Recommendations for running FreeBSD as a guest OS

Charles Oppermann chuckop at
Sun Feb 15 10:43:47 PST 2009

> I have a small network at work that, unfortunately, uses Windows 2003.

Nothing unfortunate about using Windows 2003.  It's well supported and well
known.  That's not a knock against any other OS, but if there are other
reasons to use an OS other than FreeBSD, people shouldn't feel a need to
denigrate or apologize for it (not saying that you are doing that
specifically, but many people do).

> I need a good mail server, but I do not have a budget for purchasing
> additional software.

That's what I love about FreeBSD :-)

> Exchange requires too many hacks to configure a
> catchall email account, and Exchange and I do not get along very well.

I used to run a small Exchange 2000 (later Exchange 2003) system and it had
a method by which all mail that didn't match an existing mailbox account
could be routed to either a specific account or to a mailbox that could be
accessed by other accounts.  I don't recall the details, and I think someone
else pointed you in the right direction already, but if you still have
difficulty, let me know and I'll try to find out the exact steps.  What
version of Exchange would you run?

Microsoft's Small Business Server product might be better suited, but that
too might be too expensive.

> So, today while brainstorming, I thought why not run FreeBSD as a guest
> OS on the box.  Any suggestions for the best way of doing this?

I think that's a great idea.

I've ran FreeBSD 7.0 as a guest on Windows XP, Vista and FBSD7.1 under the
Windows 7 beta with good success.  The host was running Microsoft Virtual PC
2007 with the latest service pack.  There were some networking things I had
to figure out, but I was impressed with the performance.

I just checked and Windows Server 2003 is one of the supported operating
systems.  Note that VPC is a free product that is downloadable from

Windows Server 200_8_ includes HyperV virtualization that differs
significantly from the technology in the VPC product, which focuses on
desktop scenarios (although Windows Server 200_3_ is supported). I have not
tried for myself, but I understand there are some challenges getting FreeBSD
running correctly under HyperV. I mention this because you might assume that
whatever works under Windows 2003+VPC will work under Windows 2008 w/HyperV
and that may not be the case.

> Thanks in advance,

Good luck!  Let us know how it works out.

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