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Virtual machine

Posted on 2008-10-11
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I'm looking for a specific solution.  Basically, I want to install two operating systems on my computer (Windows, and Linux.)  I want the ability to boot into either of these operating systems as normal (No Virtual Machine abstraction.)  I also want the ability so when I'm loaded into one of these operating systems, I can open the second operating system as a virtual machine.

I know VMWare offers a method to install an operating system to the physical disk, but I do not believe it offers the ability I'm looking for.  Do you know of any software that will allow me to do this?
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Question by:KyleL
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8 Comments
 
LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:Point-In-Cyberspace
ID: 22695343
In virtualization you have to deal with real hardware vs. virtualized hardware.
An installed OS works on the hardware it is configured to use, so it is very difficult to use the same OS on two different hardware (real and virtualized).
You may try to use Vmware Server Esxi that is a standalone OS that is the only installed on real hardware giving you the chance to virtualize windows and linux.
In this way any of the OS is really installed on your hardware.

http://www.vmware.com/products/esxi/

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Author Comment

by:KyleL
ID: 22695509
Thanks for the reply.  If the operating system is running through esxi its still abstracted from the hardware though?  E.g. the graphics card may not be fully supported.

I understand the point of a virtual machine is to abstract the hardware, which is good.  But thats not what I'm really looking for.  I am a developer who works on both windows and linux a lot.  Developing purely in vm is a pain, and so is switching between operating systems.  So what I want to be able to do is to boot into either.  Then if for some reason I need to load the other up, I want to be able to do that.

The hardware differences shouldn't really be a big deal though.  Both windows and linux have the ability to auto detect hardware.  So why couldn't it just auto detect the hardware changes on boot and work properly?  I think the only problem here is support with vmware.

thanks
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 22696005
If you want to get full capability of windows and linux you will want to do a dual boot machine using GRUB or LILO

Here's a quick how to:


http://www.geocities.com/epark/linux/grub-w2k-HOWTO.html
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Author Comment

by:KyleL
ID: 22698520
paulsolov, you missed the point.  Not only do I want dual boot, I want to load either of these operating systems AS a virtual machine.  See, want to be able to boot into either of the two operating systems without any hardware abstraction, and I also want to load them with hardware abstraction as a vm.

The first post understands that, but only allows me to load it as a VM.  The second post only allows me to load the operating systems as normal.  I need to combine them both.

Thanks
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LVL 143

Expert Comment

by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 22698542
I know that you can load a virtual machine using a complete disk...
however, you cannot load the OS as normal OR inside the VM, as both "installations" need (use) a distinct abstraction layer.
so, from what I know: you cannot do that (yet).
but you might give this as suggestion to vmWare company.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:noci
ID: 22738682
You might get away with running linux in both environments if all relevant drivers are available. (add vmware drivers etc. to the initramfs f.e.)
You will need to keep two X config files though. (I know of no distribution
that manages this) H'm You might want to look at knoppix for this they have some kind of autodetection. Recent Xorg also has better support for autodetection but it depends on actual hardware, YMMV.    Console mode should be possible.

With window's you will not be that lucky, much of the drivers it needs are configured during the install process. And not during boot.
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LVL 8

Accepted Solution

by:
aldanch earned 750 total points
ID: 22746884
I would setup a Linux workstation (Ubuntu 8.04 or your Linux distro of choice) and install VMware Workstation 6.5 since it supports "DirectX 9 accelerated graphics with shaders up through Shader Model 2.0 on Windows XP" guest VMs. You can than use Unity mode to integrate your guest applications with your Linux host.

What's new VMware Workstation 6.5
http://www.vmware.com/support/player25/doc/releasenotes_player25.html

If you already built an XP VM, then you can simply install VMware Player 2.5 and just run your XP VM. It also supports DirectX 9 on XP guests and Unity mode.

What's new VMware Player 2.5
http://www.vmware.com/support/player25/doc/releasenotes_player25.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:KyleL
ID: 31505356
Its not the answer to my question, but the closest thing currently possible to what I want.
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