Virtualization on a Laptop

Hey Tek guys/gals,


I have been playing with virtual machines for a while, VMware back int he day when it first got released etc, currently using VirtualBox for my needs.  I saw the video on Proxmax and it has giving me many ideas to do with my server (currently Ubuntu server 12.04 with a web front end to spin up virtual boxes when needed, I like debian based distros).

But I have a thought, and then had another one so it wasn't lonely. :) 

I have an old Sony viao VGN-Z56sg. Link:

It is great for running Ubuntu on and don't really have speed issues in that mode, however my wife wants Windows on it for the few times she uses it.. office 97.  I really don't care about the nvidia video card as I don't use it for gaming or anything the intel card can't handle.  Here comes the question..  

Do you know of any sort of setup that I can get it booting windows in a virtual machine while running ubuntu on boot.  I do not want to log into ubuntu first, but have it go to windows first.  ie. so when wife powers on machine, it loads windows for her.  When I power it on, I can just shutdown windows.

Currently I have it dual booting, but the issue arises that during a windows update (which takes ages on windows 8.1), my wife will be in a hurry, and power it off... solution I have to re-install windows, and then setup the grub again.  Training is an option, but impossible to do.. :(  Ideally I would like a snapshot of a running build and when (not if) she destroys it, I can easily restore the snapshot.  In virtual machines that is normally trivial to do compared to native systems.


Any suggestions?



Office 97 runs in wine, no need for windows for that.

Unless you're gong to run the latest commercial games with the latest DRM in them, you don't need Windows, you can just install ReactOS instead. That will run everything up to the previous generation of DRM, so up to WIndows Office 2007, Adobe CS and DX9 games.

"Being able to run" Windows programs was never the problem for open source operating systems. The real problem is that they don't support DRM, except for some proprietary additions some users insist on using also in linux, like steam, pipelight, flash, etc..., which then cost a huge amount of extra overhead and give up on security for nothing, all in the name of the addiction to entertainment...

Most laptop cpu's have virtulization extensions. I didn't click to see what CPU your has, but if says it has VT-x, you can virtualize without problem, and if it says you have VT-d, you also have IOMMU.

I have tried office 97 in wine and it mostly works, but it looks different and therefore not acceptable for my wife. 

I did this a while ago and had a metric shit ton of wife aggro, so although I hate the fact that I need to do a windows install, this is the only viable option to maintain peace.  

Believe me I know that Linux is a far superior system to anything that microsoft can produce and it is always my first choice in everything, but the fact remains that there is a large population that only know computers having windows and are not willing to try anything else.  Microsoft is still trembling from the backlash when they tried to change things with windows 8 from these users.

EDIT:  btw, the cpu does have VT-x technology. Link:

After Zoltan's comment which I think might be because of some confusion in my question I will phrase the question another way.


Proxmox for a desktop.  ie.base OS boots, then select a virtual machine to start.  Kinda like grub with grub being the host OS booting a virtual guest OS.

Okay so she does the odd looks. I guess LibreOffice is out the window then. Would have been the quickest option.

yeah, tried that option too.. no hope. :(

This is just a thought and I have no proof this works but what if you just set up Linux where she has a login and whenever she logs in instead of running the DE like normal, it loads RDP into a Windows VM on the server? Like a thin client to your Ubuntu servers VBOX VM.

I was thinking something similar.  Logs in and starts a virtual box maximized instead of a linux desktop.  It feels like a bit of a hack, so trying to see if there is a better way.

Starting up a kvm container on boot is an option available by default, even through virt-manager (GUI). It's done a lot.

Or you could just get a divorce. I would get a divorce if my wife wouldn't be into open source... oh wait... we're not married, because marriage as an institution wasn't open source enough to start out with lolz...

LOL,  its amazing how opposites attract.. also she is hot. :P