Hein (fub) wrote,

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Desktop virtualisation at home

I run VMWare Server on my Ubuntu machine, and I run a WinXP install inside of that to do stuff that I can't get working under Ubuntu (specifically: AviSynth).
But the machines we use as desktop machines are aging. Not that they are outdated -- they still serve us well. But the aging fans etcetera are making more and more noise. Sure, we can pop in new fans, but try finding a good CPU cooler for a socket A mobo...

Which got me thinking. At work, we use virtual machines as server, and some of our clients use Citrix-stuff to serve applications to their employees. At the desktop, there is only a small, underpowered computer -- often fanless -- that only serves to plug in your keyboard and mouse and monitor.
Could I build something like that at home? Stick a multi-core CPU on a mobo with lots of RAM, and simply run three VMs on there? All we would need in the living room would be small fanless machines that would do nothing but execute a remote desktop session to the VM. This would reduce the noise in the living room, without sacrificing raw computing power. And it could probably save money in the long run too.

There are two problems with this, and that is USB and sound. We have a lot of USB peripherals like scanners, printers, digital cameras, etcetera. How would that work with a remote desktop and a virtual machine? And what to think of sound?

Needs more research.
Tags: linux, tools

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