Virtualization systems support several mobile-oriented guests; however, the virtual machines tend to lack the touch interfaces and gesture-based controls associated with mobile devices.
Virtualization systems share many common behaviors and use cases. To avoid too much repetition among the following sections covering specific products, I’ll try to cover a handful of general concepts and terminology here.
The following list explains helpful details regarding common hardware and devices:
CPU Most virtualization focuses on the x86 (32-bit) or x86_64 (64-bit) processors since these are the most popular chips used by operating systems.
Most of these chips have built-in virtualization capabilities, such as the Intel VT-x (aka “vmx”) or AMD-V (aka “svm”) features that work hand-in-hand with virtualization software.
RAM Systems need memory. Hosts should have as much as possible in order to be able to run their own programs in addition to a guest’s. The only complication here is deciding how much RAM to assign to a guest.
Virtualization software will generally provide recommendations based on your particular hardware profile.
Having 2GB of RAM is a good start more than 4GB for a 32-bit guest system is rarely necessary. Graphics cards have a separate memory area. Unless you plan to play games or run 3-D animations, it’s unlikely you’ll need more than a bare minimum here.
Disk space Most modern operating systems need at least 8GB of space to get started. Once you start installing programs and tools (have I mentioned games enough yet?), the required amount quickly reaches into the 32GB or 64GB range.
In this day of multiterabyte drives, this is rarely a problem. Plus, virtualization systems do not allocate the complete space for a drive upon creation.
Devices The variety of devices that may be connected to a virtual machine depends on the sophistication of the virtualization software.
At the very least, you’ll be able to connect a virtual keyboard and mouse (that act just like the keyboard and mouse from your host system).
Networking A guest’s isolation from a network may be handled in many ways. A host only configuration restricts connectivity to the host and guest only, making the guest invisible and inaccessible to any other network device.
A Network Address Translation (NAT) configuration treats the host as the guest’s access point to a network.