Next step - from Sandboxie on...

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by ysatis, May 22, 2010.

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  1. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    hello all.

    i recently started using Sandboxie and now want to try something called ubuntu OR Fedora.

    Some questions i have now please are

    1. Are these (ubunti and Fedora) also virtual machines (or something pretty much like them)
    2. Do they both offer a GUI
    3. Can i install them if I am using XP
    4. Do I have do make a new partition if i decide to install any of these
    5. Regardless of which one i use, will i be able to use all features of my pc i.e. USB, sound, VGA etc.
    6. Both are free and I found the link for Fedora 12 Unite (i assume this is the latest and full version) but i could not find Ubuntu
    7. Which one in your opinion is better and easier to use. Ubuntu or Fedora

    sorry to bother you.
  2. Lucy

    Lucy Registered Member

    Apr 25, 2006
    1- You can install Virtual Box on both of them.

    2- Yes.

    3- Yes, with a dual boot.

    4- Yes. But instead, you might want to try without install (liveCD).

    5- With LiveCD, you will be able to test your hardware and ensure everything is fine.


    7- You will eventually have to try by yourself. Ubuntu is really dedicated to average end users.
  3. loli22

    loli22 Registered Member

    Sep 6, 2008
    fedora is way too bleeding edge for a new comer, go with ubuntu you will be just fine.
    for the install i suggest
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    May 1, 2007
    ubuntu and fedora are LINUX operating systems, they are not virtual software.
    You can install virtualbox in your xp computer then load ubuntu and fedora into the virtualbox and run it from there.
    Also fedora and ubuntu can run directly from a livecd. example it will run from a bootcd, no need to install on the hard drive.

    It is best not to install in the hard drive until you try it out first. This is because it modifys your MBR and installs a new bootloader. XP will still work but it will be in a dual boot environment. I tried ubuntu before but I could never get use to it, I prefer XP. LINUX requires a learning curve, installing software is not as easy as doubleclicking on a setup file.

    The next step from sandboxie would be a full virtual system like returnil or wondershare time freeze. Both run good inside XP and protect your entire c: drive. Though sandboxie is good I prefer safespace.

    My system xp sp3.
    virtual software I currently run (both freeware)
    wondershare time freeze
  5. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    thank u for the replies but i am (again) confused. Last time i tried to understand/research virtual machines, I got many helpful replies but enough to confuse me and i just ended up using Sandboxie.

    Lucie: you have said that "You can install Virtual Box on both of them." What do you mean by installing a virtual box. Can you please recommend a freeware virtual box. I am just very very confused and am trying to o_O The link you gave seems to offer 2 options. One is for Ubuntu 10.04 Netbook Edition and there is also a option to download Ubuntu Desktop 10.04 LTS (32-bit). Which one should I download

    lolli22: I have downloaded Wubi 10,04 from the link you gave. What do I do now. Simply run the file or create a partition burn the file on a CD/USB and run from there or o_O o_O Is this Wubi thing also like Sandboxie. If not, what is the difference?
  6. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    hello jonyjoe81. I am getting a little clear after reading your reply. So ubuntu and Fedora are not Virtual Machines? Then what are they? Just one of the many Linux versions or something else?

    My requirement is that I want learn a safe tool and way to use the net and also when i try different applications. I can do that (i think) with Sandboxie but what is it that the tools recommended by Lucy and lolli22 doo_O

    The bold part of your quoted reply is something that i am not clear about but will try to understand what you mean

    :blink: o_O :ouch: o_O :'(
  7. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    To start simple, Ubuntu and Fedora are both Operating Systems (OS) like Windows. Both Ubuntu and Fedora, as well as Windows, can be installed on Virtual Machines (VM).

    What is a VM? It's a program, that you can install just like any other program, that emulates/simulates a computer.
    With this program you can try different OS's, without leaving your own installed OS (Windows in your case). You install the OS just like (or almost like) you would do on a real computer.
    Or you can install another copy of Windows (as long as you have another license), and test programs in that VM instead of risking your real installation.

    Examples of VMs are Virtualbox and VMware.

    SandboxIE is not a VM. If you want i can explain you that too. :)

    Do you understand it now?
  8. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    As a relative rookie to Linux I would recommend you go with Linux Mint. It is easy to use, much easier than Ubuntu or Fedora which I have tried. I am presently on a dual boot machine that uses the Grub bootloader.

    Using Grub you can modify an XP machine to a dual boot machine. I forget how I did it but it is easy. Just search on Grub dual boot and you'll probably find all the information you need to know.

