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bipper
06-12-2007, 12:52 AM
I am simply wondering what everyone's opinion and views are on their favorite computer setup, and quite possibly their advanced concepts toward setting up a good, solid rig. I am just kinda poking around looking for some more advanced concepts and other fun things to play with.

Well, right now, I am planning on installing an XP base, load that up with all my video games, and then run a VMware** server running my Slackware in the back drop ><, another VM of XPpro in the background with my with my sensitive and secured windows apps in it, and possibly another partition dedicated to learning about different Linux Apps.

I want all this on one computer just to be cool, and well, I plan on devoting the other computers to my game design and so on. I am just looking for tools and other fun little programs that I can use to effectively make my everyday programming, book keeping, interweb browsing, game playing life all the easier. Also, just looking for people to badass their computer set ups and opinionated IT standpoints.


**VMware is just a system that lets you emulate other operating systems on your computer at once. Available at VMware: Virtualization, Virtual Machine & Virtual Server Consolidation - VMware (http://www.vmware.com) (totally worth it)

ZeZipster
06-12-2007, 01:47 AM
I wouldn't ever bother with WINE or VMWare. Too much processing, often glitchy, and is not as easy as dual booting operating systems. Dual Boots for the win.

Although, I don't mind having to restart to use a different operating system and I have to admit this is really, really cool. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOWeeVvhiAw)

o_O
06-12-2007, 02:51 AM
I've never really been a fan of VMWare. It's a great idea, but it just has too much overhead for my not-so-powerful machine. I ran XP Pro under VMWare in Gentoo for a while and it was quite usable for the most part, but I just got annoyed with the occasional stutter and longer than normal loading times for things. I prefer dual-booting (actually I'm quad-booting. :p).

Now if they release <a href="http://www.vmware.com/products/beta/fusion/">VMWare Fusion</a> for Linux anytime soon I'm on that pretty quickly. :p

I don't really like RAID much, because it seems like a waste of disk space but if I had a lot of data that I had to keep I woud probably use a hardware array.

Currently my setup is this:<table border="0"><tr><td>
Main PC:
AMD Athlon 64 3200+
2GB RAM
GeForce 6600GT 256MB VRAM
Seagate 300GB HDD
Asus A8N-SLI deluxe mobo
</td><td>
Other PC:
AMD Athlon 64 3500+
2GB RAM
GeForce 7600GS 256MB VRAM
Seagate 300GB HDD
Asus A8N-SLI deluxe mobo
</td><td>
Laptop:
Acer Aspire 3500
1.5Ghz Intel Celeron
512MB RAM
80GB HDD
64MB integrated shared VRAM (yuck)
</td></tr>
</table>
My main PC quad-boots Gentoo, Arch, XP Pro and Vista, and runs my webserver for the rest of my network.
Other PC runs XP.
Laptop dual-boots Arch and XP Pro.
I also use my phone on wifi and stuff; it runs WM5 and I hacked Familiar Linux onto a bootable miniSD card for it.

For programming, I like to use Anjuta (GTK C IDE) for Linux or Visual Studio 2005 for Windows. All of my media is on Linux. I run XFCE4 with Beryl 0.2.1. Most of the time WINE is good for my Windows needs (it runs Oblivion, so that's good enough for me :p).

Odaisť Gaelach
06-12-2007, 03:41 AM
VMWare is okay, but you really can't run resource-consuming programs on it efficently. Usually I use it for testing, and running Windows 3.11 when the notion hits me :p

If you're going to run Linux, then perhaps you should set it up on a seperate partition or disk. You really would get the most out of it, as opposed to VMWare. :)


I don't really like RAID much, because it seems like a waste of disk space but if I had a lot of data that I had to keep I woud probably use a hardware array.

When I was trying to install Linux on my computer (on a non-RAID hard drive) GRUB got painfully confused with my RAID. Install could see the partitions, but the bootloader woudn't install. When I did get it working Linux suddenly wouldn't recognise the partitions on my RAID - ergo, all my files were inaccessible. Bye bye Linux...

