It's been 50 years since the classic album "Bookends" was released. One of my favorite tracks on that album was "Fakin' It." Now I am aware that here are some SNF members who would describe virtualization that way - Fakin' It, Not Really Makin' It.
But I'm going to make my case for Virtual Computing nevertheless. I wouldn't have done this 5 years ago but there has been a big change in the virtualization landscape:
- Virtualization software has gotten better and better. The bugs that drove us crazy with virtual drivers have been squashed. For example, VirtualBox is multi-platform and very easy to configure. And it's free.
- Hardware now has gobs of RAM and multi-core processors are available. The whole process has been sped up to the point where it's almost seamless.
- Linux distros are far more hardware friendly. In most cases if they work in a Virtual Machine, they'll work on the rails. That wasn't the case a few years ago.
- Dual booting with Windows is getting to be more of a hassle. You can avoid the whole issue with a virtual machine.
- There are lots of distros you probably wouldn't want to run in real life (Hello Arya Linux!) But you can give them a spin in Virtual Box. If you don't like it, just delete it. No harm done.
- A rough measure of how good a job a packager is doing to polish up the distro is whether (s)he includes Guest Additions in the ISO so it runs right out of the box. The more "free software" Linux distros like Debian and Fedora require some module building to get the Guest Additions working but they provide good instructions so it isn't too bad.
- If you want to try out a geekier distro like Arch or Slackware but you are afraid of borking your system, just build a virtual machine. If you screw up, you can delete it and start over.
- Maybe there's a desktop you hated in the past - like KDE or Gnome 3. You can try them out in a virtual machine once again if you still hate them, remove the machine. it's all good.
- I believe I could now choose Linux as my only system and run Windows in VirtualBox to execute Turbo Tax or any other non-Linux app like Adobe Digital Editions. Haven't got there yet, but I could.
Edited by raymac46, 20 April 2017 - 07:19 AM.