VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product that allows users to run multiple operating systems simultaneously. In this article, we will discuss how to enable VirtualBox paravirtualization to improve the performance of an Ubuntu guest system.
Enabling VirtualBox paravirtualization for an Ubuntu guest system can significantly improve performance. By enabling the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) interface and installing VirtualBox Guest Additions, you can enhance the virtual environment’s efficiency and responsiveness.
What is Paravirtualization?
Paravirtualization is a virtualization technique that presents a software interface to virtual machines that is similar, but not identical to that of the underlying hardware. This interface can be used to boost the performance of the guest system by allowing it to interact more directly with the host system’s hardware.
Enabling Paravirtualization in VirtualBox
To enable paravirtualization in VirtualBox, we will use the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) interface. This interface is recognized by Linux kernels starting with version 2.6.25, which includes the Ubuntu 14.04.3 kernel and later versions.
Here are the steps to enable KVM paravirtualization in VirtualBox:
- Launch VirtualBox: Open VirtualBox and select the Ubuntu guest from the list of virtual machines.
- Open Settings: Click on “Settings” to open the virtual machine settings.
- Navigate to System Tab: In the settings window, go to the “System” tab.
- Enable KVM: Under the “Acceleration” section, check the box next to “Enable KVM”.
- Save Changes: Click “OK” to save the changes and close the settings window.
With these changes, the KVM paravirtualization interface is now enabled for your Ubuntu guest system.
Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions
For further performance improvement and better integration with the host system, it is recommended to install VirtualBox Guest Additions in the guest system. Here are the steps to do so:
- Start the Ubuntu Guest: Launch the Ubuntu guest in VirtualBox.
- Insert Guest Additions CD Image: In the VirtualBox menu, go to “Devices” and select “Insert Guest Additions CD image”. This will mount the Guest Additions CD image in the guest system.
- Open Terminal: Open a terminal in the guest system and navigate to the mounted CD image.
- Install Guest Additions: Run the following command to install Guest Additions:
This command will run the Guest Additions installer. The
sudoprefix is used to run the command with root privileges, which is required for system-wide installations. The
./prefix indicates that the
VBoxLinuxAdditions.runscript is located in the current directory.
- Follow Instructions: Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. You may need to enter your password when prompted.
- Restart the Guest System: After the installation is finished, restart the guest system.
With Guest Additions installed, you should notice improved performance and additional features such as shared folders and clipboard integration between the host and guest systems.
Enabling VirtualBox paravirtualization and installing Guest Additions can significantly improve the performance of an Ubuntu guest system. However, the exact performance improvement can vary depending on your specific hardware and workload. It is recommended to run benchmarks or test your specific use case to determine the impact of these optimizations.
By following the steps in this article, you can take full advantage of the powerful features that VirtualBox offers and create a more efficient and responsive virtual environment.
VirtualBox paravirtualization is a virtualization technique that allows a guest system to interact more directly with the host system’s hardware, improving performance.
To enable paravirtualization in VirtualBox, go to the virtual machine settings, navigate to the "System" tab, and check the box next to "Enable KVM" under the "Acceleration" section.
Linux kernels starting with version 2.6.25, including Ubuntu 14.04.3 kernel and later versions, support KVM paravirtualization.
VirtualBox Guest Additions are a set of drivers and system utilities that improve the performance and integration of the guest system with the host system.
To install VirtualBox Guest Additions in Ubuntu, launch the Ubuntu guest, go to the VirtualBox menu, select "Devices" > "Insert Guest Additions CD image", open a terminal in the guest system, navigate to the mounted CD image, and run the command
sudo ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run to install Guest Additions.
Guest Additions provide features such as shared folders, clipboard integration between the host and guest systems, improved video support, and seamless mouse integration.
You can run benchmarks or test your specific workload to determine the impact of these optimizations on performance. The exact performance improvement can vary depending on your hardware and usage scenario.