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XP users why not use vmware workstation and UNITY mode


jimbo45

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#1
Hi there
For XP users who want to keep using their XP system why not run VMWARE VMPLAYER -- FREE in UNITY MODE.

You don't need even to run Windows as your Host --I've posted in the FORUM how to create a Portable system that runs Windows Virtual machines and totally boots from an external HDD / USB stick (even if there's no HDD in the main computer !!).

Using Unity mode simply gives you access to all your Windows XP programs (and runs them) directly from the Host
without you needing to enter the VM at all -- Power up your VM and simply click the Unity mode on the vm menu.

If you use Linux as a host it saves you having to purchase a new version of windows (Linux is FREE). Simply convert your XP system to a VM and then you can keep running XP for as long as you like without worrying about having to upgrade Windows.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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jimbo45

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#3

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Arpan

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#4
Thanks Jimbo, that is a great idea! I don't use XP but this gave me a nice idea.
 

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    Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Linux Mint 14
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jimbo45

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#5
Hi there

Here's 2 VM's in Unity mode

XP and W8.1 on Linux Mint host (using VMware workstation). VMware PLAYER (Free) version 6 - the latest now also incorporates Unity mode too. ( I think you can customize this a bit too so the icons can go directly on the Linux desktop if you don't want to go through the Unity menu -- I don't need that but some users might find it less confusing).

Note - you can see how busy I am currently -- installed the old W7 games on W8 !!!! -- be glad to finally finish current contract in UK at end Easter -- give me working in Brussels at any time - start a new one in JUNE -- off whole of May.

Cheers
jimbo
 

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    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
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Arpan

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#6
This is great stuff, man. I'll try this as soon as I can. I'm thinking of getting rid of Windows completely ;) Not really :p Will be installing kubuntu soon. Jimbo, is there any difference between kubuntu and Linux Mint KDE?
 

My Computer

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    Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Linux Mint 14
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavillion g4
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    Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2330M CPU @ 2.20GHz
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    4 GB
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jimbo45

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#7
This is great stuff, man. I'll try this as soon as I can. I'm thinking of getting rid of Windows completely ;) Not really :p Will be installing kubuntu soon. Jimbo, is there any difference between kubuntu and Linux Mint KDE?
Hi there.

These are all based on DEBIAN (I've also got DEBIAN WHEEZY 7.4) -- I think KUBUNTU is just a KDE based UBUNTU but there's nothing to stop you installing KDE on any Distro --people seem to recommend UBUNTU then install KDE instead of using kubuntu.

Linux Mint for KDE is easily installed -- if you want KDE download the LIVE KDE version and simply install.

I've found the hardware detection on decent Linux systems pretty good these days --often BETTER than windows (my internal SD card for example -- no good on XP / W8.1 although it did work on W7.

Using SAMBA though I just share the SD card to GUESTS as a SAMBA share -- use the samba-config GUI -- no more messing up with SWAT / config files --it's almost MORE WINDOWS than WINDOWS !!! -- although if you are "Old School" you can do everything via the terminal and install a tiny system --although you will need a window manager and video server (Xorg or X) to run vbox / VMware. (screenshot enc)

Opensuse /Fedora / red hat are based on "rpm" package management. Opensuse is pretty good also hat hardware detection but Linux Mint seems to have it the best -- also video / audio codecs / DVD playing etc already installewd --you have to mess around to get them to work in suse --something with libdvdcss / drm and other junk (Install from Pacman repository then it's fine).

What I like about Linux is the sheer choice you have -- BUT while that's fine for individuals it would be a NIGHTMARE for professional IT people to manage these if Linux were used on people's work desktops -- as servers it's very good indeed and for individual users also great but for "the great Unwashed" out there -- forget it.

(Samba GUI config -- easy these days shown below). Running W8.1 Enterprise as VM on Linux mint 16 (petra) Host.

(Note Linux Mint install detected my Wireless card -- DEBIAN needed me to install iwlwifi-firmware from repository - documentation is OK but if this is the case also with UBUNTU then connect up a wired LAN before installing - then download the module. -- Was using an INTEL built in wireless card. Linux Mint and Opensuse both detected wireless card without problems).

Linux Mint also allowed the windows VM graphics to use hardware acceleration and 3-D graphics on the GUEST (note GUEST doesn't support 3D if it's Windows XP). Debian / opensuse disabled the 3D option -- didn't make a huge difference on the GUEST though unless you like "glass / Aero" type of effects. --My Laptop was using the INTEL graphics chip so again I'd go for Linux Mint.

