Virtual Box Running 32 bit Win7 inside 64 bit Win7

Introduction

These shots are primarily for the benefit of my friend.

Virtual Box

Sun’s (now Oracle’s) VirtualBox application allows computer users to run a variety of Operating Systems (OS) on virtually any computer operating system.  This is the VirtualBox homepage.

For example:

  • Windows XP on Mac
  • Solaris on Windows XP
  • Windows 7 32-bit on Windows 7 64-bit

This latter example is actually the system that I use to connect to my remote work computing system.  (We use a Citrix client which will not upgrade to 64 bit, hence the necessity of running the Citrix program in a 32-bit environment)

The two shots below show Task Manger’s “performance” tab in the two systems.  I’m showing this to demonstrate that upping the memory to 12Gb has left Windows the opportunity of using as much memory as it feels, and by not using the pagefile (much, if at all) it’s very fluid in operation now.

This screenshot shows Task Manager in the host Win7-64 system with its 12Gb of memory and four processor cores.

Win64 Processes

Win64 Processes

This screenshot shows Task Manager in the virtual Win7-32 system running inside a VirtualBox image with the 4Gb of memory and four virtual processor cores that I allocated to it.

Win32 Processes

Win32 Processes

This screenshot below shows the view across all three screens that I use.

Windows 7 across 3 screens

Windows 7 across 3 screens

In the shot you’ll see that I’ve set the VirtualBox image to run full screen on the right-hand monitor.  I’ve chosen a different background to emphasise this.

A notable feature of VirtualBox is that I have set the mouse cursor to float seamlessly between the two environments.

Previously, I’ve tried installs of several Linux flavours into their own virtual image areas.  These are all removed now, but previously I had several running concurrently – I wish I’d taken a screenshot at that time.  To demonstrate the capabilities of VirtualBox, I once had running concurrently these various operating systems inside my Win7 64-bit host:

  • Windows 7-32 bit
  • Windows XP version one
  • Windows XP version two
  • Ubuntu 10.1
  • Mandriva 10
  • Suse 11
  • Fedora

To enable this all to run in only 4Gb of memory I assigned about 300Mb to each image.  They all worked “out of the box”!

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