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Ubuntu Hacks by Bill Childers, Kyle Rankin, Jonathan Oxer

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Hack #92. Split Your Machine's Personality

Give your machine split personalities by installing VMware Server, and get some virtual machines running.

Virtualization is one of the current buzzwords in the computer industry. Virtualization is where a thin software layer is installed on a computer that allows its processor and other resources to be split among several virtual machines (VMs). This allows the computer operator to run several different operating systems underneath this virtualization layer. Each virtual machine has its own set of resources and operates independently from any other virtual machines that may be running at the same time.

VMware (http://www.vmware.com) is one of the oldest companies in the virtualization business. It has had a Linux-based product lineup available for some time, both in the personal computer space (its Workstation product) and the server space (GSX and ESX server). Recently, however, VMware has released two new free (as in beer) products: VMware Player (http://www.vmware.com/products/player/) and VMware Server (http://www.vmware.com/products/server/). The VMware Player product allows you to "play," or use, a premade virtual machine. The VMware Server product is much more interesting, as it allows the creation of new virtual machines, and its modular, network-enabled console lets you control the virtual machines whether they're installed on your computer or another computer on the network.

VMware Server is like a Swiss army knife: its uses are ...

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