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Run OS on a parition in a VM?


b0xybr0wn
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I had been told a while ago that it was possible to run a partition containing an OS in a virtual machine. That way you could always boot that actual OS later or run it in a VM. I was wondering if this is indeed possible. Ideally I would be able to run Vista and open my Linux install in a VM as needed. Any suggestions? wishful thinking?

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Virtual PC (Windows only, free), VMWare Server (free)/Workstation (paid), QEMU (free, with kqemu virtualiser addon), VirtualBox (free), Parallels (Mac only) and a bunch of others can run an OS in a virtual machine inside another OS. All do the job very well, though uses for each vary - VMWare and Virtual PC would be better at running Vista, QEMU (without kqemu) is best for running older OSs like MSDOS. All of them will run Linux (though Linux in Virtual PC is a little quirky).

Have fun and experiment, virtualisation/emulation is really useful.

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VMware certainly can use an entire hard drive for virtual machines, not sure about an individual partition.

It can use a single partition, yes. If you use VMWare Converter you can even have your physical machine cloned in the form of a VM.

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Sure it can, you can do 95% of the same stuff as a regular pc on a VM. Its only things that require direct access to hardware that cause problems. But with VMware you can use a seperate physical disc instead of a VHD file. I'm not sure about the drivers situation though, you may run into issues with Windows and hardware when you try and boot the disc in a physical machine. Sysprep should fix that though. But partitioning the disc would be no issue.

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