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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Albania
    Posts
    1

    Creating a high performance desktop VM hub.

    Hello everyone!
    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?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,399

    Re: Creating a high performance desktop VM hub.

    I'd go about it the other way round for now. Until W7 is EOL there is no reason not to run Linux in a VM. Furthermore, nvidia hardware is notoriously fiddly to get working and keep working with 3D hardware acceleration enabled in Fedora for example. the nvidia drivers don't track kernels properly so you get breakages.

    I've successfully run Linux through Oracle Virtualbox hosted by W7.

    Regarding your W7 licence in VM, did you buy a retail one or did it come with the machine you are currently using as an OEM licence? If OEM it will most likely not be possible to use it in VM since activation will fail and the product key will be blocked as already in use on other hardware. OEM licences are tied to specific hardware and cannot be transferred like retail licences. If the product key is on a sticker attached to your PC it is OEM.

    If you do go for Linux as the host operating system, I'd opt for a long term support distribution which has a better chance of nvidia proprietary drivers required for image editing and games working consistently.

    VM software typically uses a file on an existing drive to create a virtual HDD of it's own. as long as you have already supplied the passphrase during system startup and are logged in already to your linux desktop environment, any encrypted partition will be unlocked so there is no issue with a VM program accessing encrypted storage volumes in your machine.

    In Linux VMWare seems to be better supported than VirtualBox. There are opensource alternatives such as GNOME Boxes though. I haven't explored them much as I do use W7 as the host myself.

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