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VirtualBox alternative: Gnome Boxes

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Yesterday I wrote that I’m planning to migrate to Fedora Silverblue in the future. One step towards this is finding a solution to the problem that VirtualBox, which I use to run Windows in a VM, doesn’t work on Silverblue.

Today I found out that it isn’t a problem at all. All I had to do was installing Gnome Boxes, creating a new VM and selecting the .vdi file from VirtualBox. Gnome Boxes will copy and convert this file into it’s own format and import the VM. All you need to do is to wait a few minutes depending on the file size, CPU and storage speed.

After the existing VM got imported, I uninstalled the VirtualBox Guest additions from inside the VM and installed the Spice Windows Guest Tools and Spice WebDav daemon instead to get automatic screen sizing, shared folders and probably some other helpful features.

Because all that worked so great I already uninstalled VirtualBox from my system. One problem with VirtualBox is that it’s extension pack, which you need to get USB3 support for example is under an EULA license, which forbids commercial use. Gnome Boxes instead relies on QEMU, which is completely free software. QEMU is also widely used outside of Gnome Boxes.

Switching to Gnome Boxes brings me a huge step closer to my switch from Ubuntu to Fedora Silverblue. But this distro hop will be a task for after the exams the next weeks.


Jan-Lukas Else
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