Running From Within VirtualBox (At Last!)

Started by Donald Darden, January 20, 2008, 10:02:27 PM

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Donald Darden

Having created my own VDIs (also called veeDee-eyes) for Windows 2k Pro and XP on top of VirtualBox. I went exploring to see what other VDIs might be available out there.  And there are quite a few, but almost all are based on Open Source distributions, which is mainly Linux.

While I could find links to a number of VDIs, there is some lack of uniformity in how you can acquire them.  One place suggests that you sign up for UseNet, another wants you to subscribe to Megashares, and some allow you to try to use torrent.

Using torrent is a P2P approach, meaning that if you can find a "seed", you can download the requested file off another person's PC.  Then while downloading that, someone else can use torrent to be downloading that file, or some other file that you provided the seed for.  Your torrent client thus supports both upload and download modes at the same time.  However, some torrent clients do not allow someone to upload from you while you are using the service, and they've come up with an unflattering name for people who use these latter clients to avoid sharing in the process.

You can search for torrent client to find one that suits you.  What happens is that you find a link somewhere to a torrent file (that is its extension), but instead of downloading it, you indicate that you want to open it with your torrent client.  I used BitLord, which includes a search function for torrent sites, but you can use Google and mention torrent as part of your search.  Your torrent client will then download it and store it on your hard drive.  It will likely be put into a folder.  It is best to watch the download rate - I had one session started, and it was trying to download a 557 Mbyte file at under 11 Kbs, a process that would have taken ages.  Obviously the person I was downloading form was on a dialup connection.  After the download completes, you may find that you have some type of archive file.  It makes sense to compress files, especially large files, in order to transfer them.  I just finished downloading SimplyMAPIS 7.0, and found it was a .rar file.  My archive manager is not able to handle .rar files, so I ended up using apt-get install unrar and adding that to my system.   The other thing I had to do was make sure I could find a username and password for the VDI that I was installing.  I added a text file to the folder where I placed the VDI, so that I would have tha information later.

Installing the VDI was straightforward and simple.  It gives me another distribution to play with.  But for all the trouble I had in getting one downloaded, I think I would just a soon create my VDIs using the .ISO images that you can get off the internet.  That isn't much harder, and actually, you don't know what you might be getting with somebody's VDI, whereas the initial distributions are usually pretty well documented.