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Old 06-27-2010, 12:50 AM   #1
Ineed2know
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Question VM Virtual Box - Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows XP Home SP3


I am currently running WinXP Home w/SP3 only. I have downloaded Ubuntu 10.04 but has not been installed. I just came across "Virtual Box" in an article posted in Full Circle (issue #38). I kinda like the idea of being able to run different OSs without having to "reboot" to use one or the other. So, as a NEWBIE, I want to know how to go about installing Ubuntu on the same drive (if feasible), which Virtual Box to download and install, and basically .. what I need to do to get all this "stuff" working properly. I would suspect that .. with Win XP already installed that XP should (or mostly likely will be) the "HOST" OS with Ubuntu as the "GUEST". Or, I guess that .. after installing Ubuntu, that I can designate Ubuntu as HOST. I am assuming that a "dual boot" configuration will be in order. I guess ultimately I would like to use Ubuntu solely and eventually do away with Windows. I use my computer as an "END USER" primarily for browsing, checking email, and such. No business, no office related stuff, no "on-line" gaming. I would like to keep XP ... at least for some time longer; at least until MS finally drops support! I cannot see continuing to BUY a new OS version every 3-5 years and just gets more and more expensive. My apologies for a long submission here. Thanks in advance.
 
Old 06-27-2010, 08:00 AM   #2
carltm
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Actually you've given us all the right info.

Since you ultimately want to run and use Ubuntu, I'd suggest that
you not bother installing VirtualBox in Windows. There are utilities
that will let you shrink your Windows partition (assuming that you
just have one partition on the hard drive).

Once you have some free space on the hard drive, install Ubuntu and
start getting familiar with it. Install VirtualBox and start playing.
When you are ready, you can virtualize your current XP host. After making
sure that everything works as expected, you can then format the Windows
partition and use it in Linux.

That's a workable plan, now you just need to fill in the details.
 
Old 06-27-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
jefro
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A virtual machine is like starting Word or Office or any other MS application. You install your VM of choice. Vmplayer 3 or Virtualbox or VirtualPC or even qemu/bochs.

Then you start your VM. Each has a way to create a Virtual Machine and set a number of virtual hardware choices. Kind of like going to HP site and building a computer to buy in many ways. You continue to select even what boot media. In your case you can easily select the file ubuntu.iso.

Then you power up the VM with your settings. Don't be too afraid. A VM is one of the most safe ways to play with linux, qnx, bsd's, beos or almost any x86 or even x86-64 OS.

It will all be virtual. The virtual will interact with your real computer so you don't have to concern your self with hardware on your computer. Just what the VM see's is automagically connected through.

On note. I tend to use NAT on the Virtual nics. VM's all tend to have a virtual router so they will be on a new subnet from your home lan. Some installs may require bridged or local based on your needs.
 
Old 06-27-2010, 10:40 PM   #4
Ineed2know
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Question

Ok thanks. Some more questions arise. I was wondering if I should manually partition the hard drive into two partitions then, install Ubuntu on the 2nd partition? I remember when I did an Ubuntu install some time ago, v9.10, and did the dual boot thing, the hard drive was actually partitioned into 3 parts rather than just two. The Ubuntu partation had two parts to it. Is the "dual boot" option a required step? Then install VirtualBox and designate host/guest? I just may be getting in over my head! I don't mind getting my hands "dirty" just as long as I don't totally screw-up my computer! I do back up my computer with Acronis so I can, if necessary, revert back to just Windows should something go "bumpy-chest up". Anyway, thanks for the help.
 
Old 06-28-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
scheidel21
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No partitioning is required to install a guest OS in virtualbox, you create a file on your hard drive that acts as the hard drive for the guest OS. As far as partitioning goes to Dual boot your machine likely you will have three partitions if Windows is going to reside on your computer. Partition 1 will be the hard drive for windows, partition 2 will be the hard drive for Ubuntu and partition three will be the swap space for Ubuntu. No I am not aware of a way to run a physical partition in VirtualBOx as the hard drive for a virtual machine. Other virtualization technologies will let you like VMWare and XEN. Remember though if you play any 3D games in Windows they will not work as well in a virtualized environment and remember performance in a virtualized environment can suffer because it is not native hardware performance, devices are emulated. requiring additional resources. If I may suggest the easiest route, if you want to use virtualbox (and I love the product myself) is to, if you have the install disks for XP, is to wipe the drive install Ubuntu then install XP in the virtual machine using virtualbox.
 
Old 06-28-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
hanzerik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ineed2know View Post
Ok thanks. Some more questions arise. I was wondering if I should manually partition the hard drive into two partitions then, install Ubuntu on the 2nd partition? I remember when I did an Ubuntu install some time ago, v9.10, and did the dual boot thing, the hard drive was actually partitioned into 3 parts rather than just two. The Ubuntu partation had two parts to it. Is the "dual boot" option a required step? Then install VirtualBox and designate host/guest? I just may be getting in over my head! I don't mind getting my hands "dirty" just as long as I don't totally screw-up my computer! I do back up my computer with Acronis so I can, if necessary, revert back to just Windows should something go "bumpy-chest up". Anyway, thanks for the help.
It was probably the / partition and a swap-space.
Your drive probably looked something like:
/dev/sda1 (Windows)
/dev/sda2 (Linux /)
/dev/sda5 (Swap)

I use both native and VM Linux installs depending on what I'm doing. VirtualBox is a very good program to run both desktop and server installs of Linux/Windows Operating Systems. It is easy to setup, and requires no big changes to your current Windows or Linux Host system. It does require you to have disk space for the guest os "drive" and config files. It creates a virtual disk that is nothing more than a file; which can be expanding or static in size depending on how you configure it during setup. You also don't need to burn the installation iso (most of the time you download Linux as an ISO), you can just "mount" the ISO image before starting the virtual machine and it will act as if you had a real CD in the drive. You run through the installation as if you were on a real computer, but everything hardware wise for the most part, is virtual. The size of your virtual disk is dependant on how much disk space you have on your host machine. For testing I usually make my virtual disks expanding and 10Gig max in size. And during the install I usually let the partitioner set up the partitions; which for Ubuntu are a / and a swap space. On a “real” computer I define my partitions manually due to differences in numbers of drives, and disk space.

I am a big advocate of Virtualization, and find it makes testing Linux distros less time consuming. The only drawback is you won't know if that OS will work correctly if you installed it natively to your hard-drive.

Oh, I have heard of some problems with (May only pertain to the Host system) ext4 file system. I think it has something to do with the Host machine having a ext4 filesystem, and the guest having corrupted files, failed installs, etc. Might head on over to the VirtualBox forums and do a search. I have never had any problems myself, but I always use ext3 filesystems on all of my Linux machines; servers/desktops.

Last edited by hanzerik; 06-28-2010 at 02:31 PM.
 
  


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