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Making the switch to linux full time. VMware questions.


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#1 Swerve

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

Think I'm gonna reformat and install Linux as my primary OS. I've been dual booting for a while and it's a pain having to restart your machine when you want to use a particular program, plus the whole security issue.

I'm thinking about installing a trial of VMWare workstation to have Windows available if and when I need it. Has anyone done this?

Reading the VMware site I need Workstation in order to create an image of XP though, and it costs £100.

If I install a trial of WS and create an XP image, when the trial runs out could I then install VMware player which is free and still use the image made when the trial was valid? Just until I can afford to buy it?

They seem to do an academic version, but I'd have to speak to a lecturer, which isn't possible until the new year.


Also, is it wrong I'm getting excited about making the switch? :lol:


*starts backing up*

Edited by Swerve, 11 December 2008 - 02:55 PM.


#2 phasma

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:18 PM

I've had used VMware plenty of times. Its pretty awesome and very stable!

As far as the money issue goes. I am guessing you bought the tower in the past with XP on it. If so it should have came with a XP installation disk. If you got that box an alternative way such as eBay or a friend etc etc. Then you can either buy the XP disk from their or take a look on eBay to legally but it and the documentation. Or you can obtain it differently ;)

But I think the switch will overall expand your knowledge of Linux and how it works. Long time ago I just put my XP box in a different part of my house and just did the sink-or-swim method to finally learn more about using Linux. And I still am trying out new flavors and what not *thinks of previous posts about Debian*. But having XP to fall on whenever you get frustrated will only hold you back.

#3 mungewell

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:32 PM

Hi,
VMServer is available at zero cost, you just have to request a number of license keys from VMWare. They are more interested in people buying there fancier software and I guess they see VMServer/Workstation as an intro to that.

You still need to have a license for your Windows software, not sure whether an OEM version is OK to move from real to virtual on the same hardware.

Actually doing the install is pretty easy. Once VMServer is installed configure a machine with a virtual harddisk and tell it to use a real CD, once the virtual machine is powered on you will be presented with the normal XP install process...... several virtual reboots later you should have a working virtual machine.

You can also use other Virtualisation/Emulation software as QEMU and VirtualBox under Linux.
Cheers,
Mungewell.

PS. If you're getting excited about 'nerding out', then you're definately in the right place ;-)

#4 Swerve

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:43 PM

Ah that's great, thanks chaps for the advice.

mungewell that's a bonus how you say they might give me a key! I might try emailing them from my .ac email address saying I want to use it for a class.

XP is legit, MSDN student software FTW.

Like you say phasma - sink or swim.

Done the backing up now. DBAN floppy in hand.


I'll see you all on 'the other side'.

Edited by Swerve, 11 December 2008 - 03:43 PM.


#5 Swerve

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:14 PM

All was going great, until I've just tried to installed VMWare.

First I used:

$sudo apt-get install alien

Then I went

$sudo alien -k vmwareXXXi386.rpm

to change it into a deb file.

Then I used gDebi on it and it reported back that it was installed.

But now I can find VMWare , a "locate vmware" shows this:

XXXXXX@XXXXXXdesktop:~$ locate vmware
/home/XXXXXX/Desktop/vmware-workstation_6.5.1-126130_i386.deb
/usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/vmware_drv.so
/usr/share/app-install/desktop/vmware-user.desktop
/usr/share/app-install/icons/_usr_share_pixmaps_vmware-player.png
/usr/share/bug/xserver-xorg-video-vmware
/usr/share/bug/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/script
/usr/share/doc/vmware-workstation
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware
/usr/share/doc/vmware-workstation/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/vmware-workstation/copyright
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/changelog.gz
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/copyright
/usr/share/man/man4/vmware.4.gz
/usr/share/xserver-xorg/pci/vmware.ids
/var/cache/vmware
/var/cache/vmware/VMware-Workstation-6.5.1-126130.i386.bundle
/var/lib/dpkg/info/vmware-workstation.list
/var/lib/dpkg/info/vmware-workstation.md5sums
/var/lib/dpkg/info/xserver-xorg-video-vmware.list
/var/lib/dpkg/info/xserver-xorg-video-vmware.md5sums


Now I'm lost.

Should I go and delete it all, or is this process OK so far?

I think I've Fuc*ed up,

Edited by Swerve, 12 December 2008 - 08:15 PM.


#6 phr34kc0der

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 08:26 PM

All was going great, until I've just tried to installed VMWare.

First I used:

$sudo apt-get install alien

Then I went

$sudo alien -k vmwareXXXi386.rpm

to change it into a deb file.

