Jason Turley's Website

Why I switched from VirtualBox to WSL 2


I was first introduced to VirtualBox my junior year of college when I wanted to better learn Linux. I wasn’t ready to go “full Linux” and install it as my main OS like some of my techie friends. All I was looking for was a taste. VirtualBox offered that taste, and for a while, it was sweet. I have installed multiple Linux distributions. However, recently I started experiencing annoying problems with VirtualBox. Now, I’m ready to explore other options. 

An option I am currently enjoying is Windows Subsytem for Linux version 2 (WSL 2). It is a new way to experience Linux on Windows 10. Nice replacement for Cygwin!

This article is a mini rant on my recent frustrations with VirtualBox.

Why do I want a Linux VM in the first place? 

Simple programming environment 

My programming projects are minuscule compared to production-level code made by a company. For that reason I prefer to use a text editor and compiler instead of a massive IDE. Programming in Vim and using a Linux terminal to compile my code is all I need. 

CTF and wargame challenges

Many of the CTF and war game challenges I play are Linux based. Especially the binary exploitation and reverse engineering categories. These would be difficult (if not impossible) to solve in plain windows 10. 

Not ready to dual boot

I’m simply not ready to dual boot into a Linux partition. I’m fine with using Windows as my main OS for web browsing, emails, and work. I only want Linux for programming and CTFs. 

To learn something new

Learning something new, whether its a programming language, framework, or operating system, is just a lot of fun!

Now onto the main purpose of this article:

Why I’m leaving VirtualBox 

What I like about WSL 2 (so far)


If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sitting through my mini rant. It feels good to vent. I still like VirtualBox, however it hasn’t been working well with my current laptop. I’m sure it will run smoothly on my gaming desktop.