The guest plays video decently, streams from NETFLIX etc and my music / Radio streaming application works perfectly too on the GUEST. I stream the Radio / music into hardware receivers around the house. If it weren't for things like Netflix, office, photoshop etc I'd be off windows - although I do have a VINYL cutting machine which I like to make some vinyls for people to order -- this still runs on XP !!!.

Radio / Music streaming app in Windows guest also shown. This in theory will work on Linux but it needs a bit of work messing about with the kernel --at my age I'm far too old to be bothered with that all over again !! - If it works easily in Windows - so be it -- streaming FLAC music to remote hardware devices needs a bit of messing about --got other things to do.

cheers
jimbo
 

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Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

Arpan

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#8
Hello Jimbo,

Thanks for the detailed response. It was extremely helpful. I'm no expert with the Linux Terminal or Linux Kernel. I've been using Linux Mint KDE for the last 8 months but haven't had the time to read all the documentation and tutorials on Linux programming. Nevertheless, your post will be helpful after I understand everything.

I'll install Ubuntu and then install KDE instead of installing Kubuntu.

I wanted to give you rep points for that post but it seems like I'll have to rep some other members before I can rep you again.

Thanks,
Arpan
 

My Computer

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  • OS
    Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Linux Mint 14
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavillion g4
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2330M CPU @ 2.20GHz
    Memory
    4 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    1 GB Radeon Graphics
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Generic PnP Monitor
    Screen Resolution
    1366x768
    Hard Drives
    500 GB HDD

Coke Robot

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#9
Unity has got to be the coolest feature of VMWare Workstation for sure. You can even pin shortcuts to your Taskbar or Desktop or Start Screen to actually run a virtualized program from Unity mode so it makes the whole process more simpler. Just click and its runs.

But the trade offs are: you need a PC with decent hardware, anything modern past 2008 can work; and cost, VMWare Workstation costs about 3-400 dollars for a yearly or three year subscription. But, it offers better virtualization than Hyper-V in Windows 8; better guest OS support, better configuration, better host-guest OS interaction, overall just better.
 

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    Windows 8.1 Pro
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    ASUS
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    AMD FX 8320
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    Crosshair V Formula-Z
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    16 gig DDR3
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    1 TB Seagate Barracuda (starting to hate Seagate)
    x2 3 TB Toshibas
    Windows 8.1 is installed on a SanDisk Ultra Plus 256 GB
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    A current work in progres as I'll be building the physical case myself. It shall be fantastic.
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jimbo45

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#10
Hi there
UNITY mode is now offered also in VMPLAYER rel 6 and is FREE. For individuals vmplayer is a good bet -- most individuals don't really need all the features of vmware workstation. VMPLAYER can also create VM's.

Vmware workstation so far (at least the release I'm using doesn't require a subscription either -- I'm avoiding all subscription software where possible --that's why I'm sticing with photoshop CS6 and Office 2010 and gradually moving what I can to Linux and only running Windows as GUEST machines unless I ansolutely have to install Windows in Native mode on a particular machine

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

Kari

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#11
I'm happy with my simple solution, a Windows 7 Professional vm running on Hyper-V which I need in anyway, with free Windows XP Mode installed on it, a virtual machine on a virtual machine. It's enough for me, especially when the Seven vm is used over RDP instead of Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection​.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
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    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

jimbo45

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#12
I'm happy with my simple solution, a Windows 7 Professional vm running on Hyper-V which I need in anyway, with free Windows XP Mode installed on it, a virtual machine on a virtual machine. It's enough for me, especially when the Seven vm is used over RDP instead of Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection​.
Hi Kari.

Your setup is fine - but might be a bit "over the top" for typical "normal" users who possibly might like to play with individual VM's.

Also my system is basically designed to run as a PORTABLE windows system which you can use almost anywhere - it boots and runs totally from an external HDD. Booting up a small Linux system is very fast even on moderate hardware and starting a VM under vmplayer is fine for typical individual users - in fact running W8.1 this way on an external SDD I get better response time from the VM than running NATIVE Windows from the laptops internal HDD. !!


By running TOTALLY off the external device the user can run on nearly any computer - as the VM runs on VIRTUAL HARDWARE re-activation won't be a problem either unless the HOST hardware is really weird. Also no changes at all are made to the HOST computer -- good for example if you are "stuffed" with a Works locked down PC" and you need a different version of office for example.

