As already mentioned the new VirtualBox features seamless integration of Windows guest windows with Linux hosts. While I do not have a Windows copy at my hands at the moment a friend of mine made some screenshots and told me about his experiences.
All related blogs and media are picking up now the news about the new VirtualBox version. And the virtualbox.org page is accessible too. Everyone can now download the newest version in various precompiled packages.
However, there are hardly any screenshots available yet so I asked my friend JD if he could produce a set for me:
The first screenshot shows the VirtualBox screen next to the task manager and a Windows Minesweeper game. At the bottom you can see the Windows task bar which shows a small window preview of the task manager. The system is, btw., a Vista-style Windows XP.
The next screenshot shows VLC and skype – both running one time in Linux and one time in Windows. I like that one 😀
The last screenshot shows two Offices, again one running in Windows and one running in Linux – and a text has been copied from one to another via the clipboard. And this worked as well (but required the VirtualBox guest tools of course).
According to JD the general experience of the feature was quite well. However there are quite some bugs: the taskbar is there in any way, whether you want it or not. That means you have to set it to “auto-hide”. Also, as already mentioned all windows are identified by the host system as one: if you click on one all other will come up also – and that includes the taskbar if not set to auto-hide. I guess that these are bugs which will vanish during the next releases in some way.
There are also minor issues which might not be solved in the next versions – if you activate transparency in Windows (for example of the taskbar) you see the background image of Windows, not of Linux. As a result it might happen that you see the Windows background through the transparent edges of your Windows application while the Windows application itself is on the Linux desktop. I doubt that this will be fixed easily so the best would be to use simple background images in Windows. Or simply the same in both systems.
Anyway, VirtualBox 1.5 is again a great release. And I guess that we will see more results of seamless integration, like Windows application launchers in the Linux start menus, in one of the next versions.
11 thoughts on “Screenshots: VirtualBox’s seamless integration”
For me seamlessrdp, is not as fast as the “native” window, and had all sorts of problems with (usually with multiple applications opened), so this is no real magic, sorry.
It’s funny: if your guest is XP instead of Vista, the windows taskbar doesn’t cover the kicker, which is quite more helpful.
Tested VirtualBox to immediatly get rid of Vmware and KVM. Seamless integration works great (and I’m using quite demanding software on windows).
bakaohki, I’m not really sure what you mean – VirtualBox does not work as good as seamlessrdp for you?
To the others, thanks for the info.
I have tested virtualbox loading vista but I couldn’t make the copy paste work…yet. Everything else is working fine.
analta: You know that you have to install the Guest Applications?
Now that I installed them, it works fine. Thanks!
at least with the current version of visual box, if you click on the desktop, the windows taskbar goes to the background. Just discovered this. now only to figure out how to get autohide to work properly.
paul, the current version has quite some advantages. Please keep in mind that this blog post is very old already!
I’ve extended the Virtual Box’s seamless integration by allowing Ubuntu to open Word files using a Windows Virtual Machine. This can be generalised to open any file type using the Windows default application.
For more information please see my blog: