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I bought a new Desktop(AMD Phenom 2 X6 with 8GB RAM) to study Virtualization and Clusters. Could anyone advise which free Virtualization OS ISO I can download and directly intall that and then Solaris/Linux OS on top of the Virtualization ?

Or, Do I need to install Windows / Linux first then, I need to install vmware on top of the windows / Linux. Please advise.

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 17 '12 at 6:21

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You can either run the Virtual Machine Monitor inside a normal operating system (VMWare Player/Server/Fusion/Workstation, QEmu, VirtualBox, etc), or itself as the host operating system, with nothing under it (VMWare ESX, Xen). You should pick which VMM you want to use first. –  Kitsune Feb 16 '12 at 18:28
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That depends on whether you choose a type 1 or type 2 hypervisor. A type 1 hypervisor, such as VMware ESXi or Citrix XenServer, installs directly on the computer and essentially is the host operating system. A type 2 hypervisor, such as VMware Workstation or VirtualBox, runs as an application on an ordinary host operating system.

Of the four products I mentioned, all but VMware Workstation are available free of charge. And VMware Player is a more limited version of Workstation that's also free of charge.

If your goal is to learn about virtualization, I'd suggest you try several of these, and see the differences firsthand.

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