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Virtualization on your laptop
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Virtualization on your laptop

vampireJvampireJ Member
edited September 2011 in Tutorials

Hi guys!

Recently my work laptop is "acting" up. And I am planning to buy a new one. I have decided on a particular laptop model (acer 4552g cheap one at only about $700) with a phenom n930 quad core- cpu has amd-v support.

After careful thought- I have decided to use virtualization on my laptop. As I am a programmer, I have thought about the benefits of using virtualization in my work. so anyway-

my questions are-

  1. Anybody with this kind of setup?
  2. What virtualization do you use- as I would be using graphical guests (and graphical host as well)- I think virtualbox would have to be the easiest. I am thinking my host is debian (which I would not be upgrading at all after a while) and my primary guest is ubuntu- which would be primarily my work environment as well.
  3. How do you find working in a guest os? Is it easy- any lags, comfortable etc

Thanks a lot!

«1

Comments

  • yomeroyomero Member
    edited September 2011

    For me, VMware has been the best solution, of course isn't free.

    Virtualization is comfortable if you will not do heavy graphical (3d) tasks. And probably will be better if your host is windows because some problems with drivers and so (I had problems with Virtualbox and Linux hosts).

    And about Having AMD-v or Intel-vt... I have been virtualizing since Athlon XP processors without problems, and for me doesn't show any significant gain.

  • Normally I use VMWare Server / VirtualBox.

    My experience with them is that it works very well even on my Core Duo Laptop. No lag in Graphical environment.

    AMD-V/Intel-Vt is meant for hardware assisted virtualization. They are essential if you want to run 64 bit Guest on 64 bit Host.

  • I rarely need to use Virtualization on my home computers, but I use VirtualBox..

    Does what I need it todo

    The Original Daniel.

  • Hi thanks for all the replies!
    The laptop would have 8gb so the host would be 64 bit (debian). Primary guest would be ubuntu 32 bit. I rarely use windows but I might have an xp guest so I can check my web projects once in a while or perhaps play some recent good games- warcraft / dota perhaps.

  • vampireJ said: Hi thanks for all the replies! The laptop would have 8gb so the host would be 64 bit (debian). Primary guest would be ubuntu 32 bit. I rarely use windows but I might have an xp guest so I can check my web projects once in a while or perhaps play some recent good games- warcraft / dota perhaps

    Blizzard games apparently have a good record of working in Wine.

    The Original Daniel.

  • InfinityInfinity Member, Provider

    yomero said: For me, VMware has been the best solution, of course isn't free.

    VMware Player is free and can make VM's now :) I personally use VMware Workstation. Not to turn this into a hacking thread or anything but if you register a trial then change your computers date then the trial will work past the 30 days. I don't do that though because it's annoying.

    Cablestreet - London based ISP - Managed Solutions, Carrier Services, Colocation, Dedicated Servers, VMs, and more..

  • drmikedrmike Member
    edited September 2011

    Blizzard games apparently have a good record of working in Wine.

    Don't tell me that. Itching for something to play on this thing and WoW just went free for the first 20 levels or so. I have enough time wasters. :)

  • drmike said: Don't tell me that. Itching for something to play on this thing and WoW just went free for the first 20 levels or so. I have enough time wasters. :)

    WoW is my favorite game.

    The Original Daniel.

  • Team Fortress runs fine on Linux as well ;) . Anyways, VMWare (Workstation) is the virtualization I use.

  • InfinityInfinity Member, Provider

    Boltersdriveer said: Anyways, VMWare (Workstation) is the virtualization I use.

    How much does it cost? My uncle gave me a license code that works nicely (: YEAH :)

    Cablestreet - London based ISP - Managed Solutions, Carrier Services, Colocation, Dedicated Servers, VMs, and more..

  • WoW is my favorite game.

    (humour)Well heck with that then.(/humour)

    Actually was playing the free version of Everquest2 for awhile before the old laptop went down. Interesting but had to play it with a help site open in the browser. Really didn't give many hints where to find objectives.

  • Virtualbox is amazing!

    Preetam @ Bitcable

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Provider

    I've tried VirtualBox but ended up going back to VMWare Player. I just found it performed better with Intel Atoms. :D

    -Joe @ SecureDragon - LEB's Powered by Wyvern in FL, CO, CA, IL, NJ, GA, OR, TX, and AZ
    Need backup space? Check out BackupDragon
  • I use VirtualBox and find it fine for general playing around with other OS systems.

  • KuJoe said: I've tried VirtualBox but ended up going back to VMWare Player. I just found it performed better with Intel Atoms. :D

    And at Sept 14, Vmware Workstation release it's version 8!

  • I'm an every day user of virtualbox... Mostly because of the snapshot feature, which let me try and re-try :-)

  • InfinityInfinity Member, Provider

    Who actually purchased VMware Workstation, I bet most people just get a crack or something :\

    Cablestreet - London based ISP - Managed Solutions, Carrier Services, Colocation, Dedicated Servers, VMs, and more..

  • XeoncrossXeoncross Member
    edited September 2011

    I'm doing an install of Windows 8 in Virtualbox OSE 4 on a 2GB Dual-Core Ubuntu system - so we'll see how that goes. I can't imagine running a VM on an Atom processor - they just barely handle a single OS.

  • InfinityInfinity Member, Provider

    Cablestreet - London based ISP - Managed Solutions, Carrier Services, Colocation, Dedicated Servers, VMs, and more..

  • I use VirtualBox on Windows 7 on my laptop. Windows 7 as host because I want to be able to run some Windows software (like games) with full access to the native hardware, and also Windows is the only OS that fully supports my laptop's hardware (NVidia Optimus) at this time.

    I went with VirtualBox because it's just easier to get working on guest OSes. VMWare has some very nice features, and it also seems to be more well implemented than VirtualBox where they both have the same features, but if you aren't running one of its small handful of approved guest OSes it's a huge pain to get the guest services working. VirtualBox seems to benefit both from being open-source and having a fast release schedule here and have much better guest support, sometimes built into the guests themselves. VirtualBox also has several tricks (like using an absolute positioning pointing device to avoid having to "grab" the mouse) that make it work better when it's on an OS that just doesn't have any guest support at all, the Windows 8 developer image is quite usable with any guest tools for example.

    Do keep in mind that whatever host OS you go with, you will want to keep it updated. The security, stability, and performance of your guest OSes all rest at base on the security, stability, and performance of your host OS. If you're looking for minimal maintenance, there are several "hypervisor OSes" available for free, like VMWare's ESXi, and Microsoft's Hyper-V Server. I don't know if they do any of the things you'd want a host OS to do on a laptop, like power management or wifi control, but they're much more minimal, which is nice if running the virtual machines is all you want the host OS to do. I haven't tried it, but I think Hyper-V Server might have some solid graphics/3D acceleration support, if that's important to you, and it should also work fairly well with Linux guests; on one point release of the Linux kernel, more kernel changes were contributed by Microsoft engineers than any other company, all related to Hyper-V support.

    If you do need to be able to run any sort of software with direct hardware access, though, that will dictate your host OS to whatever that software runs on.

  • fanovpn said: on one point release of the Linux kernel, more kernel changes were contributed by Microsoft engineers than any other company, all related to Hyper-V support.

    Then it found out their contributions contained a lot of GPL code, which they released. Now Microsoft have abandoned the Hyper-V support they added..

    Just use VirtualBox/KVM/HVM etc,

    The Original Daniel.

  • @Infinity I paid for a license long a ago, if I'm correct I think it was version 5.0, today I just use VirtualBox or KVM if I have hardware support and Linux as the host OS.

    So far VirtualBox has worked well in working environment (small biz, windows xp as host, linux as guest).

    Thanked by 1Infinity
  • @Infinity: VMWare Workstation user since v1.0 and yes I did purchase the license and all upgrades (till the version I'm currently using, which is v5.5)

  • IF it is WIndows I use VMWare or Hyper-V. Just make sure you have alot of RAM.

  • InfinityInfinity Member, Provider

    You don't really need "alot" of RAM. VMware takes under 500Mb on my computer plus the virtual machines RAM.

