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Re: Installer: 32 vs. 64 bit

Juliusz Chroboczek:
>> When discussing virtual machines it would be helpful to mention which virtual
>> machine hypervisor is being used, because the resulting behavior can differ
>> depending on hypervisor.
> It was VirtualBox under Windows.  The underlying issue was that VT-x was
> disabled in the BIOS, and hence VirtualBox didn't offer any 64-bit
> machines.  The student tried her best to make it work, I don't think she
> can be blamed for failing.
> -- Juliusz

Okay -- thanks for taking the time to find the root cause of the issue.

Unfortunately VT-x being disabled in the BIOS is not an abnormal situation, so
it's not any kind of "error" per se that normally needs to be reported.  This is
a feature specific to virtualization and many end-user machines aren't used that
way -- and in my experience the virtualization features ship default to being
turned off.

A logical place to check or the lack of BIOS virtualization features and show an
error message for this would be within the .postinst script for the virtualbox
package in Debian.  This way when Virtualbox is installed the user installing it
can be warned that VT-x or AMD-V isn't active and give a hint as to how to fix
it.  Alternatively a /usr/share/doc/virtualbox/README.Debian file could contain
a warning about this for the user to read, which assumes the user knows to look
for that.  [I checked -- right now the virtualbox source package in Debian
contains neither AFAICT.]

Filing a bug on src:virtualbox with severity 'wishlist' or 'normal' for this
issue to discuss it with the maintainer of the virtualbox package(s) seems a
logical thing to do.

   -- Chris

Chris Knadle