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Re: [Condor-users] Condor clients using virtual linux?

On Wed, 29 Mar 2006, Greg.Hitchen@xxxxxxxx wrote:

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 :))?

There are some people at the university of Reading here in the UK who are doing this with Cooperative Linux (coLinux) - http://www.colinux.org/ - which has the virtue of being free, even if nothing else. Have a look at:


...to get an idea of what they are doing. If they don't get in touch with you themselves (I think they are subscribed to this mailing list), or post something to this mailing list, get in touch with me off-list and I'll put you in touch with them.

Depending on what you want to do, you might be able to get away with using the VMWare Player which is free - you'd need one copy of VMware (which would cost money) to create virtual machines, but then you could "run" them for free on multiple machines using the VMware Player.

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

I'm pretty sure you can do this with coLinux (but I don't (yet) use coLinux myself). In fact, I'd be quite surprised if there wasn't a way to make more or less any VM do this (you might have to run it as a different user to the loggen in user), but I'm prepared to believe there are some VMs which consider it a "feature" that the user is always aware of their presence.

If you are using VMware it might depend on the flavour/version of VMware that you use - for instance, I could believe that this might be something you could only do via VMrun, which would constrain you to using VMware Workstation (I think). Or it might be something you could only do with VMware ACE. Or it might be something you can only enable via some command line option or registry key... I'm not a VMware expert, so these are just hypotheses...

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)?

I'd expect that there is, but what I'd expect that it either "just works" or it requires major hackery, either of the VM, the Linux kernel or Condor, or some combination of these. The people at Reading who use coLinux probably know the answer to this for the coLinux VM (at least, for whatever version they are using).

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 the use of coLinux at Reading shows, you're _not_ dreaming, although what the caveats are and how sensible it is in your environment, I couldn't say...

Hope that helps (or at least gives encouragement!),

	-- Bruce

Bruce Beckles,
e-Science Specialist,
University of Cambridge Computing Service.