Virtual Machines and Testing

Virtual machines have to be one of the best inventions to test other operating systems or other versions of operating systems.  I use them daily as a way to have different versions of software available under conditions where that would not ordinarily be possible (e.g., I can’t have v5 and v6 running on the same machine).  For personal use they are great for giving a test drive to things like software in the Alpha or Beta version of an OS, or, as I am doing now, testing the resolution emulation of a netbook so I can get an idea of the tolerability of the screen size.

This would be one of my plans for testing Linux more so I don’t have to mess up my host machine.  VMs are safe to run, and what happens in the VM stays in the VM…

So, about the netbook resolution.  First, I was impressed that Kubuntu kept up with the virtual monitor resizing.  I tried to beat xrandr and the basic X11 configuration into stepping down to 1024×576.  No dice, x600 was all it would do.  Then I found the setting in VMware Workstation to tell it that the virtual monitor was 1024×576.  Without a fuss, Kubuntu started and here it is.

The size is a little cramped, but if all I was doing was writing, email, light web browsing, and maybe listening to some music — no problem.  The keyboard size seems to be the one remaining issue that I need to (ab)use a retail store for so I can touch computers with relatively the same keyboard sizing — if not the exact.

So… VMs:  cool.  1024×576:  cramped but tolerable.


About John

I write about technology interests, cooking, and my own writing (sci-fi and fantasy... sometimes both). I try to keep things light, but sometimes I get side-tracked on an issue that I feel strongly about. No offense is meant, I'm just like any other person who feels strongly about something when I write. View all posts by John

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