RAID and GRUB/Linux don't like each other. At all.

bipper
06-12-2007, 04:03 AM
I wouldn't ever bother with WINE or VMWare. Too much processing, often glitchy, and is not as easy as dual booting operating systems. Dual Boots for the win.

Yeah, I am looking to have my server and game design running on one machine, asynchronously. So yeah, it would look like virtualization for me. We have been doing a lot of work with VMware on production class servers at work, and we hardly experience a miss in the beat.

Realistically, we have virtualized and saved ourselves about half the amount of computers on our racks, and there has been no real performance hits (that I am aware of) thus far.





this is really, really cool. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOWeeVvhiAw)

That is just amazing!



I ran XP Pro under VMWare in Gentoo for a while and it was quite usable for the most part, but I just got annoyed with the occasional stutter and longer than normal loading times for things. I prefer dual-booting (actually I'm quad-booting. ).

Interesting, and thanks for the tip. I just need windows to have the direct hardware access - though I never admit to being any good with WINE (I did get it to play WoW though) I didn't really think it a feasible alternative.

I am most certainly in the same boat as you with RAID, I am not a huge fan of it, lest it is mirrored. Seen to many a RAID die due to write errors in parody to ever think twice about any serious speed raiding. I know I am in a minority on that though (at the local cooperate level)


For programming, I like to use Anjuta (GTK C IDE) for Linux or Visual Studio 2005 for Windows. All of my media is on Linux. I run XFCE4 with Beryl 0.2.1. Most of the time WINE is good for my Windows needs (it runs Oblivion, so that's good enough for me ).

I will certainly look into Anjuta. I think you had mentioned it once on this site, and I looked into it a little then, but then got pulled away. I am looking at dropping KDE and going with XFCE / Beryl, as it is what my roomate ( a bettar linux man than I ) runs. He is quite fond of it.



VMWare is okay, but you really can't run resource-consuming programs on it efficently. Usually I use it for testing, and running Windows 3.11 when the notion hits me Yeah, the slackware I am running in the VM is just a minimalist server with a few of my tools. I really don't think I need much. I am also a bit lost as to where all these bad experiences come with. :D I love the thing.


stuff about GRUB
LiLo! :D

Odaisť Gaelach
06-12-2007, 04:09 AM
LiLo! :D

Don't.

Just... don't... :cry:

bipper
06-12-2007, 04:20 AM
LiLo! :D

Don't.

Just... don't... :cry:

:love: I do it outta love.

o_O
06-12-2007, 04:22 AM
XFCE4, while not as lightweight as flux or blackbox, it still pretty light and it doesn't come with all of the crap that KDE does. I'd rather have flux as my WM, but since it's a WM and so is Beryl, that's a no go. XFCE is the closest I can get. :p
I like Qt better than GTK, but it's a small tradeoff given the themes available. Thunar is quite a nice file manager - better and lighter than Konqueror so if you don't need the extra features it's a shoe-in.

I guess you could say Anjuta is "just another IDE", but I've found it has everything I need, when and where I need it, which I can't say for some others like Eclipse. :p


When I was trying to install Linux on my computer (on a non-RAID hard drive) GRUB got painfully confused with my RAID. Install could see the partitions, but the bootloader woudn't install. When I did get it working Linux suddenly wouldn't recognise the partitions on my RAID - ergo, all my files were inaccessible. Bye bye Linux...

Ah I forgot about that thread. If I recall correctly, SuSe Enterprise had working hardware RAID support, right?
I guess I'd settle for software RAID, since all it will cost is a few extra CPU cycles.

P.S. That video has inspired me to set up VMWare again and try to make it work nicely. :p

bipper
06-12-2007, 04:28 AM
P.S. That video has inspired me to set up VMWare again and try to make it work nicely.

Let us know how that goes for ya :D

o_O
06-13-2007, 12:19 PM
I've got VMWare running fairly nicely now. It was a bit of a mission to get it going now.

Firstly, I don't want to register it because (as of yet) I still don't like it enough to pay money, and Workstation requires that I pay money. That left me with the option of using Player, which I installed from Portage. I had to make a virtual machine to run with Player, but you need Workstation and therefore to pay for that. There are a few online VM generators, but I never had a lot of success with those.

