David Berlind’s experiments with desktop virtualization reminds me that I forgot to follow up here on my own attempt to live inside VMWare.
I tried for a little over two weeks to work inside VMWare full-time (at work, not home). Or nearly so: I did still use the GroupWise email client in the host OS, but since I only check email a few times a day, that was no big deal. I wanted this to work, but what Jim called the “virtualization tax” was too high. My poor little ThinkPad wasn’t up to the task. It’s a good computer, but it’s not high-end by any means. It needs to be souped up a bit more before I could comfortably rely on VMWare alone.
If I were just running the normal suite of office applications, it would probably have worked well, or at least well enough. But my work day is spent running Eclipse and JBoss, not to mention a couple browsers and an IM client (pidgin, thanks for asking). JBoss is… more than a little demanding. Given the nature of hot deploy, which after a few deployments starts to get really flaky, I find that I’m restarting JBoss quite a bit. I cannot bear for that to be as slow as it was. Not when I’m already peeved at what I consider an unnecessary delay.
Lack of support for the second monitor was also a problem. For some reason, this particular model ThinkPad doesn’t support two external monitors. Instead I rely on a PC card for the second monitor, which means it’s sloooow. It also means that my VMWare image couldn’t used it.
At the time I was running VMWare 5. I don’t know whether VMWare 6 would improve on any of this, but I’ll probably give it a try. Except that MacBook Pro oughta be showing up any day now…
All this said, I do use VMWare every day. It’s just not for my everyday use. Follow?