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Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

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John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

I need to set up a virtual WinXP machine for my wife to use. Unfortunately, there are just some programs she needs that I can find no replacement for that even seem to outsmart me in wine.

Now, way back in FC4 or 5, I did this using VMware on my x86_64 box, so I know it can be done, but now I hear about something called xen and what little I have read on it sounds like it might be a possibility.

Couple that with the fact that the VMware download I have and used in my previous experiment doesn't seem to like the FC6 kernel headers and I am suddenly starting to wonder if there is an easier way.

What would you, the Guru community, suggest that I do for this?

She needs a limited, fairly stripped down load of M$ to run a small handful of M$ based programs that don't like to play nicely, but FC6 will remain her primary OS and she will need shared disk space access so that she can use some of her existing files in both environments with little to no real effort (I am the computer geek, not her).

Thoughts and suggestions? Reasons for them?
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
11 REPLIES
Ivan Ferreira
Honored Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

I will go for vmware. Xen is a little complex to setup compared with VMWARE. It's supposed that win xp works with Xen without any modifications, I don't know.

>> starting to wonder if there is an easier way.

If there it is, Xen is not the easier way.
Por que hacerlo dificil si es posible hacerlo facil? - Why do it the hard way, when you can do it the easy way?
Al_56
Regular Advisor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

Agreed. VMWare is very easy to set up and the free VMWare server software make it a slam dunk.

Zen has less host processing overhead, but unless you'll be running more than 4 VM's, VMWare's better management utilities and interface win out over Xen.

Al
dirk dierickx
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

XEN is too much for what you want to achive.
VMWare will do the trick, but it is not open source software (if that is important to you).

there are 2 other alternatives you might want to try, both OSS and probably available for fedora in a nice rpm.

* QEMU - you could compare it with VMWare but that is not 100% correct, however for your usage it will look similar. it is nice, can be very fast and works like a charm (i use this above vmware, because it doesn't need extra kernel modules that get in the way)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QEMU

* WINE - a reimplemtation of the windows libraries on unix/linux. doesn't work with everything, but if it does it is really nice. however success is a hit & miss afair. the winehq site has a database with a list of working programs.

http://appdb.winehq.org/
Ralph Grothe
Honored Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

Please, also note that unless your PC is equipped with a CPU that allows true HW virtualization (like the AMD64X2 socket, with the Intel Dual Core family it is a bit more involved to verify),
you simply cannot run an unpatched kernel like that of Windows XP in a Xen domain.
With Xen SW virtualization (so called para) you require a patched kernel.
So far only Linux, NetBSD, FreeBSD (and OpenSolaris promised to soon become available) offer such kernels, and thus can be used as guest systems in a Xen VM.

Madness, thy name is system administration
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

OK, so according to popular vote Xen is out for now. I really don't feel like trying to reinvent the wheel.

I do have to admit that the info provided by Dirk is a bit on the interesting side. I was unaware of the other options until now.

Unfortunately, the one primary Win application that my wife needs is not even remotely supported by Wine so that is NOT an option.

I keep trying to get into the official QEMU web site to learn more, but so far I am finding it unavailable.

If there is the possibility of setting up a shared disk space between host and guest OSs in QEMU I might just have to try it.

I will let you all know when I have made one or the other work.

Meanwhile, I am still open to other suggestions and reasons for them.
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

OK, everybody gets bunnies on this thread for the first run.

I might explain my final path on this and the reasons behind the point awards.

My final move was back to VMware in this case. Partly because of the almost unanimous recommendations from all of the responders, but also because I still have a copy of Version 5 Workstation in my possession. I also have some experience with it and time was a bit of a factor. I also knew for certain that I could use a virtual share to allow the Mrs. to access her files from either OS without having to reinvent the wheel to do so.

So why did I choose to give the full bunny to Dirk and not Ivan when Ivan was clearly fist in line with the suggestion?

Simply because I respect the subtle way he suggested the OSS solution as an alternative. I am a newly developing fan of OSS and I do like to use it when and where possible. I will be looking for a chance to try out QEMU in the (hopefully) near future.

I only have one more question before I close this out. For those of you keeping track, this means one more bunny for sure on this thread.

I know this is a lazy way to get my answer, but I don't have the time I would like to research the answer on my own so I thought I would reward someone for their experience with VMware.

When installing the package I have, I was informed that there is a newer version available. I chose to install the one I have and not get the newer one simply because I was (and still am) unsure about the licensing situation here. Now that I have a valid, working install of VMware Workstation, would anybody be kind enough to explain how the upgrade from 5.0 to the current 5.5 would work?

I'm fairly certain that I understand the license thing, but I would like confirmation and a brief explanation of how the upgrade would be accomplished.

FYI, my install was not from an RPM package if that makes any difference as to how all of this will/should happen.
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

Shalom,

I'm sorry I missed this thread and don't know how this has happened.

For your purposes vmware seems to be the answer.

Long term however, xen looks really good. I'm running a system booted off the xen kernel and its stable. The machine replication options built into xen are mind boggleing. It is worth a look to maximize hardware investment.

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com
Van den Broeck Tijl
Valued Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

I hope I'm not too late for suggesting this: Virtual Box, a pretty new player on the field, but it has the "user friendliness" of VMWare and it's GPL (partially based upon Qemu, but with a nice frontend). I believe Virtual Box is going to hit Fedora's repositories pretty soon (which is great for automatic updates).

See http://www.virtualbox.org/

You can easily convert your existing VMWare images into Qemu/Virtual Box'es using a tool called vmdk2raw.

In professional environments I would indeed recommend Xen, but we're talking a simple home setup here :-)
dirk dierickx
Honored Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

with QEMU you can use the built in samba feature to share data between the host and guest OS, that is what i use it works fast and easy.

i know about virtuabox as well, but never tried it so i did not recommend it for that reason. but i've been hearing that it is gaining populairity.
John Collier
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

SEP,

Your input is always welcome, late or not. Don't sweat the little things :-)

I will keep the info on Xen in mind and try it out sometime in the future.


Van den Broeck Tijl,

I appreciate the info on VirtualBox. Since I have already made my choice, I will do the same with this info as I will with SEP's info on Xen.


Dirk,

I'm sure that it could be done via Samba (although I have to admit to not thinking of it until you mentioned it) but that seems like a lot of work for something that is included in the version of VMware I currently own. Thanks for the input, though.


Now, if I could get someone to chime in on the last question I asked about the update issue regarding the existing VMware package I have chosen to use, I could hand out the last bunny for this thread and close it off.

Anybody want another bunny badly enough to chime in on that issue?
"I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." Stephen Krebbet, 1793-1855
Steven E. Protter
Exalted Contributor

Re: Want to VM M$ XP on FC6 --- Xen or VMware?

Shalom,

Chiming in is my business.

Now that I have a valid, working install of VMware Workstation, would anybody be kind enough to explain how the upgrade from 5.0 to the current 5.5 would work?

I haven't bothered to upgrade my vmware yet.

However my two office mates did. The upgrade was smooth and destroyed no existing vmware machines. 5.5 was a features enhancement and also provided support for more modern linux distributions. I do not believe it supports Vista which is not permissible in our company at this time(Thank G-d).

SEP
Steven E Protter
Owner of ISN Corporation
http://isnamerica.com
http://hpuxconsulting.com
Sponsor: http://hpux.ws
Twitter: http://twitter.com/hpuxlinux
Founder http://newdatacloud.com