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Here's my situation:

I have two ASUS Celeron 800mhz 512MB systems that are currently running XP SP3. Our POS system is Windows only, and will NOT run in Wine. (well, it runs, but not functionally) I have other machines running Ubuntu with VMWare Player hosting XP as a virtual machine for the POS. No issues there.

But these two older systems don't have enough ram to run even Puppy Linux and XP in a virtual machine, much less Ubuntu or Xubuntu with the VM. (and they cannot be upgraded)

Presently, my option seems to be (other than sticking with very slow XP systems) to try to create a stripped down custom XP to fit it into less memory so I can run it in Xubuntu or Puppy in a VM.

What I would "like" to do, is run Xubuntu (or Puppy) and serve the whole VM over the LAN.

I thought maybe a thin-client setup was the ticket, but I don't want to serve the whole Linux OS if I can help it. These desktops still need to run LibreOffice, FireFox, and Thunderbird. So I'd like to just serve up the VM to each. Also, it is quite possible, to have both desktops trying to run the POS simultaneously, so I'll need separate instances of the VM for each client, if not each user on them.

I don't mind if the VM/POS is a little slow. But the main desktop needs to be reasonably responsive for other tasks, hence why I want to switch these two to Linux.

Any ideas?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since you're already using VMware, you might want to look into the VSphere hypervisor. You can use it to run multiple VMs on a single server in headless mode, and serve them across the network to clients. We use it at my college to run target VMs for penetration testing competitions.

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Sweet. Thanks! This looks like the solution. – user13314 Apr 4 '11 at 15:20

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