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Running Linux on Windows with a virtual machine

Virtualization allows data centers to run several independent operating systems on one computer. In this expert response, Anil Desai shows you how to run Linux on Windows Server through a virtual machine.

Can I use a virtual machine to use an application running on Linux if I'm running Windows Server? Could you describe the process? For instance, do I have to install Linux separately? Will my system require any special hardware?

This goal is one of the primary benefits of using virtualization technology – the ability to concurrently run multiple independent operating systems on the same computer. To run Linux on the Windows Server, you'll need to install a virtualization product on Windows Server. Next, create a new virtual machine. Some platforms will allow you to specify which OS (operating system) will run within the VM (virtual machine), although that's not absolutely necessary. Next, install the Linux OS within the VM using either physical media (CDs/DVDs) or ISO file images. The Linux OS will see a virtual hardware configuration that is independent (for the most part) from the host hardware. As long as the Linux distribution you're using supports the VM's platform, no further hardware should be required.

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