Virtual Box on Linux....

By boxfiddler Moderator ·
I need to set up a virtual machine to run Windows XP and Office 07 on my Ubuntu 7.10 box. Box has 1g RAM and AMD 64 2800+ processor.

While running Virtual Box I have no plan to be switching back and forth between Ubuntu on 1 desktop and XP on the other.

I would like to configure Virtual Box to use 768m RAM while running it, but have no clue how much RAM Ubuntu will need in the background. Is this too much RAM to configure Virtual Box to use for this purpose?


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All Answers

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Oh Techman! Jaqui!

by Tig2 In reply to Virtual Box on Linux....

You guys know more about this than I do. Help the nice lady out!

Thanks, guys!

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TiggerTwo, you are a doll! :)

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Oh Techman! Jaqui!

gotta give a thumb Tigger... You garnered me some oh so helpful attention! Thanks oodles.

edit to add comments.

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Hey Boxfiddler!

by Tig2 In reply to TiggerTwo, you are a doll ...

Also send a link to this thread to JD and Neon Samuri. They both have experience here.

JD is easy. Just sing him a showtune...

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me and vms?

by Jaqui In reply to Oh Techman! Jaqui!

don't mix.
I really don't see the need to have two operating systems on a single bit of hardware, two systems to crash if any hardware fails.

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Well, I'd prefer not to mess with it, but...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to me and vms?

I need the darn MS stuff for work. And at the price of gas, I'll certainly work from home as much as I can.
Thankfully, Linux lets me do just that.

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Some thoughts and comments

by TechExec2 In reply to Virtual Box on Linux....

I run Windows XP in a VMWare guest on a Kubuntu host. While I don't run VirtualBox, the principles are the same. Some thoughts and comments:

** Be careful to not starve either the guest or the host of RAM. If either one starts paging virtual memory to disk, it will affect performance.

** On my own workstation, I run the Windows XP guest in VMware with 512MB. The rest (1.5GB) goes to Kubuntu where I spend most of my time. I get very snappy performance out of both, but I also have a dual-core CPU.

** Your initial idea (768MB for XP in a VM, 256MB for Ubuntu host) might starve the Ubuntu host (running X) even if you don't run any other Linux apps except VirtualBox.

** If you will spend all of your time in XP while the VM is running, you might get away with it. Try it and see. In Kubuntu, I would check memory usage with KSysGuard (similar to Windows Task Manager...if you are not familiar with KDE).

** With "just" 1GB, I would start with 512MB each for host and guest and see how it goes.

** If I were you, I would look to upgrade to 2GB. With 2GB, you would certainly have enough for both host and guest to perform well with running a "normal" set of applications in each. Many types of RAM are cheap these days (but not all). Your AMD 64 2800+ PC probably uses DDR2 RAM. DDR2 is very cheap right now:

DDR2-800 PC2 6400 2GB (2x1GB) $60! ($50 after rebate)

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

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Ok, another question...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Some thoughts and comment ...

"** Be careful to not starve either the guest or the host of RAM. If either one starts paging virtual memory to disk, it will affect performance."

While working in guest XP I will be running multiple instances of Access, Excel, or Powerpoint alongside Word. 1 instance of a program will be the answers to either homework or a quiz while the other instance/s of the same program will be corresponding student submissions. The Word doc running alongside is the assignment/quiz which I edit for evaluation purposes to send back to students.
(I hope this makes sense?)

On rare occasions, before the crash that replaced XP with Ubuntu this was a problem with the 1g ram 'all to itself'. If I run 768 to Virtual Box and it starves Ubuntu, will things crash go boom or just get slower than snail s**t and/or freeze up?

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Answers (I just saw this...sorry)

by TechExec2 In reply to Ok, another question...

I wouldn't expect a crash or a freeze unless you have some kind of hardware problem. I would only expect to see slowdowns caused by lots of virtual memory paging. They might even be "severe". On a system with solid hardware (no problems), virtual memory should work 100%, but could dramatically show everything down if more memory is needed than is backed by real memory.

Running Access, Excel, Powerpoint, and Word will eat up a relative lot of memory. With running all of that, you may need that 768 to work instead of the 512. The disk activity light will be your simplest indicator of page file thrashing.

Try to get by with your current machine (we all do that when necessary). But, I would try to migrate to a 2GB+ system when possible.

Good luck.

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Thank you TE2...

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to Answers (I just saw this. ...

No problem on response times. It's finals week at school and I have them to give and to grade, and to take.

I don't install the full Office 07 as I don't like Outlook 07. I just install the ones I use for work. But 07 is a pig, for sure.

First paycheck next semester buys a new board, processor and ram for the 'empty box'.

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Something else...

by TechExec2 In reply to Virtual Box on Linux....

The Intel/AMD CPU wars have driven AMD prices into the ground. You might also consider upgrading your AMD 64 2800+ CPU to a dual-core. You probably have the older model AMD 939-pin socket. CPUs for this socket are no longer being made and are in short supply. But, they can still be had and at really great prices:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ $80
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ $56
AMD Athlon 64 X2 3600+ $49

I don't remember for sure, but I don't think the Athlon 64 2800+ came in an AM2 socket model. But, if you happen to have the newer AM2 socket, you have a lot of upgrade options at great prices:

Just a thought...

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