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Running VirtualBox

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Mark Holtz, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    I admit it. One of the things that caught my eye recently is a feature included in Windows 7 Professional called "Virtual PC". Simply put, that mode was designed so that legacy XP/IE6 applications could run under Windows 7 for businesses who still have legacy applications.

    My intention, however, was to have a couple of copies of Windows XP on it, with the various versions of Internet Exploder on it, not to mention some of the other Linux distros. After all, under Windows 7-64 bit, I have 8GB of RAM, my core 2 duo 6600 should be powerful enough, right?

    So, I thought I would start off with a Windows XP install. Should be straight forward, right? Slight problem, I can't boot off the damn thing. Tried a few variations.... nothing. WTF? Turns out this PEBCAK was trying to install XP from a service park CD instead of a install CD. (oops).

    After that minor mishap, XP is installing fine. What I am wondering is if I can reuse the same Virtualbox VDI images under Ubuntu as well as Windows 7.
     
  2. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    OK, this is insane. In my Windows 7-64 bit environment, I am running THREE different XP machines, each with it's own VDI hard drive image. My limiting factor is not my memory, but my CPU. Too bad I'm not running a i7 processor.
     
  3. xzi

    xzi Icon

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    What CPU do you have? Any CPU Core 2 Duo or better should have hardware virtualization support that you can enable in the BIOS (VT-x it's called sometimes) and it may REALLY help with your CPU. Even with a bunch of running VMs, CPU shouldn't be affected if the machines are all at idle unless they are doing a lot of "binary translations", which is the pre-VT-x way of virtualizing a PC.

    Windows 7's Virtual PC supports VT-x, but falls back to binary if it's not enabled in the BIOS (originally it required it but they recently relaxed that requirement)
     
  4. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    I have a Core 2 Duo 6600 from 2007, and I do believe Virtualization is turned on in the BIOS (but I'll double check). Since there are brand new installs, I'm getting all the security fixes and installing them, so the instances are NOT idle at this time.

    Here is a screen shot of three XP instances running under Windows 7-64 bit. Insane, and I am probably just scratching the surface.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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    check microsoft website for the Virtual XP for Windows 7 again, they removed the requirement for virtualization capable processors and there is a patch to remove the check for the feature in the install
     
  6. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    They removed the requirement, but it probably would still get the best performance.

    XP mode is very cool, and one instance of it doesn't require you to have an XP license, it's included. Running several copies of XP does require multiple licenses though.
     
  7. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Great... the primary reason why I'm running Virtualized XP environments is because of Internet Exploder. One measure is the NetMarketShare, which reports that Internet Explorer 6 still has 16.97% of the browser market. This is probably because of corporations which have locked down environments and/or have internal applications that will only run on IE6. And Microsoft makes it extremely difficult to run multiple versions of the same browser.

    Virtualization is nothing new, just new to me. It's been something that I have wanted to try for quite some time now. It just requires lots of memory. Up until a few years ago, the amount of memory to do a decent job of virtualization cost $$$. Now, it's common for computers to have 4 and 6 GB of RAM. (Mine has 8). Also, Xmarks has been a godsend, thus allowing me to synchronize all of my bookmarks/favorites across Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Exploder (but no Opera).

    XP was just the first step. I also want to try out some different Linux/*nix distros. The virtualized environment should provide a great playground to learn, as I am very hesitant to getting more hard drives and mobile drive trays.
     
  8. zx10guy

    zx10guy AllStar

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    Have you thought about running VMWare ESXi? It's free and runs like a champ. You don't have to deal with a full OS consuming resources for your base VM OS and then having your VMs consuming what's left over. I just built an ESXi server running 3 VMs of Server 2008 R2 and one of Windows XP 64 bit Professional. When I look at the box's utilization, it's hardly breaking a sweat.
     
  9. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

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    Gotalink? It helps to be familiar with this.
     
  10. zx10guy

    zx10guy AllStar

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    Here's the product page:

    http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/

    Here's the download page:

    https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/index.php?p=free-esxi&lp=1

    You'll need to register with them to gain access to the download page and to be able to get the license key to activate it permanently. If you don't enter the license key you get to run it as ESXi, you will have I think 30 to 60 days to run it as ESX. ESX is the enterprise version which allows more functionality like V-Motion. But the enterprise version costs an arm and a leg.

    I really think anyone who is getting into virtualization needs to at least be familiar with VMWare. Many of the large corporations are running it and major vendors are integrating with it. Cisco's UCS platform is tightly integrated with VMWare. NetApp, EMC, and Dell also have specific integrations with ESX.
     

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