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

Kari

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#13
Jimbo, I think we have the same goal and way to think, just having different approach for it. Your method is certainly well working and practical, it's just that personally I am not a great fan of VMware and prefer Hyper-V. My previous post was simply to tell about another approach. Not better, not worse, just another.

Although my travelling has been on ice lately due both my own and my mother-in-law's health situation, usually I am on the road quite a lot. When on the road, I have a light but capable "travel laptop" and more importantly a Windows To Go stick with me, both equipped with a private VPN connection to my home server where all my virtual machines are stored. I do not need to carry my vm's with me because I can access them from anywhere.

For the same reason I use extra large (paid for additional storage) OneDrive and Younited services, OneDrive as default "Save as" location for my Libraries in each computer I am using and Younited for backups, to access my personal data wherever I am without having to think where it is stored or if I need to sync data before going away.

According to an old Finnish saying, one likes the daughter whereas others prefer the mother ;). Today's modern Windows operating systems and devices, together with virtualization and cloud storage allow an almost seamless access to about everything you have and need regarding your computing needs. I cannot tell you a single reason why my approach would be better or worse than yours, for me they both do what they need to do.

Kari
 
Last edited:

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

jimbo45

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#14
Hi Kari

I'll certainly have a go trying that --as you say there are many different solutions -- however the Windows to Go is only available on ENTERPRISE which unfortunately removes a lot of people from this possibility as Windows 8 / 8/1 Enterprise isn't available via retail and only available to individual users via the 90 day trial. I still have the TechNet versions but again that route is now closed or closing for these people.

Linux of course is readily available -- so another method possibly is to try the XEN system or VBOX of course - however over the years I've found VMWARE actually more than adequate -- Like in all things though it's your choice and as they say YMMV.

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)

Kari

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#16
there are many different solutions
I would go booting from vhd(s) (more machine less virtual), any version of xp/7/8 will work and you do not need any host OS or virtual machine to boot it.
For me that would be like having a dual / triple / whatever boot system, taking away the biggest reason I use virtual machines: ability to run several operating systems simultaneously, like now being on Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 running on another display on a vm to allow me to check something while responding to posts at the Seven Forums, a SUSE Linux vm taking at the same time care of my IPTV subscription playlist downloads (works best on barebone SUSE).

I have no patience to boot to Seven every time I need it for a minute or so, then rebooting back to Eight.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP ENVY 17-1150eg
    CPU
    1.6 GHz Intel Core i7-720QM Processor
    Memory
    6 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5850 Graphics
    Sound Card
    Beats sound system with integrated subwoofer
    Monitor(s) Displays
    17" laptop display, 22" LED and 32" Full HD TV through HDMI
    Screen Resolution
    1600*900 (1), 1920*1080 (2&3)
    Hard Drives
    Internal: 2 x 500 GB SATA Hard Disk Drive 7200 rpm
    External: 2TB for backups, 3TB USB3 network drive for media
    Cooling
    As Envy runs a bit warm, I have it on a Cooler Master pad
    Keyboard
    Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser (bluetooth)
    Mouse
    Logitech MX1000 Laser (Bluetooth)
    Internet Speed
    50 MB VDSL
    Browser
    Maxthon 3.5.2., IE11
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender 4.3.9431.0
    Other Info
    Windows in English, additional user accounts in Finnish, German and Swedish.

jimbo45

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#17
Hi there.

I agree with Kari -- I'm running Windows 8.1 update 1 for testing, Windows 7 so I can logon to corporate SAP systems and also a VPN, a W2K3 server which I'm looking to replace with W2012 server, an XP system for legacy hardware such as a Vinyl disc cutting machine and Minidisc software to get music from live minidisc recording on to the Vinyl etc and the odd Linux distro which I just want to try out.

All these VM's run as and when I want them --I'm currently using a Linux Mint KDE host although they work well with suse. I can even boot the whole kybosh up from a small USB stick if I have to -- extremely flexible -- no dual booting or whatever. If I have some of these VM's stored on SSD's then I can run these from virtually ANY PC that can boot from a USB device -- very flexible.

I don't need the HOST machine to start up so VHD's can be mounted -- as Kari says it rather reduces the value of using VM's in the first place.

Cheers
jimbo
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Monitor(s) Displays
    1 X LG 40 inch TV
    Hard Drives
    SSD's * 3 (Samsung 840 series) 250 GB
    2 X 3 TB sata
    5 X 1 TB sata
    Internet Speed
    0.12 GB/s (120Mb/s)