VirtualBox – Assembling a test platform

The next thing on my list is to assemble a suite of Operating Systems to build my test platform with. To call it a test platform isn’t the only thing I will be doing with it. There are some uses that I can see using will also be to run some applications such as Solarwinds Engineers Toolset that is only available on Windows in addition to serving as a test platform.

The first decision will be whether to use 32 bit or 64 bit versions of the Operating Systems that I will be installing. Since my primary platform will be my MacBook Pro that is already running the maximum memory that can be installed, going to a 64 bit Guest OS didnt make a lot of sense since I wont have the memory available to really leverage that type of OS. That decision may get changed in time but that is a decision that I can change once I get a better feel for how I will be using VirtualBox.

Even thought I have licenses for some of the OS’s that I am looking at, I wanted to make a reasonable attempt at staying legal. The first Guest OS that I will be installing is Windows XP. Even though Microsoft would probably like it to go away, I dont see XP going away anytime soon. I will also be installing Windows 7 as well. Even though I have a copy of Windows Vista, I havent decided if I will be installing that OS or not. I haven’t come across many copies of it installed, so that isn’t high on my list to get installed. Whether I will also install Windows 8 or not is undecided at this point.

For Server version OS’s, I have decided go with Windows 2003 and 2008 for now. I have a copy of Windows 2000 that might make the install list at some point, if I see the case for having it available. There are some applications that will only run on Server OS’s, so I will need to have at least a couple available for help in those situations.

For Linux OS’s, I have decided to go with Ubuntu for client level testing and CentOS for server testing. I know that Ubuntu has a server version, again, going from what I have seen installed, CentOS is the one I have seen used frequently in server situations and Ubuntu for the client. As with the other decisions I have made in this process, that may get altered over time.

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