Picking OS for host machine

Hi folks.

I’m pretty new to virtualization so there is a lot to learn.
Can somebody point me in to the right direction please?

My plan to have few different VMs running manjaro, something like:
1st - for wrok and work related communication
2nd - for non-work related communication
3rd - for surfing web

Is debian buster + virtualbox is the best way to go? Or should I look in to OS specifically designed for hosting VMs (free) or any other distros?

Do you already use manjaro as a host, my first thought is that you might be putting too much thought into the host OS. Are you trying to use a lightweight host so the guest has more power, why not just dual boot then?

My manjaro is a little broken. I’ve been told that quickest way to fix it is to nuke it and just do a fresh install.
I was thinking about virtualization for a while, I like the security aspect + having dedicated VM for work will help with procrastination.

I only have 16GB of RAM, so yes I was hoping for something lightweight.

What kind of work do you use the VM for, I’m having my own problems right now but up until yesterday I was rocking 16GB of ram, i3-10100, and a GTX1050TI. I was gaming on the VM with near native performance while simultaneously using the Manjaro host for discord, music, and looking up guides.

Thanks James.
I do web dev, so it should be very light for the system. But I’m very greedy in terms of system resources. I don’t want to waste them unnecessarily, since the host OS will be doing one single thing. And in general, I would like to know what is the “best” OS for hosting VMs.

Just use a 128GB USB 3.x.x Flash drive if you wan to use another OS. The YouTuber “Switch to Linux” does this as does other.

And yes you can install Linux to a USB key instead of use it as LiveMedia.

Okay, so it’s more a question of what’s the best way, not so much you need the best but want an agreed on standard. I can understand the need for that question. Idk what the answer is lol but just wanted to make sure you weren’t wasting your time for nothing

Thank you for participating in this thread but this doesn’t really answer my question.

Sorry. What is coming to Mind is something called a Hypervisioner(right word?) which is a Host OS that runs at Low hardware levels and a number of OSes runs as normal on top.

Sorry if that not what you want.

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@Rus Sorry, but there are no “specialized” OS for VMs. In general Debian, Ubuntu, Arch, Manjaro etc… are just Distributions. Think more of a “package center”, where all packages come together and then send it to you.

What you might try to ask is, which DEs (Desktop Environments). are good for VMs?


DEs are more traditional, WMs just manage Windows.

So for VMs i would suggest:

WM: dwm, awesome, i3

Anything with more or less GPU load (meaning effects etc.) runs bad on VMs.

However… if you plan only using VMs, then it might be good to have just shortcuts for them on the host with a very lightweight WM. You could also start a naked x-server and start the VMs on login.



Is that FOSS, with paid support available?

Of those I think is more usable then the other due to low resource usage and able to use as a Basic DE as well.

Yep, as far as I know.

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No problem at all! Thank you very much for info on Hypervisors. I will look in to them

Thank you very much megavolt. Good to know.

It’s just that I was hoping that somebody came up with a lightweight distro specifically for hosting VMs. I don’t have enough experience with Linux in order to build one myself.

It looks like Downloads | Qubes OS is what you are looking for.


Amazing stuff, thank you! I will look in to it. Hopefully it’s not too complicated.

Amazing stuff, thank you very much, I will look in to it.

What a great thread. So much valuable info. I’m going to look in to every suggestion and see which one would be most hassle free in terms of setting up and maintenance.

You guys rock!

I did some research and I’m thinking to go with KVM/QEMU and use manjaro for the host. What do you guys think?