feasibility of using virtualbox on Intrepid laptop vs dual boot

Asked by Chuck

My plan: I will start with a fresh, full install of Ubuntu Intrepid on an IBM T40 with 1 gig mem and then install Virtualbox into Intrepid, then winxp in the Virtualbox.

 I would like to hear a few comments about the idea of re-doing my laptop set up to use Virtualbox from within Intrepid to allow winxp to run. There is a program (MediaMonkey) I'd like to use that is winxp, but I prefer to stay within the Ubuntu system. Virtualbox seems to offer these advantages to use a winxp program.

I am not very knowledgeable using terminal, but I can copy-paste if instruction are given. I do not want to complicate my system, rather want to simplify it, especially the ability to access the few winxp-based programs I want to use. I don't mind trying either. It might be fun, but you all have been very helpful in the past so tell me what you think.

Questions: Is this option realistic, workable to achieve my goal of accessing a winxp program(MediaMonkey, primarily) or should I just stay with my dual boot? Any comments on Virtualbox or other suggestions. and thank you

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Best Huygens (huygens-25) said :

It is not a bad idea :-) However, if you plan on using VirtualBox for just running one Windows XP application, you might not have enough memory with 1GB (depending on how many programs you will have running in parallel on Ubuntu).
I haven't the time right now, but I will try to look later today about other solutions which would limit the memory usage, and give you the flexibility to have your XP app running inside Ubuntu (and with a nice GUI ;-) ).

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Chuck (chux-industryinet) said :

Thanx, I'll study this some more and wait for more info.

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ahowell (alan-howell) said :

It works ok for me with only 1G of memory. I've set XP to use only 256 megs of memory.
I use it for itunes mostly.

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Huygens (huygens-25) said :

The problem you are going to have with VirtualBox (and possibly others) is memory. As you have 1GB, you will have to share this between Windows and Linux. I would not recommend giving less than 512MB (but perhaps someone could have more experience than I here) for Windows. Which leaves Ubuntu with only 512MB left (if Windows uses everything). You should notice that using Ubuntu with only 512MB is really confortable as long as you are not going to modify huge photographs at the same time ;-)

You might have other options than VirtualBox, here they are:
  - Win4Lin (http://www.vbridges.com/vbdownload/dllinux.php?reltype=ga and check this review http://www.linux.com/feature/139471), it could be that this application is not free, but you get a special price if you are an Ubuntu user: http://win4lin.net/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=32
  - Wine (it is in the Ubuntu repositories), MediaMonkey is supported (gold, so "Applications that work flawlessly with some special configuration"): http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=15795
  - CrossOver: it is a commercial version of Wine, and they have the following information about MediaMonkey support: http://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/browse/name/?app_id=2477 (check the "Tips and tricks" tab also)

After, there would be VmWare Workstation that has the nice feature to integrate your Windows application directly into your desktop, so it seems that the Windows application is like a native Ubuntu one. But the price tag is high: 189 US$ Though you could try the VmWare Server edition which is free, but does not feature the desktop integration feature: http://vmware.com/products/server/