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Garno

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Is there anyone who has any knowledge about virtual machines?
2 main things I need to know

Firstly is it worth having one on my computer? I hear that they can act as really good safe guards in that they can stop malware, viruses and all other manor of nasty things infecting a computer.

Secondly is this one any good https://www.virtualbox.org/ or would a paid for version be better? if so anyone have any pointers. :)

Garno
 

samhay

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I have used virtualbox at work for many years. It's very good at doing what it does, but it's not a simple fix for malware, etc.

I use it to run Windows as a "guest" on Mac and Linux "host" machines. You could do the same and not save your Windows session (assuming it's Windows malware you are trying to avoid) so you always have a fresh install to use. Lots of downsides to this though.

Using good antivirus software would generally be the better choice.

Edited for typos.
 

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Garno":2giuft5g said:
Is there anyone who has any knowledge about virtual machines?
2 main things I need to know

Firstly is it worth having one on my computer? I hear that they can act as really good safe guards in that they can stop malware, viruses and all other manor of nasty things infecting a computer.

Secondly is this one any good https://www.virtualbox.org/ or would a paid for version be better? if so anyone have any pointers. :)

Garno
What do you mean by "virtual machine", exactly? Normally I would use the term as, for example, running a Windows emulator on a Linux server. You could also use it as a virtual server, where a cloud server is running many instances of an operating system, each one belonging to a different owner. Running one on a home computer seems exuberant, unless you need a separate discrete operating system running at the same time as your standard operating system.

If you don't want viruses, use Linux, and never worry again.

Ahh, just seen the virtual box reference - are you planning on setting up a server farm? Want to mine bitcoin? Unless you have a specific requirement, I'm not sure why you would want to use it. It is an x86 emulator, i.e. it pretends to be hardware that you can run operating systems in, so you can nest one operating system inside another, so to speak. You could have more than one operating system running on your computer, at the same time. Pretty cool, but do you need it?

Regarding security, I suppose you could sandbox the virtual machine, so if anything horrible happened, you still have a working computer. Again, install Linux, and never worry about it again. If you absolutely must have windows for something, you can run a virtual machine emulator for that program (and there is your virtual machine :lol: )

(I actually typed "extravagant" above, but the predictatext thinks exuberant is better, and I have to agree ;-) )
 

Garno

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Trainee neophyte":3syel97g said:
Garno":3syel97g said:
Is there anyone who has any knowledge about virtual machines?
2 main things I need to know

Firstly is it worth having one on my computer? I hear that they can act as really good safe guards in that they can stop malware, viruses and all other manor of nasty things infecting a computer.

Secondly is this one any good https://www.virtualbox.org/ or would a paid for version be better? if so anyone have any pointers. :)

Garno
What do you mean by "virtual machine", exactly? Normally I would use the term as, for example, running a Windows emulator on a Linux server. You could also use it as a virtual server, where a cloud server is running many instances of an operating system, each one belonging to a different owner. Running one on a home computer seems exuberant, unless you need a separate discrete operating system running at the same time as your standard operating system.

If you don't want viruses, use Linux, and never worry again.

Ahh, just seen the virtual box reference - are you planning on setting up a server farm? Want to mine bitcoin? Unless you have a specific requirement, I'm not sure why you would want to use it. It is an x86 emulator, i.e. it pretends to be hardware that you can run operating systems in, so you can nest one operating system inside another, so to speak. You could have more than one operating system running on your computer, at the same time. Pretty cool, but do you need it?

Regarding security, I suppose you could sandbox the virtual machine, so if anything horrible happened, you still have a working computer. Again, install Linux, and never worry about it again. If you absolutely must have windows for something, you can run a virtual machine emulator for that program (and there is your virtual machine :lol: )

(I actually typed "extravagant" above, but the predictatext thinks exuberant is better, and I have to agree ;-) )
I don't really know that much about Linux and hope to install it on a virtual machine so I can learn it as I go along so to speak :D at least if I mess up no harm has been done.

I don't have a clue how I would install Linux on my computer, I am old school and don't know what will happen once I remove/uninstall windows, as I don't want to lose most of the software I have.

Garno
 

ScaredyCat

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There's almost zero need to pay. Virtual box is great. VMLite and Hyper-V being 2 others)

Most VM host software will have similar features eg when you shut it down, it forgets everything you did and reverts to the original disk image. You can download premade images for VMS to perform specific tasks (see https://www.osboxes.org/virtualbox-images/ ) so you don't even need specialist knowledge to get up and running.

Be aware that you will need RAM and CPU on your host machine that you can throw at a VM though. You don't want your host machine running lots of other stuff if you're running VMs .

The least you'll be able to do is play with some variants with next to no effort - bar the download time.
.
 

LancsRick

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OP, you definitely don't need a virtual machine. Just keep your antivirus up to date, be smart with your browsing and dodgy emails, and you will be absolutely fine.