    Personally, I believe it it easier to use VMWare Player 3 and set up whatever operating systems you want in the VMWare virtual environment. I presently have 4 XP systems, Fedora, and Ubuntu in my VMWare Player. I use the virtual environments to try out software.

    Good luck.
  9. Reimer

    Reimer Registered Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    He could also just mount the Linux Mint iso in windows and run mint4win.exe which is like Wubi for Ubuntu.

    It'll install Mint and allow for him to essentially dual boot with windows but also be able to uninstall Mint if he so wishes from within windows itself.
  10. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    thank you every one for your replies :)

    I am beginning to understand now. I had posted a question (maybe month ago) to understand virtual machines and got so confused with replies and so many options that i just started to use SandBoxie. (though everyone really help me a lot when i make that post)

    Okay now that I have a little better undertstanding (i think) I have some more question to clear the remaining confusion.

    1) So what i understand is that SandBoxie is good enough but can not allow you to run/boot multiple operating systems. Right?

    2) Other than the feature to run multiple operating systems (Linux, ubuntu, Fedora, XP, Win7, etc.), what other benefits does a virtual offer. This point may sound silly but for me this important to understand

    3) I will split my question in 2 parts. Part 1 is related to virtual machines and part 2 will be relate to Linux, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Fedora,

    Part 1
    Q#1: I use XP and can u pls recommend a good virtual machine. When you make your recommendation please do not forget to tell me if it is freeware or shareware and also pls do not forget to tell me if it will need me to buy separate licenses.
    Q#2: What is the benefit of running a virtual machine and then running Linux/Linux Mint/ubuntu/Fedora?

    I have long way to go to learn about security world but i want to start by learning and trying the basics and a safe way to browse the net and also to try different software (which Sandboxie) does not do a good job at

    Part 2
    Q#1: What are the benefits/advantages of using Linux or Linux Mint or Ubuntu or Fedora instead of XP or Win7

    Q#2: Do all windows based software run in any of the Linux flavors (Linux or Linux Mint or Ubuntu or Fedora)

    I hope my questions are clear :doubt: if yes, can u pls guide me from here.

    thnk u everyone
  11. Well, there's almost no in-the-wild malware for Linux, and what there is always requires user interaction to install. Basically the risk of malware is all but nonexistent, and the only likely way to get hacked is to keep ports open to the web and attract a direct hacking attempt - and home users don't need to have open ports anyway (and most Linux distros have all ports closed in the default install).

    Also, it's very simple to keep software up to date due to package management, and if you're into that sort of thing, the Linux command line is ridiculously more sophisticated than the Windows one. And it's generally easier to compile stuff.

    The disadvantages... Well, most desktop distros use Gnome or KDE, and so need more powerful hardware than Windows XP does (though not as powerful as for Windows Vista or 7). XOrg, the graphical server, can be quite unstable on some hardware, and there are all sorts of hardware compatibility issues. The Linux version of Firefox is basically trash. And most system internals can only be modified from the command line, whereas Windows has nice GUIs for everything.

    (Mind, I think that last one is actually smart, since it keeps people from messing stuff up before they fully know what they're doing. But that's just me.)

    No. Actually, let me elaborate on that... ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    Linux and Windows are completely different OSes, and binaries from one will simply not work on the other. At all.

    You can get some Windows software, mostly games and office stuff, working in Wine - a program that emulates various Windows libraries. I've heard Microsoft Office works pretty well, and I've used it successfully with some very old Windows games. But Wine is finicky and unreliable, and cannot support anything that uses Windows kernel drivers. And when something goes wrong it's an utter pain to debug.

    In short, if you're tied to any Windows software (other than security software), Linux may not be for you.

    Hope I've been helpful...
  12. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Right. SandboxIE started as a program to isolate Internet Explorer - SandboxIE - from the rest of the OS, so that if you were to be infected through it, it would not harm the real OS components. It eventually evolved as a general sandbox that can isolate most internet facing applications.

    By default, it allows IE to read all files and folders, and the registry, but redirects all writes to the C:\Sandbox folder. It also blocks some more problematic things, like drivers and such, which is why it is somewhat limited to test programs.

    You cannot install OS's in it, because does not emulate hardware components like a VM does (network card, usb port, RAM etc.). It redirects stuff.
    Example 1: you try to save a file "hello.txt" to C:\ from IE. SandboxIE writes it in C:\Sandbox\drive\C\hello.txt.
    Example 2: if you try to modify a file outside the sandbox, SandboxIE copies the original to the sandbox, and allows your changes to be made there.

