I have given some coverage recently to Linux guest operating system support on Hyper-V, especially the incredible announcement last month of mouse support for Linux guests!
Just when you thought it could not get any better, the Microsoft Virtualization gang surprised us again this month. No, it’s still not orderly guest shutdown support, or OS customization, or time sync — you’ll have to wait for that. Maybe all of those things will be introduced with the Red Hat Linux support — after all of those “certifications” are performed.
In the past I have dinged Microsoft for not offering the Linux Integration Components on the main Microsoft Download Center, instead expecting customers to download the ICs from Connect — their beta portal. Earlier this month they remedied this situation — the ICs are now in the expected location. Does anyone else get the impression that Microsoft product managers are reading VCritical and using it as their virtualization to-do list?
Microsoft has a “popularity rating” for all of their downloads. The Linux ICs are current rated at 2608 — lower numbers are more popular. Is 2608 very popular? Hard to say, but for some perspective it falls somewhere in between MSN Messenger 5.0 for Windows NT 4 (1528) and the Intellipoint 4.12 driver for Windows ME (2713).
Oh, one more thing — the Linux ICs are the exact same bits that were offered on Connect. That means no mouse support for you, unless you go over to Xen.org and download the Satori Project InputVSC driver.
I experienced this myself, I had to install a Linux Guest with no GUI (no X windows installed) in order to get directly to the Linux Guest CLI just so that I could install the Linux_IC.iso.
If you do make the mistake of installing X windows packages (KDE, GNOME etc…) for the Linux Guest, the VM is unuseable because of no mouse support.
As you can see, the features of a “supported guest os” vary widely when the virtualization vendor is also in the general purpose OS business.