I had read about VMWare Player before but for some reason I thought it was a demo sort of thing, or maybe something like those Live CDs from Ubuntu or Knoppix that let you run a different system but not really modify anything.
Then I ran across a posting on an internal web site at work and learned more about it. Turns out that it will let you run a complete virtual machine as an application from within Windows or Linux. And it’s free! It just won’t let you build your own virtual machines, you have to download one that somebody else has built with the full software.
So now even though I booted into Windows, I have the VMWare Player application running and it’s running Linux. Specifically (according to Greg‘s Users Online section I’m running
Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv:1.7.12) Gecko/20051010 Firefox/1.0.7 (Ubuntu package 1.0.7)..
Best I can tell I really seem to be running the Ubuntu 5.10 release. VMWare Player knows to use the ethernet card so both Windows and Linux can access the network at the same time. I’m not sure about printers, I haven’t tried to print from Linux yet. I was able to connect to the Ubuntu updates page and run all the updates they have posted since the base 5.10 release came out.
Pretty slick. Now I can run Linux without having to reboot from Windows, and my wife can get to all her Windows stuff without having to get out of Linux if I forgot to reboot back.