WinXP virtualized in VMWare

Well, I’ve been toying with the idea of completely getting rid of my huge windows partition so as to have more room for Linux. However, I will still occasionally need Windows, mostly for the occasional school program that refuses to run in Wine. That is why just Wine won’t cut it.

So, I decided to set up an XP virtual machine. It’s not my first, having experimented with vms the other way around (Ubuntu in XP), also using VMWare.

I got VMWare Server by just a simple ‘sudo apt-get install vmware-server’.

Then, I set up a 15GB virtual hard drive on my external to save space on my internal for now. Speed and portability will likely change that when I get aroound to starting from scratch.

I won’t go through installing XP. it isn’t hard, just follow the prompts. If you really need one, google for xp install tutorial. VMWare doesn’t do too bad with their obvious ‘Create a new Virtual Machine’ simple stuff.

Now, I got it running, but it was in an 800×600 window. Useful, but pointless for most things. Before you d this, be sure to install VMWare Tools in the VM menu. It enables way better mouse and graphics performance, including dynamic resizing of the desktop.

I ideally wanted it fullscreen on one of my virtual desktops, that way I could use it as a dedicated XP Desktop. Running VMWare fullscreen didn’t work, an error was thrown up that prevented it. After a bit of forum searching, I found that Enabling Autofit to Guest and Autofit to Window in the View menu would make it fit the window well. The last step was to turn off all of the toolbars possible, and enable Quick-Switch mode. This is easily done by pressing F11. Now, the desktop should be just XP, exactly as it should be. To switch desktops, I just move to the edge, where it it just off the window, and launch into whateverdesktop-switching way i want, be it a wall, the Cube, laid out flat…

The performance is great. I have seen 0 performance effects, even though I’m running a second OS. I set the RAM to 512mb for a bit speedier performance.

I’m experimenting with ways to make it always on top, as when you switch desktops to it, the panels tend to stick around on top. Clicking the edge of the window with the mouse will fix it, or F11 twice. It is a bit annoying though. I’ll post any updates regarding this. a quick fox might be to manually set it to always on top for now in the window menu.

The best part is that all of my desktop effects, Compiz, work fine, like it isn’t even there. If games run on it i will be amazingly happy. an experiment for another day, however.

I’m trying to take a screenshot of the Compiz Cube. I’m not sure if I can, however…

Well, a screenshot of the desktop will suffice for now. This was taken running on my dektop. It’s completely integrated. My mouse and keyboard treat it like part of my regular desktops.

I’ll post more tomorrow. It’s bedtime right now.


How I got that XP to be so slim is another post too…


3 Responses

  1. Which school programs don’t work in Wine?
    Let us know so we can fix ’em.

  2. I have few right now. OneNote is occasionally needed, more i’ll inevitably need in my next 6+ years of school…

    Wine is good for many, but not all.

  3. […] of my Windows needs will be handles by my virtual machine, so I’m okay with deleting that partition.It’s a bit of a leap, but I’m willing […]

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