If the thought of uninstalling Windows gives you the jitters then virtual machines are not for you (they're also not needed for what your requirement is).
 

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Garno":2pug92e8 said:
I don't have a clue how I would install Linux on my computer, I am old school and don't know what will happen once I remove/uninstall windows, as I don't want to lose most of the software I have.
Beyond easy, and you don't have to uninstall, overwrite, or lose anything.

1. Download the Linux flavour of your choice. There are loads to choose from, but I would recommend Mint, because it looks like Windows. https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
2. Burn a CD of the downloaded image, or put it onto a stick if your computer can boot from a usb port. (Stick is better, as you can use the stick as ram, in place of your h/drive.
3. Reboot your computer. Linux will run directly from the cd or usb stick, with an option to never use your hard drive, if you prefer. This way your existing os is safe,and you get to play with a real one.
4. Get on to the dark web, hack the pentagon, and install ransomware to make millions.

(Option 4 would be considered intermediate Linux user experience)
 

Garno

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ScaredyCat":369g5orv said:
There's almost zero need to pay. Virtual box is great. VMLite and Hyper-V being 2 others)

Most VM host software will have similar features eg when you shut it down, it forgets everything you did and reverts to the original disk image. You can download premade images for VMS to perform specific tasks (see https://www.osboxes.org/virtualbox-images/ ) so you don't even need specialist knowledge to get up and running.

Be aware that you will need RAM and CPU on your host machine that you can throw at a VM though. You don't want your host machine running lots of other stuff if you're running VMs .

The least you'll be able to do is play with some variants with next to no effort - bar the download time.
.
I will have a look at VMlite and Hyper-V tomorrow, way too late to be messing with it now. :D
 

Dibs-h

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I use VM's all the time. VirtualBox and HyperV on Windows for when I want access to a different Operating system, either to do development work or test something out.

As long as you have a PC which is i3 or greater and at least 4Gb of ram, creating a Linux VM to learn shouldn't be a problem. Linux is quite lightweight and giving 1 "CPU" and 1GB of RAM should be more than enough.

I'd suggest you go with VirtualBox 1st - HyperV alters the networking on a Windows machine and that can get glitchy at times when HyperV isn't running.

VirtualBox unless running has zero impact on your PC (disk space aside) - dead easy to set up and on the VirtualBox site you will find many pr-build "appliances" - that's a download that once you install VirtualBox - you point it to the appliance file you downloaded and it fires up with default username & password.

Ubuntu (flavour 0f Linux) is a quite "friendly" and there's tons on the web about doing stuff with it, i.e. learning. You can always keep an extra copy of the downloaded appliance file - that way should something go wrong with what you are doing\learning, just copy over the one you are using.

HIH

Dibs
 

Robbo3

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Now there's a question I didn't expect in UK Workshops.

As a home user, no you don't need a virtual machine to stay safe. Keep your anti-virus up to date, which means daily updates if you use the PC every day, use a bit of common sense as to what you browse, & you should be ok.

Much as I detest Windows 10, I run it in Virtualbox on Windows 8.1, so that I can keep up with all the changes. This requires me to have two product keys (serial numbers) to stay legal.

It also means I can use both operating systems at the same time, thus, for example, I can read my emails in my W8.1 client whilst downloading updates in W10. When dual booting or running a session with a live CD, only one operating system is available at a time.

There are lots of online tutorials on how to install VirtualBox & how to run an OS within it.
 

Dibs-h

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Garno":1tmwc0wp said:
2 main things I need to know

Firstly is it worth having one on my computer? I hear that they can act as really good safe guards in that they can stop malware, viruses and all other manor of nasty things infecting a computer.

Secondly is this one any good https://www.virtualbox.org/ or would a paid for version be better? if so anyone have any pointers. :)

Garno
Sorry Garno - I kind of missed your 1st question and answered your 2nd one.

A VM, the only real reasons I can see for having one -

1. Needing occasional (but can't do without) access to software that won't run on W10. (or whatever you are on).
2. Being a developer and needing access to server type operating systems (O\S) to develop or test against.
3. Wanting to learn a different O\S or something that requires a different O\S.
4. Having a dual use PC - like work and home and wanting to keep everything completely separate.
5. Wanting to do something that is prohibited or illegal - your main O\S would retain traces of your activities. A VM wouldn't necessarily.

As other folk have commented - keeping anti virus software etc up to date and not clicking thru onto links and attachment that are suspicious - would keep you safe on the whole.

HIH

Dibs
 

Garno

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Dibs-h":2vd7e8bx said:
Garno":2vd7e8bx said:
2 main things I need to know

Firstly is it worth having one on my computer? I hear that they can act as really good safe guards in that they can stop malware, viruses and all other manor of nasty things infecting a computer.

