Ubuntu 6.06 on Virtual PC 2004 SP1 and VMWare Server Beta 1
The ability to play with multiple operating systems while still running your primary OS is probably one of the biggest benefits of virtualization today. To that end, I tried installing the latest version of Ubuntu 6.06 on my computer, which completely failed (You can read about that here.) However, I still had an interest in checking out the latest offering from Ubuntu, so I tried installing it on Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1, which got as far as the first boot screen, before giving me these wonderful errors:
Uncompressing Linux... Ok, booting the kernel.
[ 46.776306] isapnp: checksum for device 1 is not valid (0x89)
[ 46.783751] isapnp: checksum for device 2 is not valid (0xbe)
I tried several things, including boot flags, and messing with the Virtual PC BIOS (not much there really.) Finally I just said screw it, and loaded up VMWare Virtual Server Beta 1. Lo and behold, Ubuntu installed perfectly. In fact, I used that virtual machine to write this article and acquire the screenshots for it.
Basically, with both Microsoft and VMWare offering their products for free, there's no reason not to have both. I like the fact that Virtual PC has drag and drop support between the host and guest OS, and support for changing the resolution simply by changing the window size, but their lack of compatibility and inability to run several OS's make them a bit outdated. VMWare on the otherhand, has an excellent number of compatible operating systems and superior networking, at the sacrifice of extra drivers and services that stay resident on the host, even when VMWare Server is not running.