So to make the VM, I decided to install QEMU, an open source emulator with the capability of making one. The problem is that QEMU won't compile under gcc4 because of changes to the compiler from gcc3. So I installed gcc-3.4.6, and switched to the proper profile and gave QEMU a try with portage again. Portage didn't seem to like that the kernel was compiled with a different compiler to the current one, so I tried the binary on the website. The binary had trouble loading some of the libraries that I didn't have installed.

Then I tried the source from the website, and after a few attempts at finding the right ./configure I managed to get it compiled and installed and working. I used QEMU to generate an xp.vmx and install XP, and was quite able to boot into XP running the VM with Player.

It's a bit faster that it was last time I tried it, and a lot more stable too. That was probably caused by a combination of using 64 bit Linux and me not really knowing what I was doing. I've got bridged networking, sound and graphics hardware acceleration working too. Still a bit much overhead for my liking, but I think I can deal. :p

Mirage
06-13-2007, 12:35 PM
I preferred VirtualPC when I was playing around with virtualization, but I'm not sure if that piece of software has been updated in a while.

bipper
06-13-2007, 12:41 PM
I am just getting done setting mine up thus far. I installed slackware on VMware server (was free, I just had to sign up for key) I installed an image from scratch instead of importing one in (I have always had better luck this way)

It was fairly effortless so far. The overall graphical side of my VM runs like a turd. I just got slack 11 with base XFCE on board. No matter, I am using it as a strict server anyways, and have a handful of services running on it. My computer is a 2.4 ghz, 6 year old machine with 1 gig of 333 DDR. It wants to slay me right now :) I can play the MUD with out chop, and that is basically a sign of what I need it for. So success there.

It is slightly funny, cause running the linux install with windows atop, spawned less headaches. The chop was hardly noticeable.

With your set-up, O_o, did you have any pointers on lowering the chop through the VMware. Outside of upping my ram of course? :D Just curious, as like I said, when slack was the base, and windows was emulated, it went smooth cakes. Now it has a good chop with windows being the base, and linux being emulated. I haven't had much time to play, but I am not sure where to point the finger at, at the moment.


I preferred VirtualPC when I was playing around with virtualization, but I'm not sure if that piece of software has been updated in a while.

Yeah, I have heard nothing but good from it too, but I do not think you can emulate linux through it. At a recent NOREX meet up (an IT summit of sorts) we all discussed how the virtualizations were going, and VMware was used by everyone in the room but two companies (out of about 20 or so that were using virtualization). Though, the two that were using it were completely happy with it's performance.

Odaisť Gaelach
06-13-2007, 01:13 PM
Yeah, I have heard nothing but good from it too, but I do not think you can emulate linux through it.

I'd be stunned if you couldn't. :eek:

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx)

bipper
06-13-2007, 01:20 PM
Yeah, I have heard nothing but good from it too, but I do not think you can emulate linux through it.

I'd be stunned if you couldn't. :eek:

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/virtualpc/default.mspx)

What Works and What Doesn't in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 (http://vpc.visualwin.com/)
I think this is out dated. I havn't even tried 2007 yet. Either way, the past option of running linux is a M$ environment has sundered this option. I may try it later, to give it a GOE, but I would rather see if anyone else had any decent luck running slackware or at least Arch on it first. There is also the fact that I DO NOT support Microsoft's business model in any way shape or form; but if it is the best option, it is the best option - yaknow.?

o_O
06-14-2007, 10:32 PM
It is slightly funny, cause running the linux install with windows atop, spawned less headaches. The chop was hardly noticeable.

With your set-up, O_o, did you have any pointers on lowering the chop through the VMware. Outside of upping my ram of course? :D Just curious, as like I said, when slack was the base, and windows was emulated, it went smooth cakes. Now it has a good chop with windows being the base, and linux being emulated. I haven't had much time to play, but I am not sure where to point the finger at, at the moment.

