Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site July 29, 2014, 09:49:57 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Read the Practical Guide to DonationCoder.com Forum Search Features
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: Help me understand Virtual Machine [VMWare]  (Read 10701 times)
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,357



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: August 17, 2012, 09:11:42 AM »

OK
  • I've installed VMWare Player
  • I have my winXP iso ready to roll

I've been reading the documentation, it's confusing, because there seems to be many versions/aspects to VMWare. But mainly confusing cause they dont cater to users who dont already understand (there's got to be a name for that - insider-manual-syndrome maybe).

I understand it's going to be a completely separate virtual install, but I'm not sure if this completely seperate (virtual) machine can see the real machine, and vice versa.

What I dont know (so far) is:

1) I suspect ideally an empty partition would be good for the virtual machine(s) - but dont know.
2) I presume it will create a virtual drive anyway?
3) if yes to #2: can it create virtual partitions on the virtual drive?
4) if yes to #3: can files on virtual partitions be accessed from outside the virtual OS?
5) within the virtual OS, will I be able to access and modify files from the "real" machine i.e. outside of the virtual machine

Any help much appreciated thumbs up
Logged

Tom
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,357



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2012, 09:17:04 AM »

Possibly relevant:

I'm using a single Windows 7 machine (no network)
I do have an external drive that I could store files on for sharing with both OS's.

Or could I network the two machines: real/virtual (remember here: I'm a noob - also with networking :p)
Logged

Tom
Josh
Charter Honorary Member
***
Posts: 3,317



View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2012, 09:19:53 AM »

1) I suspect ideally an empty partition would be good for the virtual machine(s) - but dont know.
2) I presume it will create a virtual drive anyway?
3) if yes to #2: can it create virtual partitions on the virtual drive?
4) if yes to #3: can files on virtual partitions be accessed from outside the virtual OS?
5) within the virtual OS, will I be able to access and modify files from the "real" machine i.e. outside of the virtual machine

1. You can use an empty partition on tools like VMware workstation. The player is limited to a virtual drive which is created when you create a new player image. Workstation can use a physical partition or other disk.
2. Yes, you will be prompted to create a virtual drive on VM creation.
3. Yes, you can partition the virtual drive just like a normal disk.
4. Yes, if you enable sharing within VMware
5. Again, you have to enable sharing which is done once you install the VMware tools.

VMware workstation provides greater flexibility and control over the VM. Player images are restricted to certain types of virtual hardware and settings. Workstation is designed for a more full-fledged image and setup a "virtual network" on the host system. Workstation is designed when you don't have a VMware VSphere server to play with.
Logged

Strength in Knowledge
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,183



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2012, 09:33:42 AM »

VmWare *Player* is not what you want;  You need the VmWare "Workstation" tool (not free), or one of the free alternative virtual machine tools, like VirtualBox.

Although I use VmWare myself, seeing as how you are just experimenting, VirtualBox seems the better route than buying VmWare Workstation.



Quote
1) I suspect ideally an empty partition would be good for the virtual machine(s) - but dont know.


no.  these tools create everything they need in normal files.  so when you run the program and create a new virtual machine, it will create a very large file (it could grow to be several gigabytes in size) that will simulate the hard drive of the virtual computer.  Everything is stored in normal files.

Quote
3) if yes to #2: can it create virtual partitions on the virtual drive?

yes; it is basically going to simulate everything -- a partitionable hard drive, a bios, EVERYTHING.  it's really quite remarkable.

Quote
4) if yes to #3: can files on virtual partitions be accessed from outside the virtual OS?
5) within the virtual OS, will I be able to access and modify files from the "real" machine i.e. outside of the virtual machine

the answer is that you can access files in both directions -- but not without some work.  different virtual machine software handle this differently.  for vmware, if you are using windows operating system as your host (real) pc and simulated pc, it will install special utilities to let you drag and drop files; if you are using linux it's more complicated.
Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,357



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2012, 09:44:51 AM »

 thumbs up  thanks Josh smiley

VmWare *Player* is not what you want;  You need the VmWare "Workstation" tool (not free), or one of the free alternative virtual machine tools, like VirtualBox.

why do you say that mouser? (Josh's reply makes it sound quite usable). Is it because I mention wanting to use files outside the VM?
I may want to use it for actual work; initially I want to do a couple of test installs, also to try run an older app that doesnt work for me on Win7.


ps. back later ;-)
Logged

Tom
Josh
Charter Honorary Member
***
Posts: 3,317



View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 09:50:41 AM »

The question is do you plan to use the tool for more than a single machine? If not, then you do not need more than VMware player.
Logged

Strength in Knowledge
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,183



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 09:55:45 AM »

I stand corrected regarding VmWare Player.  From the web, regarding VmWare Player:

Quote
In the latest version it can both create and edit virtual machines while it earlier could only possible to run pre-built VMs.


It used to be that VmWare Player could not be used to create virtual machines, only run those created by others.  But it seems the new version can create them too -- that's very cool.
Logged
Renegade
Charter Member
***
Posts: 10,889



Tell me something you don't know...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2012, 10:19:56 AM »

I stand corrected regarding VmWare Player.  From the web, regarding VmWare Player:

Quote
In the latest version it can both create and edit virtual machines while it earlier could only possible to run pre-built VMs.


