Installing Linux Lite – A mini review

Home users that ONLY check email and use very few other programs may consider replacing their OS.   Linux has made an exceptional gain over the past several years with a Programs (Add/Remove) component and with hardware drivers.

To see just how Linux Lite stacked up other OSs, I decided to load it in Oracle’s VirtualBox.  The little over 600+mb download is comparable in size to Windows XP.  The ISO can be burned with an image burner to make a bootable CD/DVD.  Before you decide to switch, remember there are limitations to Windows software even with Wine.  Wine is a software application that allows you to run Windows programs.  Hunting around the internet you’ll find hundreds of Linux programs comparable to Windows programs.  You don’t have to look far considering the Linux repository has hundreds of programs.

After loading Oracle’s VirtualBox, simply walk through the New OS wizard, select Linux, allocate 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of HDD space if you can.  Once you have completed this step, click on Settings and select bridge on the Network Card and load the ISO under storage.

Once you complete that step, start the OS and follow the on screen prompts.

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(Above) – initial load screen.

2

Loading the OS into RAM

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Load time of around two minutes for the initial screen to appear.

4

Select your language.

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The above screen is checks to insure hardware and internet connectivity is ok.

6

Erase the hard drive.

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Below – set your location for the time.

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Select the keyboard layout.

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Setup an initial user and password.

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Copying files

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After the installation, Restart your computer (VirtualBox)

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Booting up from the hard disk drive.

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Login and options.

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The initial desktop is clean.  Don’t let this fool you.  The amount of programs and options for an internet user is excellent.

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17 updates

 

Checking for updates is easy.  Simply click on the menu and select update.  Provide your login password and Linux Lite does the rest.

Printer setup

If you have a printer that supports IPP Protocol, login to the printer’s web address and Enable IPP.   The printer in our home is the Samsung SCX-3400 wireless.  An inexpensive laser printer that provides for thousands of pages with Samsung’s toner cartridge.  The printer provides hundreds of options for Windows, Apple, Linus or mobile devices.

printer

 

What programs come with Linux Lite?  Hundreds of items.  Here’s the main categories.

  • Office
  • Games  (Such as steam and others)
  • Graphics  (Gimp and more)
  • Accessories
  • Internet (email and browsers)
  • Multimedia
  • System (dozens of tools)
  • Settings

accessories Games Graphics Internet Multimedia Office settings Sharing System

 

If you ONLY use the internet and want to look into an alternate operating system.  Linux Lite may be for you.  It is easy to use, install and offers hundreds of programs.

VMware Player Review – Virtualization that’s easy

VMware Player allows for the installation of a virtual machine onto your workstation.  This means of creating a second operating system within your operating system allows you to test or use an operating system of your choice.  The user-friendly interface is truly the easiest virtualization software there is.  Anyone wanting to try Windows 8 or any Linux distro can use this software to test operating systems.   VMWare Player can be downloaded here.

VMware Player is fully customizable and the wizard provides instructions that are well written and with easy to find settings.  Kudos to VMware for providing this excellent piece of software in an easy to use interface.

Remember, once you start the VM,  if you click the mouse in the window, it will take focus.  To release the mouse,  press Ctrl-Alt.

You must also remember to protect any OS in a VM.  (Antivirus information)

The first thing you will need is an .iso of your operating system of choice.

Win7iso

Above is the ISO for 32 bit Windows 7 with SP 1.

Next, install the VMWare Player.   The installation is straight forward and easy even for a novice.

1 vmplayer 2 vmplayer Two 3 vmplayer Three 4 vmplayer four 5 vmplayer five 6 vmplayer six 7 vmplayer seven 8 vmplayer eight

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Now start the VMware Player by double clicking on the icon on your desktop.   In this scenario we created a new virtual machine.

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The New Virtual Machine Wizard walks you through step by step in setting up your operating system.

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The wizard will ask for a location of the ISO or you can install from your DVD drive.  Select the appropriate location at this time (below).

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Enter your product key and information if prompted to do so.  The Easy Install Information automates the installation process.  You can of course customize Windows and reset passwords, enable the Administrator account and change information once the operating system is installed.

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Once the wizard reaches the customization stages for your hard drive, you can adjust this to meet your needs.

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You can select the Customize Hardware button to adjust memory, processors and other hardware.   Remember to give your host machine plenty of memory.   Do not use more resources than you have.  This may cause lockups or other errors upon launching your OS.

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One of the best features is the Network Adapter Advanced Settings.  It allows you to bridge or NAT (Put your OS on a separate network – hidden from other computers on your network).  Bridging your network allows your virtual computer to be ‘seen’ by other computers as though it is a physical computer.   Because you are sharing a network card, you can limited the bandwidth (Inbound and Outbound traffic) of the virtual computer.

You can also generate a MAC address for the computer at this time.

The screenshot below (post install) shows the virtual computer when bridged (on the same network).

network

It is important to keep an eye on the resources of your host computer.  You can do this by using the Windows Task Manager.

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Once you finish, Windows will launch into setup mode.   You will see a message alerting you to other devices that can be used (Webcams and other devices) if they are available.

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As you can see from the screen shot below, the IP address is on the network with my other computers.  This allows the computer to share out documents and to utilize any device within the network.

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The VMware player tools provides drivers and other features.

