Virtual Machine sharing between Ubuntu/Vista dualboot and some general virtual machine / virtual machine software questions.
July 14, 2009 6:59 PM   Subscribe

Virtual Machine sharing between Ubuntu/Vista dualboot and some general virtual machine / virtual machine software questions.


I currently run a Vista/Ubuntu dualboot and want to make a Windows and a Linux virtual machines to test code/malicious software out on. I however would like the convenience to be able to access either of these virtual machines from whatever physical OS i happen to be booted into at that time, either ubuntu or vista. Is there anyway to achieve this?

I also had some general questions about setting up these virtual machines. If i was to setup a vista or an xp virtual machine, would I need a seperate cd-key for it that is not being used by another computer?

I will require a "save state" feature, so I can configure virtual machines to my liking, then "save" them and play around with them and if something goes wrong revert back to the saved state.

Thanks in advance and if you can recommend any software/ideas on how to make this setup work your help would be greatly appreciated!

(i have been looking into virtualbox so far, ideas on this? would this work?)
posted by Javed_Ahamed to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I can not answer your MSFT licensing question.

Yes, VirtualBox will work with the other questions you ask. It's free. Try it, and you'll discover how.
posted by cmiller at 7:05 PM on July 14, 2009

Seconding virtualbox. I run ubuntu with a Windows 7 RC image on my laptop. See if they're still giving out Windows 7 RC keys, they work until about a year from now and you don't have to pay for them.
posted by axiom at 7:28 PM on July 14, 2009

Thanks so far guys, is there anyway to share the virtual machines between the two OS's? And thanks for the Win7 suggestion that might work, but I am not sure if my old software I will be testing will run on that we will see.
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 7:32 PM on July 14, 2009

You could store the vm images on a vfat partition and mount it from whichever OS you're booted into. I suspect the file format is the same regardless.
posted by roue at 7:44 PM on July 14, 2009

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your question. I initially read this as "I want to boot a linux VM when I'm using Vista, and a vista VM when I'm using linux." But now I think you want both OSes available as a VM regardless of whether you're booted into Vista or Ubuntu because you're running code that may break the OS. I'd still suggest virtualbox for this purpose as well. You could use, as roue suggests, a shared partitition to store the images on. That partition's going to need to be sizable (20-40GB) to hold the images. Virtualbox supports a mode for letting the images' sizes on disk grow as needed.

As for licensing, IANAL, and I haven't read the Vista licensing agreement to see if it specifically addresses this, but you'd be safest getting one license per install.
posted by axiom at 8:10 PM on July 14, 2009

VMware Fusion will work
but you will have to boot from the OS of your choice.
posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 10:50 PM on July 14, 2009

From the Vista license agreement (Ultimate, in this case, I don't know if they vary):
You may run on the licensed device at any one time one copy, or instance, of the software directly on the hardware... and up to four instances of the software in virtual machines. You may create and store an unlimited number of copies (for example, copies in VMs) for use on any licensed device.
Emphasis mine.
posted by rokusan at 5:41 AM on July 15, 2009

Hey guys,

I have gotten virtualbox on my vista partition to have the machines i want, but now want to be able to access these virtual machines from my virtualbox in ubuntu. is there anyway i can go about doing this so the virtual machines are shared?
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 8:21 PM on July 15, 2009

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