RE: Sanity check on system rebuild fantasy
Bob Carlson <bob <at> rjcarlson.com>
2008-08-01 16:17:59 GMT
I use VMWare Server to run a linux VM so that I can run development tools there without a second machine. In
general, performance in the VM was fine. Max out your RAM. Specifically I like to do editing and all other
office stuff on Windows, but the toolchain and targets are Linux. One problem is that on the VM you
generally have access to virtual devices, not the real devices. For example, the LAN card in the VM is a
virtual generic LAN card. This means that some things might not work like normal, say dedicated keys for
volume control on your keyboard for example. I don't think I ever got my USB to DB9 serial adapter to work
inside the VM either.
The Linux guest looks like another machine on the network. There are lots of options in setting up this
network. For example the LAN linking the host and guest machines can be entirely virtual. I generally keep
the data in the Windows file system and access it through Samba and a shared folder. This works except when
make files do tricky things like setting up symbolic links, which doesn't work on a share.
The biggest resource problem is that disks for the VMs must be carved out of your host's disks. With how cheap
HDs are now, just upgrade to the biggest you can find.
These comments apply specifically to VMWare. Other VM software may have different characteristics.
From: euglug-bounces <at> euglug.org [mailto:euglug-bounces <at> euglug.org] On Behalf Of marbux
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 9:35 PM
To: Eugene Unix and Gnu/Linux User Group
Subject: Re: [Eug-lug] Sanity check on system rebuild fantasy
On Thu, Jul 31, 2008 at 9:29 AM, Bob Miller <kbob <at> jogger-egg.com> wrote:
> You might also want to consider just getting another box.
> Keep one stable for real work, and play on the other.
> If your finances, living space, or briefcase won't support two whole
> computers, you could get one or more external USB hard drives and boot
> the experimental stuff on that.
Household management has shot down a second computer. Something about
decor. I already tried with the fantasy of using a second box
parked upstairs for back-up purposes and having a substitute computer
for when this one goes wonky. But I could probably get away with an
external drive if I park it in my desktop shelving. However, I'd
really like to get away from dual-booting if I can.
> Aside from some magic grub configuration, Linux on a USB drive acts
> just linux on normal hardware.
Are read/write speeds comparable? I have a vague recollection of
someone saying USB hard drives suffer from lower data transfer rates.
That is NOT the case for virtual
I'd appreciate a short list of major losses in functionality. Running
Kubuntu Hardy on Virtual Box/WinXP has worked for me thus far, but I
haven't tried everything I might want to do and wouldn't want to box
myself in too tightly. And my fantasy is to in effect swap what is
host and what is guest.
> Experimentation is great fun. Having a reliable, running system,
> though, is mandatory.
Agreed. I've been running on a Band-Aid solution far too long. I need
to get to the bottom of my hardware issues and redesign the system
from the ground up.
> I thought Microsoft was no longer selling XP licenses, BTW.
Publicly, that's the policy. But in reality Microsoft is still
publishing WinXP, commonly offshore or under a "buy a Vista license
get a free copy of XP" regime. See e.g.,
(Microsoft quietly extended XP support for three more years in June;
"Mr Veghte gave the cryptic explanation that '...customers who still
need Windows XP will be able to get it.'"
It's largely limited to major accounts and suppliers from all signs,
but XP is reaching the market anyway. Ebay in particular seems to be
the major online market for XP retail sales these days.
The Vista sales figures are reportedly pretty much meaningless because
of the buy-Vista-get-XP-free stuff. Microsoft is in a hard spot.
Removing XP from the market would spur OEM migration to Linux,
particularly in the low-system resource PC market.
The vaporware is flowing for Singularity-derived Midori, a Microsoft
cross-hardware platform (x86, x64 and ARM thus far) replacement for
Windows that's also supposed to scale to cloud computing.
Microsoft is also in a bottleneck in cloud computing. Windows High
Performance Cluster Server won't scale high enough. The Microsoft
work-around for now is multiple instances of WinHPCS running atop
Solaris and Sun x86-x64 hardware. Sun has a very groovy modular
approach to building cloud computing data centers, data center modules
in a shipping container.<http://www.sun.com/products/sunmd/s20/index.jsp>
(Google has a potentially blocking patent, but reportedly there's tons
of prior art. <http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=7,278,273.PN.&OS=PN/7,278,273&RS=PN/7,278,27>.
But the Sun-Microsoft deal expires in 2014. See the three April 1,
2004 agreements at
And of course IBM wants a piece of the Solaris-based server farms
Microsoft is building for its cloud computing initiative and
proprietary assault on the open internet. See e.g.,
So my sniff is that Midori may be as much about the Microsoft
bargaining position with Big Iron on the 2014 horizon as it is a plan
to replace the NT-derived branch of Windows, particularly given
Microsoft's history of vaporware. Meanwhile, the enterprise market
still yawns when it comes to cloud and grid computing.
I don't have enough sheep entrails to foresee how such events will play out.
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