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What is the best virtual machine software for linux?

February 23rd, 2012

A frequently-asked question about best windows hosting:

I have a high-spec computer, at the moment with no operating system, I want to run linux on it, as that is much faster than windows, but I want to be able to run windows on a virtual machine so that I can still play games. What would be the best, free, way to do this, I am happy to use any linux OS to be the host.
Memory will not be a problem, I have 16gb
I do not want to install windows on a separate partition, and I need a virtual machine that can make full use of the hardware for gaming.

AMD 6 core, 16gb memory, 2 * 2gb ATI RADEON


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  1. ratter_of_the_shire
    February 24th, 2012 at 00:00 | #1

    or virtualboxis nice.

  2. Simply Red
    February 24th, 2012 at 02:48 | #2

    VirtualBox: http://www.virtualbox.org/

    However, if you intend to play heavy games, you will be taxing your computer if you have Windows in a virtual machine under Linux. Why don’t you just install Windows and Linux on different partitions so they don’t share RAM, CPU and GPU memory?

  3. Mike Hunt
    February 24th, 2012 at 02:13 | #3

    May I suggest Linux Mint as your host OS, and I suggest you use Oracle VirtualBox. Linux Mint is based directly off Ubuntu, but it features some nice and convenient GUI enhancements, and important closed source things (It comes with all the Audio/video codecs, flash player, et cetera, no need to install them).

    Virtual Box is the best VM software from my experience, but you should know that a Virtual Machine emulates Virtual Hardware (With the exception of the processor if your processor has VT-x or AMD-VT). The virtual graphics cards in VMs are very weak, and will run games very poorly, if at all. In fact, I think VIrtual Box is the only VM software with 3D acceleration. You’ll have to go with a native windows installation for gaming. I suggest XP 64-bit, Vista and 7 are very bloated, but XP 64-bit runs most games, and is very fast and light on resources. I have a 6 month old installation of XP 64 bit and 7 64 bit, and with startup cleared, XP 64-bit has 19 Processes running at start up, and it uses 230-270MB of RAM, and processor usage remains at 0%. 7 has about 5% processor usage, it uses 1100-1200MB of RAM, and has 59 processes running. XP 64 bit is well supported by ATI and Nvidia, and other larger hardware manufactures, and it seems much more stable then 7-64 bit.

  4. Mint 9 LTS/Compiz 0.9.2.1
    February 24th, 2012 at 03:04 | #4

    Virtual installations are inherently slower than a physical installation therefore gaming performance is likely to be average at best no matter how powerful the Host machine is

    A better option would be to Dual Boot Windows and Linux

    How To Dual Boot Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.10 (also applies to Ubuntu 11.04)
    http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2011/01/28/dual-booting-windows-7-and-ubuntu-10-10/

    Download Ubuntu Desktop Edition
    http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download

    Installing Ubuntu as a dual-boot with Windows without partitioning
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Wubi

    Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) User Guide
    http://ubuntuguide.org/wiki/Ubuntu:Natty

    I thoroughly recommend Linux Mint 9 LTS which is built upon Ubuntu 10.04 LTS its easy to install and easy to use plus it comes with much of the software you are likely to need preinstalled

    Linux Mint has a similar installer called mint4win (mint4win works the same as the Ubuntu Windows installer so the instructions outlined above are almost identical)

    Linux Mint 9 LTS Download
    http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=52

    Linux Mint 9 LTS User Guide
    http://www.linuxmint.com/rel_isadora.php

    You download the ISO. image of Ubuntu 11.04 or Linux Mint 9 LTS then you need to create a Bootable LiveCD for installation
    https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

    Ubuntu 11.04 and Linux Mint 9 LTS can also be run straight from the LiveCD from Boot without touching your Hard Drive

    LUg.

  5. Daniel
    February 24th, 2012 at 00:48 | #5

    i have been using oracle virtual box in Linux for some time it and i find it works very well.i would recommend Linux mint 10 as the host os.it’s fast,stable and immune to all windows viruses,and its free of course

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