Ended up working from home today, partially because Harold wasn’t feeling too great (maybe still doing some teething?) and partially because I wanted to do a bit of playing with virtualization software.<br />n<br />nI did some searching around for VMWare equivalents and was (as usual) led to Wikipedia’s page comparing various virtualization software. First, I determed my needs, which were defined as:<br />n- host OS is WinXP on x86<br />n- guest OS is linux on x86<br />n- the VM software should be free<br />n<br />nThis led me to <a href=”http://www.virtualbox.org/” title=”virtual box”>VirtualBox</a>.<br />n<br />nAnd an acquaintance was talking up <a href=”http://www.ubuntu.com/” title=”ubuntu linux”>Ubuntu</a> linux, so I checked that out too. Looks like they have their act together, making it as desktop friendly as possible, and also doing two releases per year, guaranteed.<br />n<br />nI got VBox installed pretty easily, then ran it for the first time. It asked to set up the virtual machine’s details, such as how much memory to allocate as well as setting up the virtual disk. The virtual disk is not a partition of the physical drive but rather a containter file. I allocated a max 10GB disk that only gets bigger as it fills up.<br />n<br />nAfter that was set up, I downloaded the iso file for the Ubuntu 9.10 release. Once it was finished copying over, I mounted the iso image as a CD and installed it into the VBox VM. Worked pretty well and pretty smooth, much smoother than my last time installing linux about 4 years ago.<br />n<br />nUbuntu found its way onto the machine no problem and in no time, I was back in the linux environment. But what’s the first thing you try when you get a new machine? You try out the network, of course! And as with my last attempt at using VMWare on my work laptop, Ubuntu could not see the network, despite the configuration being default (NAT), which the documentation said should work for most situations.<br />n<br />nI had to get some work done throughout the day, so I gave up for a while. I realized that I had installed all this as the administrator on the XP machine. When I moved over to my regular user login, I could not see the VM that I had set up before. Copying all the files over to a shared location did not work, so I decided to <em>export</em> the VM (I believe that VBox calls it the <em>appliance</em>) then import it when I was back in as my regular login.<br />n<br />nThat worked, and all the changes I made in the linux environment were still there. This was also the time to install the <a href=”http://www.virtualbox.org/manual/UserManual.html#guestadditions” title=”guest additions”>guest additions</a> for Ubuntu. The chief benefit I saw after doing that was that I was no longer locked into an 800 by 600 screen, WAY small these days! I believe that I’m up to 1024×768 now (though I need to confirm). Also, the seamless mouse works nicely.<br />n<br />nNext, I tried Firefox again and it worked now too. Nice!<br />n<br />nHeaded over to YouTube to see how Flash performed, but the site said I needed to install Flash. It pointed me to Adobe’s download site, it sniffed by user agent string, and pointed me to a menu of linux installers. I picked the one that hinted at Ubuntu and followed the prompts to install. Next thing I now, I was watching videos.<br />n<br />nThat’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. There is some playing around I need to do still, but it’s great just getting this far. Next step: Trying for a higher resolution and making sure the folder sharing between linux and Windows is set up and working.