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Old 11-17-2011, 08:21 PM   #1
repoman
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Thumbs up New to Linux

I used Linux for pretty much the first time in a C++ coding class for electrical engineers at my school and found myself really liking it. Since then I've created a second partition for it on my laptop (a Thinkpad T61) and have been through a couple Ubuntu 11.10 installs and now have settled on Mint 11. I love how streamlined and fast Mint is, even compared to Windows 7 which runs great on this machine. I found Ubuntu 11.10 and Unity to be very slow and unstable compared to Mint, always got all kinds of errors and things breaking, while I've had a great and stable experience with Mint.

Right now this gives me all the functionality I need on my laptop - LibreOffice is a nice alternative to MS Office, though I love Office 2010. I can install MATLAB and use vim/g++ for basic coding. All hardware works fine and required no installation, except for manual enabling of trackpoint scrolling. I do wish I got a bit better battery life, it seems to last longer in Windows.

All in all, pretty cool!

edit: I spent about 15 minutes with lesswatts.org and brought battery draw down from 30+ watts to about 20! Recommended if you run Linux on a laptop.

Last edited by repoman; 11-17-2011 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:24 AM   #2
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gcc is a great compiler. FreeBSD is currently moving towards llvm/clang check it out sometime. http://llvm.org/

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Old 12-06-2011, 01:42 PM   #3
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Hey guys -

Do any of you know of a way that I can run an existing Windows install both in a VM in Linux as well as boot? I want to install Mint on my desktop as well because I prefer it in day to day use - but I do find myself needing MS Office sometimes, as well as Visual Studio. Those would be nice to just use from a VM, but I'd also like to boot directly to Windows for gaming.

Basically I want my current Windows OS to be usable within a VM as well as directly bootable. Any way to make this happen!?

Also - I'm currently attempting to upgrade my laptop's Mint 11 2.6 kernel to a custom compiled 3.1.4 (with a bunch of crap turned off and some extra powersave features on by default). Hopefully it works!
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Old 12-06-2011, 01:58 PM   #4
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You can run your M$ apps under wine check and see if they are known to work here:http://appdb.winehq.org/

Look into mono for C# and .net

duel booting can be accomplished with grub or equivalent boot loader( e.g. gag)

Not sure about grub booting into a vm. May be a nice hack project for you to trick it up into loading linux and having the vm be the sole program to run( i.e. kiosk style). I don't imagine you'll find a one-click install for that though. If you learn how to make it work I'd be interested in how you accomplish it.

Some things you may want to look into. setting a variable to be read at boot in grub. rc.conf ( or the linux mint equivalant to) read the variable to set the state. a shell script to launch xwindows session (use something light like twm) and run your vm software at the launch of x. the vm command should load the right OS of course. reverse the process if the vm is shutdown and so on till X is closed and triggers a shutdown command to the OS.
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Old 12-06-2011, 02:54 PM   #5
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That isn't quite what I meant - I have GRUB configured to dual boot Mint and Win7 right now on my laptop.

What I'm looking for is a way to run my current Windows partition on my desktop both by straight booting through GRUB, no Linux involved, as well as inside a virtual machine if I'm already booted to Mint.

This way, if I just needed some quick Windows work done, I could load up the VM and avoid a reboot. If I wanted all resources available for games, restart and boot into Windows.

Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:10 AM   #6
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VMware has a tool that you can install on your windows 7 machine that will turn it into a full VMware image that you "should" be able to use in vmware player.

i used on a machine here at work. let me see if i can find that link for you...

EDIT:

http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

there ya go!
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runlinux View Post
VMware has a tool that you can install on your windows 7 machine that will turn it into a full VMware image that you "should" be able to use in vmware player.

i used on a machine here at work. let me see if i can find that link for you...

EDIT:

http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

there ya go!
Thanks - looks like this is the closest thing to what I'm looking for. I guess it's not really possible to have a partition that can be booted as well as used in a virtual machine. Too many driver issues, etc.

In other news, I almost managed to break everything--I put my new kernel source into /usr/src/linux-3.1.4 and tried to compile it there as well, and it used up the entirety of my 2GB free space in the partition. I then deleted it all with sudo nautilus but it didn't free up any space. I rebooted and there wasn't enough space for the computer to start up, so I used the original install CD to run some disk utilities and discovered that there's a separate trash when you delete things from nautilus run as root, that is also invisible for some reason. Lesson: use rm -rf instead

Why are files with a "." in front of them hidden from nautilus and ls?

Anyway I built the new kernel into my /home folder with more space and it worked, but I tried to boot it and got kernel panic--couldn't mount root fs. I'm rebuilding now to see if some crap I re-enabled makes it work.
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by repoman View Post
Why are files with a "." in front of them hidden from nautilus and ls?
dot is hidden. except for root.

You shouldn't use anything other than cli programs for root. xorg apps should only be used for users without escalated privileges.

