From Qemu to VirtualBox?

1226918178000 » Tagged as: bootstrap , virtualization , X11

While trying out VirtualBox I wanted to use the existing Qemu images to save me the trouble of having to carry out new guest OS installations. Sadly, qmeu images will not work out of the box with VirtualBox. Though it's not possible to directly convert them to VirtualBox (vdi) images with Qemu, can convert them to VMDK. VMDK is the format used by VMware. It is compatible with VirtualBox as well as Qemu. So you have the option of using either VirtualBox or Qemu to start up a virtual machine. Starting up VirtualBox however, wasn't smooth sailing all the way. First, i was forced to remove the kvm_intel and kvm kernel modules because of this error:

VirtualBox can't operate in VMX root mode. Please disable the KVM kernel extension, recompile your kernel and reboot. VBox status code: -4011 (VERR_VMX_IN_VMX_ROOT_MODE). Even after the modules were removed (rmmod), the boot up process didn't run to completion. My default runlevel is 5 - but X wasn't started. It was because the VGA card emulated by Qemu is very different from the one emulated VirtualBox. I reckoned I will have to install the 'VirtualBox guest additions' to have the proper vga driver. That also choked with an error.

Please install the build and header files for your current Linux Kernel The current Kernel version is 2.6.Z5-14.fc9.i686 Problems were found which would prevent the Guest Additions from installing. Please correct these problems and try again. After installing the kernel-devel package I managed to install the add-ins but my xserver still refused to start. So I just deleted the xorg.conf file and hoped the system would get by  with the default - it did. And finally the graphical login screen appeared - with an atrociously high resolution (fixed through System->Preferences). I have yet to suceeded in enabling the 'seamless mode'. Apparently the xorg version shipped with Fedora 9 isn't fully supported. Now to try an upgrade to Fedora 10. One aspect in which VirtualBox scores over Qemu is speed it appears to be slightly faster. The boot time is 39 seconds whereas Qemu takes 44 seconds.

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