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Virtualization of my laptop: can it be done now?

Posted on 2007-11-13
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
I know this whole virtualization is still new and it's being developed as we speak, but all I hear is hypervisors for servers.

Is there a way, right now, at this moment, simple enough, to have my laptops and maybe my desktops too to boot from some sort of hypervisor (any other alternative) and run a virtual machine directly? Maybe a linux install that would allow me to do this, but I'm not knowledgeable on linux. Do the ESX, or XenDesktop or Viridian (when it comes out) work for this?
So my question stands.  can this be done right now? And if so, how would I go about it.  Thanks in advance.
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Question by:msomohano
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Expert Comment

by:bhnmi
ID: 20275793
You can install VMWare server ontop of a linux on windows OS. ESX server is its own OS (kind of) but the hardware spec will not be met by the laptop.
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Author Comment

by:msomohano
ID: 20275870
right I can have vm machine son my OS yes.  I already have that.
I'm sorry that I did not explained better. W'hat I'm looking for is to have the VM machine boot.  I turn on the laptop, have it run whatever it needs to run and then boot the VM machine.

kind of like remember when Win 3.1? It started DOS and then, woop, it booted 3.1, only this time it's a Virtual Machine (be that on virtual pc 2007, or VMWare, or whatever.
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Expert Comment

by:arrkerr1024
ID: 20292641
Yes, what you'd do is install linux as your DOS (per your example), and then install vmware (or xen, comes w/redhat, fedora, suse, etc) and then run whatever you wanted in the VM (windows, more linux, etc).

Just do a very minimal installation of linux as your host OS (which is pretty much what ESX does).
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Author Comment

by:msomohano
ID: 20292742
ok. Thanks, I will do that.  But how do I make it so that the VM starts up instead of it going to the OS and then me manually activating the VM?
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arrkerr1024 earned 500 total points
ID: 20293029
It depends on the product.  With the free vmware server, you don't.  You can start the VM automatically, but it won't bring up the console automatically.  With vmware workstation you would just write a simple script to run vmware workstation when you log in - you'd have to log in to the host OS first - but you can script that or set it to automatically log in.  With Xen, I'm not sure.

However, what you're wanting to do is not really what VMs are designed to do.  VM servers are designed to run multiple headless servers that you connect to remotely.  They have virtual consoles, but you typically only bring them to do maintenance, you wouldn't run their consoles all the time.  Workstations are designed to test things, so typically you work in the host OS most of the time and all of your apps are there, and you fire up the VM in a window (or full-screen) and do some testing there.
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