2016-06-12 Veertu the hidden gem

For my last project, I've been using Veertu. I consider it the hidden gem of desktop virtualization. The big boys in this space are basically Parallels, VMWare and VirtualBox. They all require loads of kernel drivers, and personally I like my Mac as bog-standard as possible.

But since last year, there is Veertu. It uses Apple's own Hypervisor framework and it's distributed through the Mac App Store. I consider this a major accomplishment. Recently some Mac apps have been leaving the store citing limitations of one or the other, but these guys have managed to get their virtualization app running in the sandbox that the App Store requires!

Amazing, really. And it's a good product as well. I've been using it to test Ansible scripts. The backend of my client's project was deployed via Ansible but the script hadn't been maintained for some time. It was very nice to kick up a fresh Ubuntu server instance, test the Ansible script and log any issues that occurred so our backend guy could have a look.

And this is a small thing, but shows attention to detail: the IP address is shown in the list of running VMs: veertu5 shows IP-fs8 2016-06-12.png

Veertu is first and foremost an OS X app so looks and behaves very much like you'd expect, unlike for instance VirtualBox. I've read about some limitations related to graphics performance and USB support. For my purposes, I haven't run into these. I did notice it doesn't yet support sparse files, in the sense that when you reserve 20 GB for your VM, it really does reserve 20 gigs on disk. In my case that wasn't a problem; my VMs don't have a long life.

They're updating it all the time; last update was roughly three weeks ago. So for instance the sparse files thing seems to have been fixed.

In any case, since Veertu is free for basic Linux usage, why not try and see if it supports your use case? To give it a shot with the least amount of hassle, install and start Veertu, add a VM and pick Ubuntu Gnome 16.04 desktop. After downloading, the VM will be started. Then instead of installing, select "Try Ubuntu":

veertu ubuntu 2016-06-12.png

Some links: