Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 8th May 2002 16:41 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes The open source Bochs, VMware Workstation by VMware, Inc. and VirtualPC from Connectix are applications that virtualize or emulate the x86 hardware, allowing you to run multiple operating systems on top of a "host" operating system that these three applications run upon. This means that you will be able to run Linux or FreeBSD or other supported "guest" OSes under Windows, Linux (or Macintosh), inside a window or fullscreen. But which one delivers the best performance for the money? And what about the free Bochs?
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Thnx for the nice article. I've been running VMWare for quite a while with great success. When faced with the choice of which os to be the 'Host' and which is to be the 'Guest' os, my own views might help some of you.

The issue is that with the typical desire to run NT and a *nix system together on th same hardware, one sees that VMWare is purchased as one of two different binaries: as a Win2k/NT 'Host' , or as a 'Linux' host. For at least two reasons one is *strongly* advised to use the Win2k/NT version of VMware as the Host system, and then to install one or more linux/unix's , etc, as guests. The reasons follow:

1) With Win2k/NT as the 'base' ie, 'host' system installed, one finds that nearly all hardware is available at ALL times .. We love linux, but the fact is we have hardware that just will not run *yet* in that environment. (Eg: Nikon 4000 filmscanner, which is a pure 'firewire' device). Working in Linux (guest system) lets me immediately switch back to the host NT5, and i'm golden. I get full support of all hardware whether linux drivers exist or not. The *host* system MUST support what you need in order for the guest system to have any chance of accessing it. Period.

2) All instances of MS os's installed (as guest or host) must have costs a license fee. I think that having NT5 as host satisfies any inclination to add multiple 'guest' NT systems to a Linux host. (yea, this is a 'soft' reason, cuz ya might never dream of having two MS os's)

I use NT5 (Win2k) as host on this 512meg dual PII with very satisfactory results. Photoshop 6, the Nikon scanner, 8 USB ports, digitizer, dual monitors, and a mix of scsi and ide drives (including CDR and a CDROM-DVD disk) all work fully under the Win host. As an example of what i've said, DVD drives are not supported in VMWare yet, but i can use it fully in NT. (unfortunately, VMWare does not support SMP !)

I'm nearly always in my trusty linux (SuSE 7.3) which i manually upgraded to the 2.4.18 kernel. Today i effortlessly started that Suse virtual machine and caused it to boot from the new SuSE 8.0 cdrom disk (the nice SuSE DVD disk is useless in this system, as i said.) The upgrade was a snap: kde3 is great , kmail is beautiful, and so far it's a 'go'.

(afterthought: re: dual monitors: the full use of dual monitors for each os (NT and Linux) needs comment: my host NT fully supports both ViewSonic flatscreens. If i booted a purt linux boot, (which i can do via SystemCommander) then linux, too , sees both monitors fine. However, booting to the NT5 host only lets the NT use both monitors fully. Linux guest starts up in an NT5 window, which can be dragged to either of the 2 monitors and behaves fine. However, guest os's run much faster in 'Fullscreen' , and if that linux window is popped up to fullscreen, it instantly comes up *only* on the first monitor, no matter where it's 'windowed' instance existed.. a little quirky, but in no way a problem. When fullscreen on monitor 0 , the rest of the NT desktop is seen fine on monitor 1.