I'm a full time Mac user these days however some times I need to use a Windows client to connect to certain Windows only applications (websites that are IE only for instance). After searching around for suitable VMs for Mac I tried out VirtualBox, an Open Source virtualizer for x86 hardware.
After reading the website I downloaded the installer for Mac and gave the VM a try. The installation process was straight forward, following the regular Mac process. Setting up my first VM was quite easy; I selected to create a WinXP VM, allocated to it up to 2GB of my system's RAM, and made a static 20GB virtual partition. After creating the VM in VirtualBox I started the WinXP install process as I would on any other PC (this went as per normal, with many restarts after each windows update run).
WinXP running as an application on my MacBook
WinXP recognized my processor as Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2Ghz however it operates the VM at 955Mhz. This clock speed was achieved after enabling a few features that VirtualBox leaves off by default, before enabling the following settings my clock speed was 505Mhz:
- IO APIC
- VT-x/AMD-V and,
So far I've been impressed by the simplicity of setting up the Windows VM on my Mac using VirtualBox. It's not going to become a gaming VM, however I expect it will work quite well as a client for those few non-mac friendly apps I need to access.