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Running multiple OS on one PC


I have a situation where I am developing a piece of software (in Java) and my development environment is in Windows XP.

The verification environment is in Linux/Unix.

I was wondering how can I best set this type of environments on my humble Notebook - IBM R40, 256 mb, 1.3 G Intel Mobile.

I was thinking of going the route of Installing VMware on my Win XP - and run Mandrake Linux on the virtual machine.

I was thinking this would be a better way than partitioning my disk and having to turn on/off the Notebook to flip between the OSes.

Also, I hear, that running Mandrake on the virtal machine I can also access the Internet etc.

Does the above make sense?


Ram Dass
Sunday, November 09, 2003

The problem with laptops and Linux are winmodems. There are drivers however so you could try. Do a google search for "Linux on laptops".  Anyway, if that is your only worry a hardware modem would come in cheaper than the license for VM ware. Partition Magic would set you off some money though, although boxed Linux distros normally have decent partitioning tools

It is up to you to decide. I would have thought it would be more reliable to test out code on a real tnan on a Virtual OS, but others know better.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Thanks Stephen.

I have not used VMware before - the idea of virtual machine appeals to me from the perspective I do not have to reboot the notebook to navigate between the OSes.

Ram Dass
Sunday, November 09, 2003

IBM R40, 256 mb, 1.3 G Intel Mobile.

You probably want to dual boot if you can batch up all your testing for the Linux platform at once. Because although you can comfortably run Linux in say a 64 or 128Mb memory configuration, it's quite painful to run anything large inside that in VM after Linux started. This year's RedHats eats up 128-256MB, and most java programs can easily eat up 16MB-76MB. Add a few other over-heads like memory and database instances and you got yourself a real problem. Your host os would also be hosted. If you do this professionally, consider upgrading to 512MB if possible, if 384MB is the max at least to the machine to that max. But 768 or 1024 is really the point you want to be at.

Li-fan Chen
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Now I know there are plenty of people who can run OpenBSD, qmail, apache, mod_perl, perl, and a few security programs quite comfortably in a 64mb vm--that's after alot of optimization (and the few instances of perl serving mod_perl will make the virtual machine swap abit), java (and a workstation linux) is a bit more (okay -- a lot more) hungry--unless you clean up unnecessary services and go console (X eats up a bit).

Li-fan Chen
Sunday, November 09, 2003

I run RH7.3 with KDE on my Vaio 1.3Ghz/512MB laptop with no problem.  The VM gets 256MB of the RAM to use, but 128 would be OK too depending on the app size it's needed to test. 

I recommend to use a minimal theme on KDE at 800x600 resolution (Host OS is at 1024x768).  Also, tweak Windows so you're running minimal services (no fast user switching/themes/real player/etc.).

I also second the motion to upgrade RAM to whatever your laptop can handle.  The winmodem shouldn't be a problem since the Guest OS can use the VMWare NAT service to get internet access thru the Host OS (thru a virtual NIC).

One last note: A guy I used to work for always told me that it's better to test in a slower environment, because it will help you put more performance into your design.  Although VMWare machines are not *that* much slower than the Host OS they run on, you can simulate it with less virtual memory.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

As I recall, VMWare lets you do a lot of magic with virtual devices. The winmodem shouldn't be a problem, because VMWare ought to be able to just work like a ethernet bridge between the host and VM systems.

But it's been a while since I mucked w/ vmware and my memory is always hazy.

Mike Swieton
Sunday, November 09, 2003

Add RAM, use VMWare4 and all will be okay.

I've 2 machines:

a PIII 750w/ 600 MB Laptop : runs fine with VMWare and a Linux VM (gave 256 Mb to it)

a AthlonXP 2500+ w/ 1GB Shuttle Mini PC : you can start up to 4 VMs at the same time (Linux, W2K Server, W98, WXP) and it still works.

If you have a spare PC, you can network all the machines together w/ DHCP and develop on one and deploy on the other one.

With the 2 boxes above, it means up to 7 "PC"s since you can also have the host.

I usually develop on the laptop and deploy on the Shuttle box.

Monday, November 10, 2003

"humble Notebook - IBM R40, 256 mb, 1.3 G Intel Mobile"

My humble notebook has less than 10% of the RAM of yours. Ever so 'umble it is.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Anyone try Microsoft Virtual PC 2004? If so, is it better than VMWare?

Monday, April 05, 2004

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