MUCH faster) than Parallels, at least on my systems.

When host interface networking is required I have to go back to Parallels, because the current Mac OS X version of Virtual Box still does not support this. Apparently it will be in the next version of Virtual Box though.

So it really comes down to your requirements. Parallels may have other features that you need that Virtual Box doesn't, but for my uses Virtual Box has everything (except the host interface networking) that I need.
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From Parallels to VBox

Postby amagine » 15. Aug 2008, 01:22

I do not know of any native tool to directly convert from Parallels disk image to .vdi.

There is a way using Qemu to import a Parallels raw image (non-expanding) into Qemu then exporting out through a script to .vdi

Not exactly the simplest of procedures but I suppose you could give it a try if you are feeling adventurous.

I can image something where a person is running Qemu inside a Parallels VM converting the parallels vm raw disk image to .vdi... cool... LOL

Here are the links, just incase you or anyone else is interested:
http://info.michael-simons.eu/2008/01/0 ... irtualbox/
http://liquidat.wordpress.com/2007/11/2 ... box-image/

As for the comparisons between Parallels and VirtualBox...

VirtualBox is fast. Very efficient. Parallels touts being the virtual machine speed demon on the block but the fact is, it is a slug. I nice looking slug. VMWare is slightly better in my (editorial) opinion. VirtualBox spanks them all.

I think at version 1.6.4 current version and the upcoming 1.6.6 version are very well built, stable, and user friendly. Of course it does not hurt to really think about the complete setup phase of your virtual machine as there are settings that do work better for Intel Mac's than others.

I should note also that I found that Q [kju] the Qemu emulator for Mac OS X with XP sp2 to pretty much feel the same as Parallels. I was pretty surprised.

check this Italian site out: http://www.oszoo.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

If ever you have a desire to quickly test out one of the listed Operating System, run the images downloaded in Qemu, if you like it, export it to VirtualBox to continue your opensource goodness....
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Postby gerhard2001 » 17. Aug 2008, 01:56

Hallo!

I have on my Mac both, VirtualBox and Parallels.

Parallels works with Windows fine, but with Linux it is only a disaster!

If you need to install Linux on your VMware I think it's better, much better to use VirtualBox!

And over all VirtualBox is free!

Gerhard
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Postby h1d » 17. Aug 2008, 03:05

It certainly is...
VMWare Fusion can't even install it's guest addition (vmware tools) on Ubuntu without some googling and command line actions... Can't believe it's been kept like that for months out of a paid product. I don't mean free product can be sloppy but this is pretty bad. Otoh, VirtualBox always gets GA properly installed, which is beautiful or rather, should be how it is.
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Postby bobthebob01 » 19. Aug 2008, 05:19

Hi everyone,

i was just wondering the same question about VM and Parallel.

My need is only to run win xp so i can check website i develop in ie6-7 and soon 8. i don't really need too much the rest actually.

Son of a beach talked about host interface networking, what is exactly this. will it creates problem when accessing site on my LAN?

sorry for this question as i am a bit new to all this.

Or does some one suggest something else for just running IE's

thanks again

cheers
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Re: Parallels Vs Vbox

Postby RonPinkas » 19. Aug 2008, 06:50

aaltieri wrote:1) Is there/How is the conversion from a parallels image to one that Vbox can use?
--anthony


Yes. In general you simply:

1. MOUNT the Parallel .hdd image using Parallel Mounter.app
2. Use Mac's Disk Utility to create a .dmg (New Image) of equal or greater size.
3. Format the .dmg using a file system which is supported by the guest O/S.
4. Copy the full content of the mounted disk #1 into disk #2
5. Open TERMINAL an type:

/Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOs/VBoxManage convertdd "/Your Path/Your DMG name.dmg" "/Prefered Target Path/Some Target Name.vdi"

That's all, but if the guest O/S is XP, there are few other cosniderations as per:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314082
http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Migrate_Windows

If you need additional help, drop me a line.

Ron
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Postby amagine » 19. Aug 2008, 08:34

bobthebob01 wrote:Hi everyone,

i was just wondering the same question about VM and Parallel.

My need is only to run win xp so i can check website i develop in ie6-7 and soon 8. i don't really need too much the rest actually.


VirtualBox works great.

If you have XP already it would be handy as an extra tool in the belt.

You should not have any problems accessing your site over your LAN.

Something you may want to have a booh at though, is simply running IE right in OS X though using Darwine...

check out here: http://www.kronenberg.org/ies4osx/

Maybe a little handier, when JUST wanting to quickly test on IE.

Also, Jeremy Gillick shows some slick tips on getting IE 6,7,8 going on VirtualBox from Microsofts free VirtualPC disk images for each of their browsers. http://blog.mozmonkey.com/2008/vpc-ie6- ... -mac-os-x/

FYI - qemu-img works fine on OS X.

Happy VBoxing!
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Postby h1d » 19. Aug 2008, 13:17

It's not even worth trying to run IE on OS X in a real hacking way around...

No sane web developer would just simply use Wine to test IE just because his home machine is Linux.

You could try out the free XP image for IE test from MS to use on their VirtualPC application, but I have no idea if that's possible 'under' virtualized envrionment, never tried it.
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Postby bobthebob01 » 19. Aug 2008, 18:56

thank you very much guys. some readings to do!

i agree with h1d, i tried running IE through Darwin, way to unstable and buggy to be sure a site really works in IE.

I will read the article of Jeremy Gillick, seems interesting.

