I am planning on turning my 1.6Ghz Atom, 1GB RAM Mini-ITX PC into a build machine. I am thinking about having it build for multiple environments, so I was planning on using Virtual Box to create a VM environment.

Will my machine handle multiple VMs? How many should I max at?
Should I use Linux as the host and have XP as a guest or should I use XP as the host and have CC.Net run on the host (I only want to use one license of XP)?
I plan to host my SVN repositories in its own VM, does that make sense?

I will post more questions as I think of them or as they become relevant.


3 Answers 3


I advise against using an Intel Atom CPU for this kind of work for its lack of out-of-order execution.

If you really want to use that machine, you should not use virtualization techniques and expect low performance. If you have the time, run tests with your expected workload.

  • Do you suggest that I just set it up as a single os box, no VM, and use my build server software of choice? Commented Jul 19, 2009 at 21:54
  • I updated my response accordingly. Commented Jul 19, 2009 at 21:57
  • I'm not expecting this PC to scream, its a spare computer I have laying around and I have some software projects that I am currently working on, and figured I would build a build server for them Commented Jul 19, 2009 at 22:06
  • Agreed. Atom CPU is not built for this purpose. Don't try to use it out of context. Yes, power savings are a good thing, but there are better CPUs/systems for this precise type of work.
    – osij2is
    Commented Jul 30, 2009 at 15:16

If your not after too much performance then it should be suitable, I would however recommend upgrading your memory to a little higher. 1GB is a little on the low side, increasing it to 2GB or even 3GB will make a heap of difference.

I would also have the SVN running on the host as if it is running in a VM you need to have the host and VM running.

With the current RAM configuration, you would only be able to run 1 VM, with more RAM you could run 3 or 4 VM at the same time. Keep in mind drive space, the more VMs you have setup the more space you require.

  • It may have 2GB of RAM, I don't remember what it has, I do know that it maxes at 2GB Commented Jul 20, 2009 at 10:51

Have a look at my server: http://howto.basjes.nl/linux/installing-my-new-server

I have it running under CentOS 5.3 64bit with VMware Server and 2 VM's (also running CentOS 5.3 64 bit). I have Vlans configured, firewall, etc. I also have an ISDN card in ti and it also serves as our home Asterisk box which allows (free of charge) VOIP calling with our family.

Works like a charm for our home purposes.

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