Tag Archives: vm

Why Do You Need a Virtual Machine?

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What are the benefits of virtualization? This was a question asked over on Lockergnome Q&A recently, and I thought the answers may just benefit several of you out there. Now, we know that many of you already use virtual machines. Why not leave a GOOD comment on the video, explaining to those who don’t why it is they might want to look into doing so? See how that works? We all help each other! Remember – YOU were a n00b at one time, too!

Virtualization isn’t emulation: it’s using the computer hardware to run an operating system within an operating system. You can run umpteen dozen operating systems at the same time – all doing something different if you so choose. I run Windows 7 in a virtual machine on my Mac so that I can quickly and easily do anything I might need to do within Windows.

In my mind, the largest benefit to a virtual machine is when you’re trying something new. Take a snapshot of your current VM… try out whatever it is you have your eye on. If it doesn’t work – no big deal! Just revert your VM to the snapshot and you’re good to go. That’s a beautiful thing, in my mind. You can instantly go right back to where you started without having to back everything up, reinstall your operating system and adding your programs/documents back.

Which VM software do you recommend – and why? Keep in mind that I have coupons for Parallels, VMWare and even more!

How to Use Windows XP on a New PC

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One of the callers during our live stream the other night was asking about new hardware. He wants to put Windows XP on a newer machine but keeps receiving a BSOD every time he tries. He prefers XP over Windows 7 when it comes to customization. The modern hardware he’s trying to use just doesn’t want to use an operating system that is older and slower.

Using Windows XP may work inside of a virtual machine may be a good solution. You can use the free VirtualBox, or ask me for a coupon for either VMWare or Parallels. Any of those solutions should work. Load up Windows 7 as your primary operating system, and then throw a virtual machine onto it. Place Windows XP onto the VM and bam! You should be in business.

What other workarounds do you know of? If someone insists on using an older operating system on newer hardware, what options are available to them?

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How to Run the Chrome OS in a Virtual Machine

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We’ve seen some excellent screencasts come in from all over the community. It’s not too late for you to submit your screencast for possible use on our channels! Today, we’re featuring one from Matt Fisher. He may only be a Junior in high school, but he sure does know his stuff! Matt is going to show us all how to use the Chrome operating system from within a virtual machine.

The first thing you’ll need to do, of course, is to download a Chrome image. Once it’s downloaded, open your virtual machine program and create a new VM disk. Choose the Chrome file you just downloaded, and continue on your way.

Customize your settings for things like CPU and RAM usage, depending on your needs. You can just use the default settings, as well. Name your VM whatever you choose. In this case, Matt named his Chrome.

Once Chrome is set up in your virtual machine, you’ll need to log in using your own Google account. You will then be taken to the Google home page, and you are officially using Chrome OS in your virtual machine! It really is that easy to do!

Thanks, Matt, for an awesome tutorial and screencast. Great work!

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Parallels Review

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There have been numerous screencasts submitted over the past couple of weeks. Several of them are very, VERY good! I always knew that our community was full of talented individuals. It’s not too late for you to get involved, and have your screencast featured on this channel! Bwana has been hanging out with us for years, and is even a moderator in my chat room – when he has time! He’s gained quite a following of his own, and rightfully so. He does excellent work, and I’m always more than happy to have him do reviews for us. Today, he sent a screencast to me to give you all an overview of Parallels on the Mac.

When you first launch the software, you’ll only see the first two options: you’ll have to choose between a new Windows installation or to import a virtual machine. Since Bwana had already created a Windows image, he had a third option to use an existing VM.

The New Windows Installation option allows you to set up a virtual machine within Parallels to run inside of Mac OS X. There are several video tutorials online that show you how to set up and use a virtual machine. For the purposes of this video, Bwana chose to set up a new virtual machine in order to show you how it’s done.

Parallels is so easy to use that you can literally install Windows with just three clicks of your mouse. Run Windows programs like native Mac applications side-by-side using Coherence technologies. Gain instant access to your files, folders and data across both operating systems with SmartX technologies. And… you can remotely control your virtual machine using the iPhone application when you’re away from home!

Thanks to Bwana for sending a screencast in to us… and to all of you who are working hard and continuing to send in excellent material. I promise you – we’ll get them all up on our channels!

