New pc and vitual machine

My current pc build is 8 years old so I’m thinking of building another one to preempt this one failing and have a few questions.I’m currently dual booting between Mint and Windoze but i’m getting annoyed with this and I can never get wine to play properly so i’m thinking Vm.So run windows within Linux VM and was wondering would a SSD of 500gb be enough or go for I Tb hdd?.I dont store a lot of stuff such as music or videos just mainly photos and docs.
I was even going to try out Vm on the current pc to make sure it will run the windoze programs or is the no need,as everything will run as if on a Windoze pc.
Thanks for looking.

Hello Zorba,

My own current PC is even older than yours and is on my to do list for replacement.

I’m running Virtualbox under Xubuntu (Windows XP client) very happily. I used to dual boot, but I got fed up of the hassle when one of the operating systems needed reinstalling. These days I favour one OS per computer, and external drives for everything except the OS, so that a PSU failure doesn’t take all my drives (and all my data) out at once…

I find VMs really convenient for running old windoze software. Personally I don’t need to let windoze online, although that is technically possible.

I would think a 500gb SSD is enough if not storing video or music. You might want to consider external storage for backups though. Losing everything to a PSU failure isn’t a pretty picture.

Ah finally a reply,thanks for the reply and info Mike much appreciated.Yeah I already have an external drive for back up and even recently gained a 1 tb drive from the wife’s laptop because I replaced it with a SSD.

You’re welcome Zorba.

I would have responded sooner, but I’ve hardly been here lately.

Hope it helps. I really find Virtualbox indispensible. I can run Office97 perfectly in it, and '97 has all the features I need. I can’t be bothered to share the virtual drive with Xubuntu, although I think that’s possible. I just copy anything I need to print onto a usb stick. It works for me.

The beauty of it is, if you want to download something you’re not sure of, in windows, you can always revert to an earlier snapshot of the VM if it goes wrong. I install a nice clean version, take a snapshot, then go from there.

Ok, quick tip for anyone using XUbuntu and virtual machines; as Mike points out sharing virtual drives can be problematic, but assuming you’ve set up SSH so you can ssh into the virtual machine, i.e. assuming this works;

ssh <user>@<hostname or ip address>

Then within the XUbuntu file manager (Thunar), you should be able to go to the location bar and enter;


And it should map your file manager into your virtual machine, so you can drag and drop files in and out of your Virtual machine. (under the hood this uses the FUSE sshfs filesystem) Once you’ve done this it will appear as a mounted drive under the “Network” section. Once you select “disconnect” or restart your machine, the connection will be gone, however once made you can right-click on it and select “Add Shortcut” - this will create a persistent link in your folder list for future reference - which gives you relatively seamless ongoing access to your virtual machines … :slight_smile:

(the gnome file manager has a similar feature, as does Dolphin the KDE file manager… they’re just not massively well documented features … :))


But does it compromise the host system? For me the whole point of a VM is for doing stuff I wouldn’t risk otherwise - such as letting XP access the internet (very occasionally), for downloading and testing programs I might use on my old (physical) XP workhorse which I keep for running things that are not available in Linux - or which I haven’t discovered yet…

Well, assuming you manage the VM by sshing into it … all this does is the same … I would say as long as you don’t have ssh-agent running with forwarding on, then there’s no blow-back I’m aware of. But ssh-agent / forwarding is a generic SSH issue and not specific to drive mapping in the UI.
(and I’m only talking about Linux based VM’s here, XP doesn’t run SSH so this won’t work with XP, for that you would probably want to share your folder inside your XP VM, then use the “browse network” feature in your XUbuntu file manager to map the drive using Windows networking, I think on the Linux end it uses Samba for this … or smbfs depending on your desktop)

If you want to lock down your SSH and be sure your SSH keys are not being forwarded to remote systems, create a file in ~/.ssh called “config” and for each host you ssh to add an entry;

Host <hostname>
  User <user>
  IdentityFile <path to the ssh key to use>
  IdentitiesOnly yes
  ForwardAgent no

So when you do;

ssh <hostname>

You know it’s not going to spew garbage about trying multiple keys, and it’s not going to forward your keys to the target server.
If you never want your keys forwarding (there are pro’s and con’s to this) the really safe mechanism is to add to /etc/ssh/ssh_config;

Host *
  ForwardAgent no

Although this can be a pain if you want to use your keys on the target server to do things like checking out secure Github repo’s etc …