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Virtualization woes

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I'm trying to get win98se set up under suse 10.1.

I'm running w98se just fine under suse 9.0, using win4lin - no problems whatsoever.
However, win4lin don't supply the kernel that'd work with suse 10.1 ... and they don't answer my emails as to why I can't access their forum, despite them having approved my password a year or more ago. Can't ask any questions in the relevant forum? That sucks.


So mookie said, on JR's blog, to try vmware. They have something free of charge, but I went the easy route and downloaded vmware workstation 5.5.2, which includes support for suse 10.1. (And comes with a free 30 day trial). (And for which a very good howto is available).

After a few frustrates (clicky in that virtual windows window, then press F2) (and be very fast about it: that particular chance runs away quicker than you can say "not again! ... refresh that guest window, again, and try to be faster the next time around), set the "bios" to boot from CD and/or HD (instead of the floppy that the laptop doesn't sport at all at all), and proceed to set up windows. Piece of cake.

Except ... I don't want to have my files in a cryptic 2-gigabyte file (that's the virtual HD, or, if you have several, it's part of a virtual HD) that only vmware can access. So set the thing to share folders ... clicky in windows explorer, see if there's anything new (besides C: (which to linux is that cryptic 2-gigabyte thingy) and D: (which is the CD drive)) - nada. Try network neigborhood, nada. Reboot the virtual machine, check again, nada.

Read the documentation, bingo: only win2000, win server 2003 (whatever that is), win NT 4, or win XP can read those shared folders.


Try, try again. To get ideas I sent this problem to two newsgroups I frequent. One of them came back with "why don't you try xen? That's included in your distro...".

Right then, run yast to set up the xen server ("system -> xen virtualization"), reboot into suse-with-xen-server, and try to find a way to set up windows under xen, using all (really. I tried all of them, one after the other) the various options under that same yast -> system -> xen server.

The bloody thing wants a kernel to boot into. Can you say "bloody stupid idea"? I know that I can. Here, like this: "Bloody stupid idea!".

No, I want the xen server to boot into the windows CD in order to set that up as my guest OS, and that means that there is no bloody kernel for it to boot into. Just a "setup.exe", if you please. Nor is there an initrd file, thanks anyway for requiring that, too.

There are a few how-tos, but alas, they're all for full virtualization. You need a processor which supports that, and I don't have such a beast.

There are no how-tos for any other virtualizations (with windows as a guest OS, that is), and there are no ready-made win98se files for xen. At all at all.

So it's back to the drawing board. Any suggestions?

Many thanks!



Instead of messing with suse (which is a bloated, resource hog) with win4lin you might check out using Gentoo and running your windows apps under Wine.

Gentoo's a little tricky to set up initially but once it is you have a stable super fast distro that is tailored to make the most of your high end hardware (instead of the 386 template used by suse and a lot of others).

I've been running winblows programs under wine for about a year now and have had very little problems.

And the best thing of all is that it's FREE...:)

You might give it a look to see what you think - the website is:

Have a Great Day...:)


... I quite like suse, which is free, too - I got this one from one of the German computer or British linux journals we subscribe to.

Wine would be very nice, but alas, paradox and omnipro won't run under it - I've tried.

'course, OOo base is coming along very nicely, meaning that I might just ditch paradox one of these months, but a working OCR program under linux? That'll take a few more years yet.

Ooooh. The latest version of wine (0.9.22) runs omnipage pro 8 without a hitch. Woot!