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Old 28-08-2007, 05:58 AM   #1
gregor
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I am thinking of making a linux build but before i do i need some information (and money ).

anyway i was wondering how the virtual maschine or any emulators would work on it? what kind of processing power would it require?

OK, i know about DosBOX. it's not that hard to work with but has only dos programmes. now those things seem a bit easier. especially games. i mean installing back then basically ment that files are copied to specified directory.

But what about Win XP games (old ones like for example Diablo 2) and what about programmes like MS Word & Excel? i mean these things need to install and when they do, they try to write something in registry some files in windows folder, something in fonts etc. how will that work? would they need a lot of processing power to run them?

What about file system. as i know Linux doens't use any of MS systems. does that matter?


Also will i still need some WinXP version to run virtual maschine?

and last one how does Ubuntu do with onboard graphics card? does it have any problems?
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Old 28-08-2007, 06:41 AM   #2
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The VM-software (VMWare, VirtualPC, XenSource or any other) is used to run an image for your virtual environment. You can either create such an image yourself, by installing an OS on a blank virtual machine (with VMWare server for instance) or download a pre-installed one (there are plenty Ubuntu images out there for instance).

The system requirements for running a virtual machine are not as high as those for emulation. DosBOX really needs a pretty powerful machine because it actually emulatos a processor, a soundcard etc. (i.e. an entire computer). There's a guideline that a system can only be adequately emulated by another system that's thrice (3 times) as powerfull in terms of processing power and memory.

For virtualization this is not the case. Usually there virtual machine gobbles a large chunk of memory (which is used as RAM for the VM). The more mem your PC has, the more you can allocate for the VM. There's always overhead (for your 'real' OS and the VM software need to run somewhere as well), so if you got 1 GB of memory you can probably allocate as much as 750 mb's or something for the virtual PC. The virtualization software then does NOT emulate all the hardware, it simply relays all the requests to the real hardware in your PC (such as processor, soundcard, NIC etc.). This takes a little bit of time and effort, so the VM doesn't run as fast as the real thing. My experience is that the VM runs about 30-40% slower then your actual PC.

For storage, the VM uses a local filesystem. All things you install while running the VM end up getting into the Image-file. That way it doesn't really matter whether the underlying machine uses a FAT, NTFS, EXT2, EXT3 or whatever filesystem. The VM uses a local one which can be any of those (or something completely different). So, if you run a VM with Win XP, you get a local registry, and the older games get insalled within the virutal filesystem. The same goes for Linux. If you set up your partitions to use, say ReiserFS, your underlying XP environment won't notice anything. Usually you can read-access the FS of the underlying system as well (at least Linux can READ NTFS and some Kernels allow Write access as well).

You need an OS to run the VM software one. There's VMWare for both Linux and WindowsXP, so you could choose either platform. Most people who want to give Linux a try, run the VM software on a Windows box.

As for your last question: Ubuntu works with almost any graphic chip out there, on-board or not. All Ubuntu installs I've performed auto-detected my graphics chipset out-of-the-box, so I wouldn't worry about that too much!

Hope this answers your question!

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Old 28-08-2007, 07:13 AM   #3
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thanks on the info. so i am guessing ram is more of an issue here. i guess if you get some dual core it could optimise it to use one core for the virtual maschine and the other one for processing the other stuff ?!

oh and i still don't get it does that mean that i actually need to install a copy of WinXP on the virtual maschine (like VMWare) or will it automaticly assume the role of Windows?

what i am trying to do here is get a computer based on Linux Ubuntu that would have some functionality of Windows, so i could run some older games and a couple of programmes. and on the other hand i want to avoid the cost of getting new WinXP copy (cost too much - better invest that money into hardware). especially since i know that computer will be used mostly for internet chat (skype), browsing, some writing in word and occasionally fun with some games. now is that possible with WMWare ?

hmm come to think of it i could put Win98 SE on it and give it 512MB RAM...

last time i was fiddling with Linux was some red hat version. it was quite difficult to install it. i hear Ubuntu is preety user friendly compared to those back then so i want to give it a try.
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Old 28-08-2007, 07:27 AM   #4
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You need a copy of an OS to run on the Virtual Machine. If you want a Windows VM, you need Windows, if you want a Linux VM, you need linux. If you boot a blank VM, it will be as if you start up your PC without any OS installed. It'll say something like 'Operating System not found' and halt.

You could set up you PC with Linux and run a version of Windows in the VM. For older games, 98se would be a nice choice. Especially if you allready have that licensed in your possession; if you're trying to save on an XP license, using a VM is no good, you still need a license to run XP in a VM.

Installing and using Ubuntu is a breeze. You'll probably be up and running within the hour. Check out the Ubuntu Guide when you've installed it. It'll tell you how to get stuff like codecs running!
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Old 28-08-2007, 10:22 AM   #5
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Well that's not so good.

What about Wine ? I tried finding some info on what works there and what not, but aside from explorer, some powerpoint (presumably an old version) and notepad... there isn't much to it. i saw a CS picture, but then again HL1 was made for linux anyway...
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Old 28-08-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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winehq has quite a database.

starcraft runs quite nice.

Basicly I use dosbox for dosgames
wine for some windows games.
vmware with win2k for other stuff.

although I don't use vmware a lot. Most applications have linux counterparts that are usuable.
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Old 28-08-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
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Using Wine you can get a lot of stuff running. Baldur's Gate for instance ran out-of-the-box on linux. But since DosBOX runs on Linux as well, using that for the DOS-compatible games is your best choice.
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Old 28-08-2007, 08:00 PM   #8
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Well since this tread is about a Linux host with windows guest processes, I would recomend Wine over a virtual PC.
(not that I used Wine ever, but what the heck...)

If it would be the other way around.....

Let's say. Windows XP home with Ubuntu installed in a VirtualBox VPC AND as functional as I let it be.
Then a Virtual PC would be recomended. (and fairly enough RAM. Around 256MB min. for the ubuntu box)


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Old 28-08-2007, 08:17 PM   #9
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Nah i am only going for linux because it's cheap. i made a configuration that would cost me only 500 EUR (with 1GB ram) or 540 EUR with 2 GB RAM - monitor included.

someone nicked my old 15" monitor otherwise i could reduce that down to 340 EUR
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Crantius Colto: Cleaning, eh? I have something for you. Here, polish my spear.
Lifts-Her-Tail: But it is huge! It could take me all night!
Crantius Colto: Plenty of time, my sweet. Plenty of time.
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Old 29-08-2007, 09:37 AM   #10
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(GTX2GvO @ Aug 28 2007, 10:00 PM) [snapback]307371[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Well since this tread is about a Linux host with windows guest processes, I would recomend Wine over a virtual PC.
(not that I used Wine ever, but what the heck...)
[/b]
But Wine does not run all windows games/apps, not by a longshot. A VM would. On the other hand, something just occured to me. I'm not sure how well videogames will peform within the VM. I don't know how the DirectX-stuff is handled. Maybe someone can comment on that?
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