I spent all yesterday afternoon trying to answer the question can you run a virtual machine inside a virtual machine?
To answer this question I downloaded Vmware Player and the open source Virtualbox and started ‘playing’. After a couple of hours I came up with the following.
1. Running a virtual machine (either Linux or Windows) using Vmware Player inside Vmware Player is a non starter as Vmware do not support this. I tried and got internal monitor errors everytime and then a system crash.
2. Next I tried to run a VMware Player virtual machine inside Linux Mint 11 which was hosted on Virtualbox. Nope it didn’t like this either as the virtual machine started, got passed the BIOS and then nothing. Had the same issue with Windows 7.
3. Time to keep going so next I tried to run a Virtualbox virtual machine inside Virtualbox. Virtualbox spat out the dummy once you got passed the BIOS. The screen would freeze up and then nothing. Again I had the same results on both Windows 7 and Linux Mint 11. I had heard that if you run different versions of Virtualbox you might get it to work so I tried that too. Again Virtualbox was not playing.
4. Finally I tried running a Virtualbox virtual machine inside VMWare Player. This configuration got as far as loading the kernel and then hung. Further research indicated that you can load a different kernel which ‘might’ work. I didn’t try this.
So to answer the question, no you can’t run a virtual machine inside a virtual machine (as long as you are using either Vmware Player or Virtualbox). I have not tried the other virtual software options on the market yet.
But now I will ask another question. Even if you could why would you want to?
About the Author
Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter