Saturday, May 5, 2012

Virtualization: Multiple processors in VMware and VirtualBox

In my quest for a sleep/resume-resistant way to run OpenVMS/Alpha, I tried installing FreeAXP in a virtual machine (guest) running Windows XP in a Vista host (my laptop), using both VirtualBox and VMware Player. Both failed, each for a different reason, but that's a different story.

FreeAXP will only run on a machine that has at least two processors (or cores). So, I went into VirtualBox's settings for the guest and found the "slider" for adding processors. It was grayed out. On the net, I read that this means the host does not support hardware virtualization (VT-x/AMD-v). So, until I get a new laptop with a better CPU, VirtualBox is out.

Next I tried VMware Player. Here, I am allowed to create a VM that has two processors (cores). In the Windows XP guest, the processor is identified (My Computer->Properties) as the exact same one the host is running.

Unfortunately for me, however, VMware Player suffers from another problem. When I sleep/resume the laptop, the guest loses network connectivity, and there's no way to get it back except rebooting the host. Since rebooting is exactly what I'm trying to avoid, this is "game over".

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