Re: Windows 95, 98 or XP on Linux - Questions about Virtual Machines

From: David Konerding (dek_at_compbio.berkeley.edu)
Date: 01/17/04


Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 15:23:22 +0000 (UTC)

In article <40094230.103459126@news.blueyonder.co.uk>, Mark Hobley wrote:
> I have heard that it is possible to run a virtual machine on Linux,
> which enables the running of Windows 95 or Windows 98.
>
> I think this is achievable using a product called "VMWARE".
>
> I would like to run Windows 98 or possibly Windows XP in a virtual
> machine on my Linux PC.
>
> I have in the past seen Windows 95 running on an Apple Mac using
> "Virtual PC"
>
> I want to hear from anyone who has experience of such an application
> on Linux.
>
> I want to know specifically, if all hardware operates 100%.
>
> I am interested in running some Windows 3d games, such as Battlefield
> 1942, Call of Duty and Medal of Honour.
>
> Does the 3d components of the video card work under a virtual machine
> ?
>
> Does the virtual machine recognize the original copy protected CDROMs
> that these games run on ? (Or do I need to apply no-cd patches to the
> games ?)
>
> What choice of virtual machine packages do I have ?
>
> Are any of them open source ?
>
> I would like to hear from anyone who has any experience of this.
>
> Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Here's my advice. Run Windows XP as your host operating system, then run Linux in a VMware
inside it, rather than the other way around. That way you keep all the nice 3D hardware and high-end audio
capabilities, games, etc, and still have a linux box around when you need to get real work done.
Since (at least in my experience) XP exercies (and requires) the high-end 3D and audio features much more
frequently than with Linux this is a very reasonable solution (I use it on my desktop at home and at work).
I don't have any problem with my Windows XP stability.

In specific answers to your questions above:

No, not all hardware operates 100%. Instead, VMware intercepts all I/Os by the guested OS to its
hardware, and emulates the results on the host hardware. This does not expose, for example, all the 3d feetures
of your nvidia card on the host to the guest. VMware's got a special X windows driver that supports
their X server with very high performance, but this doesn't include any hardware graphics, especially
DirectX or OpenGL, just fast region blits, so far as I can tell (DMA).

Amazingly, recent versions of VMware even include sound support. I've been surprised starting up KNOPPIX
in a VMware guest box, and hear sounds coming out of my speakers!

I believe your original CDs will work even if you ran windows inside linux, but I can't verify this.
If the copy protection required a feature in the host CDROM drive, but the required feature is not provided
by the emulated/virtualized CDROM drive in the host, then it might not work. yet another argument
for running VMware on windows, rather than the other way around. What exactly do you mean
by copy protected, anyway- are people copy protecting CDs still?