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Old 06-03-2007, 03:59 PM   #1
Sabinou
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How much has OS emulation improved those two past years ?


Hello there, folks

I remember my amazement when, in january 2005, I had ran kqemu for the first time, managing to run a fully working windowsXP that was only 50% slower than the original.

Now, two years later, I'd need once again to emulate a windows environment, but I lost touch with operating system emulation.
Can I ask you guys for advice on how much things have improved ? I made searches before asking but I keep on running on outdated articles or, maybe worse, pages that aren't labelled with a time stamp.

My needs are simple, I want to run programs like Adobe Illustrator, and programs that require microsoft framework, this is not multimedia or system tasks.

I think the two only non-paying competitors are still vmware and kqemu ? Or are there others ?
Has one of them proved much better than the other over those past two years ?
Or much simpler than the other ?

I also remember very much regretting I couldn't share a files and data common clipboard (or desktop drag and drop) betweek the real OS and the emulated OS. Would that have changed perhaps ?

Thank you very much, guys, if you can spare a few minutes replying me or dumping an up-to-date link
 
Old 06-03-2007, 04:31 PM   #2
acid_kewpie
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you need to be careful about words like emulation, often what's going on is not emulation in the slightest. kqemu is preaumably a kde gui for qemu, and as such just a toy. qemu is the real virtual machine product, not that it really gets much coverage now. check out vmware and also the Linux Xen hypervisor suite. if you have a machine with intel VT support, or the AMD equivalents, then Xen is probably the way you'd want to go.

up to date link... http://google.com

and a common clipboard? why should you want to do that if they are seperate machines??
 
Old 06-03-2007, 04:47 PM   #3
dive
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I use qemu now and again when I can't geta program to work with wine. Wine is usually faster than emulating an entire OS.
 
Old 06-03-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
Sabinou
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Hmm, it is true that emulation isn't the right work, so I chose "OS emulation" instead

Indeed, kqemu is the kernel addition for a boosted emulation now that I recall it better, the core being qemu.

For the rest, I don't even know what Intel VT is, I guess I'll have to ask google if my old P4 single-threaded has something to do with VT-thingy

About a common clipboard, that is damn simple : the OSes are separate machines, true, but they have a single user (also known as "the keyboard <-> chair interface"), and if I am to use windowsXP because wine cannot manage to run very specific systems, there will come a time where I want to save my data and be able to use it.

Two years ago, I had to save it on the virtual disk, then upload it to my hosting space online with an FTP client, and then use kbear to download back the files.
Quite a hassle indeed.
A common clipboard where we copy a file and then can do "paste" anywhere on our hard disks (or even, let's be mad, write access to the real hard disk partitions from the emulated OS when we do File>Save inside an OS-emulated program), that would be cool.
 
Old 06-03-2007, 06:16 PM   #5
cyberfishee
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Your old P4 is very unlikely to have VT, as VT is only implemented in Core 2's and Pentium D's (maybe even the very latest P4's). However, besides XEN, there is currently little use for VT. VMware only requires VT when emulating 64-bit on 64-bit, and claims that their software emulation is more efficient than VT (hardware based) in 32-bit. I have used both Xen and VMware, besides the fact that you cannot play games on any of them, the speed is very acceptable (at least on my low-end Core 2 Duo). The GUI responsiveness is pretty much the same as native. As for sharing files, you can just run a samba server on the host and access it from the client. I think VMware comes with a small builtin samba server too, that you can enable in the settings. I also believe VMware has implemented some kind of clipboard sharing, but I have not looked into it.
 
Old 06-04-2007, 02:01 AM   #6
acid_kewpie
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well if it's not one thing, it's no "OS Emulation" that would be writing a program that looks and behaves like windows or whatever without it actually being an operating system itself, which certainly isn't right.
 
Old 06-04-2007, 02:03 AM   #7
acid_kewpie
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i'm lead to believe that comparing paravirtualization and proper virtualization (a la VT) the performance improvement real quite substantial. also i don't think it's possible to run windows under Xen without VT extensions.
 
Old 06-04-2007, 03:57 AM   #8
pwc101
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VirtualBox might be of interest here. I'm not sure if it's emulating, virtual machining, or what, but it runs Windows XP flawlessly for me, and as far as I can see, with a very minimal speed hit. It'll run on either Windows or Linux (and even MacOS X now I think) hosts. You can share files between the two operating systems (host and guest) using a shared volume (the path to which you specify - so you could share /home/Sabinou for example and access it in Windows XP as though it were a network drive, but with normal disk writing speeds). I don't think it'll share a clipboard (at least it didn't for me last night). The setup is quite simple, especially if you're using one of the precompiled distro binaries.

Worth a shot anyway: http://www.virtualbox.org

There's two versions - the GPL free one, and their own precompiled free one (with its own license), which has more features (USB support and the shared drive I mentioned above). The GPL one you have to compile from source, but is free for any use. The precompiled binary version isn't free for commercial use, but is for educational and home use.
 
Old 06-04-2007, 06:28 AM   #9
Sabinou
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Considering I am mainly running after simplicity, I will try virtualbox, and next qemu to see if it's changed.

Thank you very much for the interesting replies, guys
 
Old 06-04-2007, 03:01 PM   #10
Cogar
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I use VirtualBox running a Windows XP guest on a openSUSE 10.2 host. As pwc101 mentioned, XP suffers only a minimal performance hit, so for occasional use it is satisfactory.

Let me make a few additional comments that may help.
1. More memory is better. Although Windows XP will run fine using 384MB of RAM, it is happier with more. Since your total system RAM must be enough to keep both the host and guest happy, 2GB is probably better than 1GB.
2. Like a regular installation, you need to activate the Windows XP installation. Therefore, make sure everything is set up the way you like it before you activate. Otherwise, if you decide to allocate more memory or change the virtual hard drive, you may need to activate again. Further, if you try to use an existing key code that you are using on another machine, note that Microsoft will detect it as being installed on a different machine.
3. For now, the size of files and the number of files you can share between the guest and host using a shared folder is rather limited. Although moving a 2MB file is probably not an issue, if you try to move a 1GB file, you will probably experience a crash of the guest OS. The same is true if you try to move 200 smaller files instead of 15 at one time. This is supposed to be fixed in the next release of VirtualBox.
 
Old 06-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #11
cyberfishee
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or you can just run a regular samba server on the host (supposing that VirtualBox, which I am not famaliar with, does support networking)
 
  


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