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Is anyone running their browser in a "virtual machine"?

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  • Is anyone running their browser in a "virtual machine"?

    After reading about infectious websites (see ), I looked at the Microsoft site for virtual PC software:

    I was wondering if anyone here is running this software, and how you feel about it.

    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    it's the way I browse the net, normally in linux, running win2k in Vmware, works good. Any 'infections' are stuck in the virtual machine, with Vmware you have an option of saving or not saving the current state, and it's easy to copy the complete computer to another file just in case there is an attack.

    Vmplayer is available, not quite as good as regular Vmware, but in some ways better than virtual PC. issue is that vmplayer doesn't allow you to create vm's.
    Think Vmserver(?), another free download allows you to create VM's

    To me the handiest thing with a virtual machine is being able to access the exact same browser, history and bookmarks everything from whatever OS you happen to be in, whether in windows or linux, you can load the same VM and have everything current.
    (vmware not virtualpc, microsoft doesn't do linux, but linux does some windows!)



    • #3
      I've run it in the past for a variety of things, including security/isolation issues. Frankly, I think it makes a lot of sense for many folks doing web access, as long as you can deal with the moderate learning curve to get started. Once dual core and 2GB becomes the standard do so will be MUCH less painful, but for doing anything more than web browsing and email, running in a VM can be painful on many of the typical systems you find in use by non-techy folks. If you decide to give it a try, the single most important thing you can do is make sure you have LOTS of RAM.
      Master Floor Sweeper


      • #4
        Just boot from a Knoppix CD and save your stuff on a USB ram stick. No hard drive involved. No chance of any sort of infection.
        Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


        • #5
          I have Mac Intel systems and use VMWare's Fusion (beta) and Parallels to run virtual machines. It is difficult to convey how easy it is to recover from an infected virtual machine. You just delete the whole thing and replace it with a copy from your master backup. No screwing around with ant-virus tools and ad-ware tools. It takes just minutes and the new vm is a perfect replacement, complete with installed applications. This does require you store your generated data on the host system. I use Rhino, for example, and save all the Rhino CAD files on the Mac's drive, not in the Windows vm. I rarely need to use a browser in Windows so don't save bookmarks (Favorites), but I did copy my FireFox bookmarks file to the master copy of Windows so I can use it in FireFox for Windows.

          Another advantage of using virtual machines is you can run multiple versions of the guest operating system - Win98, DOS, XP, Vista, OS/2, Linux, Solaris, etc.

          To get the most from a vm-enabled environment you really need to treat the entirety of it as a system. Don't get hung up on trying to use any one OS for everything. Exploit the advantages each OS brings - they're all drawers in the same tool box. The Mac burns CD's and DVD's great - I'm not going to explore duplicating this process in Windows or Linux, for example. Windows has a far better set of printer drivers than Mac and better scanner tools, so I'll print and scan from Windows, though I'll probably use the Mac host OS for the printer connection, and share it out so other systems in the house can also use the printer.

          For remote access I use Mac Remote access (similar to VNC) as it lets me manage not just the remote Mac but also all the virtual machines. So I can start Solaris on my wife's Mac Mini and use it over the wireless net from the workshop with my Mac laptop which is running Windows XP and OS X. This is very handy when I'm on call and need to use Solaris to manage servers in the data center where I work.

          Both Parallels and VMWare offer excellent virtualization software that runs in Windows and Linux for folks that don't have a Mac.
          Last edited by dp; 05-20-2007, 01:34 PM.


          • #6
            I tried something called sand box here a while back . I did not think much of it .
            NRA member

            Gun control is using both hands