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I'm looking for reasonably user-friendly, free virtualisation software that I can run on Windows 7. I want to install a Linux distro (though I don't know which one yet).

Can anyone recommend the virtualisation software and/or a Linux distro that would be good for virtualisation?

I'll be running this on an 64-bit Intel i7 quad-core with 6GB RAM, so I think I'll have the horse power for most things.

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possible duplicate of Virtual machines in Linux – Sathya Aug 13 '10 at 0:27
@Sathya - not really. The host OS here is Windows 7, not Linux. – Gnoupi Aug 13 '10 at 9:00
@Gnoupi - woops. Read the question too fast. – Sathya Aug 13 '10 at 11:29
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I found VirtualBox to be useful and easy. I run Ubuntu 10.4 as the host and Windows 2000 in the Virtual Machine. It was pretty easy to set up and did the job I wanted (running MS C++ 6.0). VirtualBox is now supported by Oracle since their acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Edit: Vbox can be hosted on Windows though I have not used it that way.

Edit: Vbox on windows works just as well. Excellent way to keep good software (c++ 6.0) running in spite of MS best efforts to make it obsolete.

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The most popular choices are Sun VirtualBox and VMWare Server. Both are free. I think VBox is a little easier to jump into if you are not familiar with virtualization. The price for that, though, is that it is not as feature-rich as VMWare.

Cheers! dafydd

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Around me, at similar user competence levels and feature requirements, there is more frustration with VMware than with VirtualBox. – Gilles Aug 12 '10 at 22:26

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