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VMs are great for many development tasks but can you use them to 'manage' desktops? I'm thinking of setting up some systems so that they can only execute a VM at startup. This seems like a good way to control desktops and keep them running clean. Is this true in practice or does it just add a layer of maintenance on top of the underlying OS?

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I think having everyone run a standard image sounds good in the beginning but it doesn't really buy you any more than installing from a standard image. Using a product like ghost seems like it would do just as much for you with out the added hassle of managing a VM environment on every machine

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I think there's a big advantage in that you can have a standard image that's hardware-independent.

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VM desktops are great for uncommonly used workstations. In our QA environment, the testers can utilize VMs each with different OS/software combinations. This is much simpler than maintaining a room full of physical desktops. You also have the added capability of snapshotting before installing new software to test.

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