It used to be that VmWare Player could not be used to create virtual machines, only run those created by others.  But it seems the new version can create them too -- that's very cool.

Thanks for that. I have VMware Workstation, and really didn't want to pay to upgrade...
Logged

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
Jibz
Developer
***
Posts: 914



Cold Warrior

View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2012, 11:54:51 AM »

Interesting .. anyone have some insights into how VMware player compares to VirtualBox?
Logged

"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
vlastimil
Honorary Member
**
Posts: 302



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2012, 12:19:20 PM »

VMWare Player is a feature-limited VMWare Workstation. The most notable feature that is missing in the Player is snapshots. Snapshot allow you to revert to a previous state, which is very useful when repeatedly testing your software in a controlled environment.

Without the snapshots, VMWare Player is not usable for convenient software testing. But if you just want to use a different OS, by all means, get and use the Player, its compatibility and performance are top class.
Logged
Shades
Member
**
Posts: 1,607


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 12:22:32 PM »

My anecdotal view is this: the portable version of VirtualBox that I tried was not that nice to work with. The VMWare Player v3+ was a lot smoother in creating and using a virtual setup.

Not sure about the speed with which a virtual setup is executed/handled in both environments. I don't think one is substantially faster than the other in day-to-day use. I did feel at the time that VirtualBox gave me a more hands-on experience.

Then again, I was also pressed for time at that moment so I went with the easiest one. As far as I know VirtualBox can work with a virtual setup created by VMWare and vice versa.  
Logged
Jibz
Developer
***
Posts: 914



Cold Warrior

View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 12:46:21 PM »

Thanks for the comments  thumbs up .. the lack of snapshot feature would definitely make it less useful for me.
Logged

"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
40hz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 10,434



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 12:48:28 PM »

I'm generally bullish on F/OSS projects. DOSBox and VirtualBox are both workable for casual to semi-serious use. But VMWare Workstation is a far better product if you have more complex requirements or do a lot of software testing.

I tried DOSBox and VirtualBox. I bought VMWare Workstation.

YMMV. Cool
Logged

Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
Renegade
Charter Member
***
Posts: 10,889



Tell me something you don't know...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 01:00:29 PM »

Thanks for the comments  thumbs up .. the lack of snapshot feature would definitely make it less useful for me.

Don't be so quick there. You can simply copy the files at a given point, and then you have a "snapshot". Yeah, might be a bit of a pain, but it still works. You need to have some rather complex requirements before the VMware snapshots are useful.

And I also bought a VMware Workstation license. So, I'm not trying to push anything there. VMware is fantastic. The question is whether you need those additional features.

(I remember using Ghost to restore machines for testing... That was a while ago. smiley )
Logged

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
40hz
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 10,434



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 01:36:17 PM »

If you can spare about 25 mins and would like to watch a really good hands-on for VirtualBox, take a look at Eli the Computer Guy's video on YouTube:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUs-lePHb0o" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUs-lePHb0o</a>

You may find the (usually) free VirtualBox software all you want or need. smiley Thmbsup

Note: He also has a good intro to both virtualization and cloud computing. I often drop copies of these off with people (i.e. non-clients and tire-kickers) who want to know more about these technologies - but who haven't invited me out to discuss them over pizza.

Actually, all of Eli's videos are pretty good. You can find the complete collection here.

His reality check presentation on How to Become an IT Professional (see below) should be required viewing for anyone who is considering pursuing one of those "highly paid professional careers" the late night cable TV ads for private technical 'institutes' boast so much about. Seriously, if you're at all thinking about going into IT (as opposed to just "getting into computers") take the time to watch it. It can save you tens of thousands of dollars, and a few years of your life!

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT26Vpptl-8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yT26Vpptl-8</a>
 Thmbsup
Logged

Don't you see? It's turtles all the way down!
xtabber
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 376


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2012, 01:53:22 PM »

A VMware virtual disk is just a set of files contained in a directory.  Some tools even allow you to mount a VMware VM to your host system as a virtual drive.  I suggest using the option to limit file sizes to 2GB because it makes it much easier to manage and copy or move large VMs than as a single huge file.

Player doesn't have the snapshot feature of Workstation, but you can close a VM and make a backup image of the VM directory, then restore it later to return to the initial state.  The easiest way to do that is just make a Zip archive of the VM directory.  I do that anyway to make backups of some of the VMs I use regularly.

You can create as many virtual machines as you want on a single host system, although you can only open one at a time with Player -- Workstation allows you to network multiple VMs.

If you use VMs more than occasionally, Workstation is well worth the price, IMHO. That said, Player is probably adequate for most people's purposes.

Logged
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,357



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2012, 01:59:22 PM »

Thanks for the comments  thumbs up .. the lack of snapshot feature would definitely make it less useful for me.

