Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More progress with VMs on the EeePC 901

I mentioned yesterday that I intended to email the guy that produces the list of VMs http://bagside.com/bagvapp/ from where I got the Zenwalk VM. Well, I did and he responded with a lengthy reply.
In essence what he said was:
1. VMware Server may not be the best on which to run his VMs. I should try either VMware Player or Workstation instead. VMware Server . has been known to give some problems.
2. Zenwalk works fine for him (although he didn't say exactly what his setup was)

I then did a little more digging around with the Zenwalk VM and found that
1. It's not just the mouse that freezes but everything. And this is due to a high CPU load
2. The principal contributor to the high CPU load is X which never seems to go below 25-30% when things are idle but can rise to 70% when things are happening on the computer. Opera also makes a substantial contribution to CPU load.

I emailed this guy about this and he recommended I look at Tinyme which is available as a VM from his site and is a slimmed down version of PClos (only 1.4 GB when fully installed). So, I tried it and it looks very good. First in VMware Server (VMS), it performs OK but high CPU loads do still occurr and cause some freezing although for much less duration than for Zenwalk.
Then I tried it in VirtualBox (VB) and here it performed perfectly -- absolutely no freezing although CPU loads were still uncomfortably high at times (again, X was the culprit).

Note that to change from VMS to VB requires changing the virtual graphics card from the VMware one to the VirtualBox one. This is easy and takes maybe 2-3 minutes. However, I cannot yet get a wifi connection as no wireless devices are seen. Not sure what I can do here but maybe I'll have to try and download/install madwifi. Let's see.
Actually, I probably should have tried Zenwalk in VB as perhaps the problems would be less. However, I had to delete this VM as it takes up nearly 3 GB of space.

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