In a nutshell it's there to protect you and provide the system with some security.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:12 PM   #9
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I didn't read the entire thread but I can say one thing. LLVM == mind blowing. Android 4.x uses it and my God, I'm in love.
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:38 PM   #10
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dot is hidden. except for root.

You shouldn't use anything other than cli programs for root. xorg apps should only be used for users without escalated privileges.

In a nutshell it's there to protect you and provide the system with some security.
Cool, thanks.. I've been curious about that for a while.

I got my new kernel working (had to compile MS-DOS partition support into the kernel rather than as a module). But, I deleted it all because I can't figure out how to create the headers that some programs need. While I was using it, it seemed to work great, and booted to usable desktop within seconds on a 120GB 5400RPM laptop drive.. much faster than the stock 2.6.whatever with all the crap I don't need. I had to reinstall the NVIDIA drivers by hand rather than through the automatic driver finder thing because it wouldn't work, and everything was working except due to missing headers I couldn't install the Thinkpad battery control driver.

I know I can get the headers by building the kernel in /usr/src/linux-3.1.4. But, that takes up like 500MB of valuable space on a small hard drive, and also causes the drive to fill up. The default 2.6 kernel has only about 50MB worth of headers rather than the full source and everything works fine. Is there any way I can start again and just get that ~50MB folder, and delete the full source + build files after it's all installed and working?

edit:

Looks like this method may do it? http://scottlinux.com/2011/07/15/how...u-debian-mint/

Also is there any reason I shouldn't bother with a custom kernel? Reasons for making one are changing some power save options since this is a laptop (and it needs it with Linux, I get 18-19W at best on battery while Windows can use 14), taking unneeded stuff out, and just because I can. Will it break anything though software wise or not allow updates from Mint anymore or something? If I can get ~15W on battery, battery control working, and automatic updates I'll uninstall Windows on the laptop.

Additional Comment:

I installed Mint 11 on my desktop today too. Somehow, there doesn't seem to be any audio player that comes even close to matching Foobar2000 for Windows. The default, Banshee, isn't terrible, except I can't get gapless playback with my flacs which is definitely a deal-breaker, and it isn't particularly configurable. Pretty much any time I'm at my computer I have music on, unless I'm playing games, so it looks like Linux on my desktop might be a no-go. Strange that with all these other awesome open-source Linux applications that foobar2000 on Windows is still the best!

And considering it uses 25% more power than Windows on my laptop, not sure I'm ready to use it full time on that either.

Last edited by repoman; 12-11-2011 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:27 AM   #11
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For a newbie it looks like you're getting real quick - you'll go far!

I guess what you've noticed is that linux is kind of about opportunities and flexibility, rather than a ready-made meal - which is what makes it perfect for some and not for others.

Working with headers is not something I've looked into...

As for the '.' I just think of it as the equivalent of windows "hidden" attribute. Keeps things out of the way unless you really need to see them - without which the home directory might become near unnavigable. (And all that's necessary to see them is adding an "a" to my customary "ls -l" at the prompt.)

I shall also have to look into llvm
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:32 PM   #12
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Yep, I found that out yesterday or a couple days ago. Also control+h will show them in Nautilus - I finally get what the home folder is for after seeing all the crap stored in there.

I've decided to forget about the kernel for my laptop, just too much of a pain in the ***. It was cool and fast while I had it but I can't get any of the methods that create just the image and headers to work.

Anyway, I went with this method for a music player on my desktop. It isn't perfect and has visual glitches all over the place, but functionally nothing beats foobar2000!

http://i.imgur.com/LeMWL.jpg
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:00 AM   #13
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Welcome to Linux. Technically speaking, sometimes Linux (like Fedora 11) just happens to recognize and install all drivers itself (like it does for my Toshiba core-i3). I cannot say the same for Win7, ever.

In Linux, you can browse the web without a thought of vulnerability. I've used Linux full-time for like 4 years before I started web developing. Those nasty vulnerabilities from websites and emails are non-existent in the Linux world.

You cannot infect a Linux setup on a system-wide basis without having the root permissions. Even if a virus was written for Linux, it could only crawl as far as $HOME.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:53 PM   #14
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Glad I clicked on this thread... I did not know about the lesswatts site, I'm going to give it a thorough read!

Compiling your own kernel? Ooo... Man unless you *really* need some features that aren't in the stock kernel or other optional pre-built ones, you probably don't want to be doing that on a computer that you use day-to-day...

I'm sure you also have looked into VMWare products, I'm pretty sure they have both Player and Workstation that run on Linux. Though I'm not sure there is something that you can "boot up" your other partition within Linux. Every VM I've seen requires the VM to be packaged up.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:55 PM   #15
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It's not too dangerous if you don't overwrite your kernel though, right? I usually use genkernel and have it make a new one each time, and it automatically adds the extra entry into grub. Makes it pretty easy to go back. (And on gentoo it's generally roll-your-own kernel anyway.)

The only time I've ever had trouble (apart from backing myself with genkernel and not making a new copy) was with a binary distribution that let through a dodgy kernel once.
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Old 02-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #16
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