Desktop hypervisor?

Traditionally, if you want to run more than one operating system on a PC, you either have to dual boot or you have to run one of the operating systems as an inferior (limited 3D, performance, etc) guest.

With server operating systems, you can use something like the bare-metal ESXi hypervisor.

But I’m having a hard time finding a desktop hypervisor.

Citrix have XenClient, but their documentation focuses on laptops, and after watching their installation video, I’m hesitant to even try it (I didn’t see it asking where it was to be installed). It also didn’t seem to have a capability to wrap existing OS installations (but that might just not be well covered).

I want something I can install to a new partition, boot into and then have it load my pre-existing Windows 7 installation as a virtualized machine. I’d like to have a Linux or XP or … whatever … virtual OS start up and leave it running with only minimal interference to activities like games or video processing on the Windows OS.

I can understand that if I have two operating systems competing for those resources, there’s going to be degradation of performance – but I want it to be as simple as pausing the guest machines if I need a few more Mhz out of my Windows box.

Anyone else had any luck finding such a solution?


vmware workstation functions well enough. iirc you can even have 3d acceleration in windows guests (with windows host).

i user it on two systems, not heavily but it has been functional with no fuss.

Checkout NxTop by Virtual Computer.

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