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Windows VM on headless server.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I want to get rid of my slow XP machine and install it in a VM on my headless FreeBSD server(which has a 60GB SSD as the boot drive instead of the 2 HDD) instead and access it remotely.

I've been doing a bit of research(and am continuing to do so as we speak) and it seem possible with virtualbox, but I was wondering what my options were and what would be the fastest way to access it from my main win7 desktop.
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post #2 of 10
Why are you not just using the built in windows xp in your windows 7? (or do you not have professional?)

And why do you require a vm of XP? I guess the real question would be what is the purpose of the xp machine?
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post #3 of 10
I use Windows XP VM's all the time under VMware for various purposes, such as:

- Sandboxes to download and install software from Bit Torrent. Being highly likely to be infested with Trojans, viruses, etc., it's better to put that crap in a dedicated environment that can be snapshotted and reverted quickly and painlessly.

- Windows XP is the lightest weight fully 32-bit OS available that remains "Windows compatible". You can put 50+ XP VMs on a reasonably sized VM host for multi-user access without breaking the bank.

- Good for regression testing of web site development on IE 6/7/8/9. Have a separate XP VM for each IE version, and test them all concurrently. You can't run IE6 on Windows 7, it wasn't available in the baseline OS package.

Probably lots of other good reasons.

Greg
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
The point is to have a second windows machine that can do long windows only tasks like ftp uploading a backup with FlashFXP(not exactly windows only, but I initiate that automatically from my win7 desktop and would have to modify my script if I used another OS) or running a windows only p2p software for example so that my win7 desktop can be rebooted or stopped at any time without me having to stop those tasks.

I said XP because that's what I have, but it could be any "recent" windows OS, I don't have a need for XP specifically.

Edit: The smaller size and hardware requirement is indeed a good reason for XP specifically as mentioned by hammong.
Edited by SamKook - 4/5/13 at 12:22pm
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post #5 of 10
Greg I don't care what you use xp vm's for this thread is for Sam. I use xp vm's myself as Microsoft provides multiple versions for free for web development. That however is irrelevant to this thread.

FreeBSD is horrible for vm's in my opinion. And I would recommend you use a different environment.

However to open Pandora box you can use xen.

Xen is my favorite host software.

edit: vbox is an easy solution to use. I would say its probably more of a user preference issue now as you don't plan on doing anything user intensive on it.
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
I think his point was that it was pointless to question why I wanted what I wanted since I said I wanted it, which is also why I didn't think it was important to write at the time I made the thread.

I did notice that there's not a lot of support for it, but VMs are not the main purpose of the server, it's only a little extra that would be nice. ZFS and support for the many linux apps and scripts I was using were the main goals and it's already set up

I'll take a look at xen and what it can do so thanks for the suggestion.
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by danewfie View Post

Greg I don't care what you use xp vm's for this thread is for Sam. I use xp vm's myself as Microsoft provides multiple versions for free for web development. That however is irrelevant to this thread..

I thought since you asked why the OP would want a XP VM, I'd chime in with three good qualified reasons why "anyone" might want to do so. I stand by my suggestion of VMware (workstation) as a good way to run XP VMs, or anything else for that matter. And, it's relevant to the discussion.

Greg
Edited by hammong - 4/6/13 at 2:28pm
post #8 of 10
Any major hypervisor will let you run Windows XP (or more recent) as a guest. Hyper-V, Xen/XenServer, ESX/ESXi/vSphere being the three that I am referring too.

I know KVM, VirtualBox, and several PV platforms will allow for them as well.

If you want to run it on your FreeBSD server, I don't know what to tell you. However, you could clone your FreeBSD server, lay down Xen or some VMware platform on that hardware, bring your FreeBSD clone up as a VM, and also run Windows XP (or whatever else) as a VM. Pick a popular virtualization platform to run on your hardware, and run all the guests you can. Best way to do it.

The reason I say this is because the specs on your server are way overkill for just a storage box. Xeon 1240v2 and 32GB of RAM? Virtualize it...run your VMs from your SSD (or whatever OS drive) and pass the RAID controller through to your BSD VM.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
So if I understand correctly, none of those options will complain if I don't have any GPU on the server? If so, that's good to know.

If I lay down Xen or some VMware platform on it, will there be any limitation for accessing the hardware from a VM? That's pretty much what I'm afraid of since that was a problem on my desktop the few times I dabbled with VMs. I know the server hardware is made more with VM in mind, but I don't know how much which is why I wanted to do it from FreeBSD(and I also didn't think I would need a VM at the time I first configured it).

If it was only a storage box, I would have been much more conservative with the hardware. It's pretty much an anything-I-can-think-of server that I want to keep for a long time.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SamKook View Post

So if I understand correctly, none of those options will complain if I don't have any GPU on the server? If so, that's good to know.

If I lay down Xen or some VMware platform on it, will there be any limitation for accessing the hardware from a VM? That's pretty much what I'm afraid of since that was a problem on my desktop the few times I dabbled with VMs. I know the server hardware is made more with VM in mind, but I don't know how much which is why I wanted to do it from FreeBSD(and I also didn't think I would need a VM at the time I first configured it).

If it was only a storage box, I would have been much more conservative with the hardware. It's pretty much an anything-I-can-think-of server that I want to keep for a long time.

Yeah, if it's a "anything-I-can-think-of server" you should run some sort of virtualization platform. Will keep things clean and easier to manage.

I'm pretty sure you can pass through hardware (such as your RAID controller) to a VM with VMware. Not sure about Xen, but I would think so...I just don't know how.

No GPU is needed on your server unless you are doing rendering, or the server is connected to a TV/Monitor and you are doing something that requires a GPU. for serving files/media and/or transcoding? No GPU needed.
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