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I have some remote Linux servers on which I wish to run a Windows-only application.

I don't want to stop running Linux on any of the servers because they do other Linux-only things, so I am thinking of running Windows 7 in a VM under Linux.

The application is a video encoding software that only works in Windows. I'd have Cygwin on the Windows guest OS, scp the input file in, ssh to invoke the encoder, and scp the output file back to the Linux host OS.


Will VirtualBox perform OK? Is there a better option?

Is there a way to expose a directory on the Linux host, to the Windows guest, in order to skip the scping?

Finally, if you would approach this problem differently, how would you do it?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can also look into Vagrant, which is designed specifically for running VirtualBox Vms headless.

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FWIW it looks like there's no Windows 'system' definition yet in the Vagrant repo, not sure how much a problem it is, but I like this idea. – tryin2bsecure Nov 3 '11 at 19:27

VirtualBox is probably just fine, especially if CPU has support for hardware virtualization.

For exposing a directory from host to guest, VirtualBox has native support for that. Just use it's Shared Folders. Those will be visible as network shares in Windows.

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Virtualbox works but performance will depend on your apps. Your can consider samba for file access. I think the virtualbox add-on can do that as well though at the time I used samba. Vmwareplayer is another option.

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