VMLite 4.x Beta released

[German edition]Today I received an email from VMLite developers, informing me, that a public beta of VMLite 4.x is available for download. VMLite is a desktop virtualization solution for Windows, based on Virtualbox, but comming with a few nice extensions.<


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The VMLite 4.x beta is downloadable at this website (but need to register). The 130 MB download file may be installed under Windows (I used Windows 7 for my tests).

Attention: A Virtualbox installation or a previous VMLite 3.x installation should be removed before installing VMLite 4.x (otherwise settings stored from the old versions are conflicting with the beta). Also a user mentioned in VMLite forum, that VMLite 4.x Beta should not be installed on a Windows 7 Host, bootet from a vhd-disk, if the disk contains a snapshot.

Integrate Windows XP-Mode …

One nice VMLite extension (compared to Virtualbox) ist the possibility, to integrate Windows XP-Mode. At the end of the install process, a wizzard asks to integrate Windows XP-Mode.

If there is a .vhd file with Windows XP-Mode on a machine, it can be integrated as a VMLite VM. I tried that on a Windows 7 Home Premium host – Windows XP-Mode booted without any problems – and till now I wasn’t asked to activate Win XP.

[Update: Forgot to mention, during Windows XP-mode boot I got 3 error messages, reporting broken shared folders. Inspecting the issue showed me, that VMLite Beta tries to re-use drive letters, that are already occupied from my host’s sd card readers (see image below). This can be fixed in device menu / shared folder settings. I’ve reported that bug. And I should also mention, that you should install the Guest Additions linked at [3]. The images already rolled out with VMLite 4.2.a Beta creates an error during install.]


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A new high light: Virtualization of the host

VMLite 4.x beta still comes with another goodie: VMLite may be used to virtualize the host operating system, as a developer wrote in VMLite forum.

The most significant feature is a special kind of vm, as we call it “VMLite”, to run the current running host OS inside a virtual machine, so all apps (including drivers) can be executed inside a sandbox. It only takes a few mins to have such vm running. it’s “exact clone” of the host os.
Others are cpu improvement, Aero support, better USB support, etc.

To test the new feature, go to menu Machine > New VMLite … to create a sandbox to virtualize host os.

Here is my Machine menu and I selected New VMLite, to invoke the wizard.

Set virtualization wizard proposes a name, a operating system and a OS type. In a 2nd dialog box you can change the amount of RAM useable by the Guest system.

After finishing the wizard, using Next, the host os should be transferred to a .vdi disk – and the recommended drivers will be injected. If you just use VMLite for virtualization, third party solutions as Paragon Go Virtual introduced a few days ago in my blog are obsolete. Unfortunately the wizard doesn’t work in my environment. Cloning the host was always interrupted with an error – but I guess, it might have something to do with my low free disk space on my host disk. But I haven’t found an option to direct all temporary files to an empty disk.

Some some other neu features still in the pipe?

Also another statement from the developers made in the VMLite forum was quite interesting:

And we are working towards this direction: to make the same virtual disk to become bootable as a vm, also via vboot to boot a physical pcs. VMLite will be unique in this area, the only solution that can use same disk files physically and virtually.

If you already made an OS available in a virtual disk, you may boot that disk as a virtual machine in VMLite. And you can use VMLite’s VBOOT for a native boot as well. If that works, it will be a unique feature. Well we have to wait, what VMLite developers still have in stock – in the past they came out with a few surprises from time to time. But we have to be patient, because it took it’s time to release a new product in the past.

Links:
1: Discussion about VMLite 4.x Beta
2: Download page (VMLite 4.2.A)
3: VMLite Guest Additions (modifified)


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