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Supporting multiple OSes

Jan 05, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsLinuxVMware

Nutter helps a reader set up multiple boot configurations while testing Linux

We’re starting a pilot project in which we are testing the potential for moving to  Linux to see how the applications will make the transition. While this is going on, we have several different OSes running on desktops. We’d like a way to deal with this without having to set up a dual/multiple boot configuration for those who need it.

– Via the Internet

You have several options. I have used both Microsoft’s Virtual PC (formerly Connectix)  and VMWare (recently acquired by EMC). With either one of these, you’ll want more memory in your machine than you probably have now. I have 640M bytes of memory in the machine on which I run Virtual PC and may need to add more.

The process basically involves creating a virtual hard drive on the computer on which you’re running either of these two applications. You will need to have the install media for the OS that you’re going to run in the PC emulator. The hard drive space required for the OS will depend on how much you install. Once you create the virtual system image you want, make a backup copy. This will let you go back to a fresh image if you corrupt or damage something. It also allows you to use the file on other computers without having to repeat the installation process.

Running an OS in this kind of situation may not be as fast as if you were running this as a native OS, but it beats having to reboot to go into another OS. If you want to do some testing and have enough memory, you can create a virtual network to see how the systems will talk to each other without having to use multiple machines.