I have a Linux server at home for storage, development and testing purposes. I would like to use this server as a home theater solution as well. Now it doesn't seem like a good idea to run that software on the hypervisor itself. I'd much rather have it run in a VM, but unfortunately the CPU does not support Intel VT-d.

Is there any way to do this without hardware IOMMU virtualization support? Until now I have been using Xen, but I'm open to trying other hypervisors, as well as other possible solutions to my problem.

Thank you for your help.


Rapsey -- AFAIK Oracle Virtualbox doesn't require cpu virtualization extensions.

I'm surprised that your server does not support them, unless it's more than 6 years old. Go ahead and check for sure if you haven't grep -c 'vmx\|svm' /proc/cpuinfo If the result of the grep command is nonzero, then you have cpu virtualization extensions. (the command won't work from a xen hypervisor console though.) Also be sure to check your bios, you normally have to turn on virtualization support explicitly.

With all that said, I highly recommend Virtualbox.org , it's my goto when I don't need to do complex networking. Virtualbox is extremely intuitive and will run on almost any platform.

| improve this answer | |
  • It has VT-x support, but not VT-d which is required for direct IO. Product page: ark.intel.com/products/52210/… You're right, VirtualBox would work, but I was hoping for a solution with a bare metal hypervisor. Everything else would run headless, I just need the display of one VM. Thanks for the suggestion! – Rapsey May 9 '13 at 16:12
  • 1
    VirtualBox can run headless as well. – MikeyB May 9 '13 at 16:16
  • Good point I meant to add that. As far as bare metal goes, Xen, for instance, is based on CentOS. It's not the same thing, but you could get the minimal install of CentOS 6 here: isoredirect.centos.org/centos/6/isos/x86_64 then just install virtualbox and run headless. There is even a virtualbox yum repo so you can download and keep up to date automatically. wiki.centos.org/HowTos/Virtualization/VirtualBox – MattPark May 9 '13 at 17:19
  • Yes but the host OS couldn't run headless then, right? Or is it possible to attach the video and audio output to one VM on a headless server? – Rapsey May 9 '13 at 17:54
  • hmmm yeah the host os could run headless just fine, you would just ssh into it to manage things or use vnc. This is basically the same thing you will do with the guest os's if they are headless, you will use vnc or ssh or whatever you want. In other words, you wouldn't lose anything in this approach that you could do with esxi or xen. If you are just streaming from it with plex or xbmc or something, this will be the perfect solution for you. – MattPark May 9 '13 at 20:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.