Windows 10: Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation

Discus and support Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation in Windows 10 Virtualization to solve the problem; Hi there @johnnyZ Here's a screenshot of an Arch Linux system running as a VM on ESXI 5.7 (Esxi is the HOST OS) with the arch linux kernel at 5.3.11... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Virtualization' started by jimbo45, Nov 20, 2019.

  1. jimbo45 Win User

    Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation


    Hi there
    @johnnyZ

    Here's a screenshot of an Arch Linux system running as a VM on ESXI 5.7 (Esxi is the HOST OS) with the arch linux kernel at 5.3.11 and this VM running VMWare workstation -- so in theory your VM's could easily use any VMWare VM images from USB devices while the ESXI system could be run from a USB drive.

    The response time of the VMWare workstation VM on the Esxi Host with the arch linux VM isn't too bad at all -- the top level VM (i.e the VM installed under the ESXI response time blows away any of the other Virtual machine options I've tried. It's a bit fiffly though to get it working -- I'm still trying a few experiments --but the POC (proof of concept) that you CAN run VMWARE workstation on a VM created under ESXi ) works just OK -- easiest is to use Arch Linux for testing as a simple command yay vmware-workstation will do all the hard bits for you !!!


    Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation [​IMG]


    Now I'm going to try some Windows VM's -- should also be able to get Windows VM with HYPER-V working too on Esxi although why I would need that I don't know -- maybe to try it just because it could be possible.


    Once I'm satisfied and got all the glitches out I'll do a full blown tutorial.

    One thing having trouble with --RDP from a windows laptop to the Esxi VM allows me to logon but then just shows blank screen even though I've installed xrdp on the main host and started the service -- I might need to connect / export the screen -- need to do more research. The web interface works OK though although resolution 1920 X 1080 is missing -- not a showstopper - especially if you have larger 4K monitors available and you use the VM as a server.

    Seems VMWare with Esxi have finally got their act together --this stuff could work big time !!! I like the idea of the main HYPERVISOR being a miniscule OS. I think also though the default networking configuration must be bridged / external as the ifconfig output from the (top level) VM is 192.168.1.8 which is a physical address obviously rather than a virtual subnet etc.

    Samba etc works on it (the top level VM under ESXI --100% connection to and from rest of Lan

    Hundur -- this machine (Windows 10 on separate laptop, Hestur is a separate NAS Linux machine and Wulf is a VM under Esxi running on another physical machine with Esxi as the Host system Interconnection all ways from the 3 systems



    Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation [​IMG]


    I haven't tested the 2nd level VM's created on it with VMWare workstation yet that's a story for another day -- pub time now !!!!-- Done enough computing for today.

    Cheers
    jimbo

    :)
     
    jimbo45, Nov 20, 2019
    #1
  2. jimbo45 Win User

    VMWare VM in Hpyer V


    Hi there

    OK not natively - but you can run a W10 VM with HYPER-V enabled ON THE VM !! and then run a VM on that.

    Actually if you are using an SSD or better more than 1 SSD for storing the VM's the response isn't actually as bad as you might think !!! - ensure plenty of RAM and ensure the HOST (Physical machine) isn't too busy. Suggest you have an i5 CPU at least too.

    To avoid confusion here

    1) W10 HOST - HYPER-V NOT enabled. VMware workstation running
    2) W10 VM created on VMWARE with HYPER-V enabled on this VM
    3) Create VM under HYPER-V on the W10 VM created in step 2.

    This type of multi-level VM works better though on HOST Linux machines as the Host OS is much leaner so almost ZERO overhead consumed by the host. Esxi is a great tool for this if you want to play around with this type of stuff.

    A while ago I was using Esxi to create a Virtual W2k3 Server which had two W7 VM's and an XP VM running on it. Performance was fine - and that was in the days before SSD's were even thought of - much less being affordable.

    I know slightly OT but I enclose the reference here for people who might be interested in this sort of stuff. Esxi is FREE too.

    Free VMware vSphere Hypervisor, Free Virtualization (ESXi) | VMware United Kingdom

    Note though Esxi can be quite picky with hardware - google "White box" for hardware Esxi likes - and it's really picky over the network adapter(s) that work on it-- INTEL PRO Nic's always seems to work in my experience on pretty well any OS.

    @Kari - I think running a Windows VM on this and then running a VM on HYPER-V on this Windows VM would be interesting. The nice thing about Esxi is that 99.9% of resources are passed to the VM's -- so this should work almost indistinguishably from a HOST machine running HYPER-V.

    I'll hope tp have a go with this later -- I've got some spare time this week - and plenty of spare machine "Horse Power". My main worry will be getting the Nic to work --I think I've still got a usable Intel PRO 100/1000 card somewhere.

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
    jimbo45, Nov 20, 2019
    #2
  3. jimbo45 Win User
    KVM better than vmware workstation and Esxi and NON PROPRIETARY


    Hi there.

    I got esxi running but not really satisfied with performance and the hassle of controlling VM's from a remote computer.

    So I decided to re-visit using KVM (can be considered Linux's equivalent to HYPER-V). KVM is free of course (it's part of most Linux distros - but RHEL (and Centos naturally) has this down to a fine art so install documentation is really good.

    It turned out surprisingly easy from a CENTOS 7 HOST and I/O performance is STREETS ahead of both VMWARE workstation and the VM running under Esxi.

    The other nice thing is that you can also control the VM's on the LOCAL HOST. PCI passthru works fine and you can use "paravirtualisation" if you want to install specific hardware drivers on the VM to extract even better performance.

    VMware esxi VM's can be converted easily enough - or re-installing the Guest OS is a doddle anyway.

    (Note - you have to enable VT-X in the BIOS on intel CPU's --usually all done by default these days -- for AMD there's an equivalent but don't know what it is).

    Very happy with this solution -- you can install a minimal Linux system and control everything via a CLI if you don't want a Linux GUI. I'd recommend doing it from the GUI for beginners.

    For those playing around with Linux Hosts who want to try other ways of running Windows Guests I'd recommend having a look at KVM -- it really is surprisingly easy -- AND STABLE !!!. Also being able to control the VM's from a local host is a great advantage for "Home user" who don't need Enterprise type solutions.

    Install KVM (QEMU) on CentOS 7 / RHEL 7

    Note -- there is a bug you can't use a PHYSICAL ISO to create the VM - an Image iso (disk based iso) works fine.

    This works for most other common distros too --opensuse, Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc.

    Have fun

    Cheers
    jimbo
     
    jimbo45, Nov 20, 2019
    #3
  4. Derek12 Win User

    Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation

    Running your Browser in a VM?

    • Install VMware Player or Virtualbox, VMware being faster in my experience
    • Create a VM with sufficent RAM HD and all CPU cores
    • Install Ubuntu/Linux Mint/Debian or some lightweight distro with Xcfe or LXDE
    • Install VMware/Virtualbox tools
    • Almost any distro comes with Firefox
    • Install Ublock Origin/Noscript/Ghostery
    • Disable cookies with a whitelist/use private browsing.
    In my experience, running a browser through a VM can slow down scrolling smoothness, video playback and increase ping delay
     
    Derek12, Nov 20, 2019
    #4
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Esxi - Linux VM itself running VMWare Workstation

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