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In order to lengthen the lifespan of my machine I am replacing the weekest link, the hard drive and installing a new OS.

I had planned on using xp pro as my virtualbox host and ubuntu as guest.

After messing with ubuntu desktop and server I am really impressed and am thinking of reversing the virtualbox setup; ubuntu host xp guest.

I would use XP for Adobe Fireworks, Netflix, and iTunes (maybe) that's pretty much it.

Any reason not to do ubuntu host with xp guest?

Edit: It's a desktop. 4gb ram, 500gb disk, Pent D 3.2 ghz

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I tend to put whatever will be running the most intensive applications as the host. In my experience, that has always been whatever windows distro I'm using at the time. –  Stefan H Jan 7 '11 at 4:16
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2 Answers

Much like you, I end up running a lot of VMs regardless of what the host is. For laptops however, I tend to stick with Windows as the host. Two main reasons:
1) Windows power management still seems to be better than Linux. Batteries last longer.
2) Assuming all other hardware is supported, Xorg still lags in the "attach an external monitor" use case. I'm tired of fighting X configs for hours if I need to give a simple presentation...

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This is a desktop, mainly a development machine. Sorry, I should have specified. –  iambriansreed Jan 7 '11 at 4:43
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I prefer Ubuntu as host as this way Linux is managing the machine and it is a lot better at this task than windows as it requires less RAM and CPU and is better to manage partitions and disk sanity (or recovering). If your host machine can't boot, the VM will be unusable too.

I also see my XP in virtualbox (ubuntu host) faster than as host on the same machine and ubuntu in virtualbox (windows host) a lot slower than as host.

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