[CentOS] virtualization on the desktop a myth, or a reality?

Rudi Ahlers Rudi at SoftDux.com
Wed Mar 2 19:35:31 UTC 2011

On Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 7:56 PM, compdoc <compdoc at hotrodpc.com> wrote:
>>Yes, I know that I could have used KVM, VMWare
>>or VirtualBox, but I wanted to use what's included already.
> KVM is included, you just have to select it. There is a loyal following of
> Xen in the community, but I use KVM for my servers. I'm often called 'dumb'
> for even talking about KVM, but I like it. (and I'm not saying, nor have I
> ever said, that KVM is better than Xen)

Yes, I know KVM is included, but at this stage XEN is the default and
when you use the Virtual Machine Manager, it uses XEN.

>> But, using the interface is painfully slow. I opened up Firefox
>>and browsed the web a bit. The mouse cursor lagged a bit and
>>whenever I loaded a slow /large website, it seemed asif the whole
>>VM lagged behind...
>>.. BUT, I want(ed) to see if this is a reality for the average desktop
>>user, or not really (yet?) seeing as most modern PC's have far more
>>CPU & RAM resources than what is actually needed by most.
> I assume you're using VNC to connect? It can be painfully slow with some vnc
> clients, and workable for basic stuff with others.

No, I'm not using VNC. My approach was from a single, non-networked

Someone who's never played with Virtual PC's and then opens up Virtual
Machine Manager thinking it would be cool to use, wouldn't think of
using VNC or something similar.

> Using MS remote desktop to connect to a VM running Windows works pretty
> well, but not when you're trying to view anything with graphics. (like
> watching videos)

I thought, just for the fun of it, let's install Windows 2008 Small
Business Server.
Interestingly, using the same Virtual Machine Manager, the
installation wasn't as slow as with CentOS. It's almost asif it's more
optimized for Windows? I used the exact same settings for the
installation as with CentOS

> There's the SPICE protocol which supposedly handles these problems, although
> I haven't tried it yet.

Is this something you install on the PC, or does it improve network
access to the Virtual Machine?

> It would be nice if you could run your OS in a VM, then use some tablet with
> a huge screen to connect to the VM and not be able to notice a difference in
> speed. I think that's a ways off in the future, however.

That's what I had in mind as well. But, even just using a normal
monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers - as connected to a normal PC's
would be nice as well.

What I'm getting at:

Can, or will virtualization replace dual boot systems or even give one
the ability to use your Desktop PC to it's full advantage?
For example, while I'm busy rendering a 3hour 3D scene in Maya
(running in Windows 7) I want to watch some moving in Linux - but have
both run in real-time. My PC is capable of it with 2x Corei7 CPU's &
16GB RAM. - this is just an example.

Differently put, we already do this with servers. One big & fast Quad
XEON can run many client's Virtual Machines, very easily. And many of
those Virtual Machines host a few hundred websites, thus saving a lot
on rack space, electricity, etc, etc.

How difficult will it really be todo the same on a normal Desktop PC,
with what's available on CentOS ATM?

Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

Website: http://www.SoftDux.com
Technical Blog: http://Blog.SoftDux.com
Office: 087 805 9573
Cell: 082 554 7532

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