Windows 10 Sandbox : Boon to Application testing

Hello friends

Hope you all are doing good. Those of us who were part of Windows 10 migration or even Windows 10 servicing (Windows as a Service) know the importance of application compatibility testing. Mostly, we provide VMs to application owners so that they can perform application testing and give us go ahead for migration. This is kind of pain. In one of our project, we provided 700+ VMs to application owners and SRs. Unfortunately during this time, we also had to service these VMs which was quite hectic.

Windows 10 19H1 onwards has a excellent feature called Windows Sandbox which “provides a lightweight desktop environment to safely run applications in isolation. Software installed inside the Windows Sandbox environment remains “sandboxed” and runs separately from the host machine.

Sandbox is temporary and when its closed, all the files and software are deleted. Properties of Sandbox as described on MS docs are as under:

  • Part of Windows: Everything required for this feature is included in Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise. There’s no need to download a VHD.
  • Pristine: Every time Windows Sandbox runs, it’s as clean as a brand-new installation of Windows.
  • Disposable: Nothing persists on the device. Everything is discarded when the user closes the application.
  • Secure: Uses hardware-based virtualization for kernel isolation. It relies on the Microsoft hypervisor to run a separate kernel that isolates Windows Sandbox from the host.
  • Efficient: Uses the integrated kernel scheduler, smart memory management, and virtual GPU.

Best thing about Sandbox is it’s a very lightweight environment of around 100MB, which has been optimized to boot and run faster, its focus is on security, and it works more efficiently.

Sandbox pre-requisites:

  • Windows 10 Pro, Enterprise or Education build 18305 or later (Windows Sandbox is currently not supported on Home SKUs)
  • AMD64 architecture
  • Virtualization capabilities enabled in BIOS
  • At least 4 GB of RAM (8 GB recommended)
  • At least 1 GB of free disk space (SSD recommended)
  • At least two CPU cores (four cores with hyperthreading recommended)

You can provide configuration file to Sandbox to control stuff like vCPU, memory, printers, audio, video, networking etc. More information can be checked here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/windows-sandbox/windows-sandbox-configure-using-wsb-file\

Detailed information about Sandbox can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security/threat-protection/windows-sandbox/windows-sandbox-overview

Sandbox is present in Windows 10 for some time now and I hope you have already got chance to play with it. But since I found is quite useful, thought to pass on the information.

So this is all in this post. I will see you soon with some other geeky stuff. Till then, stay safe and healthy πŸ™‚

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