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Old 08-07-2010, 05:47 PM
Sam Varshavchik
 
Default Virtualization for dummies

I'm planning on taking a plunge into virtualization. I need to retire an
ancient server, and I'm about to order a new kit to replace it. Given that
it's new hardware, I expect to get something that supports hardware
virtualization (it's going to be a real server, and not some
consumer-oriented kit from OEMs that bastardize the BIOS into disabling
hardware virualization), so rather than setting aside a separate partition
for Windows, I think I want to try to run it in a virtual instance.


Hopefully, nobody will tell me that for some reason or another there would
be some compatibility problem loading the original CD of Win XP Home, then
updating it to the current SP3+all patches. Also, can someone clarify for me
how the virtual display works -- would the virtual machine run in an
ordinary window, or does it take the entire display, with a hotkey to flip
between the virtual machine and the host OS.


Also, how does networking work. I'm guessing that the virtual machine would
have an IP address on a separate netblock that the host OS sees as a virtual
network interface, so the Fedora host will need to have IP forwarding
enabled, and other machines on the real LAN segment will need an appropriate
routing table entry.


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Old 08-07-2010, 06:55 PM
Kevin Fenzi
 
Default Virtualization for dummies

On Sat, 07 Aug 2010 13:47:10 -0400
Sam Varshavchik <mrsam@courier-mta.com> wrote:

> I'm planning on taking a plunge into virtualization. I need to retire
> an ancient server, and I'm about to order a new kit to replace it.
> Given that it's new hardware, I expect to get something that supports
> hardware virtualization (it's going to be a real server, and not some
> consumer-oriented kit from OEMs that bastardize the BIOS into
> disabling hardware virualization), so rather than setting aside a
> separate partition for Windows, I think I want to try to run it in a
> virtual instance.

Sounds reasonable.

> Hopefully, nobody will tell me that for some reason or another there
> would be some compatibility problem loading the original CD of Win XP
> Home, then updating it to the current SP3+all patches. Also, can
> someone clarify for me how the virtual display works -- would the
> virtual machine run in an ordinary window, or does it take the entire
> display, with a hotkey to flip between the virtual machine and the
> host OS.

It can do either, depending on which virtuilization product you use and
how you have it setup.

With libvirt you can use a virt-viewer/virt-manager program that lets
you view it in a window, or go full screen.

> Also, how does networking work. I'm guessing that the virtual machine
> would have an IP address on a separate netblock that the host OS sees
> as a virtual network interface, so the Fedora host will need to have
> IP forwarding enabled, and other machines on the real LAN segment
> will need an appropriate routing table entry.

Yes, you can do a routed setup, or you could do a bridged setup (so the
guest has an IP on the local network and appears just as another
machine).

http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Virtualization_Quick_Start

and

http://wiki.libvirt.org/page/Networking

are a good place to start.

kevin
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:45 PM
Tom Horsley
 
Default Virtualization for dummies

On Sat, 07 Aug 2010 13:47:10 -0400
Sam Varshavchik wrote:

> Also, can someone clarify for me
> how the virtual display works -- would the virtual machine run in an
> ordinary window, or does it take the entire display, with a hotkey to flip
> between the virtual machine and the host OS.

The display is running as a emulated VGA device you get to via
something like VNC. This is very low performance video, so don't
expect to run 3D games on a windows virtual machine, etc.

Coming (soon maybe) is "spice" which I am looking forward to, but
haven't tried any of the previews yet. This provides a higher
performance video device driver you can install in windows and view
in the special spice viewer app (much more souped up than VNC).

I have hopes that it will be able to run the espn3.com viewer
software :-).

If you are planning anything that uses heavy disk IO in windows,
the recommendations I have seen call for using a dedicated LVM
as the disk drive and running the virtio disk drivers in
windows (which are a bit tricky to install on the boot disk).

I don't use the LVM, instead I go in the opposite direction and
use qcow2 images which may be a little slow but are fairly compact
on the host machine.
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