I have set up a virtual machine running windows XP (as guest) on an Ubuntu 11.04/64bit machine. The virtual host is using qemu-kvm. Accessing the virtual windows using virt-manager is possible, but way to slow. Using rdp with tsclient is much better, but still not that fast.

Is there a better way to access the guest system?

Is VirtualBox that much besser when accessing the graphical windows desktop?

  • Which video driver are you using in the VM? – aquaherd Sep 8 '11 at 17:27

If you want something that really rocks, you'll probably want to have a look at SPICE, which works with KVM and the newest virt-manager. It really is something else. The last time I played with it on Ubuntu, it was a little difficult to get up and running, but it was definitely worth it. I know people have been working to make this easier, but I don't know how how far they've come.

  • I tried to use SPICE, but it's a little complicated. I followed this instruction: docs.cslabs.clarkson.edu/wiki/SPICE But I endet with problems with apparmor (solved) and I did not manage to use it with virt-manager. In the end I could start my VM with qemu/spice, but coud not install the windows drivers because the network interfae did not work. Time for a new question: How to use SPICE with Ubuntu :) – Thomas Sep 8 '11 at 19:50

I tried using kvm as desktop virtualization for Windows XP in the early days. As you pointed out as well, the access to ghe graphical interface is the biggest problem. I used rdesktop directly in full screen mode back then, but ended in using VirtualBox just because of that...

I'm really happy now with virtual box, its fast and reliable. Even browsing which is probably one of the most graphic intense application I use is working fine.

I must admit that I have never tried SPICE, so it might be worth to take a look at that first.


Xen is known to be very good at this but you will need to compile and configure it by ur self. It has direct access to the Hardware which gives big performance improvements. Ubisoft plans to use it for Windows games to work on non-Windows platforms, here is a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gtmwnx-k2qg&list=FLMmYeNobfU1erL5KunJ0OfQ&index=26

How to install Xen on Ubuntu 11.04: http://aethylred.blogspot.com/2011/05/xen-41-and-ubuntu-1104.html

How to install Xen on Ubuntu 11.10: http://bderzhavets.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/build-xen-4-1-1-on-ubuntu-11-10/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.