I’ve finally migrated to Linux at work and have spent the day playing about with Xen and KVM, two virtualization technologies for penguin-tech. Virtualization is the ability to run guest operating systems inside other OS’s. I’m tinkering with the idea of running Windows inside Linux and seeing how Autocad performs. I’m not imagining it will be easy but that nasty little application (and it really is the worst application I’ve ever come across in the history of computing – alternatives welcome) is the main barrier to Linux adoption that the business is facing. Its not an elegant solution but as Autocad is an industry standard we are firmly in the grip of vendor lock-in.
KVM has had the better press of late so I’m using this over Xen. I had to compile and install kqemu, the qemu accelerator as I was surprised to discover that even though this was open-sourced in February it hasn’t been lined up for kernel inclusion…yet. Windows XP install started okay but then on reboot started pestering for the installation source, despite having copied these files across during the initial setup phase. Virtual machines don’t get access to the CD-ROM drives it seems so there is still a way to go but things are already looking promising.