PCs

Mandriva One running on VirtualBox

Following the advice of some Linux aficionados in the TechRepublic audience, I'm continuing my Linux education by trying out Mandriva One on Virtual Box. Now, what do I do with it?

Some of you may remember my account of my disastrous first try with running Ubuntu using Microsoft Virtual PC, in which pretty much nothing worked. I then tried out some virtual machines on VMware player -- both Ubuntu and Fedora. Admittedly, I was kind of lazy with those and didn't play around with either too much. So, lest you think I don't listen to the advice I get from the blogs, I decided to try Mandriva on VirtualBox. I just downloaded both today, so I haven't really had time to do much yet. Still, I was momentarily confused by how smoothly everything went and how quickly everything installed. I didn't have to do anything, or even deal with any confusing configuration issues, which I found to be so confounding, that I thought I must have left out some step and done something wrong already!

I don't know that I've really got a good handle on how the whole virtualization thing works either, just to clarify my ignorance. I never know exactly what I can do and what I can't on a virtual machine, and I have the overpowering paranoia that I'm going to somehow hose my entire workstation and have to go crawling to tech support to save my rear end. Perish the thought.

Well, I'm actually going to try to learn something about both Mandriva and virtual machines in the next few weeks as I have time. If you have suggestions for fun little exercises I should try to work on or a good way to learn about certain features, please let me know. This is your chance to school a Linux newbie, as annoying as that might be.

About

Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

17 comments
bratwizard
bratwizard

I've been running Windows XP Pro & Windows 2003 Server on Mandriva with Virtual Box. Actually been getting reasonably good performance. At this point I have to say I like it better than the same on VmWare. No hang ups or glitches yet (except for one teeny-tiny insignificant thing with mousewheel and shift key for some reason). Even video intensive apps (like CAD program in 3D render mode) running pretty well. Not quite as fast as native, but enough to be tolerable.

hespinos
hespinos

Sounds great! Please try MySQL Server an queryng from Windows Client

laman
laman

How can an article telling people that someone has just installed a piece of software shows up here? What a crap!!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Selena, it's darn near impossible for a virtual machine (a 'guest') to cause a problem with your physical system (the 'host'). The virtualization software is written specifically to prevent this. That's why many people browse the web with a virtual machine; if the guest gets infected or corrupt, the host system is unaffected. If your virtual machine develops a problem, just shut it down without saving the changes. When you reboot, it will be just as it was before the problem. Developers use virtual machines for this reason. As to what you can and can't do, at this stage of your familiarity the things you may need help with are using your CD / DVD drives, flash drives, serial ports, and other activities that access the physical hardware resources. These aren't hard to do, they'll just require 10 or 15 minutes of research.

AdamWill
AdamWill

Thanks for trying Mandriva, and I hope it continues to go as smoothly :). If you have any questions or problems, do come check out the official forums at http://forum.mandriva.com/ . Adam Williamson Mandriva

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

It's about the relative ease/difficulty of making a switch from being completely Windows-steeped since I began using a computer to making the transition to Linux. I am an editor at TechRepublic with the emphasis being on "editor" -- meaning that my primary job is to help the IT experts who contribute to our site (but who aren't primarily writers) get their tips and articles published and to smooth out some of the rough edges of their writing. And... a lot of other editorial stuff that you're probably not interested in. In short, I'm agreeing with you. If you're looking for a tech expert, don't read my newbie Linux posts!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

This article is a follow-up to a well-received earlier one. Many members are interested in the attempts of others to use Linux; others are interested in virtualization. Articles about 'first use' of these tools are popular. If you don't like them, don't read them.

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

My paranoia sometimes overtakes my logic! I will definitely try out the ports, etc., first. I have to figure out how to listen to my music and youtubes. Priorities, don't you know.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Now I can crowd in closer. My USB Mandriva just arrived by UPS from 7 rue Lucien Sampaix. Maybe with this iteration I can get somewhere I haven't with all the others. (I tried to make it sound technical as I could)

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

as its vulnerable to certain exploits. Not as many as the full OS, but enough (EDIT: most of the critical exploits have been in VMware, NOT Virtualbox). But, like most exploits, they are active, and you need to be in the right place at the wrong time to be compromised. using a VM to surf the Web is 100% safer then using the OS straight. Using a *nix or *bsd OS as the host is much safer. So your host OS and machine are much, much, much safer, its not invulnerability. Think of it as NAT for your OS. Ultimate web paranoid: Locked down bsd host with a locked down bsd guest running lynx in sandboxie. Restore a new snapshot after each web session.

lastchip
lastchip

That's it! Treat it as you would any other system you use and *don't* read anything into anything else. I'll give you an example: my wife's as about computer illiterate as you can get and I've discovered it's a *massive* advantage to using Linux. I've shown her how to switch it on and log on and start the browser (she only wants to surf - shop on-line) and she's happy clicking away finding what she wants. So what's my point? She doesn't know she's using Linux. It's just a computer that does a job and if you think of it like that and don't worry about clicking on things and experimenting, you'll be amazed how quickly it will become second nature. Then you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. Trust me; if my wife can use it, then..... well let's just say it's the ultimate Grandma test!

lastchip
lastchip

Without sounding patronising, start with things you are familiar with, for example; using the Internet with Firefox, or perhaps a little writing in Open Office. If your feeling a bit down, throw in your favourite CD and listen to it. Although it might sound mundane, it breeds familiarity and hence you will become far easier with the system quite rapidly. When it becomes easier and you're therefore more confident about not breaking something, then begin to experiment with the more advanced areas. As an aside to that, it's *really* hard to break Linux, (especially in VirtualBox) providing you log in as "user"! I know that maybe sounds really silly, but it's amazing how it will build your confidence. Edit: Minor correction

Selena Frye
Selena Frye

One thing I've been thinking about, having worked exclusively with Windows for many years, is recognizing that all those little "leaps" -- the educated guesses about navigating and troubleshooting that you make when you're totally familiar with the OS -- disappear when I'm facing something in Linux! Sure, it's essentially the same kinds of stuff, but all the lingo is different and everything is in a different place.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Must have read it in a different context to what you were meaning. To go on about how things are so easy even your wife can use / granny test seemed a little insulting to the OP considering their background in relation to the site. No harm done :-)

lastchip
lastchip

There is absolutely no insults intended to anyone (including my ever loving wife). If you've read any of my other posts, you will discover that's not what I'm about at all. I was simply offering an example of how Linux *can* be misinterpreted and it's very easy to become trapped with tunnel vision and not being able to "see the wood for the trees". I see over and over again, people that have been *born* to Windows, get very uneasy when presented with Linux, and in this day and age, there's no reason for it.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Lost count of the insults thrown in the above post. Considering Selena has been an editor at TechRepublic since 2002!

Editor's Picks