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paul

virtual machines in production..

hi all,

here's a techy question: has anyone ever managed to get a linux-houdini to run as a guest OS in a virtual machine in any form?

i know that there's has been issues with linux, OGL & nvidia drivers in the past. but it's 2012 - and maybe things have moved on...?

AND i'm also interested in hearing about things from the opposite point of view. ie, any luck running OSX (hackintosh) or Windoze as a guest OS on linux with proper 3d acceleration. ie, running decently 3ds max, or final cut, or CS5 in guest OS's.

i'm hoping that things may have moved on since i last looked at this...

regards,

paul

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Virtual machines have many uses for render nodes and other infrastructure but for workstations they are not a good idea (yet) unless for basic office tasks like checking email. Some virtual machine utilities like VirtualBox have 3D acceleration for guests but there are many caveats like 32-bit operating systems only, video memory limits, etc. Graphics aside there's considerable performance lost when using a virtual machine even with hardware virtualization (AMD-V, Intel VT-x) because of extra steps for disk I/O since its writing to a file within a file system instead of a native hard disk. Also the memory overhead of the host can be quite a lot depending on the configuration.

If you need multiple platforms probably stick to dual booting or use multiple workstations. In time I think graphics performance in a virtualized environment will improve similar to how processors now have hardware virtualization but that time hasn't come yet. Maybe another five years? Hopefully sooner!

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Some virtual machine utilities like VirtualBox have 3D acceleration for guests but there are many caveats

FWIW, I tried Ubuntu 11.10 guest on VirtualBox VM running on a Windows 7 host. The accelerated 3D driver for it on Linux seems to lack crucial features for it to run Houdini. I think I might had better luck with the 3D acceleration driver turned off and just using the software Mesa driver. But then of course, you don't get 3D acceleration.

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