Then I used gDebi on it and it reported back that it was installed.

But now I can find VMWare , a "locate vmware" shows this:

XXXXXX@XXXXXXdesktop:~$ locate vmware
/home/XXXXXX/Desktop/vmware-workstation_6.5.1-126130_i386.deb
/usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/vmware_drv.so
/usr/share/app-install/desktop/vmware-user.desktop
/usr/share/app-install/icons/_usr_share_pixmaps_vmware-player.png
/usr/share/bug/xserver-xorg-video-vmware
/usr/share/bug/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/script
/usr/share/doc/vmware-workstation
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware
/usr/share/doc/vmware-workstation/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/vmware-workstation/copyright
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/changelog.Debian.gz
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/changelog.gz
/usr/share/doc/xserver-xorg-video-vmware/copyright
/usr/share/man/man4/vmware.4.gz
/usr/share/xserver-xorg/pci/vmware.ids
/var/cache/vmware
/var/cache/vmware/VMware-Workstation-6.5.1-126130.i386.bundle
/var/lib/dpkg/info/vmware-workstation.list
/var/lib/dpkg/info/vmware-workstation.md5sums
/var/lib/dpkg/info/xserver-xorg-video-vmware.list
/var/lib/dpkg/info/xserver-xorg-video-vmware.md5sums


Now I'm lost.

Should I go and delete it all, or is this process OK so far?

I think I've Fuc*ed up,


I installed vmplayer on Ubuntu plenty of times. Cant you apt-get install it? If not i think the VMWare website has a vmware server binary you can download and just run with ./binaryName which will install it. They might have one for vmplayer. (Just looked at my vmware server and it was actaully a perl script that installed it) . I've never had to convert a rpm to deb to get it installed and i've been using VMWare for a good few years.

Oh, just re read your post, i think the binary is vmplayer or something. Try locate vmplayer

In terms of just jumping in the deep end, i did the same thing myself and i have never looked back. The first week or so was the hardest as i didnt understand the filesystem (where the hell was c:\??) but when i userstood how everything worked it all just clicked into place. All i had at the time was a laptop with Ubuntu. It was either learn or miss all my coursework deadlines :P

Edited by phr34kc0der, 12 December 2008 - 08:29 PM.


#7 mirrorshades

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Posted 12 December 2008 - 11:24 PM

You need VMWare Server in order to create a new virtual machine. The player will let you run an existing VM, but not create a new one. They are both free and will get you where you need to go.

I'm not quite sure what alien/gdebi are... but I agree with the previous post that you can probably just apt-get VMWare Server. If not, you should be able to download it here: http://vmware.com/go/getserver

You will have to register and provide a valid email address for them to send the license key to... just use a throwaway email if you don't want to give them your real one.

#8 phr34kc0der

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 05:58 AM

You need VMWare Server in order to create a new virtual machine. The player will let you run an existing VM, but not create a new one. They are both free and will get you where you need to go.

I'm not quite sure what alien/gdebi are... but I agree with the previous post that you can probably just apt-get VMWare Server. If not, you should be able to download it here: http://vmware.com/go/getserver

You will have to register and provide a valid email address for them to send the license key to... just use a throwaway email if you don't want to give them your real one.


While this is technically true you if you dont want to install vmware server you can still create virtual machines with QEMU.

qemu-img create -f vmdk My_Virtual_Machine.vmdk 2G

Which would create a 2G vmware drive. You would then need to create a vmx config file (you can either mod an existing one or look online for the format) and can install using that. I personally prefer the player to the server as i can manage it myself without using their weird web interface

#9 Lockdown

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Posted 13 December 2008 - 06:58 PM

VMWare is teh win. I've been in this "scene" for some years now, and never ever downloaded software..

-LD

#10 oddflux

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 05:11 PM

As stated earlier by someone else, you can use virtualbox; It was developed by SUN Microsystems. It is a free alternative to VMWare, which is equal to the task of virtual systems.

Youc an find it here: http://www.virtualbox.org
It should be in your repository also.

#11 livinded

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 11:02 AM

I've been using workstation since early 5.x releases and would say it's probably the best solution out there for virtualization of an os you want to use as a desktop/workstation. And yes, you should be able to install the trial, create the image, and then use player until you can afford a license for workstation.

