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Thread: VMWare, XP and Linux

  1. #1
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    VMWare, XP and Linux

    Scenario is like this:

    I would like to configure my PC for two separate displays. The main display would be for the driver, using Navigation etc. Second display would be for passengers (kids and other brats), they could watch clips etc. Both displays has mouses, other uses TV-OUT for video ingress.

    The main points are that there must be separate cursors for each screen. Neither of them can't distract eachother. Whatever the driver does, it wont affect the passenger - and vice versa of course.

    What if I make the other one a virtual PC, tha runs its own OS and peripherals? That at least pops up some questions:

    - Should I use VMWare, it is free at least? What would be the best combo; running Linux on the bottom and VMWare on top of that? The driver needs XP, since the navigation softwares are better for Windows. For the passenger a light linux would do. What VMWare should I use, Server, player or workstation?

    - I have two physical mouses attached, can I set them so that the other (Virtual) OS uses the other and the other uses other? What about the displays, should I attach second VGA on to it, or does VMWare know how to set TV-OUT as the primary and only display for the other system?

    - Thinking of using Jetways mobo, any issues with HW? Has anyone ran a VMWare on these ITX-mobos? Will it bee too much for the HW to run a lite Linux and on topf that, another light Linux and an XP (embedded thou)?

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Freeway Creator oeri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikkoata View Post
    The main points are that there must be separate cursors for each screen. Neither of them can't distract eachother. Whatever the driver does, it wont affect the passenger - and vice versa of course.

    What if I make the other one a virtual PC, tha runs its own OS and peripherals? That at least pops up some questions:

    - Should I use VMWare, it is free at least? What would be the best combo; running Linux on the bottom and VMWare on top of that? The driver needs XP, since the navigation softwares are better for Windows. For the passenger a light linux would do. What VMWare should I use, Server, player or workstation?
    VMware is not a good idea. It runs a lot slower, and it still doesn't solve the mouse cursor problem. You will especially run into problems trying to use a GPS through VMware.

    A quick Google search turned up this program for using multiple cursors: http://cpnmouse.sourceforge.net/

    - I have two physical mouses attached, can I set them so that the other (Virtual) OS uses the other and the other uses other? What about the displays, should I attach second VGA on to it, or does VMWare know how to set TV-OUT as the primary and only display for the other system?
    VMware won't know how to use your TV-OUT, because your virtual XP will use a separate video driver for VMware.

    Will it bee too much for the HW to run a lite Linux and on topf that, another light Linux and an XP (embedded thou)?
    Yes.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate gork's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: I am a VMware expert.

    Quote Originally Posted by oeri View Post
    VMware is not a good idea. It runs a lot slower, and it still doesn't solve the mouse cursor problem. You will especially run into problems trying to use a GPS through VMware.
    Depending on your hardware, this may or may not be true. If you're running a Via CPU you probably will not enjoy the experience. If you're running a Pentium M or something equally fast, you'll probalby have fine performance. Don't expect to play video or do DirectX or OpenGL in the VMware session though -- Workstation 5.5 and VMware player have experimental support for DirectX acceleration, but it is difficult to set up and the performance will probably not impress you. Sound inside the VM is similarly kind of a rough area -- it works fine but I wouldn't want to rely on it for my frontend.

    As for the GPS, VMware actually has excellent serial port support for VM's, and pretty fair USB support too. If someone had trouble with it, I doubt it's something a configuration couldn't fix. If using a USB gps, one might achieve better results using linux to do the USB<->serial part and passing the serial port through to the VM.

    A quick Google search turned up this program for using multiple cursors: http://cpnmouse.sourceforge.net/
    Well this is a windows app, so it's slightly irrelevant to this discussion. There is no problem doing what you suggest in Linux at all. Just configure and run two X sessions. Each can use seperate pointing devices and through some trickery you can make them use seperate USB keyboards as well -- it's not very difficult and there are some tutorials out there on doing it. The key is that you would have to have two seperate video cards. For various reasons I won't delve into, a single video card capable of running two screens cannot be addressed by two independent X sessions.


    VMware won't know how to use your TV-OUT, because your virtual XP will use a separate video driver for VMware.
    VMWare output video through the device your X server uses be it VGA, TV-Out, VNC, whatever --

    Will it bee too much for the HW to run a lite Linux and on topf that, another light Linux and an XP (embedded thou)?
    Yes.
    Absolutely not. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of RAM and a decent CPU.

    Another option here is to try Xen on a processor with VT support (Needed to run windows in xen). It's free and you can give the windows domU direct access to pci devices such as a USB controller, video card, and sound card. Note that you need to have a seperate pci device for the dom0 linux and the domU windows -- they can't share access to a single device. I should also mention that this configuration will be extremely hard to set up, even though it is entirely possible.
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  4. #4
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    Okey, many thanks for the replies. First I will try to get along with XP and cpnmouse, see if that leads into something. Windows in my system is quite mandatory, cause there seems not to bee decent Navigation softwares for Linux, like Navigon NCK or similar. Well decent and decent, but Finnish maps and so on.

    About the HW, I though about the JetWays J2F-Mobo, with 1,5GHz C7. Navi tends to be bit tough for HW already, but on the other hand, the linux hand side won't need much resources, if we stay away from divx-clips, and stick with eg. flash games and so on. Two video cards seems not to be a problem either, since there is VGA daughter card (soon) available for Jetway. For RAM, maybe 512MB is not enough?

    The last gork's section did not open to me at all, Xens and everything, gotta google some..

    I think the only way is to try and work hard - nevermind the fact that I've never played with VMware..

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