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I am a big fan of VMWare Workstation - it works great and is so easy to use...

However, I like open source.

I realize there's VirtualBox, but ideally I was looking to something to do the following:

  • I keep a minimal system installed by default. No muss no fuss.
  • I have various "virtualized" (or chrooted even) sub systems installed - mostly Ubuntu systems but could even be Windows (not necessary)

However, I'm having a heck of a time following the server guide and getting KVM to work correctly...

Is there a good guide for setting up say an Ubuntu KVM system that works on 10.04 (e.g., the tmpfs option fails horribly on stock 10.04 requires ppa which then has issues of its own).

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See for complaints (not mine) – Миша Кошелев Dec 18 '10 at 3:56
Actually so far virt-manager and ubuntu-server iso (install virt-manager, then reboot to get networking to work, then start playing with it) seems to do trick... (fingers crossed). – Миша Кошелев Dec 18 '10 at 4:24

What's wrong with VirtualBox OSE then? I have it running on an LXDE system, and it's possible to run it completely headless. It will run Windows, it's relatively lightweight, great performance, and it's open source. KVM might be better when you have lots of VMs to run, but if you're used to using VMWare Workstation, VirtualBox will be the easiest thing for you.

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If you don't mind using ubuntu 10.10 (without all the LTS glory), here's quite a nice guide to run kvm on ubuntu 10.10:

actually i think if you have already paid for it, vmware workstation is an excellent product. Virtualbox however provides an excellent alternative and had some advantages against vmware workstation (performance/otherwise).

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Or VMWare Player, which is not open source but it is free. It does almost everything you can do with Player. I use it on Windows. In a previous job I used Workstation every day. Now in the new job I use Player. I really don't notice any great difference. As far as performance goes they seem identical.

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The technologies you cite are general whole-machine virtualization technologies. There are lighter-weight solutions if you're specifically running Linux on Linux, such as User Mode Linux, OpenVZ and VServer.

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All these seem to be either unsupported or poorly documented on Ubuntu 10.04+? – Миша Кошелев Dec 19 '10 at 2:50
Actually right now I'm still playing with I really don't see why need much more – Миша Кошелев Dec 19 '10 at 3:29

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