#12 Aghaster

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 01:28 PM

VirtualBox is free and really looks like VMware, I would go for that if I were you.
Also, if you have a computer doing nothing, just install Windows on it and then connect it to your LAN, and use rdesktop to remotely access it from your Linux system. Give it a fixed IP, and then in gnome add a launcher that will automatically launch rdesktop with the settings you want:

rdesktop 192.168.1.125 -g 1272x942

That's mine so that it starts in a window that exactly fits in between of my two gnome menu bars. You could also give the password and username when calling rdesktop, but that would leave the plaintext password in the gnome launcher.

#13 Swerve

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 02:46 PM

Great advice chaps, thanks a lot.

What I ended up doping was using Virtual Box, didn't think VM Server allowed you to create machines, obviously I was wrong.

Thats a shame as the drag and drop VM-Tools are great, with virtual box I have had to use a shared folder between host and client. Not big deal mind.

It's been working great so far. I've managed to totally isolate the machine by having no networking, USB, CD connectivity for the 'hardware' and the shared folder is read only.

Seems a little more user friendly compared to VMWare, but I imagine it's not as powerful, but for what I need, I think I'll stick with it in the foreseeable future.

#14 Colonel Panic

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Posted 22 December 2008 - 06:17 PM

If there's a particular app you want to use, I'd suggest checking the Wine App DB to see if anybody's been able to get it working under Wine. There are lots of apps and games that run well under Wine.

Wine is much lighter-weight than a VM, you don't have all the necessary commitments that a VM would require, and you don't have to actually install Windows. Of course, Wine is an emulator and not Windows, so if you really need to get a genuine Windows installation running within another OS, then virtualization is your only option.

#15 mirrorshades

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 08:12 AM

It's been working great so far. I've managed to totally isolate the machine by having no networking

FYI, networking on VirtualBox can be a complete pain in the butt to set up. I have installed and attempted to configure VMs on virtualbox 3 or 4 separate times, and have gotten frustrated with it and uninstalled it as many times. (This is for the normal bridge/passthrough setup, I have not set it to use NAT or any other options.)

#16 Swerve

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:18 AM

Well, if you couldn't get it to work, I doubt I'll have much luck.

Shame though, wanted to try creating a virtual network for messing with.


Colonel Panic - I haven't yet looked in Wine, but seems it's used a hell of a lot. There are some MS programs I miss, so hopefully it will provide a working solution.

Thanks

#17 SAGA

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:59 PM

It's been working great so far. I've managed to totally isolate the machine by having no networking

FYI, networking on VirtualBox can be a complete pain in the butt to set up. I have installed and attempted to configure VMs on virtualbox 3 or 4 separate times, and have gotten frustrated with it and uninstalled it as many times. (This is for the normal bridge/passthrough setup, I have not set it to use NAT or any other options.)



Well, if you couldn't get it to work, I doubt I'll have much luck.

Shame though, wanted to try creating a virtual network for messing with.


Colonel Panic - I haven't yet looked in Wine, but seems it's used a hell of a lot. There are some MS programs I miss, so hopefully it will provide a working solution.
,,
Thanks


If you use NAT then i guess you will not face problems in virtualbox.but if you want to create a bridge(i needed it as i want cain to sniff the packets. my host is:fedora and guest is xp) it's really a pain.when i asked this question in virtualbox irc they gave me some script and instructions to do that,i messed with the script for a quiet long time and gave up :( .

#18 Swerve

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 09:57 PM

Thanks SAGA.

So I cannot use NAT to create a virtual network if I want to sniff the traffic on the network,yes?

To do that I'll need a bridge and the best option is to go with Fedora.

I'll sticking with Ubuntu for now, it's one distro at a time, but I wonder if I could go:

Ubuntu host > Fedora vm > 3 or 4 XP vm's.

VMs inside VMs. I've never heard you cannot do it.

Or even Ubuntu host > Backtrack vm > 3 or 4 XP or MS Server machines.

It would be cool to createa vm setup of a complete working network . say 5 XP clients, 1 lamp/web server, a mail server, DNS, the whole 'shebang'.

#19 phr34kc0der

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:17 PM

It would be cool to createa vm setup of a complete working network . say 5 XP clients, 1 lamp/web server, a mail server, DNS, the whole 'shebang'.


That's kinda the main point of virtual machines. The only problem is getting 5 XP licences...

#20 Enigma

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 08:19 PM

Well, if you couldn't get it to work, I doubt I'll have much luck.

Shame though, wanted to try creating a virtual network for messing with.


Colonel Panic - I haven't yet looked in Wine, but seems it's used a hell of a lot. There are some MS programs I miss, so hopefully it will provide a working solution.

Thanks



vmware is your ticket if you want to set up your own little virtual network works very well in both windows and linux

-E




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