You might have some knowledge about virtualization. If you dual boot your system, you have to restart your pc to login to other OS. But now virtualization solved the hassle. There are many virtualization softwares available. You might have known about MS Virtual PC in Windows 7, XP Mode is also a virtualization of XP in Windows 7. Some free and popular virtualization applications are VMWare Player and VirtualBox, which also work on Linux. As only Windows 7 Professional and Above can take advantage of Virtual PC and XP mode, VMWare is the best alternative. In fact it is better. It can also import XP Mode or install it with a XP installation Disk. Applications work as if they are native. Also, the advantage that Virtualbox does not have is, better integration with the Desktop and Clipboard sharing, drag &drop support. You can also install other OS than XP.
How to Setup XP Mode in VMWare
1.Download & Install VMWare Player.
2.If you have XP Mode installed, Click on "File>Import XP Mode". It will import and reconfigure XP Mode to Work with VMWare.
3.If you want to install it from disk, click "File>Create New Virtual Machine". Then follow the instructions.
4.You will be asked to enter Windows Product Key, login details, and provide the iso image. Then VMWare will install XP for you.
5.after installation it will look like this.
6.You can always play the Virtual Machine from VMWare Window.
7.you have to install VMWare Tools for features like clipboard sharing etc. Click on "VM>Install VMWare Tools". it will download and install the tools in the virtual machine.
8.after installation of VMWare Tools, click "VM>Enter Unity" for seamless integration.
XP in VirtualBox
Virtualbox is free and Open Source. I feel it more stable than VMWare. Also it doesn't have to download Guest Additions(Similar to VMWare Tools). To create a new virtual machine, click on "New", then assign RAM, Hard Disk etc. You have to install the OS as you do on real PC.
To start VM, click on the VM Name and Then "Start".
To enable extra features like Seamless Mode, Click on "Devices>Install Guest Additions"
Like VMWare and XP Mode, applications in Virtualbox also llok like native apps in Seamless Mode. Here is XP in VM in LinuxMint.
So if you just want to test a LiveCD then? There is a quick alternative. MobaLiveCD can run Live CDs from within Windows with Qemu emulation engine. It is also a small and portable application.
So what do you think? Which one do you find better?