Putting VMware and Virtual PC to the challenge, John Tränkenschuh learns that both products have some specialties – and some drawbacks.
Virtual PC and VMware: a Comparative Review
About The Author
Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker.
Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli
2006-06-18 10:19 pmCelerate
My guess would be that VMWare suggests IDE over SCSI because more operating systems support IDE than SCSI.
2006-06-19 3:59 ampcummins
Basically with SCSI + VMware additions they can optimise the driver over OS’es that talk direct to the emulated IDE hardware (and therefore, can’t optimise – ie, homebrew OS’es, or ones that don’t have VMware additions support). Think of it with the additions + SCSI they can remove a level of complexity without upsetting the hosted OS as there’s no assumptions they can access the SCSI hardware directly.
“OS/2, an OS that became DOA in the face of the vastly superior Windows and Windows NT”
Windows 95 was a total pice of junk compared to OS2.
2006-06-19 1:33 amkwanbis
so was NT3.5x and 4.x.
2006-06-19 4:01 amdylansmrjones
It was a huge disappointment for me when I in August 19998 switched from OS/2 to Windows 95. Too many things you just couldn’t do. Not to mention all the stupid wizards getting in my way, and no HPFS, no objects, no nothing.
Just a big void.
2006-06-19 2:36 pmrcsteiner
He also called OS/2 the “worst brain-dead operating system”, which suggests to me that he might’ve been someone who jumped on the OS/2 bandwagon early only to be disappointed by its failure to take over the market.
You normally don’t see such bitterness from people who didn’t have some sort of emotional investment in the OS to begin with…
I use virtual machines for Windows guests under Windows Host for development and testing different configuration. VMware is much faster then Virtual Pc running the guest operating windows.
Also the management of virtual machine snapshots in VMware is unmatched by virtual PC.
VMware support 64 bit guest (even with 32 bit host). Virtual PC does not have any 64 bit supports.
Virtual PC is usuable but currently looks like 2 versions behing VMware.
I prefer VMware too. And I’m not biaised since I’m known to be pro-Microsoft. I love almost everything from them and I even own Virtual Server 2005 as well as VPC 2004. But I must admit that VMware is better than MS equivalents in every ways. It’s faster (while emulating both Windows and Linux), it supports more guest OSes, VMware snapshots manager owns, etc.
I use VMware everyday. I just think it’s near perfect. No one can beat them at emulating. They got it the right way!
BTW, for emulating Windows, VPC and Virtual Server arent that bad. If you own them already and you don’t plan emulating Linux, stick with it. It’s not worth the money. Give it to your kids instead ;P
2006-06-19 12:11 amorestes
Agreed, though VPC is better at dealing with DOS guests and will run a few things that are problematic in VMWare (Plan 9 comes to mind).
2006-06-19 12:56 amrm6990
VMWare uses virtualization, not emulation
Geez I havent heard someone talk about abending that much since the netware days! And this guy has the nerve to call OS/2 brain dead? Sheesh.
FWIW I have VMware ESX cluster at work, and frankly its overpriced. 17k for 4 nodes is a tad insane. However for the single instanced stuff virtual server/virtual pc can’t be beat! And its spelt Connectix not microsoft. How could a netware abender make a goof like that?
2006-06-19 4:58 amTDavis
My initials are TAD and I am insane… you trying to start something? Don’t you know I’m loco? LoseThos uses no virtualization what-so-ever. What is this about “VMWare”? Are you telling me a program fools an operating system while it is running by making it undetectable? That’s insane, crap. Is it a bootloader-type-thing that fools it on booting? That’s possible, it’s called LILO.
see http://www.losethos.com for an operating system you can use in the contest… except you might be competing with me and I badly want a membership so I don’t have to see toe-nail fungus ads 😉
I tried fiddling with the myriad VMware options, but nothing worked. I tried to build an IDE disk instead of using a SCSI disk. I found no option for this approach. Not sure why the wizard built a SCSI disk—actually, there are many options I’m not sure…
You can choose customized and generic settings during the guest OS wizzard install.If you choose to go for customised you can change the appropiate settings for ex: wether you want SCSI or IDE.
