Simultaneous XP / Ubuntu sessions?

Discussion in 'Parallels Desktop for Mac' started by slinberg, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. slinberg

    slinberg Bit poster

    I have XP in a Boot Camp installed, and Ubuntu in a standard install. They're both 512mb virtual machines; when I got my MBP, I had 1gb RAM total, and I once tried running both the XP and Ubuntu sessions simultaneously (on an earlier beta). It was disastrous; slowed the machine to a crawl so I couldn't even use the mouse or keyboard to kill the processes, and I had to hard-reboot, which destroyed my boot camp partition and everything on it. Luckily I was just experimenting, so I didn't lose anything important, and I'm sure it was at least partially due to the fact that my VMs' total memory allocation was more than my physical RAM, so I was in swap hell.

    I've since added a gig, for 2g total, and I'm wondering if anybody ever runs both a Windows and a Linux (ubuntu/etc) session at the same time, switching between them, or whether that's verboten? I do actually have a need to do this. Will enough RAM make this possible, or is Parallels really a one-at-a-time VM system?

    Thanks for any tips.
  2. mmurray

    mmurray Member

    I did this once with the first generation mac book with 2 gig ram. It was a demo just to show it was possible so I didn't do much but launch Word on the XP side and open a few things on the Fedora side. It didn't slow the machine down that much. I think more ram is the solution. As far as I know it is not verboten -- I think it is mentioned in the manual.

  3. scottcar

    scottcar Bit poster

    On my Macbook at the goading of one of the guys here in the office I was able to run three simultaneous Parallels sessions with only 1GB of RAM. The three OSes were Windows XP, Fedora Core 6, and Damn Small Linux. I took a few steps to ensure this would work..

    1. I temporarily allocated 256MB each to the Windows XP and Fedora Core 6 images, and 128 MB to the DSL Image.
    2. I would let the first image boot completely before loading the next one.

    It worked pretty well.. it was a little slow as you start running out of physical RAM and then the computer has to swap to hard disk. I have since upgraded my MacBook to 2GB and would imagine the same test would work much better..

    I think the reason you were having problems is you were allocating all of the available RAM to both VM sessions. Scale it back a bit and things should run more smoothly.

    I hope this helps.

  4. slinberg

    slinberg Bit poster

    After reading these posts, I crossed my fingers and launched my Ubuntu VM with XP running, and... it worked! Phew.

    So yeah, make sure you have significantly more physical RAM than you're allocating to the VMs in total, and it works fine.

  5. dkp

    dkp Forum Maven

    I'm running Solaris 10 and XP in Parallels, and Fedora and XP in VMWare all at the same time right now. Everything is well behaved and running in a MacBook Pro with 2g of RAM. Oh - and I have iTunes playing the Cazimero Brothers from in OS X.

    Here's some thing cool - I can highlight text in a Fusion Fedora xterm and copy it, and then paste it into XP running in Parallels. That's pretty seamless stuff. Looking forward to Solaris Tools in Parallels.
  6. mykmelez

    mykmelez Member

    I have a first generation MBP with 2GB RAM, and I sometimes run with a 1GB Ubuntu VM and a 512MB XP VM. If nothing else is running, things generally work fine (with occasional slowness), but if I start opening up Mac apps, then my machines will start straining.

    I think things would probably be fine if I instead gave 512MB to my Ubuntu partition, but I live in that partition, so I need it to have the most RAM (even more than the host OS, which generally only gets enough RAM to run Parallels itself).

    Ultimately I'd like to get a second generation MBP with 3GB RAM so I can give 1GB to each OS.

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