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[Condor-users] Condor clients using virtual linux?

Hi All

I've been asked to look into the possibility of adding virtual
linux to windows boxes and installing the condor client on the
linux VM.

Quick background - we are primarily a windows organisation (we are
tied in with Dell and Microsoft) for machines on the desktop.
We do have a smallish but significant amount of *nix around, but
mainly servers, not too much on the desktop. We do have scientists
that could make use of condor linux clients.

We already have a few pools of a few hundred PCs running windows
that is working well (for those scientists with windows apps!).

The "ideal" would be to have a virtual linux machine running (that
included the condor client) AND that was "invisible" to the end user.
They don't even need to know it's there. That way we could have a 
pool of linux machines as well for those users that needed to run
linux apps.

VMWare and VirtualPC are 2 examples of packages, although I'm led to
believe that VMWare handles linux OS's better. Maybe there are others
that are more suitable (or cheaper :))?

A number of issues come to mind (and probably many others I haven't
thought of straight away).

1) The VM will be "stealing" resources from the windows PC (most
importantly RAM). Not an issue perhaps for secretaries with 1Gb RAM
PCs. It would also be important for the linux VM to have enough RAM
to be a useful condor client.

2) Can the VM really be hidden from the PC user? My preliminary
searching suggests no. It will be there on the taskbar.

3) Is there a way for the condor client on the linux VM to know
that the windows OS is busy (CPU, keyboard, mouse activity)?

4) Or to paraphrase Darryl Kerrigan from the movie "The Castle",
"You're dreamin' son!" (apologies to all the non-aussies on this
list, which is the majority).

As I said this is just some preliminary thinking to try and answer
someone's request. Any info/suggestions appreciated.



Greg Hitchen
CSIRO Exploration and Mining				phone:+61 8 6436
Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC)	fax:	+61 8 6436 8555
Postal address:						mob:	0407 952
PO Box 1130, Bentley WA 6102, Australia
Street Address:
26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington WA 6151