    Depending on your configuration, SandboxIE can ask you to delete the sandbox upon exit from IE, delete it automatically, etc.
    Read the documentation on its website, it's very good.
    Almost the same benefits as using another computer, without actually buying one. Test programs, OS's, test malware, stuff like that. And you don't have to reboot your computer, so you can at any time continue with something else on your real installation.
    Of course, these are examples of uses for a home user, as servers use VM's for productive uses as well.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  13. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    helo Gullible Jones and Pedro.

    After reading carefully both of you have really been vry helping. Things are very very clear to me now and before reading the replies from you, i was confused. I could not decide direction because i was getting confused with linux related options and virtual machines.

    i think the mistake is mine becuase i try to read too much in short time and that's why i ended up getting confused. But not anymore (after your replies). so i am very much thankful to you both for the major part :thumb:

    ok so now that i am clear now, i am going to forget about linux related things and focus the rest of my post on VMs (virtual machines).

    Everyone recommends a different one and there are so many options. So I narrow the option myslef and base on the reading i have done and ask you that out of the following, which VM will you recommend. I wish a good friend TH is/was reading this post becuase he also helped me alot in the past

    1. Sun VirtualBox 3.1.6
    2. VMware Player 3.0.1
    3. You can suggest any other one as option #3

    I assume 1 and 2 are freeware and both are considered as top choice by many people. Right?

    So out of the above, which one is the easiest to use and allows me to use windows software also, my USB, make image of my harddisk, and so on.

    In your reply please share with me:

    1. Is it easy to install and use the virtual machine which you recommend?
    2. Do I need lots of hard disk and a separate partition for the VM which you suggested?
    3. Will i be able to use it just as if i am using XP? (I mean all software, USB ports, internet etc.)
    4. The option to start XP or the installed VM will be presented only when I turn on or restart my computer. Right? Or is it possible that suppose I am logged in XP and then i want to run the VM so I can do something like switch user thing?

    i thank you again for your help. Really both of you have helped me understand things clear now and I also know about the history of Sandboxie as a side present :)

    THANK YOU! :)
  14. hsj

    hsj Registered Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    If you need the ability to take snapshots, you should go with VirtualBox. VM player doesn't include the snapshot feature.
  15. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    Hi ysatis!!

    to answer your questions in order:

    1: With VirtualBox it is indeed easy to install. You will get a few Windows warnings about unsigned drivers,and normally a BlueScreen triggered by these at the end of install. No Problem.

    2: Unless you are very limited on hard drive space,this should not be a problem.

    3:When running your Virtualized system,yes.

    4:It is like any other program ran in Windows. Your boot order or configuration does not change in any way.
    You start your VirtualBox session from within Windows the same way you start a game,or any other program.

    You can switch between your real system and the VirtualBox system via a little trick with the cursor.
    Easier to see than to explain.

    Its pretty solid.
    Once it is on your system,you catch on fast.

    (I speak only of VirtualBox,as it is all I have experience with,but I am sure others are equally user friendly.)

  16. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Regarding which to use, i can only speak for myself, and my own experience.

    I use Virtualbox because it does what i need, and it's really easy to use once you get used to it.
    There is a pdf manual which i highly recommend. More often than not, whatever your questions are, it has an answer.

    ratwing is spot on when he says "It is like any other program ran in Windows. Your boot order or configuration does not change in any way.". It's what i was trying to tell you when i said:
    Don't worry, with this kind of program it's normal to get confused. But it's that simple, regard it as any other program that has an installer, and that you can uninstall through Add/Remove.
    The virtual hard drive (fakey wakey!) is actually just a file on your real OS, which is Windows.

    Although i don't think ratwing's BlueScreen is common or likely, you should understand that this installs a driver (both Virtualbox AND VMware do). So it is possible that it could conflict with some firewall or something else that also installs drivers etc. Note however that i never encountered such a problem, and i regard Virtualbox as stable.

    I can only advise you, whether or not you actually try it, to always have a backup of your important files, and possibly an image of your HD.

    Regarding no.2, to complement ratwing's reply, you'll need about the same space as the virtual HD (fake one) you'll create, and that space depends on the system requirements of the OS you want to install on it - for the minimum required space of course.

    This is the kind of program that you need to try to understand what it's all about. But don't hesitate to ask any questions, as you can see this forum is (still, mostly) a friendly and helpful place.
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  17. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    thnk u hsj, ratwing, and Pedro

    Ok i have decided and am going to try Virtual Box. In addition to one question i ask from ratwing, i have a few general questions.

