Linux at Work
6th Dec 2005, 17:53:58
At home, I use a combination of Mac OS X, Ubuntu and Debian - this does me very nicely. At work however, I've been using Windows XP, and I'm pretty damn fed up with it. Here's what I did to remedy the situation...
I'd ordered some free CDs from Ubuntu's ShipIt service, which included a Live CD. I thought it would be prudent to use this to check that the computer could actually boot Ubuntu, happily it could. I was particularly pleased that (with the help of some extra packages) it was able to use my nvidia dual monitor setup.
For my next trick, I booted from a BartPE CD including Symantec Ghost, which I used to copy an image of my hard disk to an external disk. Once that was done, I booted from the Ubuntu install CD, erased the hard disk and installed Breezy Badger.
Breezy installed fine, but just like the live CD it only detected one of my monitors. I fixed that first:
# apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-settings linux-restricted-modules-2.6.12-10-386
# vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf
# /etc/X11/xorg.conf (xorg X Window System server configuration file)
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
# Edit this file with caution, and see the /etc/X11/xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man /etc/X11/xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
# sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg
# paths to defoma fonts
# Load "GLcore"
Identifier "Generic Keyboard"
Option "XkbRules" "xorg"
Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option "XkbLayout" "gb"
Identifier "Configured Mouse"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Protocol" "ImPS/2"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "true"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"
Identifier "NVIDIA Corporation NV17GL [Quadro4 200/400 NVS] 0"
Option "MonitorLayout" "LFP, CRT"
Identifier "NVIDIA Corporation NV17GL [Quadro4 200/400 NVS] 1"
Option "MonitorLayout" "LFP, CRT"
Device "NVIDIA Corporation NV17GL [Quadro4 200/400 NVS] 0"
Device "NVIDIA Corporation NV17GL [Quadro4 200/400 NVS] 1"
Identifier "Default Layout"
Screen "screen1" RightOf "screen0"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse"
Option "xinerama" "on"
Option "clone" "off"
Once I had that working, I upgraded the kernel to a version optimised for the Pentium 4, this quickly broke the dual monitor setup. If you upgrade the kernel, make sure that you have a linux-restricted-modules pacakage that matches the output of uname -r, in my case,
# apt-get install linux-restricted-modules-2.6.12-10-686
Next, I tackled VMware. This doesn't play all that nicely with Ubuntu, but it does install. Need some packages:
# apt-get install linux-headers-2.6.12-10-686 build-essential gcc-3.4 g++-3.4
# ln -s /usr/src/linux-headers-2.6.12-10-686 /usr/src/linux
# export CC=/usr/bin/gcc-3.4
Use uname -r and cat /proc/version to determine the correct package versions.
Retreive the VMware tarball and extract it. Also, fetch the latest version of the VMware-any-any script and extract it.
# tar zxf VMware-workstation-5.0.0-13124.tar.gz
# tar zxf vmware-any-any-update94.tar.gz
# cd vmware-distrib
Don't run vmware-config.pl when it asks, instead:
# cd ../vmware-any-any-update94
This time, do run vmware-config.pl. VMware is now in the panel - Applications, System Utilities.
I now used the BartPE disk again to restore the ghost image onto a virtual machine. I encountered a small problem - Ubuntu would detect and mount the USB external hard drive with my image on it, rather than handing it off to the virtual machine. I could probably have solved this, but instead I just attached the driver to another PC, shared it and restored it across the network. Once restored, the image booted OK in VMware, but XP required re-activating.
XP wouldn't re-activate over the internet, so I had to call Microsoft. After keying the 48-digit activation ID into the phone, I was told by an automated annoucement that it was not recognised. Grrr. So, I spoke to an activation humanoid, acted dumb and after 10 minutes or so it was re-activated. People say Linux isn't user-friendly?
I set up OpenVPN so that I could access my computer from home. It worked great, but I forgot to install sshd! Bugger. Fixed that the next day with
apt-get install openssh-server. I had left OpenVPN running on the Windows virtual machine, so fortunately I could still RDP to that.