Confused on Virtual Machines (Idk what category this goes under..)

Bludmon88

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Nov 2, 2014
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I have heard of virtual machines but have been confused on the purpose of them. So far I know a VM is basically a computer inside another computer. I have always been interested in going to the deep Web some day (note, deep Web and not dark web) and have heard that setting up a virtual machine increases safety and security. Of course I want to be safe and am going to do a lot of research before trying to access things I have no knowledge of. I have no idea if this is true and am very confused on why a virtual machine is useful and what people use them for. Thanks!
 

why_wolf

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Tails is a Linux distro like Ubuntu or MInt. Though I believe with Tails the idea is you run it off a USB stick as opposed to installing it fully or running it in a VM. Though you can certainly run it under a VM if you want to.

Many linux distros allow this 'preview' mode with a USB stick. You can't really install or save new info to it but it functions to show you what its like to use Linux. It predates VMs being a practical idea for regular people due to the CPU power required to actually run one well.
 
one use is you can have more than one operating system running at once--quite a few actually if your pc is up to it

another use some people like to play old dos games that need xp or even windows ME

can test new software etc with out affecting your main pc as a VM can just be wiped and remade quickly while still able to use your pc

and other uses
 

why_wolf

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Your analogy is correct, its a computer inside a computer. Depending on the VM it can either look just like any other program running on your normal desktop (example the old games sold on GOG run inside of DOSBox to simulate DOS) or they can appear as a completely separate desktop.

The increase in security comes from the fact that infections generally can not escape from the sandbox nature of the VM. I for example have simple Linux Mint VM setup that I use TOR out of every now and then. Took maybe 15 minutes to setup and a simple right click and delete if you don't want it taking up space on the HDD anymore.

There's a few VM products out there but I like VMware Player as it's pretty simple to use for a occasional user. https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/free#desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_workstation_player/12_0

Its also a great way to test out different OSs if you aren't sure if you really want to use them as your daily driver. I did that with Windows 10 before I was ready to switch to it.
 

Bludmon88

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Thank you so much for the reply, both of you. I did check out that link but I was originally thinking of using Tails. I believe Tails is a VM, if im correct. Would you recommend Tails? Is it easy enough to setup? Thanks again for the replies!

 

why_wolf

Honorable


Tails is a Linux distro like Ubuntu or MInt. Though I believe with Tails the idea is you run it off a USB stick as opposed to installing it fully or running it in a VM. Though you can certainly run it under a VM if you want to.

Many linux distros allow this 'preview' mode with a USB stick. You can't really install or save new info to it but it functions to show you what its like to use Linux. It predates VMs being a practical idea for regular people due to the CPU power required to actually run one well.
 

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