Hardware

Trying out Linux the really easy way: VMware Player

After floundering around with Virtual PC, a friendly suggestion steered me toward VMware Player and a virtual appliance of Ubuntu 8.04. Installing it is a snap, and it's free. It's the perfect way to get acquainted with Linux.

Since I treated you all to the painful recitation of my labors trying to install Hardy Heron on Virtual PC, I might as well update you on how that is proceeding. Although I finally achieved a measure of success out of sheer stubbornness, after a week, I took great pleasure in removing all traces of Virtual PC from my machine. Ubuntu on VPC was slow, the audio was terrible, and the Firefox 3 beta was prone to freezing and crashing for no apparent reason. I may be stubborn, but I'm not masochistic.

Our veteran Linux tip writer, Vincent Danen, kindly suggested the free VMware Player and a virtual appliance. I quickly installed the Player and then went browsing for the appliance. The number of choices was bewildering, so I ended up getting the Ubuntu 8.04 build from VMPlanet. Well, as they say somewhere no doubt — butter my buns! (I like that phrase — it has assonance and consonance. I told you I was an English major.) It works like a charm, of course, with absolutely no work required for me. The only thing I've had to do so far is "downgrade" to Firefox 2, so that I could install the Rhapsody plugin, which does not work with the pesky Firefox beta. I haven't had time to do much yet, but I can already tell that Gimp is a very slick graphic editor, just from doing a quick crop of a photo.

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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...

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