Which is the best free virtual machine to run windows on slackware?
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Location: Northeastern Michigan, where Carhartt is a Designer Label
Distribution: Slackware 32- & 64-bit Stable
Sun's VirtualBox, in my experience, is fast, reliable, easy to configure and works just fine; you want the one from http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads if you want USB support. I'm currently running the 32-bit and 64-bit versions on separate servers and both perform flawlessly.
VMware, also in my experience, is fast, reliable, a little less easy to configure and works just fine. You must install PAM first for the current version of VMware (not a big deal); get it from http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/libs/pam and build it with src2pkg.
In either case, you ought to have at least 2G RAM, preferably 4G (you need to allocate 1G or more to the virtual machine if you wan the thing to run reasonably). Winders is not a happy camper with 512M and your host will be limping too if you only have 1G total RAM.
For speed enhancement, upgrade system memory and dedicate more to virtual guest. Another SATA controller helps too with virtual hdd speed. The latest VirtualBox version includes a direct sata controller capability in the guest OS.
Having used all of the above, I find Qemu-kvm to be the fastest (provided you processor supports it) when it comes to windows XP. I have a separate OS for my bride, because her bank only allows IE and she won't switch banks.
There is some command line work required, so if your not comfortable with that try one of the others
Last edited by AlleyTrotter; 02-09-2010 at 10:59 AM.
I like KVM with qemu. I don't think you can get a definite answer on what's best, most fast or stable virtualization solution. I'm guessing they all have their pros and cons depending on the environment.
Ok, I'll try virtualbox .. My laptop has 2Gb RAM, I can work without USB, and I don't need to really work with windows. At the moment I only need to run windows sometimes for small tasks or tests, so I can deal with a not-too-fast windows virtual machine.
But this can be a great opportunity to start to play and learn virtualbox for a future production use, so I'm glad to use the 'best' solution
I use KVM (not qemu) and like it a lot!
Windows-xp and Windows-2003 run at native speed once I loaded the NIC and HD drivers.
For network I use VDE and a network-bridge. Windows VMs (or any VM for that matter) just get IP from my dhcp server and just appear as a normal (physical) machine on my network.
Haven't tried KVM myself, but it has a good reputation. From my own experience I can confirm that VirtualBox is a good choice: Much easier to install and set up than VMware, comfortable, fast and reliable. Plus, excellent support on the newsgroup.
And VirtualBox is available in about three flavours.
1. OSE - Open Source Edition. You can compile it yourself, if you wish. I did it in the past, it's easy, but it lacks a couple of features of the non-OSEs.
The binary you can download from Innotek/Sun can easily be installed on Slackware. In fact, the install script was modified within two hours after I sent a bug report several years ago (!), in order to make it work on Slackware.
The license is about the most liberal non-open-source license I know of. You can use it even in a company for commercial purposes, if it is not a large enterprise with hundreds of systems. I recommend this one. It has support for a little more hardware than the OSE. As far as I recall, the OSE doesn't support USB printing (but it does support, of course, USB disk drives), but I am not sure.
This is for use in large enterprise networks, server farms and data centres, and comes with a commercial license.
VMware has even more features, but they are relevant only in large-scale enterprise scenarios. A nice feature is, however, that there is a "player", that allows you to use a VMware image, even if you don't have a VMware license yourself. Someone can give you a CD with a virtual system on it, and you can run it just useing the player, without a license or full version of VMware. Sorry, I don't recall the name of this feature, currently, but it works quite well...
So, if all you want to do is to run Windows 7, then VirtualBox would be my recommendation, but if you want more in the foreseeable future, VMware is certainly worth a second view.
VMware ver 1.0.10 (the latest security update to the previous version) runs Windows XP a bit faster than Vbox, in my experience and runs out of the box, no PAM installation needed, even with the speed enhancement suggestions mentioned above. Don't know about the "easier installation" comments above, both programs are equally very easy to install.
It isn't open source of course, but it is free, so IMO a better program than VBox binary. I've never had it crash or had it crash Slackware, which is unfortunately not the case with Vbox. I can't remember the particulars, I think it had to do with "seamless mode", which was actually one reason I was trying the program, as VMware does not have that capability. I had a few other hardware problems/nonfunctionality with Vbox too (yes even the binary version). Running something other than XP, like an older version of Slackware, for example, I've had much better luck with VMware.
Vbox OSE has the USB issues mentioned above, so I suppose there's a trade off between wanting open source and wanting USB compatibity. Besides, it strikes me as "crippleware", but I'm sure there's a more charitable reason the OSE doesn't support USB.
I've tried Qemu, but not recently. Perhaps it's come a long way, configuration and networking used to be difficult. A lot of people here seem to like it. My older machine doesn't support KVM.