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VMware Server – Which is a Best Host Operating System

by Roger Lund

I repied this to this VMware Communities post titled : Which is a Best Host Operating System

Site : http://communities.vmware.com/message/1121964

The OP asked this question.

Hi everybody and greetings.
I need this answer from all you power users out here, and I need a definite answer and i do not want this to be an open ended debate.

I have a Pentium Dual Core Computer with 3 Gigs of RAM running Windows XP (SP3) and a dual boot with Linux (Debian and Fedora Core 10)

2 SATA Hard Drives 320 GB Each

I intend to run a few virtual guest operating systems using VMWARE Work Station latest version such as Solaris, Open Solaris, Win2K3. The question and doubt that i have in mind is —

Which is a good HOST Operating System to run these guests- WINDOWS XP or LINUX.

Please give me your answer, your advice is asked for.

Thanks & Regards

and even though I wasn’t the 1st to answer, I did with the following rant, lol.

Reply 2. Re: Which is a Best Host Operating System Dec 11, 2008 6:57 AM
Linux will allow you to run * 5 times or more guests on the system.

I see no reason to Use anything but Linux unless you need to use the host for other things that just a VMware Host.

I have had good results on Suse Enterprise and VMware Server

and I went on

My point is, load windows XP, and VMware Server, and see how many identical VMware VM Guests you can run.

I could run 2 or 3.

On the same system, with SLES 10.2 , I can run 7 – 10.

These were windows xp guests.

EDIT: The largest reason is memory management, Windows XP as a host uses most of the memory for it’s self, while SLES only uses what it needs.

Additionally, Windows in a 32 bit form only supports 4 gigs of memory or less , while SLES or Linux can use / Address more memory on a 32 bit system.

Allowing you to put large amounts of memory in a non – 64 bit system.

Plus windows XP does not allow you to load balance / Bond network connections, or allow you to use software raid without a raid controller, or thrid party software.

And lets not get into how Windows updates or system updates would effect Guests , while you can do updates on Linux with no effects like rebooting.

and on

Here is what I did, I took a P 4 2.4, put three hard drives, and three gig’s of memory in it.

I loaded SLES 10.2 on it, installed it to one of the three drives.

Then I setup the two others drives with a raid 1 software raid configuration.

Loaded VMware 1.07.

Setup six windows xp guests with 256 memory each, loaded a software application in each,and setup remote desktop.

Tested performance in each Guest VM, and found it to be the same as the same computer with only windows xp on it.

The same test with Windows XP as the host, found my self locking up the host after three guest.

Just my findings.

Anyone who wants to discuss this, please feel welcome to on the blog.

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