February 22, 2003

VMWare

Despite all the good things that have been said about VMWare, I find that I'm not really able to use it for testing Syndirella under different OSes. The thing which causes the most OS compatibility problems is drawing - but I cannot rely on VMWare to show me how Syndirella would look when I run it on a real machine with that OS. For example, today I noticed that Syndirella running under Windows 98 in VMWare doesn't show checkboxes in the "Import feeds" list view correctly. I was a bit surprised that no one reported such an obvious problem, and spent some time trying to debug it, but to no avail - I couldn't see any problems with the code. Then I revived Windows Me installed as a dual-boot OS on my wife's computer and tried Syndirella there - and the checkboxes were drawn perfectly.

I guess I should try using Virtual PC instead of VMWare. It is significantly slower, but at least it is something I can trust.

Posted by yole at February 22, 2003 05:32 PM | TrackBack
Comments

I've never had much success with Windows 98 and VMWare. I've been told that the slower the host machine the more chance there is of this combination working. No idea why this should be.

Posted by: Charles Cook on February 22, 2003 06:20 PM

Funny you say that. At work I used Linux and ran VMWare on top of it for Windows 2000. It worked like a charm. It ran at almost real speed and I never had any drawing problems.

It sounds as though it's a Windows 98/VMWare bug. You could probably get it working well though with 2000. I would also recommend you try ME.

Most of all though, if the VMWare guys have a bug tracker, make sure you submit to it so the bug gets fixed.

Posted by: Kevin Breit on February 22, 2003 07:13 PM

Windows 2000 works much better under VMWare - but the drawing problems that are reported to me happen under 98, not 2000. :-) And I don't quite see why there should be any difference between 98 and Me in this regard.

Most likely the drawing problems are somehow related to the Win98 implementation of GDI+. I don't remember seeing any drawing problems with non-.NET applications. And if I turn off custom drawing of the Syndirella list views, the list views are drawn quite correctly.

Posted by: Dmitry Jemerov on February 22, 2003 07:25 PM

I use VMWare at work quite extensively, and we've also come to the conclusion that Win98 (we don't use ME much at all) totally sucks under VMWare. We don't really know why, just that you really need a real box in order to test things under Win98. It's instability is much worse running as a VM, if you can believe it.

As for Win2k (and NT, although I haven't used it as much as a VM), it works great as a VM. When I run it fullscreen, you can't even tell that it's a VM.

XP is a different matter. It adds just enough bells and whistles to slow things down and be generally annoying - even if all the extra UI doodads are off. It is as stable as 2k though (from my experience).

Posted by: milbertus on April 10, 2003 04:18 AM
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