I have server running proxmox as a virtual machine host and run quite a few linux virtual machines on it. It works well for me. I would like to set up a windows VM on it too so that I can use jenkins to do builds of some windows c++ software on it.

So I plan to buy a copy of windows 10 home and install it in a VM. I assume that will work properly. However I would like to ensure a clean environment on the VM so I would want to snapshot the VM after installing it and the compilers, and regularly (perhaps every day or every week *) roll back the VM to the snapshotted image.

My question is given than windows has registration and activation systems, will this work, or will it get confused into thinking I'm installing it too many times and something will break?

Or is there a better way to achieve a clean windows build machine image than this?

(*) Obviously I'll need to incorporate windows updates etc into this plan too.


Windows activation takes into account the hardware platform, which for a VM is mostly virtual (but not all), so you will not have any problem with restoring backups on the same computer. Small changes in the hardware are permitted, but not major ones like changing motherboards (which is totally virtual for a VM).

In my experience, VMs can even be copied to other computers and still stay activated. However, I advise against having more than one copy booted at the same time, just in case, since once your serial license key is blacklisted you will need to beg Microsoft Support for another.

For more information see for example Microsoft Product Activation, among very many articles to be found on the subject.

  • Thanks, it sounds like it will work fine for me then. I have no plans to run more than one copy. Although I might want to add memory to the VM etc which sounds like it ought to work if I don't do it too much – John Burton Jan 31 '18 at 8:42

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