The right VM for me

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by luciddream, Mar 5, 2013.

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  1. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I'd previously only heard of VMware & VirtualBox, but recently had Virtual PC brought to my attention. Only from what I see, it's not available of OS's older than Win7... is that correct? If so, doesn't sound like an option for me, unless there's an older version that would work for me? I run XP Pro SP3. I hear it is really light, but fear it won't work for me.

    So what would you recommend to me for a VM?

    Much obliged...
     
  2. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Also, how should I go about installing it? Should I do it immediately, before putting anything else on my box (save "maybe" Windows Updates)? Or is it okay to wait until everything else is already set up to deploy it?

    I've never, ever used a full VM like this, so act like you're talking to someone completely oblivious to the subject (because you are). I'd love any recommendations on what to use, and tips on how to use it.

    Any software conflicts to be expected?
     
  3. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I use Virtualbox to test out various os's and to mess around with different things in a Windows VM I have. It's is rather straight forward as to how to use it. The interface is simple and not confusing at all. The snapshots were confusing to me at first in regards to how deleting one will effect the others. I would say that if you try out Virtual Box, make a sample vm and then create different snapshots on different levels and delete different ones to figure out how that system works. Then, once you got that down you should be good. It is ok to install VirtualBox any time. I used VMware a bit and I don't remember why but I had a hard time using it. I switched to Virtualbox and haven't had any problems.
     
  4. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    Here's Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and here's Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. According to the system requirements, they'll both run on Windows XP. I recommended this VM to you because it's the easiest one to use. And you can install it at any time. It is just like any other program on your system. Virtualbox has a slightly steeper learning curve. One example is that it is not as convenient to get files into or out of the VM. Virtual PC supports drag-and-drop which makes it very easy. Based on your reluctance to jump into the world of virtual machines, you should try Virtual PC first. Trust me. ;)
     
  5. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    VirtualBox supports this as well along with clipboard sharing. It's not hard to setup Virtualbox for sharing things. Based on what I've seen Lucid do, I think he's capable. You basically just specify a folder/s on your computer that you will share with your VM/s. The folder/s will then show up as a partition in the guest OS provided you have "Guest additions" installed. This is installed in the guest os, not the host so don't worry Lucid, you ocd freak. Haha.
     
  6. 0strodamus

    0strodamus Registered Member

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    Shared folders is not the same as drag-and-drop. According to the Virtualbox changelog, experimental drag-and-drop support has been recently added and only works for Linux guests.

    I agree with you that sharing folders in Virtualbox isn't hard, but it certainly isn't easier than simply dragging and dropping files into and out of the guest OS. And I don't know how you're getting your shared folder to just "show up as a partition in the guest OS" because that's not how Virtualbox works here (and, yes, I do have the Guest Additions installed). How do you do this without mapping the shared folder as a network drive in the guest OS?

    Regardless, I use both virtual appliances and for a Windows user, the Microsoft one is the easier to learn on of the two. Of course, if the OP wants to run Linux or Windows x64 guests, then Virtualbox wins hands down.
     
  7. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    Actually, you're right. I saw the "Drag and drop" option but I had never used it. I just assumed it worked. I just tried it out and I couldn't get it to work. Also, I misspoke earlier. The folder doesn't show up as a partition, it shows up as a network location.
     
  8. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    Sounds like recovering files in Vbox is pretty similar to what you'd do in Sandboxie or Shadow Defender. I'm certainly not a noob to the world of virtualization... just to pure VM's. I'm sure I could pick it up quickly.

    So my main concerns really are: compatibility, stability, and speed. And "reasonably" user friendly as well. I don't want it to be overly complicating... yet at the same time I'm hardly some complete noob that needs a "VM for dummies" solution or guide to hand hold me through the process. I am capable of creating Sandboxie restrictions/recovery, & Shadow Defender exclusions, or Folder Permissions for my LUA's (Unsimple File Sharing) without dragging and dropping the privileges in there, lol.

    So if there is functionality in Vbox that VPC lacks, I'd rather go through the learning curve... I can handle it, and use it instead. But otherwise I just want what will be the most stable, and lightest on my XP Pro SP3 box. I saw a screeny of the resources VPC uses up, and it is very light. If the 2 products offer the same protection in the end and VPC is lighter and has a more intuitive/simpler interface, then I'd lean towards it.
     
  9. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I tried all 3 (although my Virtual PC experience is little), and find VirtualBox to be the most feature-rich free VM. Doesn't have anything running in the background on startup like VMware Player, and has better performance (hardware acceleration) than Virtual PC. Also really like the snapshots, you can make multiple ones (Virtual PC has only one undo disks, VMware player none).
     
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