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If you start delving into VPC, I highly recommend reading Virtual PC FAQ.
Learn how to use the open source Clonezilla Live cloning software to convert your physical server to a virtual one. Specifically, see how to perform a physical-to-virtual system migration using an image-based method.
Installing Linux on Virtual PC
In my pursuits to rid myself of the Microsoft beast, I've added a book to my collection (Setting up LAMP: Getting Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP Working Together), and decided to install Fedora Core 4 on a virtual machine, using Microsoft's Virtual PC.
I've used Virtual PC in the past with no problems, but this was my first foray into using it to run a non-Microsoft operating system. It was intriguing, to say the least...
In searching for a solution, I stumbled across What Works and What Doesn't in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004, which turned out to be a valuable resource of information, even though none of the suggested solutions worked. What did work (and I submitted this tip to the operator of the aforementioned Web site, Jonathan Maltz) is the following, which essentially tells Linux to boot into text mode instead of GUI mode (i.e. X Windows).
- I downloaded the DVD ISO for Fedora. Virtual PC can capture ISO images -- but not all ISO images -- only CD-ROM ISO images. No problem, I was going to burn it to a DVD anyway.
- I decided to run an integrity check on the DVD (this is a feature of the Fedora installer). It took about 16 hours. Fortunately, it passed.
- The rest of the installation actually went smooth. (Note that I installed in text mode, not in graphical mode.)
- The X Windows session wouldn't render properly in Virtual PC. It resized the VPC window to a wacky resolution like 1600x800, and the graphics were garbled and unreadable. No amount of tweaking my monitor settings or Virtual PC's settings fixed this.
I haven't tried messing with X further on this installation, but will post more notes when I do.
- Download the Fedora Core 4 recovery CD.
- Boot your Fedora virtual machine with the recovery CD.
- Let the recovery CD mount your Fedora system.
- Edit the file /mnt/sysimage/etcinittab, by changing the line which reads id:5:initdefault: to id:3:initdefault:. The 5 tells Linux to load into GUI mode; changing this to 3 tells Linux to load into text mode. (For more information, read How do I start in text-only mode (no graphical environment)?)
I just read Edgar's interesting comments to one of my previous Vista-related posts and took special note of his 3rd and 4th points where he said:
(3) The system does not come with any discs for the installed software; though I think that a boot disc for Vista can be purchased. Perhaps hard discs are more reliable than my diskette fileing system.
(4) The lack of backup discs makes me leery about trying to install Linux, since that involves changing the Windows Vista partition, always a nervous activity.
Edgar: The last time I bought an HP PC (about 5 or 6 years ago), it came with an option to create recovery discs on a series of CD-R discs. Check to see if your HP has that option.
More importantly though, unless you have some special requirements that requires Linux to have native access to your notebook, you should definitely consider installing Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 instead and use it to run the Linux distro of your choosing as a Guest OS on a Virtual Machine. I've used it to run Fedora Core, CentOS Linux (another Red Hat variant), SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu. Virtual PC is free. So, the price is right.
2 Responses to "Don't Dual Boot! Use Virtual PC 2007 Instead"
Microsoft's Port 25 reports that Microsoft Virtual
ServerPC 2007 has been released. They have links to posts by the Virtual Machine team's Ben Armstrong who provides tips on running Linux as a Virtual PC 2007 Guest OS. Note that both Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual Server 2005 R2 are free products.
I've been running Fedora Core 5 & 6, CentOS 4.4, OpenSUSE 10.2, and Ubuntu 6.06LTS and 6.10 under Virtual PC 2004, 2007 Beta/Release Candidate, and now 2007 (production). I've also run Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista Beta-2, Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, and Longhorn Server Beta-2 as Guest OSes successfully. The most important Guest OS is Windows 98 Second Edition. Why? Because it is the newest version of Windows (I don't count Windows ME :-) that runs LEGO Loco (see video clip below). LEGO Loco will not run on Windows NT or its descendents (2000, XP, etc.).
Be sure to install Virtual Machine Additions for any Windows version for a better virtualized experience. Happy virtualizing!
- TalkBack 37 of 41:
- Display Problem
- I initially had the same display problem running Suse 10 on Virtual PC 2007. Once I changed the bit depth from 24 to 16, everything worked fine at all resolution I tried (800x600, 1024x768, 1280x800).
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Last modified: March 12, 2019
April 12th, 2007 at 7:19 pm
Your advice to try MS Virtual PC 2007 is a good idea; I immediately went to the MS web site, read that the new version works with Vista (why is this good? are people unhappy with Vista?) and downloaded the usual umpty-ump megabytes; excitedly clicked on the setup.exe icon (same name as used by my previous big download of cygwin) only to be told that my Vista OS is not supported! The fine print mentions numerious Vista Enterprise versions, but not the humble Vista Home edition which I seem to have.
The remaining question is: if I blow away MS Vista while making a partition error in trying to load Linux, will the never ending infernal HP Registration pop-up window go away, or will it re-appear?
April 22nd, 2007 at 9:21 am
I checked with the Virtual Machines MVPs and was told that while the Virtual PC installer gives a support warning when installing on Vista Home Basic or Premium Edition, it does work.