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Old 08-11-2008, 11:34 AM   #1
NWBlue
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Question Virtualisation with Windows host


Hi
I am new to Linux and I want to run various distros of Linux in a virtual machine on a windows host.
I use virtual server 2005 R2 currently for training (VM machines are 2K8 server, Vista and XP) but I now need to get training machines (standalone initally not on the virtual windows domain) set up for Linux. I was wondering whether it possible to do this within the virtual environment I have now or to use a new set up.
I would prefer a windows host (and possibly MS virtual Server 2005 R2 or Virtual PC 2007 as I already have them) but if there is much better performance and ease of using a Linux host and or different technologies I would go that way.

Any help or advice or pointing in the right direction will be gratefully received.

TIA
 
Old 08-11-2008, 11:42 AM   #2
jiml8
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IIRC, for a long time Windows Virtual PC wouldn't support Linux, but again IIRC they changed that a couple of years ago so that you COULD load Linux in it.

That said, given Microsoft's track record, I wouldn't trust them to do a decent job with Linux. It would be just like them to have their virtual environment sabotage the Linux virtual machine environment just enough to cause behavioral problems with Linux. I don't know they do this, but it would be fully consistent with how they have ALWAYS handled third party software.

If I were going to virtualize with a Windows host, I would want a third party virtualization package, such as VMWare.

All that said, I would prefer (and in fact I do) virtualize with a Linux host. Many reasons for this, but the stability of Linux is a big factor. Also, of course, Linux has a much smaller system footprint than Vista does, and even smaller than XP.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 11:56 AM   #3
NWBlue
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Thank you for your quick reply.

I may download a trial edition of VMWare and give it a try - I have got Opensuse 10 (10.3 failed to install)on a VM in MS Virtual Server now (install just completed) but getting the VM additions for Linux on is proving fun .

What virtulisation package have you found to be best (and easy to use for a newbie)on a Linux host? and what does it make a difference which distro you use for the host and clients?

Thank you again for your help :-)
 
Old 08-11-2008, 12:13 PM   #4
farslayer
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Vmware server, workstation, ESX and the converter tool, are all now FREE so there is no need for a trial version. when you download the vmware products it will prompt you for information to generate License keys for them.

I use vmware because it's the most likely virtualization platform I will run into in a commercial environment.

ESX loads directly onto the server hardware before any other OS

vmware server runs on Linux or Windows and is managed through a graphical client.

vmware workstation is err.. Hmm I've never loaded this one. it's a lighterweight server with integrated graphical client from what I gather

vmware converter will conver running windows machines into vmware images.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 02:56 PM   #5
jiml8
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I run VMWare Workstation. Workstation is more comprehensive in its support than Server is, just as workstations are usually more complex and multi-purpose than servers are.

VMWare workstation works just about perfectly. My only complaint is that video speed is poor, but for almost all of what I do that is not an issue. Can't play games though.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 04:13 PM   #6
NWBlue
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Thank you both - I am going to download VMWare and give it a try - no point spending hours on MS VS2005 if VMWare will do it better and it will give an excuse to play with that as well
 
Old 08-11-2008, 04:28 PM   #7
NWBlue
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[QUOTE=farslayer;3243712]Vmware server, workstation, ESX and the converter tool, are all now FREE so there is no need for a trial version. when you download the vmware products it will prompt you for information to generate License keys for them. QUOTE]

I must be being very thick but I can only see an evaluation download, same message as below for Linux and Windows.


VMware Workstation for Windows
Discover the true power and flexibility of your desktop or laptop computer with a 30-day free evaluation of VMware Workstation. Reduce hardware costs by 50% or more by running multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single PC. Automate and streamline tasks to save time and improve productivity. Learn more about VMware Workstation.

