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Virtualization Windows7 and Linux

Last response: in Business Computing
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April 21, 2012 9:38:35 PM

Hay... If i have a Core 7i 950 CPU with a 300$+ Motherboard, 8 GB 2200 RAM ... Is it possible to really Virtualization in such way that both OS work in the same time, under some kind of virtual env ?

Or in another case, i choose in boot time, but i'm able to save state of each OS (Windows7 and Linux).

If yes, what software is needed for this?
I'm not talking about dual boot when you choose via boot loader.

(need this for development workstation, wanna do something more similar to how cloud servers work on my own machine)
April 21, 2012 9:45:45 PM

Sure, pick one as your host OS then run the other in a virtual machine such as the free VirtualBox VM software.
April 22, 2012 12:53:48 AM

Free VirtualBox don't allow me to get the kind of virtual machine I need, I don't want virtual machine hardware on it, something that works like my own hardware. maybe i need special configurations? (this is not the actual machine i have, this what i want to buy)

aicom said:
Sure, pick one as your host OS then run the other in a virtual machine such as the free VirtualBox VM software.
Related resources
April 22, 2012 4:58:14 AM

Citrix XenServer

"In Xen systems the Xen hypervisor is the lowest and most privileged software layer.[2] This layer supports one or more guest operating systems, scheduled on the physical CPUs. The first guest operating system, called in Xen terminology domain 0 (dom0) is executed automatically when the hypervisor boots and receives special management privileges and direct access to all physical hardware by default. The system administrator can log into dom0 in order to manage any additional guest operating systems, called user domains (domU) in Xen terminology" from Xen wiki
a b $ Windows 7
April 22, 2012 5:11:12 AM

Hi there,

The software you're looking for is called VMWare Workstation. It is hands down the best desktop virtualization software around. It's priced similarly to other workstation software (around 200 bucks for a full license) but there's a free version called VMWare Player which is less functional but runs on the same internals.

Workstation is far more stable than Virtualbox and has some very good hardware support. 3D support has been added as of the Linux 3.2 kernel and works out of the box on Ubuntu 12.04. There's also a host-guest filesystem which is awesome for sharing files between both the host and the guest, copy and paste works for nearly everything too. I simply love it for development purposes

Unfortunately it is not possible to run entirely parallel operating systems on the X86 platform. The ring architecture prohibits this. Vt-x and Vt-d work around this to some extent but there still needs to be a parent operating system.
May 1, 2012 6:04:19 PM

It sounds like you want to be able to view the console of each system on the heads up display. You might check out NXTop/Virtual Computer or Citrix Xen Client Initiative (XCI). Did a little bit of looking at Virtual Computer, but unfortunately my Core 2's were models that did not have VTX exensions.
a b $ Windows 7
May 1, 2012 6:11:41 PM

@Alkavan,

What you are looking for is a Hypervisor. Both Microsoft and VmWare have this "bare-metal virtualisation", and last time I have checked, Microsoft' Hyper-V Server 2008 was a free download.
May 1, 2012 6:40:03 PM

Even a hypervisor presents virtual hardware to the guest OS. That isn't what he is asking for.

The closest you are going to get is a virtualization platform. That WILL allow you to build a cloud on your computer.

There is no way to natively use the hardware for two OS's at one time. You need to use software that will allow you to present the hardware of the host (hypervisor: ESX/Hyper-V or workstation: VirtualBox, Vmware Workstation, etc).

To be honest, VMware Workstation 8 is an incredible tool. I have the following lab fired up on my laptop right now:

2 x ESX 4 Hosts
2 x Ubuntu Workstations
2 x Windows 2008 Server
1 x OSX workstation

I have a cloud right in front of me. Why do you have a hesitance against virtualization? It is your only solution. Some virtualization technologies enabled on processors allow guest OSes more direct access to hardware, but the operations still have to be passed through the host OS/Hypervisor.

What you describe wanting to do in your initial post is not a "cloud".

With VMware workstation you can even have one OS presented on a secondary monitor. If you walked up to my desk right now it would look like my laptop is connected to a Windows 7 laptop and my secondary monitor is running a native OSX workstation. Other windows would show remote desktop session to the Windows servers. You would think I had a crapload of hardware under my desk..... but nope. Just one uber laptop.
a b $ Windows 7
May 1, 2012 7:09:16 PM

You could use a KVM switch, and just split the boxes if you don't want your hardware virtualized. Just host your cloud on one machine and use the other as a guest, and use the KVM to swap between the two.
May 1, 2012 9:34:42 PM

Thanks for this reply. now i understand better of what i can and can't do.
I'm now trying vmware as a solution, but I'm getting into some trouble when what to use full featured 3D supported desktop with Linux. working on it. the other solution would be switch and use Linux as host and Windows7 inside VM, but then I'm not sure how well I will be able to run games or Photoshop like programs when needed (I know wine, it's not an option, I want as native as i can get).

po1nted said:
Even a hypervisor presents virtual hardware to the guest OS. That isn't what he is asking for.

The closest you are going to get is a virtualization platform. That WILL allow you to build a cloud on your computer.

There is no way to natively use the hardware for two OS's at one time. You need to use software that will allow you to present the hardware of the host (hypervisor: ESX/Hyper-V or workstation: VirtualBox, Vmware Workstation, etc).

...

May 1, 2012 10:38:44 PM

alkavan said:
Thanks for this reply. now i understand better of what i can and can't do.
I'm now trying vmware as a solution, but I'm getting into some trouble when what to use full featured 3D supported desktop with Linux. working on it. the other solution would be switch and use Linux as host and Windows7 inside VM, but then I'm not sure how well I will be able to run games or Photoshop like programs when needed (I know wine, it's not an option, I want as native as i can get).


I don't think you are understanding the purpose of virtualization on a desktop/laptop platform. Let me draw out some scenarios:

NO virtualization:

Gaming, play natively on your local OS, no virtualization.
Running programs that need full native hardware support

Virtualization:

Run simple programs in a non-native OS without installing to local hardware
Testing a new OS without reformatting your machine
Setting up a lab for database, application, script testing against different OSes

In the scenario you mentioned above it would be VERY BAD to:

- Boot Linux -> Run Windows VM -> Play game in Windows VM

What you COULD do, if your hardware is sturdy enough:

Boot to Windows -> Start Linux VM in background, minimized or separate monitor -> Play game on NATIVE Windows OS/hardware while the Linux VM runs on the background.

In regards to your 3D problems, make sure that your VM has 3D hardware acceleration turned on and that the latest drivers are loaded on the guest and VMTools is installed on the guest. On most modern OSes you should get 3D hardware acceleration.

Do NOT expect full blown graphics card performance. You are running the graphics through a virtualization layer, then to the host OS and THEN to the hardware, and back.

I am starting to think that either you are misunderstanding what virtualization is or you don't need it. You need a completely separate second machine.

a b $ Windows 7
May 2, 2012 8:59:09 PM

alkavan said:
Thanks for this reply. now i understand better of what i can and can't do.
I'm now trying vmware as a solution, but I'm getting into some trouble when what to use full featured 3D supported desktop with Linux. working on it. the other solution would be switch and use Linux as host and Windows7 inside VM, but then I'm not sure how well I will be able to run games or Photoshop like programs when needed (I know wine, it's not an option, I want as native as i can get).


3D acceleration is only available in Linux kernels 3.2+. Ubuntu 12.04 supports it as will Fedora 17. It can be backported into previous kernels but it's extremely difficult. Even then, it's not super fast but it is actually playable

Po1nted's post above mine is very good and lays out virtualization scenarios very nicely
!