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The Developer's Guide to Building Virtual PCs : Page 3

Walk through a step-by-step Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 installation of SuSE Linux 9.1 Professional. Once it's built, you can clone your Virtual PC, back it up, perform experiments on it, restore it, and even distribute it to others.


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Working with the SuSE VPC

Two or three hours of automatic installation later, you can boot SuSE Linux:

Click to enlarge

As you might expect, the support for Linux in Virtual PC 2004 is not as complete as the support for Windows. To release the mouse from the Linux VPC window, you must press the right Alt key. On a VPC that runs Windows, you can move the mouse focus in and out of the VPC window smoothly and transparently once you have installed the Virtual Machine Additions:



The Virtual Machine Additions also allow the emulation of a video card with more memory, allowing for better video modes. They further support sizing the VPC window interactively with the mouse to nearly arbitrary sizes, as well as sharing folders between the host PC and the VPC:

Click to enlarge

You can work around the lack of shared host folders. SuSE, like most modern Linux builds, can view Windows networks using Samba, as long as you don't block the Samba ports with a firewall. I have a Linux build of ActiveState Komodo on my host Windows machine, and I have shared the directory over the Windows network so that it can be seen from Linux with Samba: Once I copy the license file to my VPC, I can run it in a shell:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

If I had installed a firewall that blocked Samba, I could still transfer the file. I would use Web sharing of the folder on the host Windows PC and view the directory from the Linux VPC using a Web browser.

Transferring the compressed installation TAR is a similar process. Once you've transferred it to the Linux VPC, you open it with the default archive management tool and extract it to a new directory:

Click to enlarge

Then you install the software. In order to do so successfully, you need to take root privilege temporarily:

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Once the software is installed, you need to exit the privileged shell to run under your own ID, since you have installed a license for only your user account. You can either create a link or put the installed software on the path to make it convenient to start from a shell:

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SuSE installs Perl, Python, and Tcl by default, and Komodo detects all three. SuSE also installs Java, but Komodo is not a Java editor. SuSE does not install PHP by default, but you can download and install it from php.net using the built-in Web browser, just as you would for a SuSE installation on a physical PC.

Similarly, you can download and install Eclipse from eclipse.org and NetBeans from netbeans.org for Java editing.

Just like that, you have configured a complete installation of SuSE 9.1 Professional Linux in a Virtual PC and installed development tools. Now you can use the Virtual PC for Linux development and testing. You also can save the disk image on a DVD+R or other media, enabling you to revert to this configuration quickly in the future.



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