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Sometime I like to test out some Distro but I do not want to format my hard disk but I just want to use it to see how it work and maybe can try out Window 7. So I need some advise on what is the best virtual software to run different OS. Is it Virtual Box, VM ware, Qemu or KVM. Thank to anyone who reply.

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Last Post by Dan Presley
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Hello,

Well if you don't want to reformat your hard drive then that limits the scope of available applications to run a Virtual system. What OS are you currently running and what hardware do you have in the system (CPU's, Memory, Available HD Space)? Personally the best one I have used is VMWare's ESXi which is well written and easy to administer.

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I advise you to use VMware server, its simple to use with nice gui, no need to setup nodes. I was using it before couple of years, now I am using workstation.

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Sorry I miss out on the info. I am running Ubuntu 10.04 64bit Lucid Lynx clean install. My hardware are Intel Dual Core 1.8Ghz with 1.5GB RAM, nVidia 7200GS and 160GB hard disk. I've try Virtual Box OSE and it doesn't recognize my USB port so I thought about other Virtual software. I will try VMWare as suggested. Thanks for your help. More info are welcome.

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I've never tried running vmware on a *nix system, but of the lot vmware is surely the best because it' commercial product.

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In my opinion, VMware is definitely far superior among all from a technical point of view as it is having the best feature support and great performance.
QEMU, on the other hand, has the advantage of being a free software.
VirtualBox lacks VMware's speed or features...
So, one can get a better virtual box without any licensing issues from Qemu or can get the best of the features and support with the same licensing issues from VMWare...
Choice is yours !!!

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VMware is based on a Linux Kernel and really easy to use if you just do a little reading first. As for licensing you can get a free copy of ESXi to install by simply registering at their site. There are several companies in our Datacenter running multiple servers off of the Single License they registered and they administer them remotely.

No matter what provider you choose make sure you start with an OS that is designed to do Virtual hosting. Virtual systems run much smoother if you start with an operating system designed for virtual hosting and add other operating systems for the jobs you need. If you start with a standard operating system and add a virtual application under it you sometimes have to fight with the OS to get your virtual systems back on line. Start with the right tool and the work goes a lot smoother and works a lot better. (You can drive in a screw with a hammer but it is not going to look pretty, could fall apart, and when the boss sees it, you are going to have to replace it.)

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I have tried many and the best value for the buck is VirtualBox, mainly because it is totally free. I think it the best especially if you come from a Windows background and wish to experiment and learn many different distros of Linux.

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Thanks for all the reply. I've donwload Virtual Box PUEL from Sun Microsystem website and it running pretty good so far and manage to install Window XP and use my Lexmark all in one printer. Can someone point me to the VMWare website? Once again thanks!

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I haven't try VMWare or make any comparison on performance yet but as long as I can get my Lexmark all in one printer to work I am happy.

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ESXi is a barebones VMWare OS that only runs an a limited number of certified servers. This will not run on a PC.

You can try VMware Server or Workstation but will need to have them licensed. I think they did away with the trial period for these products.

I've used all flavors of VMWare and have also used Virtual box. Pound for Pound, Virtual box is just as capable as a VM solution when run on a PC. They both do exactly what they are supposed to do. With Virtual Box, there is no charge but limited support options (only the forum). With VMWare, it is more polished, and you get tech support for purchased products and the VM ware tech support is awesome IMHO.

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Sorry I miss out on the info. I am running Ubuntu 10.04 64bit Lucid Lynx clean install. My hardware are Intel Dual Core 1.8Ghz with 1.5GB RAM, nVidia 7200GS and 160GB hard disk. I've try Virtual Box OSE and it doesn't recognize my USB port so I thought about other Virtual software. I will try VMWare as suggested. Thanks for your help. More info are welcome.

Go to the VirtualBox website and download the "closed source" version. The site has binaries for all the major Linux ditros and Windows. Once installed, install the Guest Additions as that module collection allows for VM communication with the host USB drivers along with other services. In a Linux guest, installing Guest Additions requires root privileges, and calling the install script through a terminal. In a Windows guest, just double click the Guest Additions executable.

The "open source" version of VBox does not allow guest machine access to a host machine's USB ports. Why Sun, now Oracle, chooses this route, I have no idea, but it's a pain. Some Linux distros, like PCLinuxOS and others, have a script available as part of their standard apps to download and install VBox closed source edition.

I use Virtual Box as my VM manager, and it runs very well under both Linux and Windows XP; I have a dual boot system. Setup is fairly simple and upgrading the software is fairly painless as well. The best part about VBox is that all editions are free unlike VM Ware. If you're under a budget crunch like me, Virtual Box is the way to go.

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