Correct me if i’m wrong but does Virtual PC have a feature similar to VMware’s “snapshot” ?
in my opinion there’s no contest, vmware workstation or server beat the pants off of virtualpc2004 or virtual server 2005r2.
i had 2 vm’s of win2k3 running on an quad opteron with 12gb of ram, u320 scsi disks etc. running virtual server, it ran slower than vmware server on my 1gb/2.4ghz laptop or 1.5gb/3ghz desktop.
this is a standard informit article. all informit articles are total crap.
2006-06-19 3:01 pmgilboa
I second the above.
I can’t say that I tried Virtual PC (I’m using Linux), but both VMWare Workstation and now VMWare Server are rock solid, running anything from Windows NT 4.0, XP, 32/64bit Linux and 32/64bit BSD.
I doubt that VPC can come even close to that
2006-06-19 8:10 pmborat
I will third the above. The comparison was compleletly unscientific and lacking in useful details. It was just like some guy playing around.
I have yet to look at the MS products, but I do have extensive experience with the entire VMware product line. My only conclusion, and I don’t really need 6 pages to reach it, is that the reviewer is rather clueless.
Maybe I’ll do my own comparative review one of these days.
Because the VMware player is FREE.. and you can DIY a virtual machine using http://www.easyvmx.com..
2006-06-19 4:40 pmsimo
vmware server is free too, and you don’t need easyvmx then.
for that matter virtual server 2005r2 is free (think you need windows 2003).
I actually use eCom as my main OS, and I use VirtualPC in it to run Win apps when the need arises. This guy’s comment on the extensions for it were very off base. Unlike HOME users, OS/2 and eCom are used in COMMERCIAL applications, of which the hardware isn’t lasting as long as the software app. Many companies have some custom stuff that ain’t broke, so they ain’t fixin it.
My bank still uses OS/2 and I’ll stay with them over ANY bank that uses Windows. There’s no question. They use VPC once in a great while, and it works fine.
On another note, for those who didn’t know (doubt there’s many) VPC used to be made by a company called Connectix, which was bought by MS, and then subsequently stopped OS/2 version production, and started running other versions into the ground. I personally don’t forsee any additions for many Oses in the future. I know the lin extensions are being worked on, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for keeping them up to date. I actually have Fedora Core and Xubuntu installed in my VPC on my eCom system. Works fine without extensions. Just use FTP instead of a shared folder.
System specs for the eCom machine – IBM Netvista X41
P4 1.8 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, 200 GB HD, 16x DVD+/- RW, Hauppauge PVR150 MCE LP, USB2, IEEE1394, etc etc.
Just my 2 cents from an apparent dinosaur rider.
Edited 2006-06-19 14:07
To make clear from beginning – I’ve not used VMWare. I just happen to use MSDN subscription; thereby VPC is “native” choice for me.
I’m sure that generally they both offer almost equal possibilities, at least for Windows developing.
Some words about VPC – just for information.
So far, VPC has successfully run any OS what I needed/wanted – entire Windows 32bit line (from W95 to W2K3), various Linux and BSD distros. There were minor problems with FreeBSD5 – need to disable ACPI in VPC BIOS; some Linux distros need to manually configure XFree/XOrg in original VPC (VPC2004 SP1 cured most troubles with 32bit colours though).
My friend played with Vista on VPC – little problem that Vista couldn’t install network drivers… Of course Vista Aero couldn’t be enabled either. Well, beta software doesn’t count
Problems, noticed using VPC.
* VPC loves RAM (although it doesn’t show guest OS memory usage in Task Manager, entire specified for guest OS memory is actually allocated).
* VPC can make remaining system slow as hell – at least when running on single-core CPU; I let upgrade my PC@work to dual core CPU (Opty 170:) just for running VPC.
* VPC doesn’t like real CD/DVD devices – installing XP from ISO image is much faster than from installation CD.
* Better don’t save guest OS (which happens to be member of AD) state in domain/AD environment – depending on AD configuration, you may not able to continue session smoothly.
* Do not clone (I mean copy) virtual machines, which are AD members; at least do not run these copies simultaneously
(I think similar AD/domain member problems should arise with VMWare too – these problems originate in AD structure and authentication, not in virtualization.)
Why did VMware suggest a SCSI disk?
Even a virtual SCSI driver (under both VMWARE and Virtual Server) runs much better than IDE.
At the moment, I’m a VMware Server fan (despite its inability to create a new VM if you aren’t logged into the console).