Tuesday, April 20, 2004

VMware versus VirtualPC

I am using both on my Dell Inspiron 600m laptop. The copy of VirtualPC was obtained through my Microsoft Partner Pack subscription - and I've used the Mac version of the product for years. VMware is also a product I've used for a long time at Holyoke, but I just obtained a new copy through their user group program. After some experimentation with both Intel products, I have a few conclusions:

First, both VMware and VirtualPC have difficulties with the newest version (10) of Mandrake Linux - which is based on the 2.6 kernel. In my first try, I could not get VirtualPC to properly recognize either the network driver or the sound card - though it did find the emulated S3 video adapter properly. I had somewhat better luck with VMware's hardware support, but have not thus far been able to get X Windows to work. Although XFree86 does have direct VMware support, it has not worked thus far.

One difference between the two immediately - VMware has much faster disk support than VirtualPC. The comparable install of the operating system has taken less than half the time.

There have been successes: I was able to install both SuSE 9.0 and Mandrake 9.2 on both emulators, and though I was able to install the most recent Lindows (now called Linspire) on VMware boot attempts result in a kernel panic. Linspire is still 2.4 kernel-based.

More results later.

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