Virtualize a Physical Haiku Partition With Virtualbox

Blog post by Barrett on Sun, 2011-11-06 17:54

In some situations, for example when we are using linux, can be extremely annoying to reboot into Haiku every time we need something (for example when we have a ppp connection).

I've written this article and i decided to post it here, in the hope that will help users and developers to have the life a bit simple.

There's a fast method to boot a physical Haiku partition using VirtualBox, it require only a few commands.
My commands refers to linux, anyway the operation is possibile under Windows (and presumably all supported platforms), changing the disk path. Remember also that you don't have to set permissions under Windows.

  1. Open Terminal and log in as root (or use sudo before every command) using "su"
  2. Type fdisk -l and choose the target device (for example /dev/sda)

Add to your own user the needed permissions :

usermod -a -G disk,vboxusers username

Then create the vdmk file using this command :

VBoxManage internalcommands createrawvmdk -filename file.vdmk -rawdisk /dev/sda

Where file.vdmk is the file that will be used to set up the virtual machine and /dev/sda your device, it can be an hard disk, usb drive and any other mass storage device.

If our command worked as well, we'll have a new file for example "file.vdmk".

Now you should set the file permissions, type into terminal :

chmod 777 file.vdmk

At the end open VirtualBox, create a new virtual machine and set the file as master storage.

If you have a bootloader, you will choose the operating system as when you boot the device, in the case you need a bootloader you can use an Haiku's livecd adding it in VirtualBox and pressing shift or space to boot from another partition before the bootscreen.

This method is also useful when you have a BFS disk with a lot of files and you want to transfer it to your physical partition.

Note : the created file can be used as well with VMWare.

It's available an italian version of the tutorial at this link.


Re: Virtualize a Physical Haiku Partition With Virtualbox

This can be done from windows as well

I mapped my physical drive into Vbox to install Gentoo on my Fujitsu p1200 laptop (took about 2 days as it is going through 2 layers of visualization Transmeta and Vbox)

Were I to do that again I might try colinux instead of Vbox lol :-)

Re: Virtualize a Physical Haiku Partition With Virtualbox

This works, but the performance hit is staggering. Not for regular use, perhaps, unless you are running an 8-core watercooled monster.

Re: Virtualize a Physical Haiku Partition With Virtualbox

I've not tried yet and i'm not sure, but i think using a gcc4 build with the virtualbox guest additions the performances can be increased.

Re: Virtualize a Physical Haiku Partition With Virtualbox

There shouldn't be very little performance hit on newer processors ... as in anything Intel or AMD for the past 3-4 years. I doubt the direct disk acess causes any hit... as it works fine with qemu as well ...

qemu -hda /dev/sda ... works just fine