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What Is Virtualization
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Mounting of ISO Images

One useful feature in Virtual PC is the ability to mount ISO images as virtual drives. As developers are probably aware, a lot of software is now available for download as ISO images (especially from MSDN). Traditionally, you need to burn these ISO images into CDs and DVDs before you can use the images (actually there is third-party software available that mounts an ISO image as a drive).

For example, you have an ISO image of an application package located in your host computer. To mount this ISO image as a drive in your virtual machine, go to CD?Capture ISO Image. and specify the location of your ISO image in your host computer. Once mounted, you will be able to see a drive mapped to the image in the virtual machine.

VMware Workstation 5.0

Host operating systems supported:

  • Windows 2000 Professional

  • Windows Server 2003

  • Windows XP Professional

  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition

  • Linux Operating Systems

VMware Workstation is the main competitor of Microsoft's Virtual PC. The features of VMware Workstation are similar to that of Virtual PC, but its support for guest operating systems other than Windows (read: Linux) is much better than Virtual PC. As such, it is a popular choice among Linux fans.

Figure 5 shows VMware Workstation 5.0 running the Ubuntu Linux operating system on top of Windows XP Professional SP2.

Figure 5
Figure 5. VMware running Ubuntu

You can view a virtual machine in the VMware Workstation window, or switch to full screen by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Enter. To adjust the screen resolution to your own custom ratio, simply check the Autofit Guest option (View?Autofit Guest) and resize the VMware Workstation window.

VMware Tools

Like Microsoft Virtual PC's Virtual Machine Additions, VMware has the VMware Tools package that will help to improve the performance of your virtual machine. To install VMware Tools, go to VM -> Install VMware Tools. You will be prompted with an install dialog box.

Once installed, you will be able to drag-and-drop items between the host and guest operating systems. Clipboard sharing works for text, but does not seem to work for graphics.

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