How To: Windows XP Mode In...Ubuntu Linux?

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johnbilicki

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VirtualBox kicks some serious ass. Unfortunately Windows 7 is nothing more then Vista glorified and I'm sticking with XP until I figure out which Linux distro to use. If they wanted 7 to succeed they should have added Aero and networking improvements to XP but instead they had to reinvent everything and they failed miserably at doing so.

The UI requires two to three more times the clicking (start menu--> programs requires two clicks versus XP's one in example). A critical aspect of design is consistency which was thrown out the door, where is the My Documents folder? Sure there is an equivelent but changing what it's call is like telling people to call their CPU's "fuzzles" without any justification. ...and just like Vista you STILL can not move the ENTIRE My Documents folder so if you're keen enough to NOT put your personal/work files on the same drive/partition as the OS you'll still have to deal with programs automatically generating folders on C:\ so you'll need to manually move each folder for EVERY program every time otherwise you're looking at losing 30-50 hours of saved game files PER game. 7 is also less customizable and for those who aren't politically ignorant can you spot the communist propaganda? Even the 7 ads are stuffed full of it. The complete lack of design in 7 just can't be made up by eye candy alone; substance is more then skin deep.
 

jsloan

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xpm is nothing but an integrated microsoft virtual pc 2007, which microsoft makes available for free.

i've been running w7 since day one and i have not found a reason to use xpm. windows 7 runs everything i've thrown at it.

also, virtual box runs fine on w7, so there is no need for linux...
 

johnbilicki

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How about some articles in regards to getting popular games to run on Linux distros? I finally got around to trying Wine and I was amazed as how insanely easy it was. A good article could convince many to migrate...and I'd love to see major releases start taking Linux as a serious gaming OS.
 

void5

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You can't run Windows in virtual machine on Linux "all for free" - you still have to buy license to use Windows copy legally.
 

lifelesspoet

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So far I tried 3 games that didn't run in windows 7 but ran in wine. It seems from my example, the older the program is the more likely it will run in linux and less likely it will run in the latest version of windows.
Also, virtual box doesn't support directx, so graphically intense programs will not run properly or at all.
 

JonathanDeane

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I like my main machine (the one with the most oomph) to run Windows what ever flavor is the latest. Then I like to run Linux on older hardware since Windows tends to bloat over time and not work so well. The OS is just a tool. XP is almost to that Windows 98 stage where it lacks security and is getting slower with each patch and lacks the new shiny. RIP XP you where the best of the best in your day! Being OS agnostic gives you more tools to work with in your life learn to use them all properly and you will find you can do things you thought where too hard or too complex before. Maybe one day people will learn to love all OS's equally lol
 

bujcri

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Very nice article, still, it doesn't mention anything about possibility of running 64 bit software or how many cpu cores virtual box can use (I saw from the picture that it could be more than one)
 

danny69t

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Good article. Keep it up with Ubuntu "stuff" like this. How about making a short article about installing software from tar.gz ? I didn't manage to use them darn tarballs.

"all the ways to customize your GUI, from panels to widgets and everything in-between. Don't worry, there will be a ton of transparency effects for those interested in cloning the Windows 7 GUI. There will even be some effects, like expo for Compiz Fusion, never before seen on a Windows machine."

Can't wait for that article, Adam.
 
Please note:

- the article does state that you need a valid XP install media - meaning, that you should have a Windows XP license with it. Say, the one that came with the computer you converted to Linux... Moreover, if you happen to install an 'update' version of Windows, you lose the right to install both the older and newer OS on the machine (check EULA) - so you'd need to spring for a 'full' version of either. Linux has no EULA (only the GPL, which essentially says 'use at will') so you can use the former OEM OS (presumably Win XP - lower-end Vista have EULA limitations) in a VM, IF KEPT ON THAT 'REAL' MACHINE.

- DirectX acceleration is available in VirtualBox (this is not the case with VirtualPC), but it is experimental. Essentially, it creates an OpenGL context on the host OS (Linux or Windows), a virtual 3D device on the guest OS, provides a DirectX to OpenGL translator and a WGL to XGL passthrough (think Wine) - giving the guest OS accelerated OpenGL and DirectX capabilities. Note that currently, the OpenGL option is considered more stable than DirectX, because like Wine's WGL to XGL passthrough driver, there's (almost) no code translation required. As far as I know, there is no passthrough option available for DirectX (thus Windows on Windows has no advantage over windows on Linux - it's even worse, due to Windows on Linux making use of Linux's much faster I/O capabilities - my test results, not mine).

- The vbox 'CPU cores' options defines how many cores are emulated on the host; as far as I know, vbox ain't multithreaded yet. Think SMP emulation for the host. You should also enable IO APIC emulation with it, and this may be unstable in WinXP.

About .tar.gz packages: they can contain both binaries and source code; thing is, in Linux, it's often more practical to ship source code and make the user compile it, but the user has to know which is what. If we take Skype's example, there are two .tar.gz available: the 'dynamic' one will make use of local libraries already installed on your machine (mainly Qt), the 'static' is a complete package that doesn't require any extra install (but is a much bigger download). On Xvid's page though, the .tar.gz package only contains source code; you have to enter the directory that contains the UNIX-like source, and do 'magic':

./configure --help ## that parses the 'configure' script and recaps default compilation and install settings. Read it thoroughly. Don't forget the './', required to run the local version; otherwise, Linux will default to 'configure' located in /usr/bin, which is NOT the same.

