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Old 06-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
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installing linux for remote access programming

I have an old desktop computer that I'm looking to install linux on solely to run fortran 90 and C++ programs. The plan is to remotely access
this desktop from my laptop (windows vista). What is the best way to do this? I have used linux a few times for programming (using emacs, gfortran, pgplot and starlink I think) but have never installed it before. What is the best linux to get and what do I need to get and do to make this work?

Old 06-18-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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If you need to do development in Linux but are forced
to run Windows, I would suggest a different approach.

If your laptop has enough memory and disk you can
run Linux as a guest OS using something like
VirtualBox (other solutions exists), that way
you run Windows and Linux at the same time.

A virtual machine with 512Mb and 10-20Gb for
running Linux should be enough for basic needs.

The access to the Linux machine can be made through the
console or through network using ssh or even ssh+X11+XMing
which allow to run X11 applications.
Old 06-18-2009, 02:37 PM   #3
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It may depend on how lame (lack of ram, etc.) that old computer is.

With a decent Linux system, you can install cygwin on the Windows system, including the xwin program from cygwin, then use xwin on Windows to open a full Linux desktop as a window on your Windows desktop. I'm not sure what exactly you must install on the Linux side to accept X Windows connections, but if that is your plan, I'm sure many people here do know exactly what you should install.

For a less powerful Linux system (or a slower hardware link between the two systems, your much better of with putty). Again, the best start is to install cygwin on the Windows side and include putty in that cygwin install. Putty lets you open a Linux command window as a window on you Windows system. It is a lot faster and lower overhead than xwin.

Putty is good for compiling Linux programs, running Linux console apps and many other Linux tasks. It may be pretty lame for editing the source code (depending on what you like in an editor). You could install Samba on the Linux side and make your work directory in Linux accessible as a share in Windows, then use any Windows text editor you like.

Be aware that most Windows text editors work only with Dos carriage control (a CR before each NewLine). The compiler won't care if those CR's are in your source files, but you probably also want to edit Linux script files. Those will mess up with CR characters. You could use a Windows editor (such as emacs) that can be told to respect Linux carriage control, or you can use the dos2unix program to strip the CR's after editing script files.

You may also need to ask a follow up question of what to install/configure on the Linux side to accept ssh connections from putty.

Last edited by johnsfine; 06-18-2009 at 02:41 PM.
Old 06-18-2009, 02:39 PM   #4
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Oops. Pressed Quote instead of Edit on my own post and saved before I noticed.
Old 06-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #5
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Thanks jhcaiced but my programs tend to run for a few days at a time so running them on my laptop isn't viable.

The old computer isn't too bad, 1GB of ram, plenty of space and ok processing speed so I think it could handle johnsfine's first idea. So I'm going to sort out getting ubuntu perhaps (I've played around with it before and it's alot nicer than using the awful uni linux servers.) unless anyone can suggest a better one for just writing and running programs (n-body sims mainly)



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