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I've 64 bit desktops which I use for development & testing. The CPUs don't have the vt support. I'm willing to use any Linux OS and any VM software to get a 64 bit guest. Is it possible?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Xen with a pv DomU is your best bet here, depending on what guests you want to run.

VMware and VirtualBox don't create 64 bit guest regardless of the host OS unless you have memory segmentation support, which generally isn't present without VT-x/svm.

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+1 Don't work with desktop virtualization products often (only KVM on my laptop), so I was not aware of this. Good call. – wzzrd Aug 6 '09 at 11:29
+1 Go with Xen as it can support 32 & 64 bit guests so long as the host is 64 bit using para-virtualization which doesn't require VT support in the CPU. Only problem would be running Windows in the guest without VT support. – Jeremy Bouse Aug 6 '09 at 12:29

Sure. If you run a random Linux distro on them, almost any virtualization product (everything except kvm, I think) will work. Because your host OS is 64-bit, 64-bitness in guests shouldn't be a problem.

Update: phresus has a good answer on how VMware and VirtualBox actually do not support 64-bitness in VM's unless VT is available. I now agree with phresus' post below: go with Xen, since it does not rely on VT being available.

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