[RndTbl] Windows activation on Linux VM host?

Kevin McGregor kevin.a.mcgregor at gmail.com
Fri Jan 22 09:25:37 CST 2021

I don’t think Trevor was considering a P2V, which means most of the
foregoing discussion is moot.

Trevor, go ahead. It’ll work fine. 😀

On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 08:57 Alberto Abrao <alberto at abrao.net> wrote:

> On 2021-01-22 8:28 a.m., Kevin McGregor wrote:
> What John said.
> The rest of you are making this way too complicated. The physical hardware
> beyond the CPU capabilities does not "seep" into a VM. The motherboard
> (chipset and everything else) is fully virtual and moves with the VM. As an
> aside, on VMware ESX you can specify a "maximum" CPU generation such that
> e.g. any Intel CPU newer than Nehalem looks exactly like a Nehalem. Good
> for multiple generations of blades in a server farm; with this enabled you
> can live-migrate from any blade to any other blade all you want.
> KVM does the same. And yes, come to think of it, that would pretty much
> eliminate the activation re-trigger. Good point.
> Just don't P2V. Ever.
> I've moved VMs from host to host many times and *never* had a licensing
> problem.There are no "VM-unfriendly" versions of Windows licenses. They can
> all be virtualized equally. You need one license per "machine", whether
> that machine is physical or virtual. Moving the VM around changes nothing.
> All of the above is true - except for P2V'ing - and even for OEM licenses.
> (and yes, we are making it complicated, lol)
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 12:37 AM John Lange <john at johnlange.ca> wrote:
>> I'll offer up my non-expert opinion and say that you will be fine with a
>> single VM on removable media running Windows10 regardless of which machine
>> you fire it up on. My reasoning is straight forward; it is very much common
>> practice to have virtual environments with many physical hosts and to move
>> VMs between hosts on a regular basis. Granted that is a more complex
>> environment that just removable media but the concept is the same. Moving
>> VMs between physical hosts is afterall one of the whole points of
>> virtualizing so if Windows10 stopped working everytime you did that what
>> would be the point?
>> As far as testing goes, I have in the past had Windows VMs on a Linux
>> workstation and when I upgraded to a newer system I just copied the VMs
>> over and fired them up on the new machine, no problem. (this was Windows7,
>> but I expect W10 would be the same).
>> However, the one thing that I don't believe will work is to P2V a
>> workstation that was purchased with Windows10 already on it. That version
>> of Windows is OEM licensing and I believe it still has very specific terms
>> that the license lives and dies on the original hardware only. I'm sure you
>> can P2V it and it will run, but it may complain? That being said I'm sure
>> there is a way to re-activate it by buying the proper Windows10 license.
> You can P2V*, it *will* complain, and then you have the two options I
> described before for activation. All are A-OK.
> The only caveat with OEM is that the VM must run on the same physical
> hardware tied to the licence. If you buy a server with an OEM Windows
> Server licence, for example, and wants to virtualize it on top of something
> else (VMware, for example), it is OK to use the same licence to do so, as
> long as VMware is running on top of the original hardware.
> * as a fun tidbit, virt-p2v clones the physical hardware to the point that
> it also clones the NIC's MAC Address. When I was preparing my last
> presentation, I p2v'd a machine, then started it on the virtual host. After
> that, I went back to the physical machine and wiped its hard drive,
> proceeding to stage the environment for the demo Nextcloud install. After
> all was said and done, I was left wondering why the connection for the
> fresh physical machine would drop every minute or so...
> ...yep, the resulting p2v virtual machine had the exact same MAC address
> of the NIC found on the physical one. So when I had the physical machine
> back on the network, chaos ensued. :D
> Kind regards,
> Alberto Abrao
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