Don't be so quick there. You can simply copy the files at a given point, and then you have a "snapshot". Yeah, might be a bit of a pain, but it still works.

that's good to know,
I was going to ask whether to save the virtual disk as a single file or to split it into multiple files - for splitting files, they say may reduce performance with very large disks. I dont know if they mean large physical discs or large virtual discs (and WTF is "large" these days... undecided)

But I think I'll take xtabber's recommendation anyway:

I suggest using the option to limit file sizes to 2GB because it makes it much easier to manage and copy or move large VMs than as a single huge file.

it's great to get so much advice Kiss cheesy tongue
Logged

Tom
tomos
Charter Member
***
Posts: 8,357



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2012, 11:41:59 AM »

Well, after a couple of false starts (it wouldnt accept the key using [XP"0" + SP3 slipstreamed via nlite] so I had to install the XP"0", then SP2, then SP3...) I have XP installed. I've done a backup before installing more updates etc etc. - I was able to copy the files even though the virtual OS was running.

It's a bit weird going back to XP cheesy

If I connect printer or scanner etc, I get this message (note: in a win7 frame):



I dont need them yet (I actually have my scanner, printer, external HD on a seperate extension lead that is normally switched off until I need one of them) but it looks like that's an either/or choice (I mean it will only work for one OS at a time) - and I'm wondering: how this works, especially if you need to swap over and back between the real and virtual machines.
Logged

Tom
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,183



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2012, 11:52:14 AM »

Btw since it hasn't been said in this thread yet -- a virtual machine is an absolutely essential tool these days; it lets you test software safely and without polluting your real machine.
Logged
Renegade
Charter Member
***
Posts: 10,889



Tell me something you don't know...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2012, 12:27:38 PM »

Btw since it hasn't been said in this thread yet -- a virtual machine is an absolutely essential tool these days; it lets you test software safely and without polluting your real machine.

+1

I didn't think that needed to be said. smiley
Logged

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
cyberdiva
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 906


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2012, 04:58:20 PM »

Btw since it hasn't been said in this thread yet -- a virtual machine is an absolutely essential tool these days; it lets you test software safely and without polluting your real machine.
At the risk of appearing as dumb as I really am, I need to ask how this works.  If I install a program on a virtual machine and the program turns out to be malware that starts doing harm when you install it, how am I better protected if this happens on a virtual machine rather than on my real machine?  Obviously just getting rid of the malware program isn't enough.  Do I have to remove the virtual machine?  Is that what will solve the problem?  And does that mean that every time I encounter a problem, I have to trash the virtual machine and start over again?
Logged
skwire
Charter Member
***
Posts: 4,021



Another Coding Snack request? Om nom nom...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2012, 05:03:10 PM »

1) Create the VM.
2) Boot the VM and create snapshot.
3) Install and test chosen piece of software in the VM.
4) Shut down the VM.
5) Revert to previous snapshot, if necessary.

Honestly, the best way to learn about virutal machines is to actually create one.  Once you see a VM in action, things instantly become clear.
Logged

Renegade
Charter Member
***
Posts: 10,889



Tell me something you don't know...

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2012, 11:24:57 PM »

Btw since it hasn't been said in this thread yet -- a virtual machine is an absolutely essential tool these days; it lets you test software safely and without polluting your real machine.
At the risk of appearing as dumb as I really am, I need to ask how this works.  If I install a program on a virtual machine and the program turns out to be malware that starts doing harm when you install it, how am I better protected if this happens on a virtual machine rather than on my real machine?  Obviously just getting rid of the malware program isn't enough.  Do I have to remove the virtual machine?  Is that what will solve the problem?  And does that mean that every time I encounter a problem, I have to trash the virtual machine and start over again?

This is one of the PRIMARY reasons for using a VM. People PURPOSEFULLY install malware in VMs to study it. When you're done, you just delete the VM and the malware is gone with it. (It's not that simple, but just about. You still need to make sure that your network is protected if you are testing worms that reach out to find vulnerable machines - etc. etc.) 

Well, you should create a clean copy of your VMs to store, then when you need to use a VM, copy it before you use it. This guarantees that you won't accidentally monkey everything up by forgetting to take a snapshot or something. Also, if you can't take snapshots, then you MUST copy the files.

I keep a folder called "originals" in my VMs folder. It takes up a bit more storage, but it's not really all that much. And it's just a heck of a lot safer, especially when you've gone through the trouble of actually setting up the VM yourself instead of just downloading a ready-to-go VM.

Logged

Slow Down Music - Where I commit thought crimes...

Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong. - John Diefenbaker
cyberdiva
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 906


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2012, 08:05:15 AM »

Thanks VERY much, Skwire and Renegade, for your helpful responses.  I've got one more dumb question (well, actually I have an almost infinite store, but....): is a "snapshot" the same as an "image" such as those made by Macrium Reflect, Acronis, etc.?
Logged
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,183



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2012, 08:11:56 AM »

A snapshot is functionally equivelent to doing a drive image, with some advantages:
  • Snapshots are managed and executed by the virtual machine software so it is really just a menu click away and could not be easier to use, and requires no extra 3rd party software installation -- snapshot making and restoring are built into the virtual machine software.
  • Snapshots are saved and restored VERY quickly (maybe 10 seconds or so).
« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 08:22:39 AM by mouser » Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Next   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.057s | Server load: 0.01 ]