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December 23, 2008 / Steven Pousty

What does the beginning of freedom look like

Take a look at this image and stand in awe –


This is the beginning of freedom for me. The astute members in the group will notice I am rocking windows in VirtualBox ( a FOSS virtualization application, so this might bring Sean some joy) on my Ubuntu x64 8.10 machine (more to follow on building the machine later). ArcGIS Desktop runs as fast as I would expect on a normal windows box. But you know what this means to me – I don’t have to mess up my registery, I can use rsync natively to sync files among my server and desktop, I am getting closer to running my rig the way I want – FOSS baby.

As for VirtualBox, I can not reccomend it enough – small download, easy to install, runs on windows, linux, mac, and solaris, can host a ton-o-guest type of OSs, easy to run, very lightweight, can run vmware images, has good docs, supported by a large corporation that cares about virtualization, it’s free, and it’s open source.

I can now keep all my ArcGIS + Visual Studio stuff in a virtual machine and not have it bog down my laptop or make my desktop machine windows only. Hip Hip Hooray!

[UPDATE – instructions on moving to vBox 2.1  on Ubuntu 8.1, which among other things support 64-bit guests on 32-bit hosts – yeah baby



Leave a Comment
  1. Bill Dollins / Dec 23 2008 8:09 pm

    Dude, sorry I missed your IM. Awesome work and, BTW, was just about to take on the very same thing. Now I know who to nag.


    • Steven Citron-Pousty / Dec 23 2008 9:35 pm

      I doubt you will be nagging me as the install is easy cheezy. The only thing I need to spend time on (aka actually read the manual) is to figure out how to get my WindowVM to see the unix FS. Thanks for stopping by and let’s keep talking about this config. I am really pretty excited about it.

  2. Bill Dollins / Dec 23 2008 9:55 pm

    You’ll need to share your hardware specs. I have a relatively new laptop that I am eyeing for an Ubuntu conversion. Of course, I would still need to do my Windows development (and Arc stuff). I already have VirtualBox handy (been using it for a while). It gets better all the time.

  3. Bill Dollins / Dec 23 2008 9:55 pm

    I ake it you’re playing with themes as I’m typing.

  4. Steven Citron-Pousty / Dec 23 2008 9:57 pm

    why yes, yes I am.
    The specs for my machine are coming in a post soon. I hand built the rig. Always wanted to do it and figured now was a good a time as any.

  5. Paolo / Jan 7 2009 2:21 pm

    Hey Steve, nice post! And BTW, I am almost sure that there is not way to get WindowVM to see the unix FS while the opposite is -of course- possible.

  6. Westy / Jan 22 2009 12:22 pm

    Use the Virtualbox addons. This adds the neatest feature, which is seamless integration windowing. This way you only have one desktop (Ubuntu’s Gnome) with a MS window for each application, and a second taskbar. You may have an issue with compositing or Gnomes ‘taskbar’ so YMMV. I use it with KDE and Debian Sid via the Sidux distro, Ubuntu is too slow clunky for me.

    The additions will also let you designate a ‘shared folder’ that you can share between the two boxes. I dont think I would ever let windows have full access to the whole of my Linux box, so this is a good solution. Windows will see it as a shared folder.

  7. Steven Citron-Pousty / Jan 22 2009 12:40 pm

    Hey Westy:
    I am not sure what you mean by the addons. I installed those on windows but how do I go about getting seamless windows. Do you have a url as a reference?

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