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Installing the tools

30 VMware Tools 31 VMPlayer Tools Warning 32 VMWare Setting Up 33 VMWare Tools Setting up 34 VMWare Tools Setting Up 35 vmware custom settings 36 vmware tools setting up

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Once the tools are installed, a restart should be made to the operating system.

Remember the option to use other devices during the setup – items such as the Webcam?  Click on Player when the VM starts and you will see the other devices.

Extra Stuff

You should also run a side by side comparison on the Task Manager’s to ‘see’ how much resources you are using.   As you can see, the host (left) is maxing out the memory of the host computer.   The virtual computer is not utilizing all of the allocated memory.   Therefore the 2Gb of RAM allocated can be tweaked by decreasing the memory if performance is not an issue.

Side by Side comparisons of resources

Once the VM is shutdown, you can adjust the settings in the console.

VMWare Complete

With dozens of tweaks and configurations, one of the best is the defragment, expansion and compact option under the hard disk in the virtual machine settings. (Compact only sorts the graintables but has no effect on size – optimizing your vm)

hard drive utilities

Overall VMware’s Player is an excellent tool that can be used (non-commercially) by anyone wanting to experiment with or run other operating systems.  VMware Player is an excellent virtualization tool that allows users to install and test or run another operating system.   The performance is based on shared resources of the host computer.  The ease of setup is definitely a pro.  Users should make every effort to ensure they have adequate resources on the host computer and the maximum amount of memory and other resources can be dedicated to the virtual machine.

Paragon Virtualization Manager 12 Compact 3 day giveaway

Bill Mullins finds some of the best deals.   Go over and read his article and see how to get this software for free! (Limited time)    With our class working with virtualization in several different areas, this article explains and links to information about virtual computing.

Thanks Bill!

Also thanks Mick! I missed Bill’s article and it will truly benefit the class!

Free Virtualization Certification from Microsoft

Want to earn a free Virtualization Certification?

The Virtualization Challenge means that for a limited time, you can take Exam 70-659: MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization, at no cost, from a Microsoft Learning Partner near you. If you pass, you’ve earned your Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification. If you don’t pass, you may enroll in a class offered by the Learning Partner to acquire additional virtualization skills. Then retake the exam, free of charge. What do you have to lose?  Read more….

Linux Live USB Creator

Here’s an excellent review of Linux Live USB by Bill Mullins -

If you’re looking for a painless way to run Linux without having installed any one of 200+ distributions to your Hard Drive, or without having to boot from a Live CD, then open source Linux Live USB Creator could be the perfect tool. In a very simple process, Linux Live USB Creator will install any one of a huge range of Linux distributions to a USB drive.

Increase hard drive size in VirtualBox

Running out of hard drive space on your virtual OS?  Here’s how you can increase the size.

(VirtualBox Version 4+)

From the command line, you will need to navigate to the VirtualBox folder under program files. and type the following-

“VBoxManage.exe modifyhd “your.vdi” –resize 25000(new size in mb)       Note: your.vdi may be Windows.vdi substitute the word your with the name of your vdi.

Example :-

C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox>VBoxManage.exe modifyhd “C:\VM\Windows 7\Windows 7 .vdi”  – -resize 25000

You should see a progress line-

0%…10%…20%…30%…40%…50%…60%…70%…80%…90%…100%

This will increase your hard drive by the size that you specify.

Run VirtualBox on a webserver as a cloud OS

Want to run VirtualBox on a webserver for training or need to run VirtualBox remotely on a webserver?  Need VirtualOSs in the cloud?

Download PHPVirtualBox.  Unzip the files into a folder in your webserver.  Give permissions for web users.  In IIS, right click the folder and give Network Services and the Users permission.  You will also have to give your temp folder permissions.   Rename the config.php-examp to config.php.

If you are running php on your webserver, you can enable the soap.dll in the php.ini file by removing the ; .   Stop and Restart the webserver.

Make sure VirtualBox is installed and an operating system is installed.  Open VirtualBox.

Open notepad and copy and paste the following into a blank workspace.   Save the notepad file as virtualboxweb.bat on your desktop.

cd\
cd\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\
VBoxManage setproperty websrvauthlibrary null
vboxwebsrv.exe >null
pause

Run the batch file.

On a client computer, navigate to http://yourwebaddress/yourfolder/index.htm

Login using admin as the username and password.   Click on file.  Change the login password.    Click on file, log out and now re-log back in to test the password.

You can now run an OS in the cloud.  PHPVirtualBox is an excellent program – information from their website follows-

An open source, AJAX implementation of the VirtualBox user interface written in PHP. As a modern web interface, it allows you to access and control remote VirtualBox instances. Much of its verbage and some of its code is based on the (inactive) vboxweb project. phpVirtualBox was designed to allow users to administer VirtualBox in a headless environment – mirroring the VirtualBox GUI through its web interface.

-phpVirtualBox:

  • is designed to be a web interface replacement of the VirtualBox GUI program
  • is not designed to run in a “hosting” environment where the concept of VM ownership is required – when you are logged in to phpVirtualBox, you have full control over all VMs in the VirtualBox installation
  • aims to perform all VirtualBox administration actions through vboxwebsrv (a SOAP server distributed with VirtualBox)
  • does not directly interact with any files on the VirtualBox host
  • does not have automatic VM start / stop functionality on system boot / shutdown – this functionality is not provided by the VirtualBox API