Secondly is this one any good https://www.virtualbox.org/ or would a paid for version be better? if so anyone have any pointers. :)

Garno
Sorry Garno - I kind of missed your 1st question and answered your 2nd one.

A VM, the only real reasons I can see for having one -

1. Needing occasional (but can't do without) access to software that won't run on W10. (or whatever you are on).
2. Being a developer and needing access to server type operating systems (O\S) to develop or test against.
3. Wanting to learn a different O\S or something that requires a different O\S.
4. Having a dual use PC - like work and home and wanting to keep everything completely separate.
5. Wanting to do something that is prohibited or illegal - your main O\S would retain traces of your activities. A VM wouldn't necessarily.

As other folk have commented - keeping anti virus software etc up to date and not clicking thru onto links and attachment that are suspicious - would keep you safe on the whole.

HIH

Dibs
Thank you for your 2 great replies.
Main reason I suppose I'm looking at VM's is to try out Linux I hear so many good things about it, so I suppose it's curiosity with a view to change my system that is driving me :D
 

Garno

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Trainee neophyte":3qxumtz7 said:
Garno":3qxumtz7 said:
I don't have a clue how I would install Linux on my computer, I am old school and don't know what will happen once I remove/uninstall windows, as I don't want to lose most of the software I have.
Beyond easy, and you don't have to uninstall, overwrite, or lose anything.

1. Download the Linux flavour of your choice. There are loads to choose from, but I would recommend Mint, because it looks like Windows. https://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
2. Burn a CD of the downloaded image, or put it onto a stick if your computer can boot from a usb port. (Stick is better, as you can use the stick as ram, in place of your h/drive.
3. Reboot your computer. Linux will run directly from the cd or usb stick, with an option to never use your hard drive, if you prefer. This way your existing os is safe,and you get to play with a real one.
4. Get on to the dark web, hack the pentagon, and install ransomware to make millions.

(Option 4 would be considered intermediate Linux user experience)
Thank you for this.
I've copied and saved it into word so it doesn't get lost :D

Garno
 

Dibs-h

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Garno":29xnqvon said:
Thank you for your 2 great replies.
Main reason I suppose I'm looking at VM's is to try out Linux I hear so many good things about it, so I suppose it's curiosity with a view to change my system that is driving me :D
My advice Garno - is you are unlikely to replace it with Linux so don't bother replacing it or looking to. Not being judgmental, but Linux is nowhere like windows, is predominantly command line based and not the easiest thing to learn. I'm about 10yrs in and still use W10 as an everyday machine. :mrgreen:

Having said that - if you are curious and want to learn - awesome. Do so! :wink:

I think the safest way would be to install VirtualBox and download a prebuilt appliance\image:

https://www.osboxes.org/virtualbox-images/ specifically https://www.osboxes.org/ubuntu/ the latest one 19.04 is fine.

HIH

Dibs
 

boardgamer

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I seriously considered Linux (admittedly a few years back), and gave up pretty rapidly. If you want to learn a lot about operating systems, or are looking for a new hobby, then Linux is fantastic. If you want to just use a computer to "do stuff", then it's a complete disaster. For use with microcontrollers where you want very small, efficient code, and want to bolt on particular hardware, then it's great, but for a general-purpose PC where you want plug&play, not so much.
 

Garno

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Dibs-h":1qs2s4b5 said:
Garno":1qs2s4b5 said:
Thank you for your 2 great replies.
Main reason I suppose I'm looking at VM's is to try out Linux I hear so many good things about it, so I suppose it's curiosity with a view to change my system that is driving me :D
My advice Garno - is you are unlikely to replace it with Linux so don't bother replacing it or looking to. Not being judgmental, but Linux is nowhere like windows, is predominantly command line based and not the easiest thing to learn. I'm about 10yrs in and still use W10 as an everyday machine. :mrgreen:

Having said that - if you are curious and want to learn - awesome. Do so! :wink:

I think the safest way would be to install VirtualBox and download a prebuilt appliance\image:

https://www.osboxes.org/virtualbox-images/ specifically https://www.osboxes.org/ubuntu/ the latest one 19.04 is fine.

HIH

Dibs
Thank you ever so much I will certainly be taking your advice and use that one.
 

Dibs-h

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Garno":25ygqelz said:
Thank you ever so much I will certainly be taking your advice and use that one.
No probs - if you have any issues with VirtualBox (altho hitting next, next....finish should be enough) let us know.
 

Garno

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Dibs-h":1ogkdg1b said:
Garno":1ogkdg1b said:
Thank you ever so much I will certainly be taking your advice and use that one.
No probs - if you have any issues with VirtualBox (altho hitting next, next....finish should be enough) let us know.
Will do and thanks again :D
 

Garno

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Just want to say a big thank you for all the replies, you have all been a great help. :D

Garno
 
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