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Is there a way to install software like VMware player on your HD and run that software without an Operating System?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 15 '11 at 17:48

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
See this question: serverfault.com/questions/23738/… – jakub.g Sep 15 '11 at 17:23

Yes. You will need something called a "bare-metal/hypervisor-based" virtulisation solution. This runs a basic OS with very little overhead which the Virtulisation Software runs on top of.

The three big ones are:

  • VMWare ESX(i)
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Citrix XenServer

Each have their own upsides and downside, ranging from costs to supported OS's and platforms.

The Wikipedia Hypervisor page has the concept in more technical detail.

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Also Xen, which Citrix bases their solution on but which is both Free and free. – CarlF Sep 15 '11 at 19:51
    
Technically, it's not a "bare metal" solution you are looking for, but rather a hypervisor that installs without a host partition. For example, all the above solutions allow you to install the hypervisor after you install a host partition. – surfasb Sep 16 '11 at 9:34
    
@surfasb, you are correct, of course, but I was trying to keep it simple as possible as virtulisation is a confusing enough concept with it's own terminology as well. – tombull89 Sep 16 '11 at 9:37
    
I'll admit that was a nitpick . . . – surfasb Sep 16 '11 at 9:42

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