Running Windows within Ubuntu

I saw a presentation the other day on Amazon EC2 which got me quite intrigued in the use of this service for doing “cloud computing”.  I currently host several sites for a couple of people on a dedicated windows server at a hosting center, and I’ve lately been wondering about other options so as to make things both easier and to save money, and this looked good at least at first sight.

The basic problem with it for my situation is that I’m running services that run on NET on windows servers, and the EC2 services only support Linux servers.  This immediately made me start to think about how I can get around this.  My first thoughts of course went to VMWare, but that would also necessitate buying VMWare in addition to Windows.  So, I did a little googling and I found this link:

Interesting stuff, so I figured I’d give running windows with QEMU on an Ubuntu install.  I run VMWare Fusion on my mac, so I went and downloaded an Ubuntu appliance from VMware and had that up and running within a few minutes, as well as copying over some windows 2003 server .iso’s (which you can see on the desktop):

(booting up):


First thing I had to do (via the link) is install yum, as it wasn’t installed by default in this ubuntu appliance.  Well, it appears that Ubutnu doesn’t use yum, but something called apt-get, so where told to use yum in the link, I used this command:
sudo apt-get install qemu
The next step is to create a disk image for qemu to install windows into.  This is done with the following:
qemu-img create -f qcow win2003.img 4G
And then after arguing with the system about the amount of shared memory (I still don’t really have this worked out, but I got it running with 128m), I got the following command to start the virtual machine as can be seen in this image:

I will have to say that I am impressed with this; running virtualization software within virtualization software!

I’m going to let this run for a little to get the install done and I’ll continue the post more later.

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About the author

I'm a .NET, XAML, and iOS polyglot that loves playing with new things and making cool and innovative stuff.  I am also a Mac junkie.

I am Principal Technologist for SunGard Global Services in NYC, in their Advanced Technologies practice, and I work extensively with SunGard's energy and financial customers.

Note the the posting on this blog are my own and do not represent the position, strategies or opinions of SGS.

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