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Re: Virtual Box

On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 06:43:40PM -0300, Martín Marqués wrote:
> 2009/3/20 Paul W. Frields <stickster gmail com>:
> > On Fri, Mar 20, 2009 at 03:21:24PM -0300, Martín Marqués wrote:
> >> I'm trying to do some virtualization testing and I wanted to see
> >> Virtual Box that everybody is talking alot about. The thing is that I
> >> can't find the virtualbox packages in the fedora repository. Does it
> >> have some strange name?
> >
> > VirtualBox is free as in free beer, but it's not entirely free as in
> > free speech.  Its license prohibits some use, meaning it can't be free
> > software.  (One of the key freedoms of free software is the freedom to
> > use it for any purpose.)  That's why we don't carry it in Fedora.
> Yes, but what is exactly the virtualbox-ose that Debian has in there
> distribution?

VirtualBox OSE is the open source edition, licensed under the GPL.
That is free in both the beer and speech sense.

Notably, one of the several features that VirtualBox OSE omits is the
USB passthrough.  In other words, unless you go with the non-free
version, you're not getting any better functionality there than you
would get with KVM.

> >From a Debian geek that uses virtualbox I heard that the version that
> comes with Debian is free software, but isn't the same version you
> download from SUN.
> Is this false?

VirtualBox OSE is distributed on the Sun site.  Whether it's the same
as what's in Debian, I don't know, but it would be odd for Debian to
use a trademarked term and the same name for a package that's not the
same.  Given their tendency to exactitude, I'm betting Debian's
virtualbox-ose *is* the same as VirtualBox OSE downloaded from Sun,
but it is *not* the same as VirtualBox, which is non-free.  Make

So hopefully people understand here that when you go with VirtualBox
(*not* the OSE variety), you've just roped yourself into a non-free
solution for a short-term gain.  But I'll bet that, as usual, the free
software folks will provide tools to get you from non-free to free
later down the road.  For instance, just the other day I converted a
VMWare VMDK image into a flat, dd-style image using the helpful
'qemu-img' command from the qemu package.  Voila!

> > I'm surprised that more people don't just install the "Virtualization"
> > group using yum, and use the Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager) to
> > create virtual machines.  I do this all the time on my Fedora 10 box
> > and it works like a charm.
> >
> >  su -c 'yum groupinstall Virtualization ; service libvirtd start'
> I'm going to try this now.
> > Then run Applications > System Tools > Virtual Machine Manager.
> I bet this is the Gnome menu. :-D
> I'm a KDE guy. Don't worry I'll open it OK. :-)

Heh, sorry -- I should have been more precise!  I'm running GNOME,
you're correct. :-)

Paul W. Frields                                http://paul.frields.org/
  gpg fingerprint: 3DA6 A0AC 6D58 FEC4 0233  5906 ACDB C937 BD11 3717
  http://redhat.com/   -  -  -  -   http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
  irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug

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