So, I’m currently running Windows 7, i like linux very much but i can’t give up windows programs and games. I can’t dualboot, i tried multiple times but i can’t be bothered to reboot like, ever and just end up running windows anyways.
But i finally decided what i want to do! I would like to install linux or bsd as my main os and use a vm to run all my windows stuff. As i said i like to game but i also use hardware acceleration in graphics design aplications so i would need a GPU passthrough.
I have a 4790k, gtx970, 16 gb ram and an ssd and would like to keep the performance as close to native as possible.
What distro should i use?
What virtualization software?
Is it possible to passthrough a GPU to multiple VMs running diferent OS’s(not at once)?
Can i mount encrypted partition to a VM?
How would one go about doing this?
What about a Windows licence in a VM?
Functionally, most of the main distros are relatively the same at most basic levels, particularly for consumer use. There <may> be distro-unique features in Userland, eg. managing Guests, and openSUSE does have at least this one… You can migrate VMs from one machine to another without having to do an intricate dance of “copy the MAC address from the old to the new, then delete the old”
Choice of virtualization depends entirely on <your> set of desired and required capabilities. Every virt technology is more appropriate than others for a specific use.
In general, any kind of hardware pass-through means that a specific Guest (or the HostOS) has monopolistic control and no other Guest or even the HostOS has access. For that reason, a GPU pass-through requires more than one installed GPU and the same would be required if you did any other kind of hardware pass-through.
You can store your VM disk images on HostOS encrypted partitions, because any time an encrypted partition is used, the HostOS has to de-crypt the file system. But beware of this… besides adding disk I/O overhead, if your encryption becomes faulty it can mean losing access to everything on that partition. And, remember that encrypting storage only protects data at rest and is useless when the data is being used.
MS licensing has always been unclear and has changed often over the years. Depending on the language of the moment, the Pro and Enterprise versions have permitted a second running instance (ie the HostOS and a Guest), sometimes it has allowed a cold clone (ie for live backups), at other times other permissible use… But, otherwise very rarely or never multiple actively running machines. MS has always had a problem how to reconcile virtualization and their license. If this is a problem for you, I have always recommended calling up the MS anti-piracy hotline, get someone to provide a current interpretation and then <send it to you in writing>. That’s the only way you can be absolutely protected.