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Distribution: Debian Wheezy/Jessie/Sid, Linux Mint DE
VMWare is pretty good, and it is legal and free (as you in don't have to pay for it)
There is no Debian package, but you can download the install files and run those. Installation has been painless on several of by Debian Etch machines.
You do have to have the kernel source installed if I remember well. I always have that anyway, so I can't remember whether that is mandatory. If you have to, "apt-get source linux-your.kernel.version" Just make sure source matches your running kernel.
I am running W2k very satisfactory, and access it from multiple clients. There is an excellent how-to for set-up if you google for "vmware setup ubuntu"
Do install the vmware tools aftwards on the guest OS. And have enough memory, below 768 MB it won't run very well.
i had used this great product on both windows and linux platforms.
i will summarize a number of its features here:
easy to install (install script) a few things you need to configure/select.
provides complete gui interface for all platforms.
if you have more memory more performance and several virtual hosts.
multiprocessor/hyper threading support.
you can play the image file( the file in which virtual partitions and os resides (not a single file but also a number of supporting files under the same dir.)) using VMWare Player a virtual os player.
the image file is created by a VMWare server and you can duplicate and create any number of copies of the same installed os.
image is portable and you can zip and write in to a cdrom.
you can even pause, resume, take snapshots, virtual networking, bridging with host os's network interface, NATing, built in DHCP, virtual network switches, multiple virtual interfaces and do a lot more!
VMWare tools can be installed on the virtual host to accelerate your graphics and input devices.
to use this: install VMWare, start it. install your virtual os using its installation cd, configure and play it.
(one of the main h/w requirement is physical memory. assume your host os need min 256 mb, virtual hosts at least need the same amount of memory per virtual host additionally. more memory you never feel virtualization at all!)