Which virtualization software should I choose

Ben Klein shacklein at gmail.com
Thu Jun 11 20:45:52 CDT 2009

2009/6/11 Paul Vriens <paul.vriens.wine at gmail.com>:
> Just installed VirtualBox and it does have snaphots but not so extensive as
> VMware. In VMware I have some W2K snapshots:
> - out-of-the-box
> - SP1
> - SP2
> - SP3
> - SP4 + Windows Update
> I can freely choose which I want to go to. Not so with VirtualBox I'm afraid
> as they are all on top of each other.
> (I guess for now I keep my other, F10, box around).

You can get this behaviour, but not using snapshots (which as you
noticed are cumulative, and rolling back one snapshot deletes its
changes). What you do is install your "out-of-the-box" version in a
new drive image, then mark that as "immutable". AFAIK, you still have
to do that from the command-line, and it's not really intuitive.
Something like:
1) De-register your "out-of-the-box" drive image from all VMs you have
2) $ vboxmanage closemedium disk <filename>
3) $ vboxmanage openmedium disk <filename> --type immutable
4) Re-associate your VMs to the "out-of-thebox" image. It will inform
you now that it is immutable.

You can then create as many VMs as you need with the "immutable" image
as the base, and it will automagically create differencing images for
you, which you can install the service packs in.

The disadvantage of this is you have multiple VM configurations, all
of which have independent settings, but this is what I do for my WinXP
browser testing (so I have multiple different versions of
IE/Opera/other browsers that don't like other versions existing on the
same installation :) ).

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