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> Virtual Machine as a PE shell
Alexei
post Oct 8 2007, 11:43 PM
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I'm thinking about Virtual PC with a "saved" VM as a shell (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
So, it's gonna be like that:
- PE starts and loads drivers
- User configurates network
- Virtual PC starts in full screen mode and restores saved VM (fully functional XP or whatever you saved) (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
I already tried this approach running full XP under Virtual PC. It boots very slow, but when booted it eventually becomes faster as more modules is uploaded to the ram.
That's why I'm going to use saved image of the OS.
Of course, VMware (and, maybe QEMU) can be used as well.

I am not sure which project to choose as a base for such build.
The build should have:
- maximum hardware compatibility
- networking support
- some support to troubleshoot hardware issues
- probably, RDC client (I noticed graphics over RDC is faster then in VM window)

The major advantage is that you can run any OS with minimum restrictions. Applications' scripts become obsolete (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

There are a lot of flexibility: for ex. you can have PE on CD or DVD and your VM on USB drive, you can use undo feature if desired. You can normally run your OS on your desktop computer, copy virtual HDD to a flash drive and take it whereever you go.
Small PE (on a 80mm CD) plus flash drive would easily fit into your pocket, though, of course, you can have both PE and guest OS on the same medium.

Both VPC and VMware claim to be less then 10% slower than on a "bare metal", so it's not a big deal (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

There are many other advantages, such as having virtual HDD as a compressed file, etc.

The questions I have:
- Which WB project is the best to start with?
- Did QEMU fix the bugs that did not allow VPC and other VMs to run on Win under QEMU (for testing) ?
- I wrote a script to run Virtual PC 2004 on PE a while ago. Does anybody willing to make such scripts for VMware, etc.?
VMware on PE, not PE on VMware (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

And a bit off topic: does anybody ever heard about drivers that present DVD RW as a regular HDD?

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Alexei
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TheHive
post Oct 9 2007, 08:28 AM
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Something like MOA from sanbarrow but made for Winbuider Project.

I would be interested in this for Winbuilder.

I like the ideas on Virtual Machine as a PE shell.

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jaclaz
post Oct 9 2007, 08:57 AM
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If I may, Virtualbox could be a candidate as well, it is definitely smaller and, at least in my experience on low end machines, undoubtedly faster than Virtual PC, cannot say how it compares with VMWare as I use a very old version of it.

jaclaz
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Alexei
post Oct 9 2007, 10:41 AM
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QUOTE(jaclaz @ Oct 9 2007, 01:57 AM) *
If I may, Virtualbox could be a candidate as well, it is definitely smaller and, at least in my experience on low end machines, undoubtedly faster than Virtual PC, cannot say how it compares with VMWare as I use a very old version of it.
jaclaz

@jaclaz
Yes, Virtualbox (VB) may be a very good candidate. Unfortunately, I don't have experience with it.
It's supplied as MSI, so MSI2XML can be used to discover its installation requirements and make a script for it.
I just downloaded VB 1.5.0 and read the docs. They made some important improvemences since the last time I reviewed VB.
I especially like support for USB and physical HDD.
However I expect problems related to "COM+" they use for inter-process communications.
I'm afraid it could also be problems with networking. Particularly, I'm wondering if it's possible for Win on VB to get IP from "physical" DHCP server, etc. In another words, I want Win on WB to look and act as any physical PC on the network. Is it possible?
In addition, I want to know if VB uninstalls completely, i.e. without any traces left in the registry and in system32.
It's also interesting if VB can run on Win under QEMU (for testing reasons).
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Alexei

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Nuno Brito
post Oct 9 2007, 11:01 AM
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Virtual box is a descendent from the qemu code.

Thuun once mentioned it could be unpacked using the /x switch (if my memory doesn't fail)

I also like the idea of using Virtual Box or Qemu - freeware/open source apps are a good choice.. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/thumbup.gif)
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Alexei
post Oct 9 2007, 11:23 AM
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QUOTE(Nuno Brito @ Oct 9 2007, 04:01 AM) *
Virtual box is a descendent from the qemu code.

Thuun once mentioned it could be unpacked using the /x switch (if my memory doesn't fail)

I also like the idea of using Virtual Box or Qemu - freeware/open source apps are a good choice.. (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/thumbup.gif)

They switched to MSI (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif) But MSI2XML is free (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
I read VB forum. Networking issues do exist (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif) There are also some unfixed bugs (USB and Networking).
"Normal" networking is rather hard to setup (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif) see the last post here: http://forums.virtualbox.org/viewtopic.php?t=1787 and it requires "bridging".
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Alexei
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jaclaz
post Oct 9 2007, 11:33 AM
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QUOTE(Alexei)
In addition, I want to know if VB uninstalls completely, i.e. without any traces left in the registry and in system32.


If I remember correctly, NO, it does not (IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/sad.gif) , while troubleshooting a Registry Problem that I had, I uninstalled VirtualBox (an elder version) and later found a number of "unwanted" things, besides a few Registry Entries, I seem to remember a couple of hidden devices were left over.

I am not too sure since some time has passed, and Virtualbox had many improvements, but that would be something to check very thoroughfully.

jaclaz
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sanbarrow
post Oct 9 2007, 12:53 PM
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Alexei - I just added a VMplayer-plugin to MOA - you maybe able to translate that into winbuilder scripts ?

At the moment my impression is that VMplayer is fastest from PE - then comes Workstation, Virtual Box and slowest in my experience is Virtual PC.

Ulli
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MedEvil
post Oct 9 2007, 04:44 PM
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@Alexei
I would use a live Linux system as base and put only XP into the virtual box.
The live Linux systems, have all a way faster hardwaredetection and a better driver base as PE.

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sanbarrow
post Oct 9 2007, 07:00 PM
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QUOTE(MedEvil @ Oct 9 2007, 04:44 PM) *
@Alexei
I would use a live Linux system as base and put only XP into the virtual box.
The live Linux systems, have all a way faster hardwaredetection and a better driver base as PE.

(IMG:../forums/style_emoticons/default/cheers.gif)


Hmm - I tried VMware running Slax, Knoppix and PE.
Yes - the Linux-CDs boot faster and detect more hardware - but when they are up I wouldn't exchange a solid PE against any Linux-LiveCD.
For use with VMs PE has much better ways of handling RAM/RAMdrives than Linux.
Also Linux has no vdk.exe - which allows using vmdks in undoable mode for programs ...

About networking: a VM running under Workstation/VMplayer can use DHCP from your local LAN - it can also use hostonly(internal) virtual networking.
So far I was not able to use bridged network under Virtual Box - haven't tried hard yet ...

It is also possible - though not trivial - to run VMs from readonly media like a DVD.
With MOA it is possible to hot-plug USB-disks to a VM - I hardly ever use other USB-devices than disks so I am not sure how they will work ?
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