Sometimes Windows Is Needed

So despite the fact that I am basically in love with ubuntu there are just some things I need windows for. While I don’t recommend using windows at all I do need it for working towards my MCAD (Microsoft Certified Application Developer). Unless they one day make a version of Visual Studio 2008 for ubuntu I will unfortunately end up using Windows for developing applications. But if I can stick it to them (and I can) then I will. So here’s what I’ve decided to do.

I love using Ubuntu for everything, and I don’t want to deal with having to reboot my computer every time I want to use windows and then reboot it again to go back to Ubuntu. So to solve this issue I have done some researching and decided to go with an application called Virtual Box.

A quick sum up of what Virtual Box allows the user to do is this. Virtual Box allows any user to run a separate operating system while in an operating system. Some of you windows users may remember Virtual PC? It was an application Windows developed back in 2004 to allow windows users to run multiple operating systems at the same time. Flaw was that you could only run Windows Operating Systems. Kind of shooting themselves in the foot there. Anyways Virtual box does just that but you can run any operating system and it’s all while your running Ubuntu. As a side not I would also like to say that if you have the desktop cube effect enabled you can have different operating systems running at the same time on separate desktops (how freaking cool is that)

Ok now that you know what it does lets get to explaining how to get it installed and going

First make sure your ubuntu machine is fully up to date.
Next go to System>Administration>Synaptic Package Manager
Click Search
Type: Virtual Box OSE
Right Click On Virtual Box OSE
Click Mark For Installation
Click Apply
A window will come up
Click Apply again

Now once ubuntu does it’s magic your almost there
Now go to Applications>System Tools>Virtual Box

Now before you say “I can take it from here James”
Listen to what I have to say about this application
In my experience to avoid data loss and other issues it’s best to create a fixed disk size instead of dynamic. Don’t ask me why just do it.

So decide what operating system you are going to load. If you choose XP I would set at least 10GB to it.

So to do this we click File>Virtual Disk Manager
Then Click New
Set the size and please give it a smart name
It will then create a VDI file which will be used as a HDD for your virtual system
Once you have done that Click OK
Then at the top of the screen Click New
Click Next
Type a name for your virtual machine (I usually just use the OS name)
Then click the drop down box and select what type of OS it is (I’ll choose Windows XP)
Click Next
Now you are prompted to give a size for your base memory. This can be a little tricky because it’s not virtual memory it’s going to use up your actual RAM. So you want to use as little as possible, but at the same time you need to give it enough for the OS to function. So for Windows XP I will use the default setting of 192 MB
Click Next
Click the drop down box and select the virtual HDD you want to use (this is why I said give it a smart name)
Click Next
Click Finish
Click ONCE on the virtual machine you just created
Click Settings
Then Click CD/DVD Rom
you can do one of two options here
A: Mount the actual CD Drive (I would recommend also enabling passthrough)
B: Select an ISO image file to mount as a CD Drive

Once you do that click Okay
Click Start
And go though you typical OS Installation procedure

Although this application is available I would highly recommend trying to use Ubuntu for anything. I would only recommend using this application if there is something that you MUST do that is not offered through open source.


~ by jeymz on October 3, 2008.

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