Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Does anyone know if either XenServer of VMWare have a virtual server version that will run on old 32bit servers? I've got a spare old server that I want to do some testing on with the technologies.


share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Äh - you are aware that NO 32 bit hardware supports virtualization in hardware, so the result - even if you would find software - would SUCK. Like majorly.

Even early 64 bit CPU's lack hardware virtualization.

Retire the old stuff. That is what I do with my old hardware. There simply is no way to run a proper hyper-visor without hardware support in the CPU.

share|improve this answer
Uhhhh.... ESX3.x ran just fine on 32-bit CPUs. And without sucking majorly. – ThatGraemeGuy Sep 8 '10 at 7:08
Ah - your definition of not sucking is my definition of crap. Really. WEithout hardware virtualization - which no 32 bit CPU i know of has in the intel world - there is a significant CPU overhead. Virtual Server ALSO worked 32 bit without hardware support. I used it for years. I would not have called that non-sucking performance wise, though. It sucked. NO way to reun anything requiringr real performance on that. – TomTom Sep 9 '10 at 9:08
TomTom is actually quite incorrect. VMware ESX(i) ran fine on 32 bit hardware. – Brennan Sep 14 '10 at 21:47

ESX 3.x(i) will run on 32-bit hardware, but will only allow you to run 32-bit guests. Furthermore, you can check the whitebox hcl for stuff that you have laying around that will make a nice home lab environment. I'd recommend against running it in production.

share|improve this answer

Xen would only support paravirtualised guests (i.e. Linux). VMware ESX would run everything but it wouldn't be fast. I recommend Xen if you are happy with paravirtualisation and/or don't need to run Windows guests.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.