21 September 2009

Looking for a replacement for VMWare Server 1

I've been looking for a replacement for VMWare Server 1 for a while now. I'm having serious problem with time drifting in VMWare Server 1. I've previously tried VMWare Server 2 but it was really bad (for reasons I now have partially have forgotten). Oh, I remember that one problem was that not all of the virtual machines was compatible with VMWare Server 2. They just didn't start.

Some of my colleagues have tried Sun VirtualBox. I first though that this was a client-only virtual machine software. But after reading the user manual I have found a way to use it like VMWare Server. VirtualBox can be run on a server computer in a headless mode (read: only command line, no grapchics). For example:

> VBoxHeadless -s "Lennart test" -p 5000

This starts the already created virtual machine registered as "Lennart test" and listens for remote desktop connections on port 5000. Then I use my favorite remote desktop program to connect to the virtual machine (for example the build in Windows Remote Desktop Client).

Creating and managing virtual machines can be performed both with a GUI of command line. If you would like use a GUI and have a Linux server I recommend using some X software (for example the one included in  Cygwin).

I have not tried running graphics intense applications yet but my initial guess is that it will be a bit slower then the VMWare equalivance- VMWare Server Console. But I can be wrong...

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