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For developing web applications I run a development environment on OSX, this environment includes Django and apache with mod_wsgi. My staging server and production server are both virtual machines using KVM, running Ubuntu (10.04) with apache, mod_wsgi, mysql, solr on jetty.

As a result bringing new versions from staging to production server is hassle-free, just copy the VM from staging to production. Going from development to staging is painful though.

So may question is :

is there a way to use a VM running ubuntu on my mac that can be (easily) exported to a VM running on linux?

I've briefly looked into Virtual Box, but it's unclear to me if there's a reasonable chance this will work. Other stuff like virtuozzo/openVZ doesn't run on OSX apparantly.

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Virtualbox works just fine for this. –  gWaldo Oct 12 '10 at 12:09
    
thanks,i didn't realize virtualbox also runs on ubuntu without GUI. –  Jasper Oct 12 '10 at 13:28

4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

VirtualBox runs fine on both MacOS X and Ubuntu. You can easily export/import appliances (ovf) from them. http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch01.html#ovf

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It's not free, but if you virtualise using Fusion from VMware, it will allow you to export your VM from the Mac to virtually any VMware product - for instance Workstation or Server running on Linux.

Alternatively your Linux virtualisation solution of choice may be able to import VMware VMs - for instance if you are using Virtualbox see http://www.ubuntugeek.com/howto-convert-vmware-image-to-virtualbox-image.html

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I've moved VM's from VMWare Server on Linux, to Fusion and to VMWare Player on Windows without problems. The biggest thing to pay attention to is your versions- if you make something in the latest and greatest format on one platform, you'll need to verify the VMWare on the other platform supports it.

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Virtualbox should run OS on both platforms, although as I;ve only used it on a windows host I can't say for sure. You can export the machine setting to a .ovf file which then can be moved to another machine.

Use a test machine and try it.

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