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I inherited a DELL PowerEdge 2500. The system currently has Windows 2003 Server for the host OS, but for various reasons, I plan to fully erase and reload the system.

The system is going to use VirtualBox to provide access to Windows Vista and Windows 7, to simulate a desktop end user's experience.

I was considering loading a later release of Windows (Vista or 7), but I realized that the disadvantage to choosing Windows is that I will need to maintain the patch level and AV. (Apparently, the previous owners ignored this, hence the current state of disrepair).

So, I am researching a non-Windows host OS, but there are so many supported by VirtualBox.

  • Mac OS X is not an option (no hackintosh allowed).
  • Solaris x86 would be a possibility, due to familiarity.
  • Other UNIX - I did see concerns about upgrading and patching.

Any practical experiences or concerns would be appreciated.

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I have used Ubuntu as a host OS for VirtualBox quite a bit - and I have been very happy as the VirtualBox package can get updated along with the rest of the operating system when issuing a "apt-get update" - and I haven't seen conflicts or warnings like those described on the CentOS page, though I suppose they certainly could happen.

I also have used Windows as a host quite a bit, and it tends to "just work" there - though I have had upgrade issues with older builds in the 2.x line that would require a complete uninstall and reinstall.

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Thanks. I have not used Ubuntu yet, so I am looking forward to my first experience on this distro. –  benc Jul 30 '10 at 23:44

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