Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When VirtualBox restores a snapshot, is that like coming back from hibernation?

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

A snapshot saves exactly what the virtual machine was doing in a certain point in time.

  • If it is powered off when you take the snapshot, later when you revert to it, the machine will still be powered off and require a normal startup.
  • If the machine is running when you take the snapshot, and has some applications running, later when you revert to it, the machine will be exactly like when you took the snapshot. Possibly with the exception of the system clock, that still synchronizes with the real time on your host machine.

It is like hibernation in the sense that the state of the operating system and the software running on it is saved to a hard drive.
It is different because the guest OS itself is not in charge of saving and restoring that state, your Virtualbox software running on the host OS is. Because of that it works better and faster.

share|improve this answer
1  
"It is like hibernation in the sense that the state of the operating system and the software running on it is saved to a hard drive." The only thing saved to the hard drive during hibernation is what is currently in RAM. Everything else already exists on the HDD. In reality, snapshotting is nothing like hibernation. –  MDMarra Aug 1 '10 at 4:25
    
That is what I meant by "the state of the os and software". But you're right, the way you explain it is more accurate, thanks for clarifying. –  Kenny Rasschaert Aug 1 '10 at 4:27
add comment

Restoring a snapshot reverts the OS to the exact state that it was in when the snapshot was taken.

From the Virtualbox documentation:

You can restore a snapshot by right-clicking on any snapshot you have taken in the list of snapshots. By restoring a snapshot, you go back (or forward) in time: the current state of the machine is lost, and the machine is restored to exactly the same state as it was when then snapshot was taken

...

Finally, if you took a snapshot while the machine was running, the memory state of the machine is also saved in the snapshot (the same way the memory can be saved when you close the VM window) so that when you restore the snapshot, execution resumes at exactly the point when the snapshot was taken.

share|improve this answer
    
That sounds like hibernation, but when I restore a snapshot Windows doesn't restore the open programs. –  Phenom Aug 1 '10 at 3:14
    
@Phenom - It is nothing at all like hibernation. It should restore eveything, regardless of if an application is open or not. I think you may be confusing a snapshot with resuming from suspension, which is much like hibernation. –  MDMarra Aug 1 '10 at 3:17
    
You mean it just restores the file structure, not the memory state. –  Phenom Aug 1 '10 at 3:21
    
@Phenom - No, it should preserve the memory state as well. Perhaps you should read the Virtualbox documentation on snapshots. –  MDMarra Aug 1 '10 at 3:26
    
If it saves the file state and memory state then that's like hibernation. Can you explain how that is different? Anyway, when I try to restore from a snapshot it starts up normally. –  Phenom Aug 1 '10 at 3:36
show 1 more comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.