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Author Topic: Need Help Switching to Linux  (Read 976 times)
Bunghole
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June 17, 2011, 03:26:15 PM
 #1

I am a long-time Windows guy who is interested in switching to Linux (Ubuntu, in particular) for security purposes - in particular, running the Bitcoin client.

I cannot abandon Windows altogether because one of my ventures involves writing Windows software using MS Visual C++.  And there are packages that I like to use, like Adobe Premiere, that won't run on Linux.

I'm thinking of installing Ubuntu as my main OS, and then running Windows as a virtual machine, probably using WMware.  Does that sound like a good plan?

I would prefer to run Ubuntu inside Windows, but then I think I lose a lot of the security that Ubuntu provides.  But I don't know enough about this topic to make a good judgement.  Also, can Wine be easily used, instead of Windows in a VM?

Thanks.
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June 17, 2011, 03:43:22 PM
 #2

I am a long-time Windows guy who is interested in switching to Linux (Ubuntu, in particular) for security purposes - in particular, running the Bitcoin client.

I cannot abandon Windows altogether because one of my ventures involves writing Windows software using MS Visual C++.  And there are packages that I like to use, like Adobe Premiere, that won't run on Linux.

I'm thinking of installing Ubuntu as my main OS, and then running Windows as a virtual machine, probably using WMware.  Does that sound like a good plan?

I would prefer to run Ubuntu inside Windows, but then I think I lose a lot of the security that Ubuntu provides.  But I don't know enough about this topic to make a good judgement.  Also, can Wine be easily used, instead of Windows in a VM?

Thanks.

Just dual boot, you will have an option when your computer boots of which OS to boot into.
Bunghole
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June 17, 2011, 03:52:12 PM
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Dual-boot would be OK, but it's a pain in the butt to switch back and forth.

Let's say I'm working in Windows and need to do an online financial transaction.  There will be a part of me that will say "screw it" and just do the transaction in Windows, instead of wasting a bunch of time shutting down and restarting, then shutting down and restarting again to get back to Windows.

That's why I think running Windows in a VM would be a better idea.  But I'm no expert, so I'm seeking the advice of those with more experience.
jojkaart
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June 17, 2011, 03:57:08 PM
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Yes, windows in a virtual machine and linux as the host is the only way to get any real security benefits from linux.

I've personally used Linux for around 14 years now and the last few years a virtual machine has been how I prefer to run windows. I have used Virtualbox for that though. For some things (mostly games and 3d software), I do need to run windows as the primary OS though. I have no experience with vmware but it's possible vmware might handle it better. I've ended up having one linux workstation I do pretty much everything I can on. then a windows computer on the side for the few remaining things I need it for.

Basically, anything you can run without a 3d accelerator, you can run in a VM no problems at all.

Wine works when it does. Depends on the program. Sometimes perfectly, sometimes not at all, sometimes with some glitches. Look at http://appdb.winehq.org/ to see which software has been reported to work (and what tricks were necessary, in case it didn't do well right out of the box). If Wine works, it's simpler to use than a VM.

I currently have 3 computers on my desk. One ubuntu laptop, one ubuntu workstation and one Windows XP system. I can use them all through the keyboard and mouse connected to the ubuntu workstation thanks to this nice piece of software called synergy.

One idea could be to get one of the mini laptops for installing ubuntu and bitcoin on, they don't cost that much, especially if you buy second hand.

I hope this was of some help.

- Joel
Bunghole
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June 17, 2011, 04:14:59 PM
 #5

Joel,

Thanks for the great info - you answered all of my questions.

I do have a cheap never-connected-to-the-internet netbook that I use to generate virgin Bitcoin wallets.  I encrypt (AES256) the wallet files, then move them back to my main PC - then I back them up all over the 'net.  I send coins to those virgin addresses and verify the transactions using BlockExplorer.  When it's time to spend, I'll use an Ubuntu live CD running the Bitcoin client.

So, that solved the Bitcoin security problem, but after trying Ubuntu, I was quite impressed.  So now I would like to switch over to that as my main OS, with Windows in a VM.

Actually, one more question, if you don't mind.  To create the Windows VM, do I need to buy a brand-new Windows 7 DVD and install it into the VM, or is there a way to get a VM already set up with Windows 7?
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June 17, 2011, 04:22:15 PM
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Joel,

Thanks for the great info - you answered all of my questions.

I do have a cheap never-connected-to-the-internet netbook that I use to generate virgin Bitcoin wallets.  I encrypt (AES256) the wallet files, then move them back to my main PC - then I back them up all over the 'net.  I send coins to those virgin addresses and verify the transactions using BlockExplorer.  When it's time to spend, I'll use an Ubuntu live CD running the Bitcoin client.

So, that solved the Bitcoin security problem, but after trying Ubuntu, I was quite impressed.  So now I would like to switch over to that as my main OS, with Windows in a VM.

Actually, one more question, if you don't mind.  To create the Windows VM, do I need to buy a brand-new Windows 7 DVD and install it into the VM, or is there a way to get a VM already set up with Windows 7?

You need a disk.
jojkaart
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June 17, 2011, 04:23:59 PM
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I can only tell you to read the license. I think I heard at least some versions explicitly forbid usage in virtual machines. The starter and home versions at least. Might also be that the license won't allow you to have both virtual machine and main OS installations of Windows at once.

Microsoft might have a FAQ of licensing topics somewhere though. So, google might work too.

- Joel
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June 17, 2011, 05:14:18 PM
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Virtualbox. Problem solved. No switching, no dual boot, no partitioning, just a linux machine for you to start using and realize just how much better it is at everything except getting viruses and malware.
Bunghole
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June 17, 2011, 05:20:47 PM
 #9

Quote
Virtualbox. Problem solved. No switching, no dual boot, no partitioning, just a linux machine for you to start using and realize just how much better it is at everything except getting viruses and malware.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.  Are you saying to install Ubuntu as the main OS and then run Windows in a Virtualbox inside Ubuntu?
jojkaart
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June 17, 2011, 05:26:34 PM
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I think that, yes, that's basically what he's saying. But do realize not everything you might want to run will work. Virtualbox is still not perfect.
Bunghole
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June 17, 2011, 05:35:47 PM
 #11

If I have a large enough hard drive, could I do this?
- Install Ubuntu and Windows 7 as dual-boot
- In Ubuntu, install another Windows 7 inside a Virtualbox

So, I try to do as much as I can in Ubuntu itself (web, email, Skype, etc.).  For most Windows programs, I can switch to the Virtualbox.  And if there are any Windows programs that I need that won't run in Virtualbox, I reboot to Windows 7.

Does that sound like a decent plan?  I wouldn't actually install the dual-boot Windows 7 unless I really and truly needed it - i.e. if the Windows program I need won't run properly in Virtualbox.
jojkaart
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June 17, 2011, 06:01:56 PM
 #12

Sounds good to me. Only a few things to note about installing windows 7.
1. I don't know if the versions of Windows 7 not allowed on VMs try to actively prevent it. So, if you have one of those, it might not work.
2. If you install Windows 7 after Ubuntu, make sure you know how to restore Ubuntu bootloader. I don't know if W7 does this, but Windows XP and Vista overwrite the boot sector on install with their own version. That leaves the system only able to boot windows.

Oh also, If something won't run in virtualbox, there's still a slim chance it might run with Wine.

- Joel
oyster2000
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June 17, 2011, 06:07:07 PM
 #13

use 2 pcs, 1 dekstop, 1 laptop.............. or just have two laptops

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