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I'm looking for literature for how to setup a Virtual Machine (VM) and install an OS on it.

My current OS is Windows 7, however I may want to put both Windows 7 and Windows XP on the VM. Is this possible? I'm new to this topic, so any pointers to literature would be greatly appreciated.

I was pointed to this site from my question here.

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What VM application do you plan on using? VMWare or VirtualBox? –  Dustin G. Sep 16 '11 at 14:57
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2 Answers

Since you are new to this, I suggest using VirtualBox. VirtualBox is a x86 Virtualization s/w from Oracle. VirtualBox is easy to use and offers decent options.

Here are the instructions for installing VirtualBox on Windows Host. It's just like installing any other application on Windows. You can download VirtualBox for Windows from here and double-click on the executable.

And the instructions with screen shots for installing Windows 7 in VirtualBox. The article is a bit old, but the instructions and the screen shots are more or less remain the same.

With the default installation, the guest is not aware that it's running as a guest. You can install additional s/w on the Guest called Guest Additions for Windows to make it more efficient.

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The first thing you'll need to do is pick a virtualization product. Since, from your linked post, your not wanting to delete your existing OS, you'll want one that can reside on a hosting OS, and not replace the host. You'll want something like VMware Workstation or Player or maybe Microsofts HyperV. There are others, but those are the first that come to mind. Once you've picked a product, installing a guest OS is pretty straightforward and there are plenty of resources to help you with it. Or, if you have a more specific question, we can probably help you out more. And yes, it's possible to have installations of both Windows 7 and XP as well as Linux and other operating systems.

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Are there free open source VM programs? –  artwork21 Sep 16 '11 at 15:34
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@artwork21 The one Praveen mentioned, VirtualBox, is open source. VMware player is not open source but it is free as is VMware Server. Not sure how the pricing works on Hyper-V –  OldWolf Sep 16 '11 at 16:07
    
@OldWolf - Looks like HyperV can't run on Windows 7. In the query it's clearly stated that the host is Windows 7. serverfault.com/questions/9274/hyper-v-on-windows-7 –  Praveen Sripati Sep 16 '11 at 16:18
    
For those who are intrested, here is the difference between VMWare WorkStation and Player - vmfaq.com/entry/5 –  Praveen Sripati Sep 16 '11 at 16:31
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