YOUR TRIAL INCLUDES
VMware Workstation for Windows


Also do you both use Linux as a host OS?

sorry for all the questions
 
Old 08-11-2008, 04:53 PM   #8
farslayer
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Interesting I swear workstation was free, which is odd if it isn't now since ESXi and Server are both free.

http://www.vmware.com/download/serve...alization.html

I prefer VMWare Server because I can run it on a Linux box with no GUI then connect to the VM's with the Client from another workstation (or the same machine if it has a GUI)

I'm trying to find the old press release now to see if I've lost my mind or not..

Maybe I just had workstation confused with player as being the free product..
Maybe that's why I've never used workstation......

Last edited by farslayer; 08-11-2008 at 04:59 PM.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 04:58 PM   #9
NWBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farslayer View Post
I'm trying to find the old press release now to see if I've lost my mind or not..

I know that feeling all too well

Yet again thank you for the help.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 05:03 PM   #10
Mega Man X
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I wonder why virtualbox is not (often) mentioned in Linux forums. I've tried it and found it great, is freely available as well as having Sun behind the scenes. I've managed to run several Linux distributions with it at work with great speed (but then again, my PC at work kicks a**). Even sound through Rhythmbox worked great and that is saying a lot, since I never had luck playing sound from a virtual machine.

The only OS I could not get it to run was FreeDOS (although it supports DOS/Windows 3.x). I don't really need FreeDOS either, I was just curious . And I am still more curious wondering why Sun's Virtualbox is not that popular (or at least not as often mentioned), but the expensive wmware is...
 
Old 08-11-2008, 08:54 PM   #11
farslayer
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I see virtualbox mentioned here all the time actually. but every seminar I go to, and every one of my admin friends that has virtualization in their enterprise (banks, insurance companies, etc..), are all running vmware. since most of the vmware stuff is free now (till you get into the high end) if I'm going to spend time learning one and playing with it. I'd rather spend time on what I will most likely run into, in the market place. Not that there is anything wrong with the other solutions, but when I look at the job boards i see vmware mentioned, I do not see Xen, virtualbox, or any of the other solutions.

Do any of the other virtualization products (free or commercial) support a function such as vmwares vmotion ? that is one of the compelling options available for vmware ESX that interest me the most.
 
Old 08-11-2008, 10:28 PM   #12
kenoshi
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Must be different where you are farslayer...I get asked XEN here in the SF bay area a lot.

Anyway, ESXi is free, so is vmware server. Workstation will require a license, it has a lot more features that vmware server doesn't (you get what you paid for). Vmware server was meant for end users to explore the benefits of virtualization, workstation is a much more mature product, meant for dev/qa, runs in usermode, and generally less issues.

ESXi is ESX without a service console. The standard feature set is similar and is free. However, the enterprise features such as HA, DRS, Vmotion, will require you to purchase an ESX enterprise license (which covers both ESXi and ESX), so yes if you have the license, vmotion will work on ESXi. ESX is more for whitebox/custom installs, as for example with the lack of SC, you can't use vendor supplied hardware agents to monitor/manage the hardware. Besides, some of us have written custom configuration scripts over the years and well, won't be able to use them in ESXi either.

I prefer XEN because well, I've found it to require less overhead than VMWare, especially with paravirtualized linux installs. I've had less headaches with XEN's hypervisor, a lot less timing issues, and have been using it in production for 2 years. Sure it lacks some of the bells and whistles, but its easier to deploy, and much easier to get drivers for...at least with 3.5 they do include support for some sata controllers...gawd it used to frustrate me to no end trying to get megaraid to work on ESX 3.0.1

Last edited by kenoshi; 08-11-2008 at 10:30 PM.
 
Old 08-12-2008, 06:20 AM   #13
NWBlue
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I am tempted down the VMware route as itseems to be more widely used in the UK (someone will post now with a million examples of it not being!! )So along with MS Virtual Server I will have a decent grounding.
As for the Linux VM at the moment I dont need anything with bells and whistles as all it is for is to have a few different distributions in VM's for training users on to use a specfic software and hardware. I looked at the preconfigured OS's that can be downloaded but as these seem to be cut down versions of the OS I would rather stick to the full VM.

Last edited by NWBlue; 08-12-2008 at 09:23 AM.
 
  


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