Why use a virtual machine?

Ignazio Palmisano ignazio_io at yahoo.it
Sun Nov 30 00:29:01 GMT 2008

Steven Vollom wrote:
> I have been reading for a couple of hours trying to understand the 
> function of a virtual machine, and how to make it work.  I even 
> installed VirtualBox, but can't get it working yet.
> When you operate using a virtual system, does it function the same as 
> using the program, like Win XP?

It works like a separate computer. For programs running in the virtual 
machine (most of them at least), it's just like being run on a real system

> When operating it, can you make things function, like play a .bin movie 
> that won't play in Hardy?

Yes, if the operating system and/or the player installed in it support it

> Do you have to purchase a copy of Windows XP to install in the 
> VirtualMachine or how do you get it in your computer?  I am not willing 
> to pay any more money to Microsoft; I have been abused by them.  
> Nonetheless, there are things that I cannot do, because of not having XP 
> anymore.

To legally use windows on a virtual machine, you need a license for it. 
What do you mean "not having XP any more"? Did you have it installed on 
some computer, and was it preinstalled (a OEM version) or did you have a 
separate copy you installed? The preinstalled OEM copies usually cannot 
be used on any other hardware, so no virtual machine as well, but if you 
had a regular copy you can use it.

> These questions are on the front side of my interest in Virtual Box.  
> None are answered in my first two hours of study.  At least they were 
> not explained in a way I could understand.  It seems like the answers I 
> want are  assumed by the author.  I am even reading about advanced 
> benefits and alternative uses, and I still do not know if what I want is 
> available.

What have you tried that didn't work? Have you tried creating virtual 
machines and installing operating systems into them?

> There are so many ways I am lacking in my understanding of the operation 
> of a Linux system, I don't want to waste my study time on a subject that 
> doesn't serve a need.  It looks like I could read for days without my 
> question being addressed, if ever.
> Additionally, if you are required to purchase a copy of XP to install 
> into the virtual machine, what is the advantage of that over a dual boot 
> system that has XP as an alternate boot?  

:) because you don't need a reboot to use a windows program, if you need 
to... or you can run an operating system you don't normally use to 
assist remotely someone else who's using it (I've been doing that on the 
phone like: do this, what do you see? /that and that./ - replicate the 
steps on my side - ok now you should see this, does it work? /yes/... 
and so forth. Time consuming but more effective than guessing or flying 
to the other end of the cable to fix the problem myself )

Before I will ever purchase
> another Microsoft product, I will go without, rather than purchase from 
> them.  TIA

:D ok so you don't have use for windows on your virtual machine. Still 
you can try changing all possible settings in a virtual machine instead 
of on your real system, so you can learn new things without risking your 
system and your data. If that doesn't happen very often, then you may 
really not have much use for virtual machines at all :) your call on that.

More information about the kubuntu-users mailing list