I wanted to run Linux on my Mac laptop, but didn’t want to pay $80 for VMWare Fusion if I could avoid it. It turns out, I could! I’m not actually done installing Linux yet, but VirtualBox seems pretty nice so far.
I wouldn’t bother, since Mac OSX is a Unix variant, but I recently got the hankering to run my Lispworks for Linux on my laptop, so that’s what this is about.
Update: Finished installing Linux with KDE. Worked out of the box. Currently running konsole exported to the regular Mac X11 server.
Update 2: Hit a bit of a speed-bump on VirtualBox: networking. The default NAT networking is great: it will take packets from the guest and put them on the host’s network. But … what if you’re currently unplugged? Then your machine has no network, and no IP address. Sure, your guest can’t get to the outside world, but here’s the thing: It can’t get to your host, either.
So, try bridged networking. As near as I can tell, the network you’re bridging to has to be up and active.
Then there’s host-only networking. The guest can talk to the host even if the host is not currently attached to a larger network … but even if it is, the guest can’t talk to said larger network.
You can switch between the two, but only if you reboot the VM.
I shall attempt to enquire at the VirtualBox forum.
Update 3: While typing in my question at the VirtualBox forum, I thought of a possible solution, which I tried and it works: Add a 2nd NIC to the guest. One NIC is NAT’ed to the outside world, the other uses “host-only” networking to talk to the host. Still curious if there’s a better way, though. My VB forum question here.