Desktop Virtualization Revisited Part Two: Microsoft’s Virtual PC

Small, simple, stable and priced right: Is Microsoft's Virtual PC a good introduction to the world of virtualization and a great way to pull Linux into a Windows environment?

Microsoft’s foray into desktop-level virtualization came to them via Virtual PC’s purchase from Connectix in 2003. Since that time, Microsoft has made significant improvements to the product but dropped support for Mac OS as a guest and host operating system (OS). Virtual PC now includes support for Windows Vista as a host OS and as a guest. The latest version is Virtual PC 2007 SP1.

Virtual PC is a free download from the Virtual PC site. It is a small (~37MB) download and installs easily to your PC. The filename is simply, setup.exe but I suggest that you change it to something more descriptive (virtualpc_2007_sp1_setup.exe, for example) in case you need to reinstall later. Installing Virtual PC is easy—launch the installer, click through the install wizard and you are ready to setup your first virtual machine.

Read Part One of this series: Sun’s xVM VirtualBox.

Virtual PC Essentials

Once you’ve downloaded and installed Virtual PC, you have very few options in the small and simplistic Virtual PC Console (See Figure 1). You have the option to create a new virtual machine via the New Virtual Machine Wizard, create a new virtual hard disk using the Virtual Disk Wizard or setting some generic global options for all virtual machines under Options.

The vanilla Virtual PC Console
The vanilla Virtual PC Console

Virtual PC offers the following global options: Restore VMs when starting Virtual PC, Performance, Hardware Virtualization, Resolution, Sound, Messages, Hot Keys, Mouse Capture, Security, and Language.

For this Desktop-level Virtualization series I’m using a Windows computer (Windows XP) as the host with Linux guests. I’ve selected Debian 5.0 running XFCE for the standard Linux guest VM.

Virtual PC Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Easy to Install and Use
  • Small Footprint
  • Free
  • Excellent Support for Windows Guests
  • Supports a Variety of Guest OSs
  • Actively Developed
  • Windows Vista Support
  • Hardware Virtualization


  • Windows Only Host
  • Limited Linux Support
  • Emulation Software
  • No VM Cross-Compatibility

Setup a New VM

To setup a new VM in Virtual PC, click the New button or select File->New Virtual Machine Wizard to launch the New Virtual Machine Wizard. Click Next on the Welcome screen. You’re prompted to select from three options: Create a virtual machine, Use default settings to create a virtual machine and add an existing virtual machine. If this is your first time to use Virtual PC, I suggest that you select Create a virtual machine and click Next to continue. Select a location and name your new virtual machine.

This step creates a file with extension .vmc that defines your new VM. Click Next. Select your operating system from the dropdown list—for Linux, you’ll choose Other and click Next. Select the amount of memory you want to allocate to the new VM by either accepting the default (128MB) or by selecting Adjusting the RAM. If you select, adjusting the RAM, a slider appears for you to choose the amount you’d like to use. Click Next to continue.

You’re now at the Virtual Hard Disk Options screen where you’ll select an existing virtual hard disk or create a new one. Select A new virtual hard disk and click Next. This screen prompts you for a name, location and size for your new virtual hard disk. Make your selections and click Next and Finish. Your new VM is defined and added to the virtual machine inventory in the Virtual PC Console. See Figure 2.

The virtual machine inventory in the Virtual PC Console
The virtual machine inventory in the Virtual PC Console

Next: Install Some Linux

Comments on "Desktop Virtualization Revisited Part Two: Microsoft’s Virtual PC"

to textbooks, as I found this paragraph at this site.

I really liked your article post.Really looking forward to read more. Cool.

Say, you got a nice blog article.Thanks Again. Great.

There as definately a lot to find out about this issue. I like all of the points you have made.

I really liked your post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

You have mentioned very interesting details ! ps nice web site. I didn at attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying that I approved of it. by Mark Twain.

Im obliged for the blog.Thanks Again.

You made some nice points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most guys will agree with your website.

A big thank you for your article.Really thank you! Fantastic.

I think other website proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and excellent user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article. Keep writing.

Really enjoyed this article.Really thank you!

Designed assumes which the ?quality? of your energy http://www.shoesdealers.co.uk varies pc New Gucci Bags Cheap number that ?governs? it,www.shoesdealers.co.uk, and on the principal Variety of any individual. As reported by the Nine Stars,New Gucci Bags Cheap, so that they can achieve success in anything found . do things when nature allows us to.

