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Old 06-11-2014, 10:09 AM   #1
Registered: Dec 2011
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Testing out distros in a virtual machine may give virtual results

I have noticed that a lot of individuals (particularly on YouTube) use a virtual machine to test out various different distros. My understanding of a virtual machine is that it is NOT REAL. So why do people test a distro out in a non real way? If youre going to be testing out various different distro's shouldn't you be actually installing it to the hardware you intend to "test" it on? Aren't you likely to get non-real results of from your virtual environment?

Please clear this up for me.

Old 06-11-2014, 10:11 AM   #2
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Wondered about this myself. Just read a review where the install failed on hardware so the distro was tested in a VM - seems silly to me...
Old 06-11-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
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Just to have a look at the OS. You don't need bare metal to see how it's laid out, built and so forth. No need. As far as this...
Just read a review where the install failed on hardware so the distro was tested in a VM
any number of reasons it could have failed. Is possible that a certain piece of hardware wasn't compatible (not likely but possible). VMs let you look at it without losing anything, and for those of us who don't have multiple computers sitting around gives us a safe way to experiment without wiping out our only working machine.

They are also great for educating yourself. If it wasn't for VirtualBox I probably never would have made the switch to a pure Linux environment for myself. I ran countless virtual machines. They were real enough that I had real experience running, managing, fixing Debian based distros. Also learned a great deal of networking basics, how to run a pfsense box. For not being "Real" they taught me a great deal.

Last edited by Tadaen; 06-11-2014 at 01:15 PM.
Old 06-11-2014, 01:08 PM   #4
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Test-driving a visual distro on a VM is no different than using it on actual hardware. The mouse will move, windows will open, programs will run. No, you aren't going to get 100% of the CPU out of it, and graphic ability may suffer a little bit, but the main idea will come across just fine - "This is a GNU/Linux distro I would like to use."
Old 06-11-2014, 06:12 PM   #5
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A vm is not real hardware, that is true. A reason a person may wish to test a distro has more to do with how they like the window manager and how it looks as opposed to how well it supports hardware.

It is quite easy to test out distro's for other reasons too on a vm. Adding in applications and other software compatibility. It is a fool proof way to test linux and almost always guaranteed to run without damaging your main/host OS.

As technology progresses, vm's integrate more closely with real hardware. At some point it may be that a vm is almost 100% hardware based.

Exactly what results you wish to get from an install would be up to you.


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