Good point. How about a VM?
"they" would know from the controls on the machine. Question is, what would "they" do about it?
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Couple of points pertaining to the corporate setting:
1. Licencing. I'm not aware of whether The Free Stuff would work on Windows. Let's assume VMWare. Is it freely available for corporate use? If not, then the OP would have to buy a copy. Personal copies are not licenced for use at work (i.e. it's not your computer, it's the company's)
2. Most large (and not so large) companies carry out some form of auditing. It'd get picked up then. Licence issues notwithstanding, VMWare (or whatever) probably falls under the remit of "stuff the itdept doesn't want to deal with"
3. If administrator rights on the Windows box aren't forthcoming, then all bets are off; VMWare installs a number of device drivers.
All-in-all, it's probable that this is not a viable way forward, primarily not because of technical issues.
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VMWare can=Free as in beer
Unless you are using ESX. Of course, there's no licensing issue for a Linux-based VM... Heck, you can download 'em pre-made.
Without admin rights, though - MOST solutions are hosed.
Hmmm. A thought. Does QEMU
on Windows do the same?