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NewsForge: GPL Linux virtual machines and virtual machine clustering

Jan 23, 2002, 15:27 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Grant Gross)
Last week I wrote a roundup of the virtual machine-like technology available for Linux, and an alert reader pointed out the User-mode Linux project.

Think of User-mode Linux (UML), a modification to the Linux kernel that's released under the GNU General Public License, as a cross between the VMware workstation product that allows users to run Linux and Windows side-by-side and larger virtual machine-type products that allow dozens of Linux copies to run on one server. Jeff Dike, leader of the project, says users have reported running as many as 50 virtual machines on one piece of hardware.

Here's Dike's description of a virtual machine, probably better than I can explain it, from an article published in Linux Magazine : "(Virtual machines) offer the ability to partition the resources of a large machine between a large number of users in such a way that those users can't interfere with one another. Each user gets a virtual machine running a separate operating system with a certain amount of resources assigned to it. Getting more memory, disks, or processors is a matter of changing a configuration, which is far easier than buying and physically installing the equivalent hardware."

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