National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


Recommended: VMplayer for your virtual machine appliances

I've been trying out virtual macine software that allows me to run Linux distributions on a Windows PC. I discovered that Sun VirtualBox, which was the first one I tried, does not currently support the 64-bit edition of Windows even though the download page indicates it does. The latest release is version 3.1.6. build 59338, which appeared on March 25, 02010. Sun VirtualBox is open source and Oracle, which now owns Sun Microsystems, continues to maintain it. Versions prior to 3.1.6 may have worked on a 64-bit Windows PC.

As an alternative to Sun VirtualBox for those of you faced with the challenge of finding 64-bit VM software, I can recommend the free VMplayer from VMware. While it is not open source, it is a well-supported application and, according to the Web site, there are "over 200 supported operating systems including Windows 7, Chrome OS, Ubuntu 9.04, and many other versions of Windows, Linux, and more." VMware also offers a free Web browser virtual machine application called VMware Server. VMware Server offers many more options for setting up a virtual machine but in my one attempt to get one running, I had no luck. Also, you can only install EITHER VMware Player or VMware Server on a single Windows PC. The installation wizards for both will detect the other.

VMware's Virtual Appliances Marketplace is a good place to start with finding VMware compatible virtual machine appliances.

If you are looking for Linux operating system VM distributions, the best place to begin is with the Linhost VMware Repository.

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