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Michael Vogel

Virtual Machines

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My Music PC (Win 10 Pro Latest version) has 6 HDD 1 x  M.2 NvME and 2 SSD. I want to setup a Virtual Machine to run Home Assistant as a trial along with some other home automation programs.. Will all the programs setup to be running on the VM continue to run when I switch back to Win 10 Pro side of things.

Assume the PC will be on 24/7.

Suggestions/advice welcome. Thanks in advance of being overwhelmed by positive and useful responses.

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On 10/17/2021 at 12:47 PM, Michael Vogel said:

Will all the programs setup to be running on the VM continue to run when I switch back to Win 10 Pro side of things.

Yes assuming you don't have the VMs going to sleep or similar (I have one program - game! - that stops when it loses mouse focus, but yours are designed to run without user intervention so I can't see this being an issue).

I'd be more "concerned" about whether the VM can access any physical hardware it needs to - that can be tricky sometimes.

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On 10/18/2021 at 11:47 PM, Kevin Perry said:

Yes assuming you don't have the VMs going to sleep or similar (I have one program - game! - that stops when it loses mouse focus, but yours are designed to run without user intervention so I can't see this being an issue).

I'd be more "concerned" about whether the VM can access any physical hardware it needs to - that can be tricky sometimes.

Thanks Kevin for helpful info. I’ve never run a VM so know nothing of the vagaries involved. 

Thanks Jack, Clearly there’s more suitable places than here for  in-depth information , however I saw it as a simple Yes or no type answer.  
Also it was just convenient to ask as I was on the forum here, saw the Computer section and noted that the rules for posting here didn’t expressly forbid such a question even though not music or Cakewalk related.  

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On 10/17/2021 at 7:47 AM, Michael Vogel said:

My Music PC (Win 10 Pro Latest version) has 6 HDD 1 x  M.2 NvME and 2 SSD. I want to setup a Virtual Machine to run Home Assistant as a trial along with some other home automation programs.. Will all the programs setup to be running on the VM continue to run when I switch back to Win 10 Pro side of things.

Assume the PC will be on 24/7.

Suggestions/advice welcome. Thanks in advance of being overwhelmed by positive and useful responses.

I use VirtualBox (free) from Oracle as a VM hypervisor host to run Virtual Machine (VM) guests on my PC. It should work fine as long as your CPU has hardware virtualization capability, and that is enabled in your BIOS.

A VM host such as VirtualBox running on Windows allows you to install another OS as a VM guest inside the  VirtualBox environment. VirtualBox supports USB passthrough so that you can attach hardware via USB to your host PC that the VM can use. The virtualized hardware available to the guest OS is fairly generic and not high performance, but if your PC has plenty of RAM you should be fine. You will have to allocate a portion of your hard drive to install the VM hard drive file for the guest OS.

For example, I did this for grins with an old version of Sonar (8.5) running on a WinXP VM. I was able to use my external USB MIDI controller with that instance of Sonar to play a virtual instrument. The latency was garbage, and nobody in their right mind should ever really attempt to actually use a DAW running in a VM. 🤪

VirtualBox allows you to run the VM OS concurrently with your host Windows. You can go full screen with either using your monitor, keyboard, and mouse. And hot key back and forth full-screen, or run the VM in windowed mode on your Windows desktop. So switching back to the Win 10 side is as fast as clicking. Better than dual booting, IMO!

Testing trial software in a VM is a safe way to not mess up your main OS. It should also be a good way to avoid malware getting into your main OS as well.

Running another copy of activated Windows as a guest OS requires another Windows license. If you run Linux as the VM, that would be free.

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