Can I install Linux/VMWare & not alienate my family?

I want to dive in to Linux and virtualization. I am considering buying a new desktop (for home) and loading it up with memory, and then converting my existing PC’s to “thin clients”. Would the family’s interaction with such a setup be relatively simply?

Here are the steps I am planning:

  1. Buy new desktop.
  2. Re-partition/format disk as necessary to support expected VM’s and clear the factory install.
  3. Install openSUSE.
  4. Install VMware Workstation (for Linux).
  5. Reinstall Windows 7 as a VM (for the family).
  6. Create a Linux VM (for myself).
  7. Create various VM’s (to host a webserver & database).
  8. Re-partition/format disks of existing PC’s and install openSUSE KDE.
  9. Connect from existing PC’s using rdesktop to windows VM hosted above.
  10. Install and manage Windows applications only on the one VM instance.

one view:


Are you sure it’s your family, not your company?

At work my team supports applications on MVS, UNIX (AIX), and Windows. Some of the (database) appliances we own are hosted on Linux, but we don’t have to interact with the OS. Other teams are transitioning from AIX to Linux, and I expect we will soon enough. Unfortunately we weren’t included in the last round of end-of-life replacements.

Would like to get some Linux experience at home and begin my personal transition away from MS.


see my reference above…think about it…if it seems too slow for
you then, just make a good backup and dive in…

but, some things to remember, there is a lot of misinformation
available…i can’t count the number of folks who come here and
complain after trying to load openSUSE 11.x with KDE4 on an old laptop
that was just strong enough for M$-ME…

dive in, read the documentation, ask questions…


Very apropos.

Over the weekend I took my first (painful) step. I did get openSuse Linux installed side by side with Windows on the old laptop, but until I get the (wireless) networking figured out I won’t be able to make primary, “full-time” use of Linux or (easily?) extend it. But I have declared victory for now - I can get to the command line - and will plan more battles.

stevehager1970 wrote:
> Very apropos.

you probably are gonna need this soon (some links may have aged out):

Generic Linux:


official startup guide:
new guy info/reading list:
more howtos:
Swerdna’s howtos:
Partitioning/Install Guide:
support data base:
forum search:
wiki search:

and on YOUR machine (if you installed it):

it goes on and on and on…no need to buy a big book, unless it is
the right big book…a bunch of old guys told me to buy one of these:

“Unix System Administration”, Nemeth et al., ISBN: 0130206016.

and i will, when i run out of the FREE books on the web…


One thing that I encountered, which you might want to consider is this:

I have openSUSE as the host and Windows 7 as the guest in VirtualBox 3.0.8. There seems to be a common bug or issue where if you have VBox shares set up for Windows 7 guest to use Linux directories, you cannot download into or save new files directly into those shares. You have to download/save the file elsewhere on windows and then copy it into the share directory.

This might be a VirtualBox bug for Windows 7 guests. I just wanted to make you aware before you move full speed ahead.

VirtualBox 3.0.10 has just been released, and according to the changelog, this issue that I described above is supposedly fixed.

I would download vmware ESXi ; it is free and will enable all sorts of multi OS configs.