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I want to run Ubuntu Server Edition just at home, however to avoid having to reinstall it in the future when i upgrade hardware, I was thinking of virtualizing it first.

Are there any minimalistic virtualisation solutions available at the moment for this sort of purpose? Or even better a linux distro just for this?

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Promox VE is a good option for bare metal virtualization. I find it better than ESXi which like The Journeyman geek mentioned can be pretty picky about hardware.

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depends on how minimalistic minimalistic is - VMware server and virtualbox run headless if you want them to, and you can run them atop windows or linux.

Alternately, with the right hardware, you could run vmware esxi or microsoft hyper V

If you're new to virtualisation, VMware Server or virtualbox are better bets tho - ESXi is notoriously finicky about hardware, and running atop windows or linux means you rely on the host os's hardware support

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I recommend VirtualBox. I just installed Ubuntu Server Edition in VirtualBox on a Windows 7 64-bit host. It was easy and works great.

One thing to be aware of - if you want to use the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, your host processor needs to support hardware virtualization. See http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/ch03.html#intro-64bitguests for details.

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