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I want to use VMs instead of my computer because I'm tired of many hours of formatting and installation/configuration of my environment.

What solution should I use for maximum performance and lightest host and full-compatibility with my devices?

I don't know if I was clear but I want this above. Could someone help me? (I have a TOSHIBA a305-s6858 notebook: Core 2 Duo, 3MB RAM)

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closed as not constructive by slhck, Dave M, Nifle, random Jan 27 '12 at 16:22

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You know that this will definitely slow down your every day work? You don't have the most powerful notebook and running a VM just to "replace" your OS is probably not what you want. You have to install and configure virtual machines the same way as every normal computer, the only advantage being that you can create snapshots more easily (but even that is possible with any decent backup software). – slhck Jan 27 '12 at 14:38
Considering this, don't you have any requirements on which OS you even want to use? As for performance, just give VirtualBox a spin, and see if the performance works out for you. – slhck Jan 27 '12 at 14:39
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Your processor is of no help

All virualisation products will be extremely slow. VMWare Player, VirtualBox or QEMU will allow easy network access.

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Namely lack of VT-X will make VM run at about of 1/5th of speed system would otherwise run on bare hardware – ZaB Jan 27 '12 at 14:53

Well for maximum performance and lightest host you probably want Ubuntu , its one of the many Linux distros , just install this instead of the OS you have now. I cant work out why you have to keep formatting your drive for though, I have Windows 7 on my laptop and have only had to re install it once and I have had it about 2 and a half years. If you dont want to have to keep configuring it you should take a system image once you have re setup your pc, store this on an external drive, then when things go badly wrong just restore the system image off the external drive and key presto your laptop is setup and configured how you want it.

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I tried ubuntu with virtualbox, but the speed was not satisfactory, but your idea about doing a backup is useful. Thanks! – Andre Soares Jan 29 '12 at 12:57

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