Virtual Machines: Good Resource or Waste of Space?

Well, I believe anyone migrating to Linux or has migrated to Linux has probably already heard of a virtual machine. A virtual machine can be used for many different things: making an internal server in a safe environment, testing programs that you do not want tested in your normal OS, or using an operating system before reformatting your normal hard drive. Many people in the Linux community use a virtual machine primarily to use Windows-based programs that cannot be run using WINE.

Now, the first thing you must know is that a virtual machine is INCAPABLE of using 3D graphics. It has not been implemented yet and VMWare is trying to introduce this into their programs. It has not been done yet so it is impossible to run games through a virtual machine. If there is an application that you absolutely do need, this is a possible solution for you, but it is not a solution for everyone. Some programs cannot be run in a virtual machine, just for the same reason as a video games.

There are many types of virtual machines but the two most popular are VirtualBox and VMWare. I personally use VirtualBox because of the seamless mode. Seamless mode is basically where the only the the Windows Toolbar sits at the bottom of your screen (or wherever you like having it) instead of taking up the full screen with the windows Desktop.

I basically use VirtualBox to run Windows and use a couple of applications that I cannot run in Ubuntu. I also use it to create a virtual system with other operating systems, testing them to see if I like them at least a little before reformatting my actual hard disk and installing it.

Another thing you can do with a virtual machine is creating a shared folder between both systems, simplifying the transfer process between them. This shared folder allows you to play around with the system and anything you do that you would like to save, you just need to send it to the shared folder and it ends up in your home folder (or wherever you have placed the link to).

Whatever reason you need to use a virtual machine, it is probably worth it to make one. For me it was, and it most likely will for you.

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~ by masterjs on January 30, 2008.

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