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I have this box that I need to use to support up to 3 users. The best option would be to have a minimal os that would serve virtual boxes to remote laptops, such that when the user logs in, it looks like a box for themselves: no other users in the (virtual) box, etc. One of the users would sit at the box, and requires Windows 7, btw.

So, is there a solution that would do that?

If so, which?

thanks!

llappall

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 21 '11 at 2:22

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First, horrifically off topic. Second, you need to look into either desktop virtualization (think XenDesktop / VMWare View), using independent VM's that you access with RDP (VirtualBox / VMWare Workstation) or using Windows Terminal Services, although that's only Server 2008 / 2003, so won't run Windows 7. –  dotalchemy Apr 21 '11 at 0:21

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I'm considering doing this myself. I'm getting pretty tired of having to log off my kids, including deciding what to call unsaved homework files every time I need to reboot the computer.

XenDesktop offers a 10 user free version which would be great for home! But it requires a domain controller on a separate box. Not ideal for a home network.

VMWare view runs over $1500 for a license, pricing it out of the home solution category.

VirtualBox would allow you to start up headless VMs and access them using RDP. I think it should support Win 7 in this mode as well. http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch07.html#vboxheadless

It would seem that what you would need is a minimal linux server with VIrtualBox and various user accounts on it. You could then do some simple scripting to automatically fire up a virtual machine when a user logs in to their account. This VM could be viewed on the server directly or remotely via RDP. You wouldn't get the cool machine management tools of XenDesktop or View.

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