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joshfoulk 12-17-2007 01:59 PM

Virtualization using Physcial Partition
Hello all,

I am looking for any open source virtualization software that will allow me to use one of the physical partitions on my computer as my primary drive for a virtual machine.

I know that XEN will do this, but I really don't care for how the XEN window handles "full screen" mode.

Are there any open source alternatives to XEN that will do this?

Thank you,


acid_kewpie 12-17-2007 02:13 PM

Xen *IS* open source... you're free to change how it handles full screen... :)

stick with Xen i'd say, there's a bigger picture than a fullscreen mode. If that's a real barrier, just don't use that access method. windows domu? use remote desktop. linux domu? use vnc, freenx, xdmcp...

but using a physical drive is very bad practise... what are you trying to achieve with that? if you want a common file share, try using a network connection internally to access the host filesystem or some such.

if you actually do mean open source, then see how KVM can do it. if you actually mean "free" then VMware Server is also available for no pennies.

joshfoulk 12-17-2007 02:33 PM

I would have to say that I agree with everything you said. Very sound advice.

The reason that I want to be able to access my physical partition is that I'm in the process of compiling my own distribution of linux. It is at the stage where I can boot it just fine and I wanted to be able to boot it with a VM so that I have my ubuntu running as well (in case I find a need for any of my tools in the process). The system is compiled on a separate partition on my hard drive. When it gets to the point that I have X server and whatever window manager I choose installed, VNC will probably be the route I take.

Thank you again for your input,


acid_kewpie 12-17-2007 02:44 PM

Well that's a reasonable rationale to want to do that, much more common is people wanting to use their dual boot windows system within a VM under linux too... that's real nasty. and all windows fault... for vnc i'd *probably* look towards the xorg-x11 vnc module to use the actual :0 X server, rather than a seperate vnc server... keep things more realistic.

joshfoulk 12-17-2007 03:12 PM

I have installed XEN on Ubuntu (Now wishing that I had stayed with openSUSE 10.3)... I do not see any native GUI for XEN in Ubuntu.

After a quick search on the net, I see that the XEN Virtual Machine Manager is a Fedora project.

Could you assist with the command line xen syntax for setting up a virtual machine that will boot from a physical partition?

Thank you,


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