Recent Posts

Qemu and libvirt security – ppa:jacob/virtualisation

I’m running Linux Mint 18.3 which is based on Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial. Until yesterday I used the Personal Packet Archive ppa:jacob/virtualisation to get more up-to-date releases of Qemu, libvirt, and virt-manager.

Ubuntu and Linux Mint recently released security updates for their official (but old) qemu and libvirt packages to address the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Unfortunately the Ubuntu 16.04 releases in the ppa:jacob/virtualisation archive have not been updated, judging from the upload date. Continue reading “Qemu and libvirt security – ppa:jacob/virtualisation”

Prime95 Benchmark: Linux Host versus Windows VM

This is yet another benchmark of my Windows 10 VM. This time I used the free Mersenne Prime Search software Prime95 (mprime under Linux) available at www.mersenne.org. I wanted to see if there is a significant difference between running the benchmark on the Linux host, versus the Windows virtual machine. Continue reading “Prime95 Benchmark: Linux Host versus Windows VM”

Windows 10 Benchmarks (Virtual Machine)

Benchmarks help us compare the performance of different hardware configurations as well as drivers and operating systems. With regard to virtualization, benchmarks can be particularly useful in quantifying performance differences between an operating system running on a virtual machine versus the same OS running directly on the underlying hardware. Continue reading “Windows 10 Benchmarks (Virtual Machine)”

Virtualization Hardware Accessories

In my Running Windows 10 on Linux using KVM with VGA Passthrough tutorial I introduced different options for using the keyboard and mouse with the Linux host and the Windows VM. Running a virtualized Windows VM means running two separate systems – the Linux host and the Windows VM – both of which require input and output devices. Continue reading “Virtualization Hardware Accessories”

Why run Windows on Linux?

Last edited: May 31, 2020

I’ve written several tutorials on “how to make dual-boot obsolete using VGA passthrough“, yet one may ask why run Windows on Linux? Most PC or laptop come pre-installed with Windows, in fact its rare to see computers pre-installed with Linux. So why not just leave Windows and install Linux in a virtual machine (VM), for example using Oracle VirtualBox?

Installing Linux in a VirtualBox VM is definitely a lot easier than following my tutorials on VGA passthrough. Not only that, most computer users who want or need to use both Windows and Linux will find that this simple solution is all they need.

Continue reading “Why run Windows on Linux?”

Keyboards and Mice

I’m the type of person who is learning things the hard way. This is also true for the purchase of computer equipment and peripherals. I cannot even recall how many times I have replaced my computer mouse and keyboard in the last decade.

One should think that a mouse or a computer keyboard aren’t exactly rocket science – well they aren’t! Yet many popular mice or keyboards are either bad by design, or fall to pieces within a relatively short time.

Below is a list of things you should be checking when purchasing a computer mouse or keyboard. It is based on my personal experience – your experiences may be different, though. Continue reading “Keyboards and Mice”

Virtual Machines on UserBenchmark

For some years I have encouraged benchmarking of Windows virtual machines (VM), to help users fine-tune the configuration and to get a general idea of how efficient virtualisation with Xen or KVM actually is. My benchmarks – posted under the username “powerhouse” – and those of other users can be found on the Linux Mint forum under Post your Passmark results of your Windows VM and UserBenchmark – post your results. When reviewing some of my benchmarks on the UserBenchmark website, it occurred to me that the information on that website can be put to  practical use.

Continue reading “Virtual Machines on UserBenchmark”

Developments in Virtualization

I haven’t had much time in recent months to follow up on what’s happening in the KVM or virtualization world. That much bigger was my surprise to find that things are moving on quickly. When I started out 6 years ago to virtualise Windows and run it on Xen using VGA passthrough, I thought I would be forever marked as a geek.

Today I’m looking at dozens if not hundreds of tutorials and websites dealing with VGA passthrough, and an ever increasing number of followers. It seems to me this technology or concept is gaining momentum, at least among Linux users.

Continue reading “Developments in Virtualization”

Mediocrity

When I was a small kid I was fascinated by science and technology. I watched the landing on the moon live on TV and it captivated my little brain. It was obvious to me: with the rapid advances in science and technology we would have to work less and enjoy life more. Things would be automated, robots would assist not only at work, but at home too. Advances in medicine will let us grow older and feel younger.

Almost 50 years later, people still work 9 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. People today work as hard as people in a feudal system hundreds of years ago.

Obviously something went wrong – big time! How can it be that modern technology allows us to work faster and more efficiently, and yet we still work 40-50-60 hours a week? Where is this hugely increased production surplus going?

The answer is simple: It’s going to the junk yard. Every day billions of people around the planet produce junk!

sea of junk
A sea of waste (photo by Margaret Bates)

Continue reading “Mediocrity”