[awsbullet:os x parallels]

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Virtual Machines Love Windows 7

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Josh called in last week during live calls to talk with me about Windows 7. His general opinion at first was just that Windows 7 is a “great operating system”. I had to chuckle at that, because I of course agree. As we talked more, we got into a bit of a discussion about how much better Windows 7 runs on our Macs inside of Boot Camp. In my opinion, anyway, Vista never did run well on any type of virtual machine. It just plain stunk.

In a virtual machine environment, such as with VMWare Fusion, Windows 7 just – works. It runs clean, and it runs fast. When I used to try and run Vista in the same environment, with the same hardware and same configuration… it never worked. It was buggy. It would crash. It was slow. Things wouldn’t – work!

Don’t forget that I have an awesome Windows 7 eBook available for only $7.00! It’s filled with 70 excellent tips and tricks, to help you make the transition to Windows 7 even easier.

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Virtual Machine Speed Tips

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The last time you used a Virtual Machine for anything, how frustrated did you get over how slow everything is? Did it make you curse, or want to give up? Well, here are some tips from a reader to help you speed up the state of your VM, and make you a much happier Geek.

  • Store Virtual machines on separate drive. One of the biggest performance bottlenecks in VMs is the Disk I/O rate. You can greatly improve vm performance by storing your virtual machines on a separate hard drive other than your boot drive. Sorry storing your VMs on the same drive on a different partition wont do it.
  • Don’t pay for anything you can get for free. Alot of VM software costs a good bit of money. Microsoft offers their Virtual PC 2007 as a free download, as does innotek who offers virtual box as a free download. VMware is the leader in VM technology, they offer VMware Server for free, it is kind of a half way between VMware workstation and VMware ESX. VMware server is available for windows and Linux Operating Systems.
  • Test new software on a Virtual Machine. Instead of trying new software on your primary computer, create a virtual machine and test it on that. VMware server offers a snapshot feature that lets you create rollback points that you can use to restore your Test VM in case something goes wrong or you don’t like the software. if you have a lot of extra hard drive space you can also convert your operating environment to virtual and use that to test with. if not next time you reformat you can always use vmware converter to create a clean version of your system in VMware. Symantec ghost also allows you to convert a ghost image to a virtual machine.
  • Always install Virtual Tools. The Virtual Tools make working with vm machines a lot easier. They provide special drivers for input, video, network , and other system devices that improve performance. it also allows you to move your cursor back and forth between your host and virtual machine with out having to manually change focus.
  • Run resource heavy development servers in Vmware. If you are a developer who likes having a test environment (LAMP, Oracle DB, Tomcat JSP,etc) on there primary machine, but don’t want to have it drag down your system when your not using it. try setting it up in a vm, with networking and only turn it on when needed. And then FTP, SSH,or HTTP into it to do what you need to. and then shut it down when you don’t need it.

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Unlimited Potential

Will Poole (Corporate Vice President) and James Utzschneider (General Manager, Marketing and Communications) work with Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Group, the company’s effort to bring the benefits of computing to the estimated five billion people around the globe who currently don’t have access to technology. Fresh off the road from recent travels including stops in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Finland, they’ve been working closely with governments, non-governmental organizations, educators, and industry partners to help meet this goal, focusing on programs and products that will transform education for young people everywhere. James explains their mission in some more detail at his blog, Inside UP.

I realize this video is a bit dark in spots – and I apologize for not running it through Stomp before uploading it to YouTube. I suggested doing the interview at the Redmond Peet’s for a few reasons, not thinking that it might be bright outside in the early morning hours. No matter, I’m working with WaggEd to recut the interview and splice in a few photos, clean it up, etc.

Virtual CPU

Albert asks:

So my question is: Is there a way to basically run two instances of your operating system, or basically running two computers on your own one system and monitor? I don’t know how to describe it really. What I want to do is basically have two instances of my computer running on a split-screen type thing on my one monitor. This is because I have a program that won’t let me run two instances of it at once. I have two computers setup to the internet, and I have to run across my room every time I want to do something on the other computer. I even got one of those “switch” things that makes my two computers connect to my one monitor. But that is still really troublesome, and I’d rather see if I can do everything from one computer and monitor.

Dude. It’s all about Virtual Machines. VMware saved my bacon with Vista, and it’s saving my bacon on OS X. They’ve recently come aboard as a sponsor so, in the interest of balance: I’ve also written about Parallels and other VM programs before.