    Cablestreet - London based ISP - Managed Solutions, Carrier Services, Colocation, Dedicated Servers, VMs, and more..

  • @Infinity

    I bet most people just get a crack or something

    Funny, I was thinking the same thing. :whistle:

  • Infinity said: You don't really need "alot" of RAM. VMware takes under 500Mb on my computer plus the virtual machines RAM.

    I like to open alot of VM's at once so I need lots of RAM :)

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Provider
    edited September 2011

    Xeoncross said: I'm doing an install of Windows 8 in Virtualbox OSE 4 on a 2GB Dual-Core Ubuntu system - so we'll see how that goes. I can't imagine running a VM on an Atom processor - they just barely handle a single OS.

    So wrong. I regularly run 2 Linux VMs on top of my base OS (Windows 7) while watching streaming content at 720p without a hiccup. ;) I do love how under-rated Intel Atoms are, people think they are slow which keeps their prices down for me. :D

    -Joe @ SecureDragon - LEB's Powered by Wyvern in FL, CO, CA, IL, NJ, GA, OR, TX, and AZ
    Need backup space? Check out BackupDragon
  • That's because they see "1.6Ghz" on them, and "3.6GHz" on other processors and automatically assume "Well obviously, the 1.6GHz is slow as hell", when in reality, it could be that differences in the microarchitectures make 1.6GHz on the Atom equivalent to 3.6GHz on some other architecture. GHz is only a relevant measure of speed when you're comparing apples to apples - processors within the same microarchitecture.

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Provider

    Good point NickM, while I don't expect an Intel Atom to compete with a 3.6GHz CPU (maybe an older single-core CPU) I do feel that the Intel Atom it greatly under estimated in terms of price for processing power.

    It's funny because I use my Intel Atom 230 server as my production server at home and my dual AMD Opteron server as my development one. :)

    -Joe @ SecureDragon - LEB's Powered by Wyvern in FL, CO, CA, IL, NJ, GA, OR, TX, and AZ
    Need backup space? Check out BackupDragon
  • Not really. The atom can compete with the ALU of some Pentium 4 (3ghz maybe and not HT) and Athlon 64. But the FPU is just a piece of crap. Take AIDA64 (Previously Everest) and do some tests, is worst than a Pentium 3 probably

  • KuJoe said: It's funny because I use my Intel Atom 230 server as my production server at home and my dual AMD Opteron server as my development one. :)

    eHarmony did a press release of how they saved money and gained a huge performance increase by moving from "Cloud" to Intel Atom Dedicated Servers.

    The Original Daniel.

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Provider

    There was an excellent thread on WHT about some ideas of fitting 80+ servers into a single 42U cabinet using Intel Atoms. Before I started Secure Dragon I had been planning on creating an Intel Atom cloud just for the heck of it since you can pick up servers for about $400 and fit 2 servers per 1U with a proper cooling setup. :D

    -Joe @ SecureDragon - LEB's Powered by Wyvern in FL, CO, CA, IL, NJ, GA, OR, TX, and AZ
    Need backup space? Check out BackupDragon
  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Provider

    OMG, so sorry to get so off topic. :(

    -Joe @ SecureDragon - LEB's Powered by Wyvern in FL, CO, CA, IL, NJ, GA, OR, TX, and AZ
    Need backup space? Check out BackupDragon
  • Nah, is funny :D If you have the money, try and we will glad to test it :D

  • InfinityInfinity Member, Provider

    @VPSfan So do I, I usually use at least 4GB RAM.

    Cablestreet - London based ISP - Managed Solutions, Carrier Services, Colocation, Dedicated Servers, VMs, and more..

  • Infinity said: How much does it cost? My uncle gave me a license code that works nicely (: YEAH :)


    Got it from a local retailer, about $80 one-time.

  • KuJoeKuJoe Member, Provider

    My friend has been a VirtualBox user for a long time and tried so hard to get me to convert away from VMWare... well last week he switched from VirtualBox to VMWare Fusion and hasn't looked back.

    -Joe @ SecureDragon - LEB's Powered by Wyvern in FL, CO, CA, IL, NJ, GA, OR, TX, and AZ
    Need backup space? Check out BackupDragon
  • I am using VmWare workstation in a desktop (Core i5, 2.7Ghz, 4Gb ram).
    Sometimes I open 6 WinXP OS at the same time. Sure I think I need more RAM.

