Which linux distribution to run in virtualbox.

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by The Red Moon, May 19, 2013.

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  1. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Hello wilders and good day to you all.
    My plan is this.

    I would like to download virtualbox and run a linux distribution in the box within my windows 7 computer.

    I have actually done this before quite a while ago and would like to know if most linux distros run in virtualbox.?

    The distro im looking at is linux mint.
    Would this run ok in virtualbox.?

    Im relatively new to linux so any opinions or suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    Thank You.
     
  2. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I tried a number of Linux versions in VB earlier this year and I'm really new to it. I'd go for Linux Mint because it will work a lot easier as a full screen application without having to do anything. With other distros you have to install something called 'guest additions' which isn't that difficult to do but it means more messing around. A word of caution about Mint, it comes with Java so bear that in mind.

    I found Ubuntu a nightmare in VB as the launcher never seems to disappear even when you're browsing. Xubuntu was quite good though I found that when I clicked on folders they could sometimes be unresponsive. I suspect once you've got one distro running you'll be tempted to try others but Mint is the easiest.

    You can keep snapshots when using VB but I wouldn't go overboard.
     
  3. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Thank you kindly for the advice.
    Yes i ran ubuntu in VB about a year ago.Im totally new to it but would like to see how it goes.
     
  4. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    You're welcome :) I think you'll enjoy Mint. I found it very fast and would be using it now in VB but I'm currently dual booting Ubuntu 12.04.
     
  5. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Interesting.

    I was going to dual-boot the very same thing.From what i remember you need to repartiton the system drive to dual-boot or something.

    Virtualbox method just seems easier.
     
  6. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    In Windows (I'm assuming 7), just go into disk management and shrink the main OS partition to create from free space on disk. Then when you install Mint, Mint will ask you what you want to do, just select "Install along side Windows" option and Mint will use the free space you created, and set up grub on the mbr to dual boot. Works pretty well. I dual booted Win 7 and Mint 13 for quite a while with zero issues...
     
  7. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    When I dual boot, I do it the easy way. I defrag my hard drive first, if you don't do this, you could end up deleting your Windows files by having them stranded in the wrong OS. I then install Ubuntu alongside Windows and by using the slider which allocates how much space you want on each OS. I think I mentioned in another thread how I forgot to defrag once while dual booting Mint and I got a lot of BSOD in Windows. While I've never had any problems with Ubuntu, I would find out what you need to do properly. There are some good tutorials on You Tube and I'd also recommend the Ubuntu forums as you'll get very prompt help which is very specific to Ubuntu/Linux.

    If you do dual boot and remove Linux, then you'll likely need a program called EasyBCD that will rewrite the MBR. I once removed Ubuntu without doing this and found I couldn't get into Windows. I had to reinstall Ubuntu to get things working again.
     
  8. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Thank you kerodo.
    My initial plan is to run mint in a virtualbox to see how i go with it.
    You seem knowledgeable on this so if i may ask you a question.

    The linux mint iso that i will download from their site to install into virtualbox,can i burn this to a cd and install alongside windows if i wanted to at a later date.?

    Thanks.
     
  9. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I keep all my ISOs on dvd and have run Mint and Ubuntu with VB and also dual booted them alongside Windows.
     
  10. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Okay merisi and thank you for your advice.

    Does it matter which mint version i download.?
    I have decided to try the linux mint 14 cinnamon version but i notice on their website there are several versions available.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    Hi Amiga500,

    Linux Mint and Ubuntu also offer an hybrid, install "inside" windows (for ubuntu is called Wubi). I installs the linux OS inside a virtual disk (an img file) instead of using its own partition. It will offer you a better experience than a vitualbox installation.

    Panagiotis
     
  12. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Hello pandlouk and thank you for your advice.
    Please forgive me as i have only used windows mainly and linux is sort of off the beaten track for me.

    I wanted to run linux in virtualbox so that the linux files are not mixed in with the windows 7 files etc or have i got this wrong.?

    Just say for example if i were to partition my C drive and create a separate partition for linux to reside in,would this work.?

    Dual booting is a foreign language to me lol.