./configure ## that checks for dependencies on the system and prepares the build; if it can't find a compiler or any other required dependency it'll abort: install GCC and whatever library is missing (you may need the -dev or -devel package). If it can't find NASM, an assembly optimizer, it'll revert to slow 'pure C' implementation - and say so. Thus, read ./configure's output. Install optional dependencies for those features you need. You may need to pass options defined in the --help.

make ## that will actually start the compile job, according to the last ./configure run (some will actually run configure with default settings first; it is also possible that there is no ./configure script). It should take a few minutes depending on how fast your processor is.

make install ## to be run as root. Will add libraries and binaries in default paths on your system, overwriting existing files. If run as user, will probably fail. You may run into dependency hell if you overwrite existing critical files.

For actual, package-dependent instructions, read the README files that are found inside the package. Most will sum up the above, others may give different instructions.

Some packages (mainly daily builds) will actually require tools like 'automake' that parse the current source files, create a ./configure script and run it.
 

Thanatopsis

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"In order to follow this guide, you need an installed Linux distribution (I use Ubuntu), a legitimate copy of Windows XP, familiarity with the XP installation, and Sun's VirtualBox virtualization software (free). "

You don't NEED a legitimate copy of XP. There's no reason this wouldn't work with any copy of it.
 

anamaniac

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$100 for somethng you use everyday and is the base of everything you do is too expensive?
Hell, I pay $100 for my shoes (I like having comfortable shoes that don't fall apart), and I replace them once a year, so once every 3-4 years for a new OS isn't bad. I use my computer more than my shoes...
 

anamaniac

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On a side note, if I remember correctly, Win7 Home is $100 OEM and $250 OEM.
These come with no support, but really, not like you'd use microsoft support anyways, especially if your a user using a linux distribution.
 
G

Guest

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Really liked your article.
VBox is improving really fast, is free, and can do everything VmWare does.
 

randomizer

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[citation][nom]Thanatopsis[/nom]"In order to follow this guide, you need an installed Linux distribution (I use Ubuntu), a legitimate copy of Windows XP, familiarity with the XP installation, and Sun's VirtualBox virtualization software (free). "You don't NEED a legitimate copy of XP. There's no reason this wouldn't work with any copy of it.[/citation]
Are you suggesting that they actively promote piracy on a front page article? You must be joking.
 

bunz_of_steel

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jsloan There is no need for your DA comments either! Gr8 article Adam!! Looking forward to pt2 maybe w/64bit multi-core difference comparisons with different memory allocations.
 

climber

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I wonder if someone could switch their computer to linux, install the virtual box environment then install XP and get all the updates and everything to bring windows up to date, then install Ghost. Could one do a Ghost restore to that virtual PC to restore your drive to the virtual drive?
 

caamsa

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Wouldn't it be easier to just dual boot windows and Ubuntu on the same disk? Then at start up you can just pick one or the other without all the hassles of using the virtual box.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]johnbilicki[/nom]How about some articles in regards to getting popular games to run on Linux distros? I finally got around to trying Wine and I was amazed as how insanely easy it was. A good article could convince many to migrate...and I'd love to see major releases start taking Linux as a serious gaming OS.[/citation]
Working on it, probably gonna be a series, hopefully starting by X-Mas.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]bujcri[/nom]Very nice article, still, it doesn't mention anything about possibility of running 64 bit software or how many cpu cores virtual box can use (I saw from the picture that it could be more than one)[/citation]
[citation][nom]Bunz_of_Steel[/nom]jsloan There is no need for your DA comments either! Gr8 article Adam!! Looking forward to pt2 maybe w/64bit multi-core difference comparisons with different memory allocations.[/citation]
You can install 64-bit OSes into VBox, no problem. You just need actual 64-bit hardware :)
The Processor slider, if I'm not mistaken, is for multiple CPUs, not CPUs with multiple cores. As far as I know multi-core procs just work. Remember virtualization is tied heavily to cloud computing these days, so the option for more procs is more for enterprise use, unless you've got more than one actual CPU, then by all means, turn it up!
RE: Memory - I used 1024mb as an example, you can set whatever you want and the steps of the how-to will still hold true. I sometimes need to run xp (or 7) and some form of Linux in the VM at the same time, so i get in the habit of making my VMs have 1gb because my actual system only has 4gb and you can only use half of your real RAM for a VM.
 
G

Guest

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What makes XP mode a fail is that it is run using virtualization. They could add a separate C:\System_XP folder, then run it natively at full speed, but instead, it's run using a virtual machine, and all of the performance bottlenecks that go along with it. They should've set up XP mode as something akin to WINE in Linux, therefore not requiring a CPU with virtualization acceleration to run it decently.
 

Kelavarus

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The problem with these kinds of articles is that they're so subjective, one can't even begin. Details about Windows, details about Vista, details about Linux, a lot of it is opinion.

I'm also very tired of people tossing about 'next-gen'. It's more like a gimmick these days than an actual description, writers should be required to define just what they think is next-gen instead of just using it whenever they like as an advertisement.
 

hardwarekid9756

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How about a non-bias impartial review with actual information?

"...or not. If you're open to using Linux , you too can have a fast and secure next-gen OS with full XP compatibility, all for free!"

This is untrue unless you're endorsing linux users to install pirated versions of XP in their VM. Otherwise, they have to own XP to begin with and your free argument is moot. It also means you can do this ON ANY OTHER OS. I use VMWare at work and Virtual PC at home and they're just as good if not better than VirtualBox. Until DX9 is 100%, VB is just a linux VM, and nothing more.

So, please, don't give us another how-to article about stuff we already know, and don't slander an operating system some of us may be a fan of, just because you're trying to pimp Linux on the masses. I applaud the linux fandom, but I am dismayed by the slanderous tact being taken. Really, the tone and information of this article is anti-windows, and has been done before. I've seen a million-and-a-half "Here's how to VB in linux!" articles...why do I need another, only this time laced with anti-windows malice?
 
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