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is there any possibility to have FreeBSD running virtual guests (Linux and Windows) apart from VirtualBox? Didn't find any recent information yet.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Since the 10.0 Release, FreeBSD ships its own Hypervisor: bhyve. Its possible to emulate BSD and Linux Guests, with Windows-support on the way.

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Thanks for the update, will have a look at bhyve! – CyberOptic Feb 2 '15 at 11:11
I tried it last week and couldn’t get Arch Linux to boot. Debian, which uses a slightly older Kernel, worked without issues. – Daniel B Feb 2 '15 at 12:52
@CyberOptic Yeah, as of 10.0/10.1 bhyve would be the way to go. It's had some pretty thorough stress testing and integration work done on it in the last 3-4 years. I would even dare to call it production quality at this point - we're planning to migrate some stuff into it this year as a test case. – voretaq7 Feb 2 '15 at 20:35

If you're looking for something to start running with right away, voretaq7's answer is the way to go. If you're looking to help with a more FreeBSD-specific project, there is a newer BSD hypervisor project called BHyVe.

The FreeBSD wiki page has links to the freebsd-virtualization mailing list (where project coordination is taking place), a PDF from the 2011 DevSummit presentation, and a Subversion link. It appears to currently require VT-x.

It looks like NetApp is sponsoring it and/or providing development resources, so it looks interesting. They are also looking for testers.

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Yes. BHyVe is sponsored by NetApp. It is currently under development and not part of the FreeBSD base system, which means that you need to check it out and compile it. It uses Virtio drivers like KVM and is pretty similar in design, just that its BSD licensed, not GPL. It actually works quite well already and theres been a call for testers just recently, so if you feel confident about it, give it a try and start testing! – juwi Jan 18 '12 at 22:50

To my knowledge the hypervisor options for FreeBSD systems are:

  • Jails
    (For running FreeBSD on FreeBSD -- Not really a hypervisor, but similar)
  • QEMU
    (For running generic stuff on FreeBSD -- Performance is mediocre)
  • VirtualBox
    (For running generic stuff on FreeBSD -- Performance and features are better than QEMU)

My suggestion out of the lot would be VirtualBox. You can also look in ports/emulators for other stuff I may have missed...

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Thanks for the hint. Have you ever tried ? – CyberOptic Mar 3 '11 at 15:24
@CyberOptic I haven't mostly because it's been leapfrogged by other developments (I believe VirtualBox has somewhat better performance these days)... – voretaq7 Mar 3 '11 at 19:17
ok thanks. seems i still have to wait before i can get my hands on freebsd due my virtualization requirements. – CyberOptic Mar 3 '11 at 20:25

I believe Xen was ported at some point but wasn't kept up. There seems to be activity now for both dom0 and domU Xen support in FreeBSD but it isn't clear how far the dom0 support is. I think the domU support is more active and someone is working on it now for Amazon's EC2 specifically.

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Xen Dom0 was never ported to FreeBSD, DomU support only works on i386. Whatever Amazon is doing it's been in the works for years and development is more than just slowish, so don't bother. – juwi Jan 18 '12 at 22:52

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