    Kind regards.
     
  13. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    I'm very glad to help :) I would go for a Cinnamon version and for Maya 13 because that's equivalent of Ubuntu 12.04 in that it's a long term release that's supported until 2017. Saying that Nadia 14 is supported for a year so that's up to you. Whether you go for 32 bit or 64 bit of course depends on your system. I have used 32 bit versions on my 64 bit system with no problems.

    I definitely know there's one person on Wilders who uses Mint Xfce and highly rates it. I've never used it so I couldn't give a fair opinion but the impression I get is that it's a lighter version but don't quote me on it. Linux Mint has it's own forum too where you could get more specialised help and I'm sure you could search about dual booting or using VirtualBox.

    Nadia: -http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=19

    Maya: -http://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=18
     
  14. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    You are welcome.:)

    No you got it right about virtualbox. Wubi also does a similar thing since it installs the OS inside a virtual disk but is the only thing that gets visualized. The rest of the experience is the same as normal dualbooting. All the files needed for dualbooting form a wudi installation are confined inside a folder and if/when you deside to uninstall it you do from inside windows as if you uninstall another program.

    Yes, this would work too. But since it is your initial experience with mint better "trial" it with a wubi installation for 2-3 weeks. After that when you get comfortable with dualbooting you can go to a more permanent sollution and install inside its own partition.

    Panagiotis
     
  15. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Yes, that is what I do. If you burn it to a DVD (I think most of them fit on a DVD now, rather than a CD, except maybe Xfce), then you can either boot off the DVD into a live environment, or you can install from the DVD at any time.

    I am not too familiar with the VM's so hopefully the others can help more with that. :)
     
  16. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I like Mint 13 (LTS) x64 Cinnamon best. MATE is ok, but doesn't really thrill me as much as Cinnamon. If you want a more minimalist look and feel, and perhaps something a bit lighter, then the Xfce version is also nice. I did not think much of the KDE edition at all, but then again, I don't much like KDE anyway. :)

    I'd go with 13 (LTS) also for the long term support, which I think extends until April 2017.

    Mint is a great out of the box experience and pretty much has it all.
     
  17. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Okay just for the sake of experimentation i attempted to shrink my C drive and encountered an error.
    Any help with this please.
     

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  18. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Thanks kerodo.
    Yes mint is the one im looking at downloading.
     
  19. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Wow, well, assuming you didn't actually disable the service yourself, then I'm not sure what's going on there... unless you somehow selected the wrong drive or partition? No idea, otherwise...
     
  20. merisi

    merisi Registered Member

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    Thanks for explaining Xfce as I wasn't too sure. I think we're both definitely on the same page when it comes to Mint 13 Cinnamon, it would be my distro of choice from the Mint range and by far my favourite in VirtualBox. Ubuntu was my first distro and while it may not be everyone's favourite, it's the one I go back to as I've grown used to it. Had I tried Mint first, I'm sure I'd be using that now. It shouldn't be underestimated how good Mint is with VirtualBox.
     
  21. UnknownK

    UnknownK Registered Member

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    Mint has a windows installer through which you can install it like any other software within your windows and uninstall at your will. Just search for mint4win and you will get it.
    If you want to try through virtualbox, there are readymade Virtualbox images available-
    http://virtualboxes.org/images/linuxmint/

    Just download and open the file with virtualbox. All guest additions are already installed. There is no LM 13 image though.

    Dualbooting will be the best, If you can just create a partition of more than 10 GB for your linux system. If you prefer eyecandy to usabilty, I doubt you will like Cinnamon that much. In that case KDE, Gnome3 or even unity will be better for you. If you want a minimalist Desktop environment you can install a XFCE or MATE based Distro. Choice is yours.

    you can create a new partition through this program-
    http://www.filehippo.com/download_easeus_partition_master_home/
     
  22. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    AMIGA, did you reboot and try again? That's all I can think of, except to Google the error and see what that yields. Not much help, sorry...
     
  23. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Hello kerodo.
    Problem solved.It was because windows defrag was turned off.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  24. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    Great.. Good luck. :)
     
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