This page is about navit as a virtual appliance. This means that you run a virtual machine (guest), which runs navit itself.
This ofcourse will add some overhead.
On the otherhand if you have a machine that you cannot install software on as administrator, this virtual appliance (VA) might be a good method of running navit, without the need for administrator rights. Or if you, like me, update your machine quiet often, the VA can be updated only when necessary, making it a stable appliance. You can put it on an USB stick (>= 2Gb) and run it from there.
I use qemu for the virtual machine. This program runs in userspace, so no "installation" is necessary.
For the host OS that runs navit, i have choossen gentoo because it optimize code for the emulated CPU.
Below are the general steps to install qemu, details can be added over time.
Step 2 Download the virtual appliance.
This is a *large* file, so downloading might take a while. After downloading the navit_must.zip file, you can unzip it. This will give you two files, nav_root.img, which is the virtual machine itself, and maps.iso, a iso image that contains some maps.
Step 3 Start qemu. Just type qemu -hda nav_root.img -hdc maps.iso -soundhw es1370
This should start gentoo, and after some diagnostices, you will see the navit application itself.
For navit to show you your position on the map, you need a gps receiver. The VA assumes that you run gpsd. on the host machine. I run the VA on a linuz gentoo host, for a gpsd for windows, you can try  i don't know to much about windows, so anyone with more knowledge about gpsd for windows please edit this section!
I use a bluetooth gps receiver and a usb bluetooth dongle from sweex. currently qemu 0.90 does not support this usb bluetooth dongle, but perhaps the new 0.91 qemu will support it. You can then use navit without the need for a running gpsd on the host. If anyone has succes with that, please add it to this section.