Re setting up XE2 and VirtualBox… with no physical network

As a follow on from my previous post, after much faffing about – not helped by the fact my knowledge of networking is about as deep as my knowledge of Mandarin, which is to say, non-existent – I’ve finally got remote debugging from a Vista VM to a OS X host working. The problem, I think, was the fact my iMac isn’t connected to a physical network, but whatever, the solution was pretty easy once I stumbled upon it:

  1. From the main VirtualBox window, choose VirtualBox|Preferences from the menu bar.
  2. Click on Networks, then the little ‘Add host-only network’ button (it’s the one with a green network card and plus sign icon).
  3. I just accepted the defaults, which gave the host an IP address of 192.168.56.1
  4. With the VM running, choose Devices|Network adaptors from the menu bar.
  5. Change Adapter to a ‘Host-only adapter’ by selecting that option under ‘Attached to’. This does have the side effect of removing internet access on the VM for me, however it is easy enough to change the adapter type back to NAT when internet access is required.
  6. In Delphi, make sure the ‘host name’ in your remote profile for OS X is set to the host IP address mentioned earlier, and things should work fine, though remember to start PAServer on the host before testing the connection. To keep things simple file sharing-wise I share my entire OS X home directory; this setting (set up when using the default ‘NAT’ mode) was not affected by the change of adapter type.

Overall, I have to say I’ve been very impressed with VirtualBox, and more generally, I can definitely recommend this sort of setup for just ordinary personal use – if you want to run Windows applications on OS X, even pretty simple ones, Wine just doesn’t cut it, as well as being a pain to install and an annoyance once it is installed (I know it’s free and all that, but why oh why does Linux-y open source stuff have to spew things all over the hard drive?).

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3 thoughts on “Re setting up XE2 and VirtualBox… with no physical network

  1. I went with Parallels for my VM solution on my iMac. It’s not free, but it’s not expensive either, and it has been problem free and provides incredibly smooth – dare I say “seamless” – integration with the host desktop environment should you wish to go that route (in “Coherence” mode, Windows apps are hosted on the OS X desktop environment completely and utterly seamlessly, with the Windows “Start” menu hosted in the OS X menu bar. Or you can run in a more traditional windowed/full screen VM mode).

    It has been solid as a rock for me and incorporates tightly integrated support for Time Machine backups into the bargain.

    XE2 debugging with Platform Assistant was seamless for me, but I am on a network so didn’t have to contend with any “no physical network” issues that may or may not have otherwise arisen.

    • I do find a slight issue on the keyboard front, simply because the keyboard layout is slightly different between OS X and Windows – people tend to say Cmd on the Mac just maps to Ctrl on Windows, but it’s not as simple as that (in particular, the Alt key is used quite differently). I’ve ended up remapping certain keys in the VM so that they map to Windows equivalents in the same physical position – left Alt/Option key to the Windows key, left Cmd to left Alt, and so on. I wouldn’t have thought so beforehand, but I find it easier just using the keyboard differently depending on whether I am in Windows or OS X, since otherewise, I’m constantly making mistakes WRT Cmd+Tab vs Alt+Tab, Ctrl+Left/Right vs. Alt+Left/Right, etc.

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