    1. i read that Virtual box only works for XP. So if I buy new pc (i hope very very soon but with Windows 7 home edition) then which virtual box will be the best choice and offer all the good things for which I am selecting Virtual Box

    2. This 2nd question is to clear my understanding. Using a virtual machine does not mean only mean safe internet browsing. The other big advantage is that in a vm i can install and try different software (something which i cannot do in Sandboxie) and browse the net and when i close it (or exit or logoff) everything is totally gone. Just like when i delete contents of Sandboxie. The difference is the in Sandboxie I manually delete it but when using a vm this happen automaticaly and as soon as i exit from it. Right?

    Can you pls share trick . I ready to try Virtual Box

    Thank you :) Yes i agree. people on this forum are really very friendly and helpful :thumb:
  18. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    ysatis, I should not have used the word "trick" really.
    It is a feature of VirtualBox,that when it is running,your cursor and other functions work only in the virtual window.
    If you are not full-screen with your virtual box,you can see you cant do
    anything outside its boarders.

    However there is a "hot-key" on your keyboard that can be used to toggle between the virtual and "real" systems,to avoid doing something you intended to do in the one,in the other, by mistake.

    So you can toggle out of VirtualBox,leave it open,and do whatever you need on your real system,and return when you want.
    You can leave the key whatever is set by default,or choose and set,your own.

  19. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    Hi ysatis!!

    "2. This 2nd question is to clear my understanding. Using a virtual machine does not mean only mean safe internet browsing. The other big advantage is that in a vm i can install and try different software (something which i cannot do in Sandboxie) and browse the net and when i close it (or exit or logoff) everything is totally gone. Just like when i delete contents of Sandboxie. The difference is the in Sandboxie I manually delete it but when using a vm this happen automaticaly and as soon as i exit from it. Right?"

    Really you are describing more the function of a light virtualization program like Returnil or ShadowDefender.

    A virtual machine is even more versatile!!
    Your VirtualBox will function in every-way,exactly like your normal operating system.
    Things in the VirtualBox are saved and deleted the same way they are on your real system.
    When you install VirtualBox,and then install the operating system into it,you can
    tweak your services,install those programs you want to be permanent,and take a system snapshot.
    At any time you need/want to,you can return to this virgin state.
    You can set up more then one snap shot.
    Your VirtualBox will always open in the state it was when you shut it down. If you install Avira Sunday night,it will be there Monday morning.
    However,you can very quickly revert to a another snap shot,and unless you have saved the state where Avira was installed,it is gone!! same with malware!!

  20. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    North Carolina USA
    sounds like FD-ISR
  21. Pedro

    Pedro Registered Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    Except you can run other OS's in it, without a reboot. If you system is recent enough, run several at the same time.
    Nope, it doesn't hold a candle :)
  22. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    I know!
    While I was writeing this I was asking, "Am I talking about VirtualBox
    or a roll back program"? (all that "snapshot" talk)

    I thank I lost the focus of the main benefit being having the equivalent of a second computer,you do not have to worry so much about dogging.

  23. ysatis

    ysatis Registered Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    thank you ratwing for you replies and help me understand even more :)

    ok the good news is that i installed Virtual Box. The only thing i did different is that instead of the default loctions which it ask during installation, i give a different location, Yes i got many messages during installation about so and so driver or whatever has not passed microsoft (or something like that) but i keep on pressing next. Anyway i was able to install.

    The bad news is that it did not work. It looked like it was about to start but then it crashed. i took 2 images and am attaching it. maybe these help you understand what the problem is. Does it always require that i have my original XP CD in the drive? I did not have that in the drive when i was setting up. is that the reason?

    I was so happy but now i sad.

    Attached Files:

  24. ratwing

    ratwing Guest

    Hi ysatis!!
    Oh ok,now I understand. The program itself installed,and now you are working on instaling the operating system.

    Yes,you will need to have your XP disk in the CD drive.

    It should work exactly like installing XP on your real system.

    make sure the XP cd you use is the one you obtained for the VirtualBox!!

    If you use your original,that you have registered with Microsoft on your real system,you will not be able to register it through Microsoft on the VirtualBox,and it will start ticking off the 30 days to deactivation!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2010
  25. hsj

    hsj Registered Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    If the optical drive is not working well for you in VirtualBox, you can make an "image" of the XP cd and mount it as a virtual drive in VirtualBox. The installation will go faster since reading from the iso file is much faster than reading from the physical CD/DVD drive.

    Also, you can probably try using the serial for XP from MS that's included as part of "XP mode". Do a search on google and you'll find that serial and it's totally legit.

    One more thing - VB 3.2.2 has been released so you may want to upgrade before creating your first virtual machine. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
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