One thing that interested me with parallels is that they offer a conversion tool to migrate windows machine to your mac over the network which then deals with all the driver issue for you. I have a proper working win xp machine on my network with everything i need on it.

So if i could use it, it would make it easier. I wish virtualbox would offer the same. I still prefer using free/open source for this kind of thing.

I'll do some more reading, I should be able to use the demo version of paralells to migrate my win xp to my mac, and then convert that VM file to virtual box.

I'm sure there is a smart guy who wrote an article on this. or even a post in this very same forum.

but thanks again for your answers.

cheers
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Successful migration, Parallels to VirtualBox of XP on OS/X

Postby RonPinkas » 22. Aug 2008, 01:55

Yesterday I finally succeded migrating my XP guest, from Parallels (.hdd) to VirtualBox (.vdi), withOUT any reinstall, repair, or manual teaking of any kind. :-)

After 2 days of fairly intense testing, including low level software as TrueImage, Disk Managers, Defrag, MacDrive, as well as TortoiseCVS & TortoiseSVN., all apears to be OK, yet much faster, (except a small oddities, 1. XP won't boot if I enable USB 2.0 (EHCI) support, and 2. Ctrl+Left Click is not passed correctly to guest).

In general, most care should concentrate on PREPARING your guest XP, while still under Parallels, so that XP is NEUTRALized, by stripping each and every Parallels related software and virtualized hardware. One should also relax XP tie to specific IDE controlder, as per Microsoft KB (Google MergeIDE).

Please NOTE that UNINSTALLing Parallels Guest Additions, is NOT sufficient, it's only the first step. One must then disable and remove all Parallels provided Device Drivers, and finally using Device Manager, UNINSTALL any Parallels related devices (I also removed the generic KB and Mice, just prior to final shutdown).

One can then convert the acutual .hdd image into an .vdi, as follows:

1. Use Mac's Disk Utility to create a .dmg (New Image) of equal or greater size than the Guest disk.

2. Format (Erase) the .dmg using a file system which is supported by the guest O/S. I used Paragon NTFS for OS X, (I'm also aware of a free NTFS for Mac from one of Google's Developers). One may possibly also use a FAT-32.

3. MOUNT the Parallel .hdd image using Parallel Mounter.app.

4. Copy the full content of the mounted Parallels disk #1 into the .dmg disk #2.

5. Eject the copied .dmg disk.

6. Open TERMINAL an type:

/Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOs/VBoxManage convertdd "/Your Path/Your DMG name.dmg" "/Prefered Target Path/Some Target Name.vdi"

7. Use VirtualBox Disk Manager to register the resulting .vdi and attach it to your XP.

8. In VirtualBox VM settings you most likely should DISABLE ACPI (unless you KNOW that your XP guest is using halACPI.dll, by comparing its SIZE with the hal*.dll variations, in \%windir%\SrivePackFiles\i386). As per MS, changing hal.dll is NOT supported, and is not likely to work, unlike the Migration notes on the VirtualBox web site.

9. Make sure that USB 2.0 is DISABLEd, and Start your new Guest, be ready to be taken by it's speed. :-)

Ron
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Parallels vs VirtualBox

Postby jaycepiel » 29. Aug 2008, 14:19

For my first test of VirtualBox, here are de pros and cons of each :

- VB is fast, really.
- VB is fully multiplatform.
- VB has some features that Parallels have only in the server version. (command line control for example)
- Today, VB doesn't support bridge networking on Mac... :-/
- VB is free.

- Parallels is better integrated in the OS : Drag&Drop of files, alias in the Mac OS X Dock to a Windows App in Parallels, transparent share of homedir....
- Parallels allows the use of the BootCamp partition. Useful when we occasionnaly need to connect some firewire hardware to the windows... Just a reboot on bootcamp and go.
- Parallels allows (with parallels transporter) to transfer a virtual or real machine to himself.


In fact, when I need to install a virtualisation solution for someone, I try to know what will be the usage. The 2 bads points for VB is the lack of bridge networking and the less integration. But I prefer it at last... :-)
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Postby jaycepiel » 29. Aug 2008, 14:21

Oh, and I forgot another point :
VB doesn't support Mac OS X as a guest OS...
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Postby h1d » 29. Aug 2008, 15:13

I see that VMware is bringing beta of 2.0 Fusion lately, I wonder how Parallels vs VMware goes. Obviously one of the biggest better point about these 2 over VBox is it can run native partition Windows aka Boot Camp.

But since only Apple allows OS X guest inside OS X, it doesn't have much benefit anyway. Maybe when you want to try out OS X Server, then those 2 can do that.

It's funny when you go download beta of VMware fusion, they ask a survey about what you use to run Windows inside Mac and VBox isn't even in it :lol: but they do list defunct Virtual PC...
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Postby jaycepiel » 29. Aug 2008, 15:23

h1d wrote:I see that VMware is bringing beta of 2.0 Fusion lately, I wonder how Parallels vs VMware goes.


They are both comparable...

h1d wrote:But since only Apple allows OS X guest inside OS X, it doesn't have much benefit anyway. Maybe when you want to try out OS X Server, then those 2 can do that.

Virtualizing an OSX Server on another OSX Server could be really useful. You could for example have one Virtual Machine for each "important" service. You then have a Server with snapshot, an ability to relaunch the same server on another computer in 2 clicks, etc...

h1d wrote:It's funny when you go download beta of VMware fusion, they ask a survey about what you use to run Windows inside Mac and VBox isn't even in it :lol: but they do list defunct Virtual PC...

:-)
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