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I have a dual boot system: Vista from factory and Ubuntu Lucid with WUBI. I've installed Oracle VirtualBox on both to do what follows. I previously used MS Virtual PC on Vista with a XP VM, which I use for working. Then I wanted to share the same VM on Vista and Ubuntu, so I've installed OVB on both, and because OVB recognizes VHD format I didn't even have to convert it to VDI. I just configured the VM on both et voilà!

I've been doing this for some weeks without problems; it seems very stable. What I've done is to completely shut down the VM in order to cold start on the other booted OS. Has anyone tried to hibernate on one OS and resume in other? I suppose one can just copy a couple of files from one OS to the other to do so...

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3 Answers 3

I'm not entirely sure what you're asking for, but here's two possible answers:

If you want to know if you can hibernate one of your dual-booted OSes and then boot into the other, the answer is NO with most OSes. Typically the bootloader will see that one OS is hibernated and choose that one for you without giving you a choice. This is to prevent files which may be already open/loaded in memory from being edited.

If you want to know if you can hibernate the guest OS, then reboot into the other host OS, then resume the guest OS, yes, you can, if the VM software you're using supports hibernation. An easier method would be to just suspend the virtual machine; most VM softwares have a way to do this.

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This is possible, but depends entirely on how you are sharing your VM between the two host operating systems.

Oracle VirtualBox store all it's data in a .VirtualBox directory (normally located in your home directory or it's Windows equivilent), this includes all state data, snapshots etc for your VM's if created using VirtualBox itself. If both host systems use the same .VirtualBox directory (perhaps located on a common shared partition?) machine state will be seemless between your two host systems. That is you can pick up exactly where you left off in either OS.

Without knowing the details for you specific situation, especially how data is shared between your hosts and how how it interacts specifically with vhd files I can't say much more.

Hope this helps!

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Maybe the word hibernate confused, i should have written save state instead. overall, i just share the virtual disk file.

I did some research and found that there is a xml file on each VM folder which saves config information and is updated each time the state of your VM changes.

There is a xml attribute named lastStateChange and also a stateFile attribute which is written when a state is saved for the VM wich points to a {uuid}.sav file on the Snapshots folder.

Of course that .sav file is saved when you save a VM state. Theoretically one can move and rename the .save file between the dual-booted OSs and change the attributes for the config file (wich slightly differs from one OS to the other).

The rename part is because the uuid is the uuid for the VM, which is different between OSs. One can do some script to do that for practicality.

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