Using Compiz on Fedora 12 as Linux Guest in VirtualBox

December 9, 2009

To enable Compiz fusion on any Linux Guest (including Fedora 12) in VirtualBox is easy since VirtualBox supports 3D acceleration.

The following procedure is to install and enable Compiz on Fedora 12 as Linux guest in VirtualBox. This procedure might work on other distribution of Linux. This procedure is not for Fedora 12 installed in Microsoft Virtual PC or VMWare.

Installing and Enabling Compiz on Fedora 12 in VirtualBox

VirtualBox Setup

  • In the virtual machine setting for Fedora 12, make sure that you set the display RAM at the maximum of 128MB and checked “Enable 3D Acceleration”

Install VirtualBox Linux Guest Additions

  • Before installing guest additions, you need to install gcc, kernel headers and dkms.
    • #yum install gcc kernel-devel dkms
  • Next, you need to mount the Guest Additions ISO and proceed to the main folder. Run the appropriate guest addition base on your guest OS and architecture such as:
    • #./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run
  • or
    • #./VBoxLinuxAdditions-amd64.run
  • After installation proceed to restart the virtual machine since kernel has been modified.

Install Compiz Fusion

  • The command to install Compiz fusion is as follows:
    • #yum install emerald-themes compiz-fusion-extras emerald compiz-fusion compiz-manager compiz-fusion-extras-gnome gnome-compiz-manager libcompizconfig compiz-fusion-gnome ccsm

Configuring Compiz

You can change the settings using CompizConfig Settings Manager (ccsm) under System >> Preference. However, due to some bug, the changes in ccsm will not affect the system. To rectify this problem you need to change the script file for Compiz in /usr/bin/compiz-gtk

Once you open this file, change the following line from:

  • exec compiz –ignore-desktop-hints glib gconf gnomecompat $@

to:

  • exec compiz –ignore-desktop-hints glib gconf gnomecompat ccp $@

Enabling, Configuring and Using Compiz

  • You enabled Compiz by select System >> Preference >> Desktop Effect. Choose Compiz.
  • You can change the effects using System >> Preference >> CompizConfig Settings Manager
  • To rotate the Window Cube, press Ctrl+Alt and simultaneously use your mouse to rotate the window.

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Software Virtualization

October 5, 2009

Software virtualization has become popular lately. To solve some of the compatibility issue in Windows 7, Microsoft has incorporated a virtualized Windows XP in Windows 7.

For general user, one the advantages of using software virtualization is, it allows user to run very old application. For example, if you have an application that runs only on DOS, what you need to do is to install DOS on the virtualization software and install the application in the virtual DOS operating system.

As a general user, you can also test other operating system by installing them in the virtualization software. It is now very common for general user to run Windows with virtual Linux. It is more common for Mac users to run Windows operating system in their virtualization software since a lot of applications only runs in Windows operating system. However, you need to purchase additional Windows operating system license.

It is particularly useful for corporate environment, especially in a complex system environment with a mix of UNIX, Linux and Windows. For example, if an application only runs in UNIX, desktop user can install UNIX in their Windows operating system and run the particular application in the virtualized UNIX. Furthermore, virtual operating system can be managed from a virtual server, hence reduce cost in maintaining multiple operating systems. I believe that virtual software market will continue to grow to become an essential part of enterprise architecture. Virtualization software is particularly useful for IT profession in system testing and software development in multiple platform.

There is lots of virtualization software in the market. VM Ware is popular in the corporate environment. For home user, Microsoft Virtual PC is popular with Windows user. Sun’s VirtualBox is available in multiple platforms. Linux users install Xen or VirtualBox.

Microsoft Virtual PC was late in the game in the virtual market; it works well running Windows XP or any earlier version of Microsoft operating system. However, it does not perform well running Linux and it does not provide any integration between host and client OS. Sun’s VirtualBox is the better alternative. Available in multiple platforms, hardware emulation performs better if you install the guest additions.

I have tested a few of the virtualization software mainly VM Ware, Microsoft Virtual PC and Sun’s VirtualBox. For overall usability, I prefer VM Ware and VirtualBox. Please note that you need to purchase the software for VM Ware, and VirtualBox is free for home user.

End.


Running Linux on Sun Virtual Box

October 2, 2009
  • Basically there is no problem running Linux guest in Windows Host using Virtual Box.
  • Besides, Virtual Box also supports vhd used by Microsoft.
  • However, the cloning of hard disk is not straight forward; because each hard disk is assign a UUID. You cannot just do a file copy, instead you need to use its utility tool called “VBoxManage” Use the following command:

C:Program FilesSunVirtualBoxVBoxManage.exe clonehd “Hard Disk 1”.vdi “Hard Disk 2”.vdi

Conclusion:

Although it is not very important but all Linux distribution recognize the emulate sound chip in Virtual Box.