    Other problem is: I need more IPs (different ones).

    Like people wrote here: vmware player is free and you can download some VMs in some places, without problem.
    I want to test more options, specially because I want to use them FIRST to, AFTER, try to pay for a VPS. For example: I had problems to use a CentOs... I could not use GUI.
    It was cheap, about 2.5$ (Egypt), but never worked like I wanted.
    I want a VPS to use with GUI, to learn more about the GUI... etc.

    I am planning about to buy a new Core i5 with about 8Gb ram to make at least 10 VMs working at the same time.

    In the company that I work we have Firewall blocking a lot of ports.. so I can not test things like I want (for security reasons...)

    Where is my OLD signature Mr. MODERATOR that expended money with Root Level aka K-Disk aka Urpad?
    Candangada

  • kristalkristal Banned
    edited October 2011

    im using virtualbox and the only problem i had was yesterday with ReactOS, some drivers missing. otherwise no problems, i gont play games so not sure about graphics

  • raindog308raindog308 Administrator, Moderator

    I have frequently used Virtualbox on my laptop. The only problem I've found is that if the host exports NFS to the guests, things can go south if they use it heavily (kernel oops and errors in dmesg). I've seen that with Vbox for at least a year's worth of versions.

    I've run KVM on an Atom laptop (Acer Aspire with Atom 570 & 2GB of RAM). Ran great and it was small enough to almost fit a coat pocket :-)

    For LET support, please visit the support desk.

  • Maybe off topic but Microsoft brings in Hyper-VM as standard feature in Windows 8, so everyone can do Virtualization on their computer in near future:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/09/07/bringing-hyper-v-to-windows-8.aspx

    NordicVPS.com - Unmanaged XEN and KVM VPS in US and EU - SolusVM - OpenVZ with VSwap
  • Well i work in a development house before and most of them went for virtualbox even for myself, testing VMs makes it much easier. import and exporting too.

    Virtualbox have faster I/O as compared to the rest. Also the support for open-source seems wider for a free software as compared to vmware player. You can easily import and export VMs in .ova format. It has wide support for reading virtual hard disk too, .vdi, .vmdk, etc.

    You almost install any o/s that you can think of. BSD, Linux, Windows and so far the only thing i havent manage to get it work on is Mac OSx.

  • correction to Nordic it is Windows Hyper-V which used to be Windows Server Virtualization and not hypervm.

    @cripperz it seems mac osx guests is supported but only on mac osx hosts

  • kristalkristal Banned
    edited November 2011

    wow, i just got a vmware, what a fool i was before - using virtualbox and thinking its good......... VMWARE > VBOX

  • Well actually depends on individual users to their needs. Of course if you are using it in a corporate environment, you dont wanna have issues with licensing yet needing the features, then virtualbox is still the top choice among others isnt it

  • VirtualBox is awesome..I use it to test new distro's and developer previews.

    Living Virtual - We explore the Tech World for you bring fascinating things you might have never known! Follow us for latest news and updates. √
  • Ok... I would just like to add my 2p's worth. I do work in IT and do quite a lot with virtualisation. So here goes, avoid hyper-v like the plague, it works ok on a single machine, but once you get into clusters and things it sucks (probably not relevant, but worth bearing in mind if you want to scale things out of your single laptop). ESXi is great (and free) if you want a bare metal solution (again probably not relevant). I use virtualbox for a couple of Win 7 Thin PC builds, it's free and, as mentioned, the feature list is great. I loved VMWare server, however, it is now a dead product. VMWare player is great providing you don't want advanced features snapshots.
    Michael

  • Virtualbox snapshots are my point too... but long time I didn't try anything else. Should I?

  • xenickxenick Member

    I would suggest KVM/qemu, it runs virtual box and vmware images as well as its own format, the nifty qcow2 which allows AES encryption and also raw binary images. You will need a laptop virtualization capability AMD-V or the intel VT.
    Read more at http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/QEMU/Installing_QEMU

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