Although I use a variety of distros and desktops, my mainstay for around ten
years has been KDE, mostly on Mandrake/Mandriva. My work also requires that
I use a fair number of Windows programs.
From time to time I tested Wine and Crossover Office but the improvements
are never aimed at serious professional financial applications which means I
have to use Windows.
At first I used Win4lin for supporting Windows 98 which frequently meant
patching ever new kernels. Later I found VMware and then VirtualBox. I toyed
with other hypervisors but they turned out to be more trouble than they are
I have a Fujitsu sheet-fed scanner (for the paper-less office), a Brother
laser multifunction machine and a Xerox colour solid ink printer. All these
things have to work under Linux and under the Windows XP guest sitting on
Because two of my children live abroad I always wanted to use Skype but
could never get the sound to work.
Experience has told me that it pays to have both VMware and VirtualBox
installed with a virtual XP under each because all to often an 'upgrade'
will bring the house down. I have to meet deadlines and compliance
regulations. I cannot afford for my client data to become inaccessible for
any length of time.
For years, I had relative stability although I could never get Skype to work
on my workhorse desktop. I had no trouble with my wife's laptop (currently
running Vector Linux 7) or our netbook which has PClinuxOS.
When Mandriva looked as though it would cave and Mageia was uncertain, I
tried a test version of PCLinuxOS. When everything worked out of the box, I
adopted it and all was fine for a few months until an update killed it.
Reinstalling from the iso a couple of times was fine until another update
made it unbootable again. I couldn't complain, It was after all a test
Just at that point, Mageia 2 was released. I had tried an rc release but it
would hang. It was later that I realised that a DVD-ROM drive was out of
tolerance. I downloaded the iso, burned it, booted from it in the RW drive
and installed it on my second drive.
On trying to reboot it hung. Bit Twister quite rightly guessed that my
graphics were provide by ATI chips and recommended that I switch from
booting into runlevel 5 to runlevel 3.
This is done as follows:
1) At the grub menu press 'E'
2) Select the distro or option that you want to boot from and press 'E'
3) You then have to select the boot line' The older ones start with
'kernel/boot/vmlinuz' but mine started with UID and a long numeric sequence.
Either way, type in a space followed by a '3' (without quotes).
4) Press 'B'
The system then boots into a login dialog.
I then used su to get to the # prompt and executed the following, although I
was unsure about the syntax of several lines:
# urpmi.addmedia --distrib --mirrorlist
# urpmi --update --auto-select
# urpmi kernel-firmware-nonfree
# urpmi kernel-firmware
// I think this should have been urpmi --auto -a kernel-firmware
# urpmi.update --no-ignore Nonfree Updates
# urpmi.update -a
At this point I was able to start 'X'
When Mageia came up I brought up Firefox and located the ATI proprietary
I made it executable and executed it.
I rebooted and Mageia came up beautifully.
I need VMware Player (the free one) if I am to run Dragon Naturally Speaking
under Windows. It will not even install if run from a VirtualBox XP guest.
The problem was that the latest version is not compliant with series 3.xx
kernels. I discovered that there were kernel patches that resolved this
I am using version 4.0.3 for which the patch vmware802fixlinux320.tar.gz is
appropriate. Download it from https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/VMware.
Open it up:
$ tar zxvf vmware802fixlinux320.tar.gz
'su' to root and execute.
This related to VirtualBox. VBox came up OK but the XP guest aborted as soon
as it was launched. The answer was in the settings. For some reason under
Mageia 2, the previous settings were incompatible. It turned out to only be
one - EFI. That had to deselected.
Both VMware and VirtualBox have a shared folders capability to enable guests
to 'see' the folders of hosts. Unfortunately Windows XP doesn't find folders
other than its own drives A, C & D!
The answer is to install samba and make shares available to the network and
therefore to the guest virtual machines. That does work.
I run Kaffeine for digital TV among other things. It needs the firmware
required for my Hauppauge WinTV PCI card. PCLinuxOS installs the files to
/lib/firmware by default. Mageia does not. I seem to recall that Mandriva
didn't used to either. I always keep copies of such files under my home
directory, so it was only a question of copying them over.
I was delighted to find Skype just worked! Brilliant.
This is odd. The copy of Microsoft Excel 2000 running under VMware's XP
guest hangs as soon as 'File' is clicked. It doesn't happen under
VirtualBox. I have uninstalled Office and reinstalled but it made no
difference. I installed Malaware and ran a full scan. The only offending
items found were those from MS itself but the problem continues to persist.
That should put a smirk on Dan_C's face.
I apologise for the verbosity but newer users may find the extra bits