As far as free virtual software is concern, I would prefer Virtual Box from Sun.


Running Linux on Microsoft Virtual PC

October 2, 2009

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1

  • Runs on Vista, XP and Windows Server 2008
  • Available in 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Virtualization only emulate 32-bit processor, therefore Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 cannot install 64-bit OS as virtual OS (guest OS)

Microsoft Virtual PC

  • Latest version of VPC that supports Windows 7
  • Uses Intel Virtualization Technology, ensure that your PC are equipped with this technology and turn on this function at the BIOS.
  • Available in 32-bit and 64-bit
  • Virtualization only emulate 32-bit processor, therefore Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 cannot install 64-bit OS as virtual OS

Common Problem Installing Linux with Virtual PC

Problem: Processor error; error 13; random error; hang

Solution: add “noreplace-paravirt” in the boot option

Problem: Screen Problem, display problem, video problem. Fedora uses 24-bit graphic mode for installation, MS VPC 2007 does not support 24-bit; it supports 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit video. This error will create a processor error.

Solution: add “vga=791” or “vga=0x32D” to the boot option

For my video card the available video mode in virtual PC are (video mode = resolution x color depth):

301h = 640x480x8

303h = 800x600x8

305h = 1024x768x8

307h = 1280x1024x8

320h = 1600x1200x8

314h = 800x600x16

317h = 1024x768x16

31Ah = 1280x1024x16

322h = 1600x1200x16

32Dh = 1152x768x16

312h = 640x480x32

315h = 800x600x32

318h = 1024x768x32

32Eh = 1152x768x32

Problem: Unable to detect mouse, wheel mouse not working

Solution: add “i8042.noloop” and “psmouse.proto=imps”

Problem: Unable to detect sound card

Solution: All Linux solution could not detect VPC emulated SB16. No solutions.

Ubuntu 9.04 Installation Issue on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1

  • At the startup, the screen will appear scrambled for a while which appears to be a screen problem. However, the screen is alright after a while.
  • You can modify the boot option, although not necessary, if you want to ensure proper screen configuration. At the boot prompt, press F6. Then press Esc. Add “vga=0x32d”after the end of boot line “… splash –”
  • After installation, the OS is fine except there are some scrambled screen during boot up and shut down. You may consider changing boot option although it is not necessary. Boot option for Ubuntu is located at /boot/grub/menu.lst.

Fedora 11 Installation Issue on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1

  • Fedora uses 24-bit graphic mode for installation, MS VPC 2007 does not support 24-bit. This error will create a processor error.
  • To rectify this problem we need to add the following: vga=0x32d as a boot option
  • After installation of the disk image, you may need to press F8 during boot time to change the boot option again to change the boot option so that you can complete the installation. After F8, type ‘a’ and add ‘vga=0x32d’
  • Note: To permanently add the above to the boot option, locate the file /boot/grub/grub.conf and edit the boot option. Use su root to access the file

Knoppix Installation Issue on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 SP1

For Knoppix 5.1.0, the mouse is not working after startup, use the following command:

  • knoppix i8042.noloop psmouse.proto=imps

For Knoppix 5.3.1 DVD, if we boot the disc from MS VPC 2007, processor error will occur, use the following to avoid the error:

  • knoppix noreplace-paravirt

Note: Knoppix 5.3.1 could not be booted from VPC using ISO image, use physical disc

Ubuntu 9.04 Installation Issue on Microsoft Virtual PC (Windows 7)

  • At the prompt, press F6. Then press Esc. After the end of boot line “…quiet splash –”add “i8042.noreplace psmouse.proto=imps”
  • After installation to the hard disk and reboot, the mouse is not detected. Adding boot option on the fly does not work either.
  • The solution is to boot without mouse detected. After login, press Alt+F1 to access the menu, select terminal so that you can change the boot option permanently.
  • To permanently add to the boot option, locate the file /boot/grub/menu.lst and edit the boot option. Remember to use sudo to access the file.

Fedora 11 Installation Issue on Microsoft Virtual PC (Windows 7)

  • Fedora uses 24-bit graphic mode for installation, MS VPC 2007 does not support 24-bit. The emulator also fails to detect mouse. To rectify this problem we need to add the following: “vga=0x32d i8042.noreplace psmouse.proto=imps” as a boot option
  • After installation of the disk image, you may need to press F8 during boot time to change the boot option again so that you can complete the installation. After F8, type ‘a’ and add “vga=0x32d i8042.noreplace psmouse.proto=imps”
  • Note: To permanently add the above to the boot option, locate the file /boot/grub/grub.conf and edit the boot option. Use su root to access the file

End