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I am looking for a method to setup a Linux server (running Ubuntu Server) that uses Samba for file sharing, as well as hosting a Windows virtual machine (in this case, Windows Small Business Server 2003, which in turn hosts SQL Server Express - Exchange won't be used on this).

I would like to have the Linux server serving the files over Samba, and hosting the Virtual Machine. This obviously rules ESXi out as it couldn't do Samba at the same time. What would be the next best solution to give reasonable speed? Vmware Server 2.0, VirtualBox, Xen?

There will be 10-15 users accessing the Samba shares and the SQL Express virtual machine.


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Does your hardware support KVM? – Tim Apr 14 '10 at 15:56
Also, are you wanting to share out the NTFS filesystem from the guest VM from the host's Samba server? – gravyface Apr 14 '10 at 16:00

You could still run ESXi if you want and just have both the Linux and Windows machines virtual.

There wouldn't really be much difference of running Linux with a Windows VM inside of it or just running both a Linux VM and Windows VM on top of ESXi as long as you don't need the Linux machine to have access to physical devices not supported through ESXi.

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Couple of things come to mind here: any reason why you're using Small Business Server 2003 and not Windows 2003/2008 Standard? There's alot of extra "stuff" on SBS that you obviously don't need.

KVM would be well-suited for this, so long as your processor supports VT (if Intel) or AMD-V; this should go for any VM solution you choose, regardless.

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If you want something simple that just works, go for CentOS with Xen. It comes pre-configured out-of-the-box. Or if you really want to run Ubuntu, wait for the next LTS (Long Time Support) release of Ubuntu, which is set to be released this month (10.04). I think it also comes bundled with Xen.

I've been running VMware Server on a few machines for quite some time, but I think Xen is catching up, and unless you want a turn-key solution for an entire datacenter, Xen will do the job for you (even though Xen is capable of that too, but requires a bit more work than VWare).

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And don't go for VirtualBox, it's for desktop virtualization, not server virtualization. – vpetersson Apr 14 '10 at 16:00

vmware server runs on windows or linux so if you ever need to moved machines about in a mixed environment is a major advantage over xen.

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First check if your motherboard supports visualization, then go for Xen, Qemu or KVM whichever suits your need.

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I do almost this exact thing using VirtualBox on Slackware 13. Vbox support hardware vz, multiple CPUs and USB pass through. Make sure you have too much RAM on the server and ave a blast


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