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I have a situation where my work computer has Outlook+Lotus Notes with draconian protection. Unfortunately this means that Eclipse development (meaning zillions of small files) gets very slow.

I now have a situation where I have been allowed to migrate the Outlook+Notes stuff in a virtual machine so the rest of the host OS can be used for development at a more leisurely protection level.

I have good experience with vmware workstation under XP and vmware Fusion, some with VirtualBox (the latest had network issues under OS X).

I was expecting either to put OpenSolaris (for dtracing java, no a Mac is not an option) or Ubuntu as the host OS.

My primary wish is to have both host and guest being able to use the laptop + external screen as effortless as in native XP, hence the need to ask for experiences :)

Does anybody have good or bad experiences to tell? Please make an answer pr vm/os combination to allow for acceptance when I've decided.

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You can use a virtual machine to do this, and allow it to operate in seamless mode.

VirtualBox is a nice cross-platform, free application which allows you to do this. You can emulate nearly every operating system under one-another. The full list of compatible guest operating systems can be found here.

The following is Mac OS X emulating Windows XP in seamless mode:

VirtualBox Seamless Mode Example

You could essentially have the two taskbars running with eachother, and move applications to and from monitors as you please. You might want to see this thread on the Ubuntu Forums for more information, or this section in the VirtualBox manual.

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Unfortunately, OS X does not run well on my Dell laptop. I am aware that VirtualBox is freely available, but I have had networking issues on the latest version on my Mac, so I am a bit careful and would like to hear experiences from others. –  Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Aug 25 '09 at 12:19
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You said that you wanted to use Ubuntu, however, as the host operating system... That screenshot is just an example, it's very possible with other operating systems as well: upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/9c/… –  Breakthrough Aug 25 '09 at 12:51
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VirtualBox is available for Linux and Windows, as well. –  alex Aug 30 '09 at 7:45

Windows + VirtualBox. If you have multiple monitors you can install XP in a VM, install guest additions, then you can let the VM have an entire monitor and it will be more or less seamless. I personally didn't have a good experience with the "seamless mode", but maybe that's just because i was using Win7 64 Bit.

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