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I have an old macbook pro as stated above, 2GB of Ram, 80GB hard drive. I am a student studying software development and engineering. Is it possible to run this software on the macbook pro? Would it be worth the effort or would it be an exercise in futility?

My other option is try sell the macbook and invest in some other hardware and build a server totally from scratch, but if the macbook would do a reasonable job I'll give it a go.

I have never used this software before, I would like to use it to develop an understanding of how such things work.

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Try it and see. You'll learn more that way than asking on superuser. –  Joe Internet Jan 21 '12 at 15:11

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I think the cpu can work but 2GB ram and 80GB hard disk is just very low. I wouldn't expect much. If you want to learn all the server client thing Linux is a good alternative. It would make sense to install a 64 bit version because your cpu is 64 bit.

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Your Core Duo may be able to support VT-x which is hardware-assisted visualization. It will give you much more efficiency.

Check http://ark.intel.com/VTList.aspx and then you can try free hardware visualization capable software like Virtualbox, Parallel Desktop or vmware Fusion.

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