VMware Player : A Hardware virtualization for Linux on Windows

  1. electroM
    electroM
    To start development on Linux you could install a desktop Linux distribution on your development system, replacing your Windows or Mac system, but that may be a pretty large piece to bite off at one time, since you would likely need to configure email, learn new tools, and come up to speed with a different desktop interface. You could install Linux in a dual-boot environment, where you use the old environment for email, etc., and use the Linux system for learning. This can be pretty awkward, since you need to shut down one environment to bring up the other. Additionally, doing either within a corporate environment may be impractical or impossible. IT folks prefer supporting a known environment, not one that you have chosen.

    An easier way is to create a virtual machine environment on your current development system. For Windows hosts, you can install VMware Player or VirtualBox, and on the Mac, you can install Parallels or VMware Fusion. Using a VM offers you much more flexibility. You can install a desktop Linux distribution, like Ubuntu or Fedora. You can use this distribution to become familiar with basic Linux concepts, learn the command shell and learn how to build and run programs. You can reconfigure the kernel or load drivers, without the concern that you'll crash your desktop system. You can build the entire kernel and application environment, similar to what you might do with a cross-development environment for an Embedded Linux target.

    If your VM running Linux crashes, you simply restart the VM. The crash doesn't affect other things which you might be doing on your development system, such as reading a web page on how to build and install a driver, or that writing an email to one of the many support mailing lists.

    Some of the VM products have snapshot features that allow you to take a checkpoint of a known working configuration, to which you can roll back if you can't correct a crash easily. This snapshot is far easier than trying to rescue a crashing desktop system or an unresponsive target board.

    A Linux VM running on your desktop is not a perfect model for an Embedded Linux environment. The VM emulates the hardware of a desktop system, with a limited set of devices that are unlikely to match a real embedded target. But our objective at this point is not modeling a real target (something we'll discuss later) but creating an environment were you can learn Linux concepts and programming easily.
  2. electroM
    electroM
    A virtual machine is a computer defined in software. It's like running a PC on your PC.

    This free desktop virtualization software application makes it easy to operate any virtual machine created by VMware Workstation, VMware Fusion, VMware Server or VMware ESX, as well as Microsoft Virtual Server virtual machines or Microsoft Virtual PC virtual machines.

    - Run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single PC
    - Experience the benefits of preconfigured products without any installation or configuration hassles
    - Share data between host computer and virtual machine
    - Run 32- and 64-bit virtual machines
    - Leverage 2-way Virtual SMP
    - Use 3rd-party virtual machines and images
    - Share data between host computer and virtual machine
    - Broad host and guest operating system support
    - Support for USB 2.0 devices
    - Get appliance info at start-up
    - Gain easy access to virtual machines via intuitive home page interface
  3. electroM
    electroM
  4. electroM
    electroM
    To VMware player Home web site

    www.vmware.com/products/player/
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