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How to run Windows XP in Fedora

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I wanted to have a Windows virtual machine that I could use on my Fedora 10 laptop, I only have linux on this laptop and i don't want to dual boot,so this required that I install some virtualization packages and to go virtual.


I'm documenting how I did this so others can learn and hopefully they will be motivated to try it themselves. Fedora offers two methods for virtualisation, one is for virtualising Linux (xen) and the other one can do non-Linux os's as well as Linux (qemu). For a detailed and technical wiki on this subject please see here.


1. Install the virtualization packages.


Open a terminal and as root do the following:-


su -c "yum groupinstall 'Virtualization'"


followed by the following optional components:-


yum install gnome-applet-vm


yum install virt-top


2. Start the virtualisation service


as root do as follows


service libvirtd start


then verify it's running


virsh -c qemu:///system list


you should see something like this


[root@localhost ~]# virsh -c qemu:///system list

Id Name State



3. Install QEMU


as root do

yum install qemu


answer y when prompted

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4. Start the Virtual Machine Manager


Click on Applications, System Tools, Virtual Machine Manager, if the icon isn't present, did you install it above ?




When prompted enter your root password




when the Virtual Machine Manager starts, click on File, then Add Connection




When the Add Connection window appears, click on the Hypervisor option and change it from Xen to Qemu




click on Connect


Select the machine by clicking on it in the Virtual Machine Manager window




right click on your machine and choose new




when the wizard appears, click on Forward




give the Virtual Machine a name like VirtualXP and click Forward




for Choosing a virtualization method click next, if nothing appears under Hypervisor did you install Qemu, and enable Virtualization in the bios and reboot




point to your XP cd or the ISO file on your hard drive, and change the OS type and OS variant values and click on Forward




browse to the XP iso (or cd) and click on Forward




for Assigning Storage space, enter 8000mb as the file size and click forward




select your network choices




enter your memory and CPU choices




review the Summary



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5. Setup and Install XP


Once you click Finish the XP installation will begin and you'll be presented with Windows XP Setup, While XP is installing you might find your mouse has disappeared, it's been taken by the Virtual session, you can press CTRL ALT to release it




at this point, take a look at your Virtual Machine Manager, and you'll see the cpu utilization of your VM




back in your Virtual Machine, you can click on Overview to see graphs of memory and cpu usage





the Hardware tab will show (or allow you to edit) your currently configured hardware settings for the virtual machine, you could even click on Add Hardware to add additional hardware like storage, video card and so on.






after XP is done copying, it will reboot into the GUI portion of setup




In my case it didn't reboot and just powered off the VM, I had to click Run in the Virtual Machine Manager to start it again, but once I did, it was back in business with XP setup




setup will detect your 'hardware' and install drivers..




Next you have to enter your regional settings and Organisational info




enter your XP product key




enter the computername and administrator password




choose your timezone




finally we get to choose the network settings




as I havn't setup the NIC yet i'll leave it as a member of workgroup




after yet more copying of files, and another reboot Windows is nearly ready.




Next, you'll be asked to protect your PC with With Windows Firewall and a few other settings, and once done with the OOBE you get to use XP, in Linux. :)


Congratulations !




Cool or what ?






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  • 3 weeks later...

do you mean another partition in windows or what ? I'm not following you


are you trying this in Fedora 10 or 11 ?

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Fedora 11 x86_64 on my laptop. I'd like to create the virtual disk on, for example, dev/sda2 (Vista / NTFS) instead of the Fedora partition. Not enough space on the Fedora partition.

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I'm guessing yes to this one - given that all Linux needs to do is see it as disk space to utilise for the virtual machine.


The only issue I can forsee is the possible performance impact with Linux having to translate file read/writes to NTFS format, rather than utilise native EXT3/4.

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ok interesting as I'd also like to achieve the same thing on my sons dual boot vista/fedora 11 box, he's running out of space on the fedora side and i'd like to give more space to qemu/kvm


how can we do it ?

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I've been playing with this. I think it's done using the Virtual Machine Manager, Edit / Host Details. This steps through the creation of a new "storgae pool" where I can select from the physical partitions that I want to use. I'm stuck though. Confused between Source and Target paths.


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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Ok i see where i should have added more storage. I'm going to do this again.

I have two more questions.


I realized my Windows will only start in the virtual machine when i put my

Windows XP cd in the drive because it's running off a file from the cd. How

can i just get it running without putting the cd in?


Also i wanna put my videos on WindowsXP. I coppied the videos and

tried dragging them in my Windows from the virtual machine. But that didn't



did you try to add any storage as in the screenshot above ?

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  • 3 months later...

I am using internet through USB-Wifi device(Netgear), I wanted to know whether I can connect to internet on Windows if I try accessing the device through USB ports. Is there need to configure the USB devices in order to access them on Windows??

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