Setting up VMWare on my machine

riftrift Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi Everyone,

I'm going to be setting up VMWare on my laptop, but I wanted to first get your opinions on the optimum configuration for my hardware. My laptop has the following specs:

- Intel Centrino Duo 2.4GHz CPU
- 4 GB RAM
- 2 250GB Hard Drives
- Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit

I know that running 32-bit Windows limits the actual use of the 4GB physical RAM, so my first question is whether or not I would be better off to load Linux as my main OS, then run VMWare within Linux?

I'm not currently using the second hard drive for anything, so my second question is: would it be better from a performance standpoint if either VMWare, the virtual machines themselves or both to be on the second hard drive, separate from my other apps and data?

Any advice on this would be appreciated. Thanks.

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    You've probably got what, 3.25gb of usable memory? Are you going to use more than that? You can always try it out and see if you max it out. What are you planning on using your VMs for?

    I'd distribute the VMs as evenly as possible between your disks. The disk is clearly the bottleneck in my laptop. Are you able to put them in RAID-0? That'd save you from having to shuffle/distribute things between drives.
  • riftrift Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Dynamik,

    Thanks for the response. Yeah, I've got about 3.25GB of usable memory (according to Windows). I'm planning to use the VMs to set up an environment in order to study for my MCSE. I'm just starting out with that, and my first stop is going to be the 70-270 exam, so I need to have a VM running XP. Beyond that, I'm going to want to eventually install Windows Server 2003, and a Linux distro or two (ultimately, I want to go for my Linux+ as well). Unfortunately, hardware is very limited for me right now, so I need to go the VM route.

    I should be able to do RAID-0...that's a good idea. I may give that a shot.

    Also, in reference to having Linux as my main OS -- I brought that up originally because if I go that route, I have 64-bit versions of Linux available to me. Otherwise, I'm stuck running VMWare on a 32-bit OS. Do you think there would be a significant difference running multiple VMs on 32-bit Windows Vista vs. a 64-bit Linux distro?
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you're not going to be playing around with Exchange, SQL Server, etc., you can easily run your Server 2003 VMs with only 256MB of RAM and your XP VMs with 128MB of RAM. You're going to have to get a lot of VMs going before you max out what you have.

    Moving to a 64-bit OS will just increase the amount of available memory. I suppose you could probably tune Linux to be a bit more efficient than Windows, but I think it's going to be negligible in your case. If you want to play around with it, by all means go for it; I just don't think it's necessary. I usually work with my VMs on my laptop, which has Vista x64, a 2.5GHz Core2Duo, 4GB of RAM, and a single 7200RPM SATA-2 drive. Some specs are a tad higher, but I'm definitely envious of your ability to have two drives.
  • SieSie Posts: 1,195Member
    As Dynamik said its really going to be the disk that causes issues.

    As for the 64bit OS I not presume it will make much difference, do you intend to install may 64bit VMs?

    Vista vs Linux as the Host.
    I changed from Vista to Linux to run my VMs, this however was due to the high RAM overhead of Vista itself before running VM's ontop of it. Something daft like 30% with nothing open, now with Linux its about 10%.
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • dynamikdynamik Posts: 12,314Banned ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sie wrote:
    As for the 64bit OS I not presume it will make much difference, do you intend to install may 64bit VMs?

    As long as your CPU supports it, you can actually install 64-bit VMs in 32-bit hosts! icon_eek.gif
    Sie wrote:
    Vista vs Linux as the Host.
    I changed from Vista to Linux to run my VMs, this however was due to the high RAM overhead of Vista itself before running VM's ontop of it. Something daft like 30% with nothing open, now with Linux its about 10%.

    Keep in mind that Vista will eat up memory if it's available. It'll adjust if you load up things that need it. I'm currently "using" 3GB even though I only have Firefox, Outlook, Word, and Winamp open. I could load up 2GB worth of VMs and not have any problem (and would still have some left over).

    Check this out: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000688.html
Sign In or Register to comment.