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vmware linux

Posted on 2014-11-13
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Last Modified: 2014-11-17
I'm becoming a big fan of Lubuntu, it must be really lean, because runs great on a old pc I have. So on this pc, I'm setting it up for someone who is NOT very computer savy. They are only used to winXP, so I thought I would run Lubuntu, and then run vmware to run winXP. That way, when it is compromised, I'll have a copy of the winXP virtual machine and have them back up and running quickly.
So my question is, Is there a way to, when the computer starts up, and after Lubuntu is done loading, to have vmware launch the virtual winXP machine without any user intervention? The person I am setting this up for, I don't think will be able to figure out how to start up the virtual machine.
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Question by:JeffBeall
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TobiasHolm earned 500 total points
ID: 40441955
If you create a virtual WinXP using VirtualBox, you can start the VM machine using:

/usr/bin/VBoxHeadless --startvm YourXPfile
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40442007
I would also recommend you switch to Virtualbox, as it's easier to start a VM, than with a VMware product.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40442093
Besides, VirtualBox is already included with most Linux Distro's in their repositories. Also, VBox will run on older CPU's, while VMware Player will not (unless you install an old version, like Vversion 3.1.5).

Apart from that, is it really necessary to run an XP VM on that PC? Wine is also included with most distro's, and a lot of Windows Software runs fine under wine. Running an XP VM will slow the PC down as it uses a lot of resources, and you also need the XP license.

I'd also rather recommend the Zorin OS (which is based on Ubuntu), which has a user interface that looks and behaves almost like XP, particularly the older 6.3 version. The new versions look more like Windows 7. Or Makulu Linux (the XFCE version, which is faster than Lubuntu), it has a beautiful user interface, and PlayOnLinux is already installed by default, which allows you to configure wine and Windows programs very easily.

I replaced XP on my parent's PC with Zorin 6.3 about 2 years ago, and they've been using it without any major issues since. That is also an older PC (1.9 GHz Pentium IV, 1.5GB RAM).

Another option, particularly if you want to to run Windows VM's, would be Robolinux, which is specifically built with VirtualBox and the seamless use of Windows in mind. But remember, virtualizing slows down the PC, and if it really is an old model like you say, I wouldn't recommend that.
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by:TobiasHolm
ID: 40442115
Great comment rindi! Good suggestions about different Win-look-alike-linux distros to try!
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by:JeffBeall
ID: 40443551
I have tried Zorin, the problem is I'm not sure if my computer unsavy person would be up to the "challenge"

I also tried virtual box and COULDN'T get usb flash drives to work. And even though this person is unsavy, they actually do use flash drives.  For VMware player, usb flash drives work without a problem.
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by:rindi
ID: 40443622
My parents aren't computer savvy either, they hardly noticed the difference between XP and Zorin. They'd have had more problems with Lubuntu. What is the reason you want to run XP as a VM inside your Linux? As I mentioned earlier, a lot of Windows software will work fine under wine, so there is normally no need for virtualization. As I mentioned earlier, if your PC really is as old as you say, any VM will be unusable because it is slow. Really the only reason would be for a few specific software programs that don't run under wine. Besides that you can use OpenSource replacements for plenty of software, so it even is unlikely you need windows software.

USB sticks normally work fine in VirtualBox. You just have to make sure the VBox extensions are installed within the VM, and that the host OS hasn't mounted the stick or is using the USB device you want the VM to use.
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by:TobiasHolm
ID: 40443826
Besides checking that VBox extensions are installed, you have to setup a USB-filter to react on USB devices. The easiest is to make a USB filter that catches ALL devices put into the computer.

https://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=62100
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by:JeffBeall
ID: 40444573
seems like everyone is dead set against vmware player? not sure why, it is working beautifully for me. Okay, so, I'll revisit virtualbox.
as far as the computer rindi
"if your PC really is as old as you say, any VM will be unusable because it is slow."
I should explain, I guess I have become a bit of a computer snob, because it seems really old to me because I've had it for a long time. it is a pentium duo core with 8gb of ram, with an old fashioned ide 320gb hard drive. So it actually runs vmware player very well.
I'm spoiled by my main pc, ( pent i5, 16gb ram, solid state hard drive ) so the old pc feels pretty slow, my apologies,  I wasn't clear on that point.
Maybe the course of action I should try is, 1) have the computer unsavvy one try Zorin. and use any open source software they might require. 2) is that doesn't pan out, try the virtualbox thing, but see if the USB-filter thing works, if it does, they are in their old familiar environment.
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by:rindi
ID: 40444588
Any multi core CPU in my point of view isn't old. I was under the impression it was a Pentium IV PC... On your hardware also the standard Ubuntu would be fast, not just it's leaner spinoffs like Lubuntu or Xubuntu etc.
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ID: 40444609
VMware Player is a cut down, entry level version of VMware Workstation, e.g. lacks features available in it's Big Bother VMware Workstation.

VMware Workstation is more like Virtualbox. (Workstation is not free, unlike VMware Player).

All our very good Hypervisors.
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by:gheist
gheist earned 500 total points
ID: 40444869
Kubuntu is closest approximation of windows (It is not much more different from XP than vista)
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by:JeffBeall
ID: 40448850
thank you for the help
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