Sunil Thakare :: Open Source Evangelist

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Virtual Machines – Running Multiple Operating Systems at a Instance..

Virtual Machines – Running Multiple Operating Systems At a Instance..


Can you imagine multiple operating system running at same time and having access simply with Alt-Tab. Yes this is possible in Ubuntu Linux. One can have multiple OSes running at same time with Virtual Box and / or VMPlayer. Let’s have some discussion about this.
1. What is Virtual Box?

VirtualBox is a powerful x86 and AMD64/Intel64 virtualization product for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers, it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.
Presently, VirtualBox runs on Windows, Linux, Macintosh and OpenSolaris hosts and supports a large number of guest operating systems including but not limited to Windows (NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Vista, Windows 7), DOS/Windows 3.x, Linux (2.4 and 2.6), Solaris and OpenSolaris, and OpenBSD.
VirtualBox is being actively developed with frequent releases and has an ever growing list of features, supported guest operating systems and platforms it runs on. VirtualBox is a community effort backed by a dedicated company: everyone is encouraged to contribute while Oracle ensures the product always meets professional quality criteria.

2. What is VMPlayer?

VMware Player is the easiest way to run multiple operating systems at the same time on your PC. With its user-friendly interface, VMware Player makes it effortless for anyone to try out Windows 7, Chrome OS or the latest Linux releases, or create isolated virtual machines to safely test new software and surf the Web. VMware Player can also be used to run a virtual copy of an old PC so that you can recycle the old machines you have under your desk or stored in the closet.

3. Where I would get Virtual PC images of Microsoft Windows?

Microsoft has released various Virtual PC images to test your applications on Windows platform.

  • Running Windows for your small business.
  • Testing web applications with Internet Explorer which is not available in Linux.
  • Running multiple OSes for Developers

These images (for IE Usages only) are available for download for free of cost from Microsoft at this link.

Or you can simply install your licensed copy of Windows from CD/DVD media to Virtual Machine (VM).

4. Which is better: Multiboot or Virtual PC ?

Of-course Virtual PC. You believe it or not but almost all variants of Microsoft windows are running 1.2 to 1.5 times faster than its original PC installation in Multi-boot.

5. How to install Virtual Machine and / or VMPlayer?

As simple as installing any other application like Office Suit.

6. Which is better Virtual Machine and / or VMPlayer?

Both! you have choice and can be installed and run simultaneously.


Remember running Windows OS is always secured and virus free, as there is tight security of Linux OS! Even you don’t need any anti-virus for Windows OS.


Happy Virtual Machining!!

In the screen shot: Running Microsoft Windows XP SP3, FreeDOS, Crome OS as a Virtual Machine in Ubuntu Linux 10.04 (64-bit)

HOST OS: Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS (64 BIT)

GUEST OS: Windows XP SP3 (IE Usage), DOS, Crome OS running at a same instance.







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