How to run VMs on my desktop computer?

Discussion in 'Operating Systems' started by Carson Dyle, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Diamond Member

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    I built a new PC last summer, with the following specs:

    ASUS Z77 motherboard
    Intel i5-3570K cpu
    16 GB RAM
    128 GB Samsung 830 SSD boot drive
    1 TB 7200 RPM secondary HDD
    DVD-RW drive

    I'm running Window 7 Professional 64-bit on it, and currently using the integrated video. The SSD is at 63 GB used out of 119 GB.

    What/how would I install VMs on this system? I want to play around with both Windows 8 and with some Linux distros. I anticipate Windows 7 remaining my primary OS, so the addition OSs don't necessarily have to be installed on the SSD for absolute speed. Then again, I could also add another SSD or upgrade the size of the SSD, if that makes things easier.
     
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  3. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    Install VirtualBox, and play around with it. It's pretty easy to figure it out yourself, but if you have questions, you can come back and ask.

    https://www.virtualbox.org/
     
    #2 lxskllr, Dec 21, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  4. bbhaag

    bbhaag Diamond Member

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  5. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Diamond Member

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    Quick question, somewhat unrelated: I can get a $15 (or free) Windows 8 upgrade for the Windows 7 OS that's installed on this PC. Once it's been activated in the VM, would I be able to install it in the future as the main OS on the same PC?
     
  6. lxskllr

    lxskllr Lifer

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    If you install the upgrade in the vm, that would be the license violation. It may activate, but I don't know how Win8 deals with that kind of thing. You can reuse upgrade media, but it should be replacing an older Windows. Generally speaking a virtual machine is a physical machine as far as licensing goes. Any restrictions regarding iron will be the same on a vm.
     
  7. dave_the_nerd

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    VM performance is so bad that I really wouldn't use it to get a "feel" for a new OS.

    For learning Linux and stuff for school, though, it's perfect. You can simulate a whole network.
     
  8. Ketchup

    Ketchup Elite Member

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    Having a good virtual machine deals much with how your hardware supports it (cpu and motherboard) and how/where you install it. I get the best results out of my VMs when I give each its own partition. They also allocate their own memory when you use them, so keep this in mind as well. With 16 gigs, you should be fine.
     
  9. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Diamond Member

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    Are you specifically talking about running VirtualBox under a host OS like Windows?

    Somehow this sounds to me like a warning from a gamer's perspective rather than a practical one.
     
  10. dave_the_nerd

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    I am referring specifically to my experience using Windows XP and a couple of desktop Linux distros in Virtualbox, on Windows and Mac OS X hosts, for destop and productivity stuff, not gaming.

    Moving the virtual disks to an SSD helped a lot, but while CPU-limited stuff generally works like it ought to, anything I/O intensive is still sluggish, and running them on a platter drive was just plain nasty. All the snappy is gone, basically.

    I'd also point out that for Aero and whatever Win8 uses like Aero, GPU performance actually DOES effect the user experience.

    Desktop OSes are intended to run on bare metal. If you're trying to give them a fair evaluation, that's how you should run them.
     
  11. Zaap

    Zaap Diamond Member

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    On your system VM performance should be very good.

    That 'warning' sounds like someone that hasn't used a VM on a very modern system. ( CPU virtualization support, SSD, decent amount of RAM, etc.)
     
  12. GoSharks

    GoSharks Diamond Member

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    This. I can watch full screen flash videos on a VMware VM without any problems. Can't tell that it is even a VM.
     
  13. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    I would blame VirtualBox for that first, I use VMware Workstation daily for a work Win7 VM and it runs at almost native speeds. Every once in a while the video driver will have an issue with multiple monitors but disabling/reenabling it fixes it so it's not a big deal.
     
  14. zerogear

    zerogear Diamond Member

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    If you ever run Windows 8 Pro in the future, it has Hypervisor (Hyper-V) included. -- Just enable it through Program and Features.
     
  15. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Diamond Member

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    I assume Win8 Pro would have to be the main (host) OS to do that, correct?
     
  16. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    Except it's not nearly as full featured as VMware Workstation or even VirtualBox, missing things which are considered basic features for workstation virtualization like drag/drop files, automatic desktop resizing, a good, tabbed UI for managing multiple VMs, NAT network, etc. And VMware does decent 3D acceleration within guests which isn't available with Hyper-V. And it's still early, but from what I've read VMware performs noticeably better too.

    So much like in the Server realm, Hyper-V is useful if you want to learn Hyper-V but VMware is much more useful in the real world.
     
  17. KentState

    KentState Diamond Member

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    Same experience with Workstation. I found running Win7 with Aero is pretty damn snappy even when the vdmk resides on my NAS. I just make sure to give it 2 cores and 2GB ram. Recently, I've had 8 VMs going and have not had any issues with Win7.
     
  18. Paperlantern

    Paperlantern Platinum Member

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    I use VMWare at work daily as well (I have also used and still use Virtual Box, VMWare Player, as well as HyperV). I have one VM running all the time and it behaves as if it is on bare metal. Often I run two or even three simultaneously, and that is the only time I ever see an issue if they are all accessing the disk at once. They all sit on a 2TB RAID 5 array made up of three 1TB drives. As long as I only use one at a time and they arent fighting for disk IO, they are fine. The machine is a fairly old Core2Quad with 8GB of RAM. As long as the system has RAM and a decent Hypervisor CPU, it should run 90% speed on any OS. Obviously gaming will take a huge hit, and really shouldn't even be tried unless you have a monster of a machine.

    If anyone is having an awful time running VMs on a machine from at least the last 3 or so years, then something is wrong.
     
  19. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Diamond Member

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    Can VMs share drives, even if just read-only access?

    I ask because I want to do a clean install of Windows 8 Pro in a VM on my Windows 7 Pro machine. I'm wondering if I can use a download of Windows 8 that is on the Windows 7 system, or if I need to put it on some type of external disk like a USB flash drive.
     
  20. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    Reality is Not a collection of words especially when theses words are written by FanBoys, or and Hateboys.

    Depending on the use many time Virtual Computer does exactly what you expect from a computer to do. The main issue is usually Video since Virtual computers run Video emulation so if "fancy Video" is crucial to what you do then any VM is Not a very good medium.

    Win 8 on Virtual - http://www.labnol.org/software/install-windows-8-as-virtual-machine/20919/

    Win 8 as Host - http://winsupersite.com/article/windows8/windows-8-tip-virtualize-hyperv-143521


    :cool:
     
  21. Carson Dyle

    Carson Dyle Diamond Member

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    Was this post a response to my last question? Or is someone just getting in after a loooong night of drinking?
     
  22. Nothinman

    Nothinman Elite Member

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    At the most basic level, a VM is basically a disk file and a VM process pretending to be a PC. Different VM software has different capabilities, however the OS within the VM still has network access so at the very least you can access network shares like normal. VMware Workstation has "Shared Folders" which present a directory tree to a guest using a special driver, to the guest it looks like a network drive but it bypasses the network for speed.

    I think English isn't his first language so some of his posts seem a little out there.
     
  23. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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    Yeah, sometimes I forget what is common in online forums and my answers seems to be too abstract.

    That said abstract is considered to be Higher level of language than "You know like wtf". :\


    :cool:
     
  24. mxnerd

    mxnerd Platinum Member

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    Look like the one asking question is the boss. :)