I'm running a Windows guest on a Gentoo host, so I don't know if it'll be relevant but the biggest performance increase came from the SVGA driver that comes with VMWare Tools. Coupled with 512 MB of RAM for the VM and DirectX support I'm able to play Morrowind without too many glitches.

o_O
07-04-2007, 11:58 AM
Please excuse the double-post and thread resurrection. :p

So I jumped on the latest Linux bandwagon and managed to get a Linux desktop environment integrated with Windows XP. As you can see, I've got Xfce4 running with Compiz-Fusion for my Linux environment.

I have VirtualBox as my virtualization software, since it's noticeably faster than either qemu + kqemu or VMWare + VMWare Tools. It's also possible to get VirtualBox running completely headless (which you can do in qemu, but VMWare always had a grey frame to the window), so you can get rid of the titlebar and window borders. With a headless VirtualBox, Linux and Windows are still separate from each other, so this it where VirtualBox really gets ahead of VMWare.

You can start a remote session of your VM with VirtualBox, so you can use rdesktop with XP's RDP protocol to remote-desktop into your VM. Once you change a few registry keys, you can configure remote-XP only to show the taskbar, and not the desktop when a user logs in. With all of this configured, the VM windows and programs will appear to Linux as additional programs.

I did have some difficulty - in order to use RDP you can't use NAT; each machine needs its own IP. I have a wireless connection and while it worked fine with a wired network bridge into my VM, the packet encapsulation with wireless is incompatible with a bridge. I managed to get around that by (searching for hours and) finding the blog of some guy called Hazard who wrote a program called parprouted which uses ip forwarding with iptables rather than bridging.

I have 2GB RAM, with 700MB into the VM with XP and 1.3GB for Gentoo with Compiz-Fusion and everything is smooth as. The redraw on the VM is a bit crappy but that's because everything is going through my router first. See the screenshots for what it's like. :p

Yamaneko
07-04-2007, 06:58 PM
Are the XP windows fully managed by Compiz-Fusion?

crono_logical
07-04-2007, 09:26 PM
That looks impressive :p Can you drag the XP Windows so you can have two on different faces of your desktop cube? :p

o_O
07-05-2007, 12:51 AM
Are the XP windows fully managed by Compiz-Fusion?

For the most part. Any desktop effect from Compiz-Fusion can be applied to XP windows, but sometimes the effect is overridden by XP's window management. For example, if you drag an XP window by the titlebar it will override the wobbly windows plugin, but alt+dragging the window will apply the wobbly effect. Minimizing/closing/maximizing the windows uses whatever animation plugins you have enabled in Compiz-Fusion.

That looks impressive :p Can you drag the XP Windows so you can have two on different faces of your desktop cube? :p

It depends. Any window that makes use of alpha transparency will only show on the active face of the cube, and the part of it that's on another face will appear as whatever colour the desktop is set to in XP. The only application that it happened to me on was Windows Media Player in skin mode. Everything else worked fine. :p

Yamaneko
07-05-2007, 01:49 AM
Is it useful (productivity-wise) or is it more just because you can?

o_O
07-05-2007, 02:16 AM
I did it for no reason other than because I can. :p

I can definitely see how it would be useful though. Provided you have enough RAM, you can run things like Photoshop; if you have DRI enabled you can run 3DS Max, etc. For users who need elements of both operating systems, it's a hell of a lot easier than dual-booting.

Shoeberto
07-05-2007, 05:18 AM
I remember reading about that stuff a few months back, but haven't tried it yet. Doesn't seem like there's many programs it'd do much for though! Unless somehow it pipes graphics through to the GPU instead of doing software rendering so I can play games - any chance of that working out?

o_O
07-05-2007, 05:44 AM
I remember reading about that stuff a few months back, but haven't tried it yet. Doesn't seem like there's many programs it'd do much for though! Unless somehow it pipes graphics through to the GPU instead of doing software rendering so I can play games - any chance of that working out?

