Microsoft Virtual PC/Virtual Server Workarounds for Installing Red Hat and Ubuntu

by Todd Ogasawara

Bryan Kirschner (Microsoft Director of Platform Community in their Open Source Labs) talks about three groups of people in relation to their Open Source efforts in a blog entry titled...

Open Source Day + 30 …

His group 3 includes pretty much anyone at Microsoft whose primary job does not necessarily include Open Source but touches on it. I'm really concerned with the direction Microsoft's virtualization effort is taking since Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 came out and the upcoming production release of Hyper-V. The Virtual Machines team appears to be ignoring everything except for Suse Linux. While that is a fine Linux distro, there are a bunch of other important distros too (especially the ones I use :-). Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 both have problems with Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions starting with RHEL5 (this includes CentOS 5) and Ubuntu starting with version 7.

Supported Guest OS on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V

I've been tracking the various workarounds that people have figured out for RHEL5, CentOS 5, Fedora 7 and 8, and Ubuntu 7 and 8. You can find my current collection of installation workarounds in the links below to my personal blog.

Red Hat 5/CentOS 5.1 and Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1

TechNet Blog: Fedora 8 on Virtual PC 2007

Ubuntu 8.04LTS vs. Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

I haven't tried these distros with VMware ESX 3.x. However, none of them cause installation problems for VMware Workstation 6 for Windows, VMware Fusion for Mac, or Parallels Desktop for Mac. I really hope that the Microsoft Virtual Machine teams takes a hard look at their product direction and add support for the current versions of major Linux distros like RHEL5 and Ubuntu. Failure to do so simply makes it easier for people to move to VMware ESX and avoid buying Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V.