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Old 02-25-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
lupusarcanus
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Whats the quickest, most portable VM?


Well, I want to be able to run some Linux in a VM at my school (on WinXP systems), via a USB stick.

Two problems:

- Computers are mediocre

- Will be on many of them

I tried portable virtualbox but it starts very slow and runs slow without the guest additions. It just doesn't work right.

What I need is a quick, portable VM that starts up quick and runs decently; I'm not expecting all that much from a USB stick but at least smooth cursor movement.

I would like one that allows me to save changes on the virtual HDD, as opposed to a LiveCD style VM.

Any suggestions?
 
Old 02-25-2010, 10:44 PM   #2
paulsm4
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VM's require a fair amount of CPU horsepower (at least Pentium P4/2GHz: which really isn't all that much), lots of RAM (2GB minimum, a 64-bit OS and 4++GB even better!), and lots of disk (80GB minimum, 500GB - 1++TB even better).

All of these resources are commodities: you can literally build everything you need - if not buy a complete system outright - for less than $300.

But if that particular bar is still too high for you, then you're probably better off using a native OS.

Linux is an excellent choice for whatever hardware you have: good, bad or indifferent. It will always scale up to newer, better hardware. And you can always easily make a version that you can boot from CD, USB stick, and/or hard drive - in whatever combination you want. Or dual-boot multiple OS's (provided, of course, that have at least 20GB or so per OS that you can afford to allocate).

'Hope that helps .. PSM

PS:
If you're willing to run Linux without a desktop (i.e. command-line only), requirements diminish drastically. For example, an Ubuntu server VM can easily run on a slower CPU without a lot of RAM:

http://www.thoughtpolice.co.uk/vmware/

Last edited by paulsm4; 02-25-2010 at 10:47 PM.
 
Old 02-25-2010, 10:59 PM   #3
smeezekitty
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Quote:
VM's require a fair amount of CPU horsepower (at least Pentium P4/2GHz: which really isn't all that much), lots of RAM (2GB minimum, a 64-bit OS and 4++GB even better!), and lots of disk (80GB minimum, 500GB - 1++TB even better).
A VM works good on a 2ghz dual code with 2GB ram.
 
Old 02-25-2010, 11:00 PM   #4
lupusarcanus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulsm4 View Post
VM's require a fair amount of CPU horsepower (at least Pentium P4/2GHz: which really isn't all that much), lots of RAM (2GB minimum, a 64-bit OS and 4++GB even better!), and lots of disk (80GB minimum, 500GB - 1++TB even better).

All of these resources are commodities: you can literally build everything you need - if not buy a complete system outright - for less than $300.

But if that particular bar is still too high for you, then you're probably better off using a native OS.

Linux is an excellent choice for whatever hardware you have: good, bad or indifferent. It will always scale up to newer, better hardware. And you can always easily make a version that you can boot from CD, USB stick, and/or hard drive - in whatever combination you want. Or dual-boot multiple OS's (provided, of course, that have at least 20GB or so per OS that you can afford to allocate).

'Hope that helps .. PSM

PS:
If you're willing to run Linux without a desktop (i.e. command-line only), requirements diminish drastically. For example, an Ubuntu server VM can easily run on a slower CPU without a lot of RAM:

http://www.thoughtpolice.co.uk/vmware/
Well, I have no control over the systems. They run WinXP Pro, they are Dell OptiPlex seen at many schools; I guess 1-2 GiB RAM and perhaps a P4 or a Celeron.

For the record, my teachers seem to freak out when they see a command line because they think I'm 'hacking' when I'm really just navigating directories and stuff. So a desktop environment, even a minimal one would be good. Although I would prefer GNOME or XFCE.

Not to sound too arrogant or mean here, but I know that stuff fairly well. I could make a persistent LiveCD and go from there, but my teachers would go nuts if I did that.

I'm just look for a VM with emphasis on quick startup (of the program) and smooth running. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Thanks for trying to help though.
 
Old 02-26-2010, 04:25 AM   #5
i92guboj
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The requirements people gave above are of course completely arbitrary, and not to be taken into account seriously. The machine power a given VM will need (minimal requirements aside) will only depend on what will be run inside that VM. If the boxen you want to run this are old and limited (overall when it comes to ram) then you should be choosing the guest OS wisely. What amount of RAM are we talking about?

If the boxes around there are going to be running with 512 mb or less ram the thing is gonna be difficult. The ram available for the guest OS will be 512mb - the ram used for the vm - the ram used by the host OS and its programs (winxp, which means 128mb as a minimum, probably much more). This is just an example but you get the idea. Maybe you should be aiming at a minimal system like DSL for your VM. Consider it.

Also, have you considered an alternate solution like cygwin or wubi?
http://www.cygwin.com/
http://wubi-installer.org/

ps. As for VMs, I'd try vmware and qemu, but really, the startup time will be about the same because it depends mostly on the startup time of the gest OS. VMs are pretty quick to turn on, it's the guest which takes time to boot. About the pointer movement, you should make sure you have configured the graphical stuff ok inside the VM. It seems like it's working in some odd and slow vesa mode. This stuff is highly dependent on the VM and might need additional setup depending on the host OS. I am not a master at VMs.

Last edited by i92guboj; 02-26-2010 at 04:27 AM.
 
Old 02-27-2010, 12:00 PM   #6
paulsm4
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Hi, leopard -

You want to run a *second* OS with a *second* GUI desktop and a *second* set of programs on a system that's barely capable of running just Windows itself? And you want to install this virtualization software and an entire OS on a PC where people freak out if they see you with a command line?

I don't think so

SUGGESTION:
Don't use their hardware for your Linux.

Use your own Linux, and VNC into it.

For example, you can get a VPS. Your Linux is in "the cloud", you can access it remotely any time, from anywhere:

http://vpslink.com/vps-hosting/
http://www.kickassvps.com/
http://www.1and1.com, Virtual Servers

'Hope that helps .. PSM

PS:
If you're worried that it's "not free" (as in beer), I can only quote Robert Heinlein: "TANSTAAFL". This applies equally well to the first suggestion (about VMWare on your school's PC) as well as the second (getting a VPS).

IMHO .. PSM

Last edited by paulsm4; 02-27-2010 at 12:01 PM.
 
Old 02-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #7
smeezekitty
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Quote:
on a system that's barely capable of running just Windows itself
I notice alot of people on this forum WAY WAY overshoot hardware requirements.
E.G. when i first joined, i was quoted that the linux 2.6 kernel needs 128MB of ram to boot.
It turns out it needs 32MB.
Also windows can run quite easy on a ~2ghz processor with 1 GB ram.
 
Old 02-27-2010, 03:03 PM   #8
schneidz
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qemu seems kinda' lite.
 
Old 02-27-2010, 08:02 PM   #9
paulsm4
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Hi again, Andrew -

I stand by everything I said earlier (including the Robert Heinlein "TANSTAAFL" stuff).

But I was reading this month's Linux Pro over lunch ... and they had SEVERAL articles about Linux technologies that might be a good solution to your dilemma:

Windows Interoperability:
http://www.linuxpromagazine.com/Issu...1/SO-CONNECTED
<= Feb 2010 edition for Linux Pro
You should still be able to buy a copy at your newstand, but you'll need a paid subscription, or a paid digital subscription, to access the content on-line

Some of the topics discussed include:
* Cygwin
* coLinux
* KDE on Windows
* Wubi
* Coadunation
* CorneliOS
* eyeOS
... and much, much more ...

'Hope that helps .. PSM

Last edited by paulsm4; 02-27-2010 at 10:37 PM.
 
  


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