Recommendation for running a Win 10/11 VM?

Looking for feedback from the community: What is the easiest way to run a Win 10/11 VM on EnOS?

I lean towards lxc at the moment. The goal is to have something with low maintenance which can run maximum half a dozen Win apps, things like the tax program or Amazon Kindle previewer to convert ebooks, a subtitler program and some other s/w which is only available for Windows.

Not more, my other needs are met by the Linux side.

I would prefer to have a new Win VM every few weeks or so to which I can migrate programs and data, to avoid the update hassle. Is this realistic?

I don’t think lxc is going to be the “easiest” way. It also may not provide the most responsive UI experience.

I think a traditional VM would be easier.

It is possible but it seems like it is more difficult than just applying Windows updates periodically.

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I clarify: Easiest to run, best UI when run mainly over RDP. Setup can be complicated if it gives a good UI experience, is easy on resources and maybe scriptable so it can be automated. Which traditional VM would you use?

I have Windows now in a separate partition, where I run it from once a month to once a quarter year. Updates take an hour and more just to run the thing. It would certainly be quicker if there’s an automated setup for a new VM, if I can transfer the data and the few programs I need with a script or a setup config.

I always have a Windows VM available on my PC for a couple of things.

I used to have virtualbox as the VM environment. That works pretty good. But it lacks some performance compared to VMware. Like DirectX support for example. VMware gives me almost native Windows performance in all areas on my Linux PC.

But also for virtual Linux environments, like nextcloud on debian, vmware is in my opinion the better system compared to virtualbox.

So in early 2022 I moved to VMware for good. You can start with the free VMware Workstation Player and see if that is something for you. I have bought VMware Workstation Pro, which also comes with Snapshot support which is what I really need.

Maybe you are looking for a QEMU/KVM solution that it can access the native physical partition or disk.

In my experience, I use KVM to access native ZFS system on two physical disks without any problem. Why do I use KVM? → Because I want to separate the ZFS kernel in guest and the main kernel with rolling release in my host.

But the setup requires custom manual configurations in XML script. There is no automatic configuration with one click.

Looking Glass as a virtual monitor + KVM support GPU passthrough, if you have two GPU (e.g. iGPU and dGPU)
For example:

  • A iGPU for good power efficiency on host.
  • A dedicated GPU for game on KVM/QEMU.

I think some advantages:

  • Do not need to use dual boot Windows, if you setup Windows on KVM to access a physical disk and enable GPU passthrough.
  • The sandbox of KVM is stronger than Flatpak and Snap.
  • Uninstall all lib32-packages and clean up your main system after moving Steam/Wine with untrusted proprietary games to KVM guest.

I’m lazy, I use Boxes.

I personally use vmware workstation.

However, for your use case, I might consider something like vagrant combined with qemu/kvm.

The issue is where you will get a source of Windows images that are fully updated to begin with. Most of the Windows images are only updated to the latest major release version and then still need Windows applied.

I run Windows in a VM at roughly the same frequency as you. Updates don’t take nearly as long as you are describing for me. It would be an interesting project to test but I suspect creating a fully updated vm/container with your applications deployed into it will take longer than running updates would.

Of course, you might find the former more fun to create. :slight_smile:

Boxes, probably. Personally, I prefer Virt-Manager.