Setting up a VM to run XP in an up-to-date F12 box?

Marko Vojinovic vvmarko at gmail.com
Sat Nov 28 20:14:06 UTC 2009


On Saturday 28 November 2009 19:01:22 Sam Sharpe wrote:
> >> Additionally can you experts tell me whether you can use usbkeys in the
> >> VM,
> >
> > In order to have full support for USB you need to use the closed-source
> > VirtualBox from SUN
> 
> Or... you can use KVM and Fedora's built-in Virt Manager. It does
> support USB and PCI device passthrough.

Or use VMWare, for that matter. :-)
 
> I'm not sure where this stuff about VirtualBox being more
> "user-friendly" comes from. Maybe I'm not the average user, but there
> are things I can do with libvirt in Fedora that make it very user
> friendly, but I don't think the same level of control is available in
> VirtualBox, so I would rate it as less user-friendly for me.

Well, that depends on typical usage scenario. If you are an admin who wants 
command-line control of headless virtual servers running Linux, libvirt is 
probably the best/most flexible choice. OTOH, if you are a novice user who 
wants to virtualize XP and open Word files, you probably prefer an easy GUI 
with a clever setup wizard and point-and-click configuration options, and you 
want it to Just Work, with pink flowers and butterflies drawn all around. :-)

It all depends on one's definition of "user friendly" --- user friendly as in 
"simple enough" or user friendly as in "powerful enough". Like Windows and 
Linux, VLC and mplayer, postfix and sendmail, Gnome and KDE, Notepad and 
Emacs... ;-)
 
> My advice would be to try using Virt-Manager in Fedora (providing you
> have recent hardware) and see how you get on. It really really isn't
> that difficult. If it's not working for you, then investigate
> VirtualBox or even VMWare Player.

Well, I tried them all, albeit not in that order. I entered virtualization 
world with VMWare, several years ago, and eventually got pissed off with 
frequent module breakage. Then I tried QEMU, both from command line and from 
the GUI, and it looked promising up to the point when kernel modules were 
discontinued. And it didn't have all that fancy stuff like copy/paste, guest 
resolution flexibility and that "unity"/"seamless" guest GUI integration. After 
I found out that my hardware is not good enough, I tried VirtualBox, and it 
had it all --- practically the same as VMWare in user experience, while having 
stable support for kernel modules.

So since then I recommend VirtualBox for regular desktop and mixed OS usage. 
Of course, if you want virtualized Linux servers on a Linux host and have good 
hardware, KVM is the way to go, or maybe even Xen. But for using an XP guest 
inside a Fedora host, Virt-Manager is definitely "rough around the edges" 
compared to both VMWare and VirtualBox. I would always recommend to a newbie 
to try one of those two first.

At least that is my experience. But the nice thing is that you can use all of 
them if you like, Linux is all about choice. Each to his own. :-)

Best, :-)
Marko




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