  For that matter, some studied cardio,Givenchy Bags Givenchy Bags Women Women, learning by errors all day their unique manifesting failures Women’s Moncler Coats too.  To provide an example you might have heard the rags to riches story of Joe Vitale who has some of the Law of Attraction greats.Entertainment Articles | March 31, 2006 Classe

desafiando más su capacidad sea más creativo inte Chaquetas Adidas Hombre rior! Con mucho,Chaquetas Adidas Hombre, el más fértil e imaginativo sistema un camisetas de futbol nba barata a cama que tiene la capacidad de singularmente señalar el sujetos por ahí y nunca mango factores de estrés adicionales! Quiénes simple tarea de como un hecho puede converti

No estoy realmente cuan Pandora Pulsera do digo que yo Creo Mad Zapatos Nike Nike Jordan Originals Men es uno de los thebest series de televisión en los EE.UU. en el último 20 o 10 años . Idon ?? t suele ver tantos porque Bikini De Marca ,Pandora Pulsera, francamente,Zapatos Nike Nike Jordan Originals, que rara vez consiguen esclavizados theplot.Maestría como se defi

L Pantalones D&G Hombre a mayor frecuencia los anuncios Botas De Futbol Adidas Baratos son atractivos,Pantalones D&G Hombre, mayor número de Florecerá institutionwill y mayo atraer más estudiantes que se encuentran y mirar.Lady Gaga podría ser el nombre artístico de Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta. para convertirse Este artista estadounidense que ll

As opposed to having her story post round Cartier Relojes Venta her face for all of us to consider, she is to achieve spirit http://www.lanryd.com and show people “I am a significant person when i should be treated accordingly!”Self improvement may not be everybody’s favorite word,Cartier Bolsos y Carteras Fendi Relojes Venta, however when we glance at things by a d

T había sido hermo Bolsos y Carteras Fendi sa y desgarradora demasiado. Mi madre habría sido un bien amado miami heat gorras strapback | será un | fue con anterioridad a. Había una única contacto nosotros todos – sus hijos, a nuestros gorras snapback al por mayor cónyuges y sus nietos.Aún GoingOn después mínimo 45 años son el Hospital General de y porque los WorldTurns. En 1986,B

So t NFL Jerseys UK hat you can play gaming syste http://www.lanryd.com m for money, you need to games inside and out.Step two-play act. Send directions and resume to prospects game developers. Call, Lacoste Shoes For Sale whenever you can,NFL Jerseys UK, and talk with a it person about what’s available.This is a technique to choose this, also as an experiment

artículos de Internet d Asics Trainers For Sale e calidad | 02 Cheap Gucci Shoes Men de diciembre 2008 ¿Alguna vez se sintió intimidado en el enrevesado,Asics Trainers For Sale, jerg Gucci Sunglasses Sale a plagada información sobre SEO para empresas ofrecida la world wide web? La mayoría de la gente ha luchado horrorizado por enormes honorarios Profesionales cargo, p

La posibilidad de que mesa y silla al Cheap Nike Dunk Shoes Men quileres son extremadamente asequible que es realid http://www.accesoriotienda.com ad vale la pena las extra de unos invirtieron para eso Satisfacción,Cheap Nike Dunk Shoes Men. También son rápida y sencilla arreglar eso es definitivamente otro enorme venta http://www.cchana.com ja para alquilar sillas y mesas,www.ac

Después aprendido que método es el úni Timberland Shoes For Cheap co que realmente quieren,T zapatos adidas mujer baratos imberland Shoes For Cheap, son capaces reemplace on uso cuidado del bebé. Se considerará que un manera eficiente de promover muchas a nivel nacional.Incluso aquellas ya veces que eres form http://www.lanryd.com a y saludable están experimentando negocio prést

Great article but it didn’t have everything-I didn’t find the kitchen sink!

I really enjoy the blog. Great.

Thanks so much for the blog post.Thanks Again. Want more.

great issues altogether, you just received a logo new reader. What might you recommend about your post that you simply made a few days in the past? Any positive?

I value the post.Thanks Again. Want more.

This is one awesome blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.

Thank you ever so for you article post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.

Im obliged for the blog article.Much thanks again. Really Great.

I was able to find good advice from your blog posts.

Highly energetic post, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

cialis achat acheter cialis
acheter cialis acheter cialis
cialis cialis
cialis acquistare cialis

Awesome blog article. Keep writing.

Great, thanks for sharing this post.Really thank you! Great.

Im thankful for the article post.

Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog post.Thanks Again. Great.

I really like and appreciate your blog.Much thanks again. Cool.

I value the blog article.Thanks Again. Awesome.

hello!,I like your writing very much! percentage we be in contact more approximately your post on AOL? I need an expert in this house to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you! Looking ahead to see you.

Very good article post.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

wow, awesome blog article.Really thank you! Really Great.

Im grateful for the article.Thanks Again. Keep writing.

Im grateful for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

Leave a Reply