Even if the graphics calculations were made on the GPU, it'd be far too slow since everything is done remotely over RDP, unfortunately. If there were some way to run remote apps locally though, it could be possible. I can run Morrowind in a local VM on a fairly conservative setting, but only with DRI enabled. That's with my 6600GT. I just bought a 7950GT, so when my new PSU arrives it will be interesting to see if it makes a difference to the virtualized games.

Endless
07-05-2007, 08:04 AM
I did have some difficulty - in order to use RDP you can't use NAT; each machine needs its own IP.

I connect daily from work to my home computer, which is behind a router with NAT. All I had to do to make it work was to enable port forwarding on the RDP port. :p
If you want to make it work with different computers, change the RDP port on the other machines (it's a registry key), and port forward them.

bipper
07-05-2007, 04:53 PM
I did it for no reason other than because I can. :p

I can definitely see how it would be useful though. Provided you have enough RAM, you can run things like Photoshop; if you have DRI enabled you can run 3DS Max, etc. For users who need elements of both operating systems, it's a hell of a lot easier than dual-booting.

Also, server consolidation :)

Odaisť Gaelach
07-05-2007, 05:35 PM
I did it for no reason other than because I can. :p

Good enough reason for me! :D

So I'm confused: the host is Gentoo Linux, and Windows XP is running as the guest in VirtualBox, correct? Or is it more complicated than that? :cool:

o_O
07-06-2007, 02:07 AM
I connect daily from work to my home computer, which is behind a router with NAT. All I had to do to make it work was to enable port forwarding on the RDP port. :p
If you want to make it work with different computers, change the RDP port on the other machines (it's a registry key), and port forward them.

I didn't realise that. :p
I could be something to do with VirtualBox's VRDP server then. :p



I did it for no reason other than because I can. :p

Good enough reason for me! :D

So I'm confused: the host is Gentoo Linux, and Windows XP is running as the guest in VirtualBox, correct? Or is it more complicated than that? :cool:

That's right. The complicated part is getting networking going. You'll need to know your network hardware. Wireless probably won't work with a conventional bridge except for a few VLANs that are made for the job; an ethernet LAN supports bridges fine but you can also use ip forwarding, etc.

crono_logical
07-07-2007, 09:25 AM
I'd probably go the iptables way and forward/NAT traffic from the virtual machine to the LAN rather than trying to bridge anything, since that should work regardless of type of connection - wired, wireless, or even a virtual VPN interface since iptables wouldn't care when set up right :p

Odaisť Gaelach
07-07-2007, 06:31 PM
You can start a remote session of your VM with VirtualBox, so you can use rdesktop with XP's RDP protocol to remote-desktop into your VM. Once you change a few registry keys, you can configure remote-XP only to show the taskbar, and not the desktop when a user logs in. With all of this configured, the VM windows and programs will appear to Linux as additional programs.

D'you think it would it be possible in reverse? I mean, with Windows as the host and Linux as the guest?

o_O
07-08-2007, 05:46 AM
You can start a remote session of your VM with VirtualBox, so you can use rdesktop with XP's RDP protocol to remote-desktop into your VM. Once you change a few registry keys, you can configure remote-XP only to show the taskbar, and not the desktop when a user logs in. With all of this configured, the VM windows and programs will appear to Linux as additional programs.

D'you think it would it be possible in reverse? I mean, with Windows as the host and Linux as the guest?

It could be. You'd need to set up a bridge or ip forwarding system from Windows, and configure Linux to use the connection. I don't know if the Windows binary of VirtualBox is compiled with support for VRDP serving (or USB support, for that matter). The GPL'd version doesn't have either.

With Windows as the guest, you configure it not to show the desktop via the registry; I'm sure it's possible to do that in Linux, but you have to figure out how (and it would vary between DEs). Maybe take out the desktop program from whatever rc script starts the DE services, or just use a WM like flux without a desktop component.

You'd also need to be RDPing into Linux, and I couldn't say how that would work. I don't know of any servers for Linux or clients for Windows.

crono_logical
07-09-2007, 08:37 PM
I'm sure the default Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe) utility in Windows would be a client :p But yeah, I can't think of any rdp servers for linux either. I've used xvnc instead though on linux, so I could VNC into the machine from elsewhere :p