Rocky + KDE + VirtualBox = successful Windows 10 Pro guest VM!

My virtualized Windows 10 Pro system is now running, and behaves MUCH better than I expected.

After months of thrashing with VMware Workstation Pro – and after paying $200 for it – I tried the most recent (v6.2) version of VirtualBox. About a day later, everything works!

I had to buy a new retail version of Windows 10 Pro, because my three physical Windows 10 Pro systems all have digital OEM licenses. In the grand scheme of things, that’s fine by me.

I’m very happy with Rocky Linux and only a little less so with KDE plasma. Once I identified and expelled the two bad guys – Dell (physical machine) and VMware – all is good.

I look forward to continuing to contribute to Rocky Linux and this community.



Maybe a bit late now, but with digital licenses you need to connect your Windows 10 machine to a Microsoft account. rather than a local account The machine then appears in the devices list in the Microsoft account. Then when you want to re-activate later, there is an option that says I have a digital license, it then looks at your Microsoft accounts and gives you a list of the machines registered. At this point you choose the one that you are replacing since you reinstalled it for example. That digital license then gets transferred to the newly installed machine and the old one disappears from the device list in the Microsoft account.

The other big thing is here, never delete old devices from your Microsoft account, since the digital license will then disappear I expect. I’m glad I didn’t do this with mine, and later reinstalled the VM and was able to activate it and continue as normal without having to buy another license.

Incidently though, mine was a Windows 10 Pro license bought direct from Microsoft, so it wasn’t OEM. This means I can transfer it between different hardware, something that you cannot do with an OEM key anyway. The downside for that is it costs far more than an OEM license, but I can live with that.

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I wonder how libvirtd/KVM would fare compared to VMware and VirtualBox?
(AppStream has libvirt in Virtualization module.)

VMWare and “VMWare Workstation” are two very different things.
Kernel Virtual Machine is open source and already in the kernel.

No doubt.

Still my bottom line, as a reasonably competent senior developer with forty+ years of professional experience, is that I thrashed for months trying to get a Windows 10 Pro guest VM working using VMware tools. I bought the license, I attempted to use their “support” (another joke), I spent many weeks installing and uninstalling things, patching things, editing config files, and all the rest.

When I gave up and decided to try VirtualBox, it all just worked.

I’m running Windoze 10 VM using KVM, & those run better than when using VirtualBox (that is to be expected, as it is a type 1 HyperVisor rather than type 2 which VirtualBox & VMware Workstation Player are. If I were you I’d change to KVM…

Sounds very interesting. If you get a chance to put together a recipe, I’ll check it out.

I appreciate the information.

I believe he is talking about a digital entitlement, a method of activation in Windows 10 that doesn’t require you to enter a product key. If you upgraded to Windows 10 for free from an activated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you should have a digital license instead of a product key, based off of the hardware fingerprint. If is was a NON-OEM license then you can link it to your Microsoft account and transfer it to another pc.

I personally use to get my Windows licenses for like $12. I don’t know how legal it is but I get a Windows 10 Pro Key that works for $12.

I have two physical systems, let’s call them “physical-old” and “physical-new”. physical-old was a Windows 7 Pro system that I upgraded to Windows 10 Pro in early 2020 at the urging of Microsoft.

physical-old started with an OEM digital license that was somehow changed in 2020 when I upgraded it to Windows 10 Pro. I was not asked to pay anything extra, and it worked fine as a Windows 10 Pro system after the upgrade.

physical-new is a second Windows 10 Pro system that I bought brand-new in September of 2021. It has a new digital OEM license.

I installed Rocky Linux on physical-new, and installed VirtualBox on that system. After I got my first Windows 10 guest VM running on VirtualBox on physical-new, my attempts to activate it failed. I therefore bought a retail license and entered that license key. It worked (once).

I discarded and replaced that guest VM with a new Windows 10 guest VM running in VirtualBox on physical-new. When I attempted to activate that with the license key I bought and paid for, the attempt failed.

I then used physical-old to log into whatever that Microsoft on-line registry is (I frankly don’t remember). Allegedly that helps.

I used that online account to activate the Windows 10 Pro guest VM running on physical-new that I’m now using. It seems to work. My physical-old box continues to start and run just fine.

My bottom line is that I have NO CLUE what key goes to what system. I’m out $200. I don’t know if the Windows 10 Pro sitting unused on the SSD in physical-new works or not. This kind of Three-Card Monte at $200 a pop epitomizes why I am doing all in my power to purge my day-to-day world of every Microsoft product – the company is positively evil.

I appreciate your comment. Since whatever I have now seems to work, I’m going to leave well enough alone. I did eventually get a refund from vmware, so that helps a little.