[CentOS] VMWare vs. KVM - recommendations?

MHR mhullrich at gmail.com
Tue Mar 30 03:01:24 UTC 2010

Okay, I'm being noisy today.

I have VMWare Server 1.0.8 installed on my CentOS desktop, and it runs
my XP and CentOS guests just fine, though I don't use them much.

I'm considering moving to either VMWare Server 2.0 or switching to KVM
instead, mainly because VMWS 1 is now obsolete and also because its
limitations on video configurations is really annoying - I have a 22"
1680x1050 LCD monitor, hoping to upgrade sometime in the
not-too-distant future to a 23 or 24" display with full HD
(1920x1080), but VMWS 1 does not support any wide-screen
configurations at all.  I tend to use on-screen real estate to maximum
benefit, and the 1152x864 maximum useful size I have now is just too
small for me, so I'm thinking maybe it's time to upgrade to something

I've seen some of the horror stories about problems with VMWare 2.0,
which is not at all encouraging, and I've taken a look at the Red Hat
Virtualization guides (the 5.4 one that's online in html only) and
also a PDF version for 5.2 that I found somewhere, and it _looks_
complicated.  (One of the main benefits of VMWare Server that I really
liked was that it is fairly easy to use and relatively low
maintenance, if it works, and 1.0.8 works just fine, except for the
screen issue.)  OTOH, the built-in nature of KVM is really appealing,
and if it works as well as other features of CentOS/RH/Linux, it would
be nice to be able to avoid the separate upgrade and
re-build-the-drivers-vmware-config.pl annoyance every time a new
kernel comes along.  I'm a big fan of well-integrated software,
especially in this area (virtualization).

One question I had that overrides most other considerations is how to
transfer my existing XP VM over to whichever new underlying system I
choose - is that even possible, or do I have to go through all the
reinstallation pain yet another time?  If I have to go that route,
I'll probably opt for kvm and take that plunge so I can do it once and
never again (ok, that was not supposed to be funny... :-).


Thanks, as always.

Mark Hull-Richter
Expert CentOS/Linux C/shell Software Developer
Registered Linux User #472807
- sign up at http://counter.li.org/

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