Is it a good idea to run virtual machine on a different X server? I can switch between them using Ctrl + Alt + Fx shortcuts. If my default X server hangs/crashes, I can still continue to work with the virtual machine. Are there any drawbacks/issues I should be aware of? I didn't face any issue so far. What is the cost of running an additional X server for virtual machine in terms of cpu, gpu, memory, disk etc,.? Is it same as running them inside the same X server?

Edit: Basically I am trying to understand which one is better?

|-----> Virtual Machine 1
|-----> Virtual Machine 2
|-----> Virtual Machine 3


XServer1 --> Virtual Machine 1
XServer2 --> Virtual Machine 2
XServer3 --> Virtual Machine 3

VMs don`t run on a X-server. They run on a physical machine. You can redirect the output to different X-servers, if you like to.

On Virtualbox you can also use a "headless" mode for VMs - these will not use a X-display at all.

Another alternative might be using Xfvb as X-Server. You can then start VNC-server processes inside the VMs and connect there.

  • if I use headless, I have to connect to it using rdesktop/vnc which will again require an X server. I am trying to use two operating systems parallelly (and independent of each other) and should be able to switch between them using a keyboard shortcut.
    – balki
    Feb 1 '12 at 18:19
  • You can connect to those machines with ssh (with or without X11-server). If you want to connect to VNC or X11 via X11 tunnel the X11-server runs on the VM - not on the VirtualBox-Server.
    – Nils
    Feb 1 '12 at 20:57
  • 1
    Why not just use a Desktop environment that lets you have more than one workspace, and run each VM in a different workspace? It seems crazy to run three different X environments for no good reason -- it's not as if the VMs care about what display they talk to, it's all virtualized anyway through your VM software.
    – jsbillings
    May 1 '12 at 19:34

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