The problem of extending modern operating systems to run efficiently on large-scale shared memory multiprocessors without a large implementation effort is solved by a unique type of virtual machine monitor. Virtual machines are used to run multiple commodity operating systems on a scalable multiprocessor. To reduce the memory overheads associated with running multiple operating systems, virtual machines transparently share major data structures such as the operating system code and the file system buffer cache. We use the distributed system support of modem operating systems to export a partial single system image to the users. Two techniques, copy-on-write disks and the use of a special network device, enable transparent resource sharing without requiring the cooperation of the operating systems. This solution addresses many of the challenges facing the system software for these machines. The overheads of the monitor are small and the approach provides scalability as well as the ability to deal with the non-uniform memory access time of these systems. The overall solution achieves most of the benefits of operating systems customized for scalable multiprocessors yet it can be achieved with a significantly smaller implementation effort.