[lug] xen versus vmware

Ben Burdette bburdette at comcast.net
Mon Dec 3 17:05:50 MST 2007

> Are you saying that a machine that dual-boots Windows and Linux could
> be booted into Linux, and then run Windows apps installed on the
> Windows boot partition from within Linux using Xen?  As it stands I
> have a dual-boot machine, and was planning to use VMWare to
> virtual-run Windows apps but I would need to install Windows and those
> applications a second time on the linux partition, the way I
> understand it.  
You can run your regular windows partition from VMWare in ubuntu.  I 
used VMWare server to do it on my machine at home, since it allows using 
more processors than the other VMWare (client?).   There was a good 
article on doing that in a recent linux magazine, not sure if its online 
to read or not.  I think it was Linux Magaziine... its not here in front 
of me so I can't tell you for sure. 

Anyway, I found that it worked well, the only thing was that you have to 
set up another hardware profile in windows for the VMWare virtual 
hardware.  Your windows install will think that you have changed to 
another machine.  I kept getting windows registration prompts.  There is 
a little hack to deal with that though, there is a .bat file that checks 
IPConfig output to see if VMWare is running.  If so, it copies in a 
pre-saved file with a windows registration signature that matches the 
VMWare hardware.  If not, the original registration signature file is 
copied in. 

Then you can use another gadget to get your apps into the ubuntu using 
windows remote desktop, so it looks like they are running in linux.  
There's a little bit of delay though, similar to what you'd get using 
remote desktop to a local machine.  I was going to try working in linux 
all the time (I use visual studio for work), but I didn't want to deal 
with the slight slowdown. 

Another thing is that you get some glitches from applications that don't 
shut down normally.  This didn't work so well for me since I'm doing 
programming and have applications crash all the time.  If I remember 
correctly you get some blank areas where the windows were from the 
crashed apps. 

At this point I don't have the links to all this info, but I'll bet you 
can find similar information out on the web.  If you need more info you 
can email me and I'll try to dig it up. 

Ben Burdette

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