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Yeah, not the best scenario, but I'm hoping I can make it work. So basically I'm fed up with dual-booting, the shutdown-to-startup time going between OS's is just too much ...
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    Just Joined! nmaster64's Avatar
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    Question Installing Linux in VirtualBox w/ low memory


    Yeah, not the best scenario, but I'm hoping I can make it work. So basically I'm fed up with dual-booting, the shutdown-to-startup time going between OS's is just too much generally for how oft I want to go between them. The hardware's not great, a two-year old laptop with somewhere around 640MB of RAM (which means I think maybe 256 of it is usable in Vbox if I close all my Windows apps).

    Basically I want Linux for one purpose: programming. I just can't stand it in Windows, it's disturbing how much less problems I run into coding/compiling/debugging on a Linux box compared to Windows.

    So what distro should I be looking at? I'm used to Fedora, but I can't even get that installed with such little memory. I need something simple and easy-to-use that I can run Eclipse and whatnot in. Damn Small Linux maybe? Can that serve well as a programming environment? Or maybe I would absolutely have to upgrade my RAM first?

    Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated...

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    More RAM is always better

    As for which distro, DSL should work, and you should be able to run Eclipse on anything with a compiler (in case a package management system isn't available).

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    So I couldn't help but notice...
    There are currently four types of DSL....

    dsl-<version>.iso: the standard isolinux version, which is used for liveCD, frugal, or traditional harddrive install.

    dsl-<version>-syslinux.iso: boots using syslinux instead of isolinux, used for some very old hardware that is no longer supported by isolinux. Use syslinux version if booting fails with the standard iso.

    dsl-<version>-embedded.zip: comes with qemu, for running inside of a host Windows or Linux system.

    dsl-<version>-vmx.zip: a virtual machine that will run in VMware or VMware player.
    Are these relevant or usable for my situation? Can someone maybe elaborate a bit more on those versions for me? Thanks a million...

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmaster64 View Post
    So I couldn't help but notice...
    Are these relevant or usable for my situation? Can someone maybe elaborate a bit more on those versions for me? Thanks a million...
    I haven't tried any of those, but since qemu has a GPL license, I would go that way.

    The vmware image could work as well, but since it has a propietary license, the iso will only hold the image, and not the virtualizator needed to run it (so, you are on your own to install vmware under windows, which might require previous payment and registration).

    I don't know how good or bad will that run... Really, if you are compiling sample programs then that's okay, but if you are going to compile any serious stuff, you should be aware that compiling is one of the heaviest and most resource intensive operation that you can do on a pc, and virtualization is slow...

    I'd suggest that you migrate to linux, but I think that you might already have considered that possibility, and discarded it for some reason, so, I will suggest another alternative: cygwin + gcc.

    Google around for instructions, there are quite a lot of info on how to install the cygwin posix layer on windows, and also there's lot of stuff on how to get gcc, bash and some other basic stuff running under it.

    This will give you some native linux capabilities under windows... Maybe this suits you better, or maybe not. The choice is yours.

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    Thanks so much for your comments!

    It's just like you said, I have my reasons I'm stuck to Windows after seriously considering going Linux only...I have installed the standard DSL iso inside VirtualBox and am really impressed with it's speed. Unfortunately I can't seem to get my touchpad working, so at the moment I'm at a loss there...

    Cygwin...ugh...well yes I suppose once I start C programming again that's going to be a must if I can't get Linux up and going. Let's just say my experience with it a couple years ago was...more than a little painful...I suppose I can give it another try however...

    I'm kind of surprised I can't find any distros that are decently user-friendly and actually geared towards programmers...they all seem focused on converting Windows users these days... :/

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmaster64 View Post
    Thanks so much for your comments!

    It's just like you said, I have my reasons I'm stuck to Windows after seriously considering going Linux only...I have installed the standard DSL iso inside VirtualBox and am really impressed with it's speed. Unfortunately I can't seem to get my touchpad working, so at the moment I'm at a loss there...
    That could be a problem with your virtualbox, I don't really know.

    Cygwin...ugh...well yes I suppose once I start C programming again that's going to be a must if I can't get Linux up and going. Let's just say my experience with it a couple years ago was...more than a little painful...I suppose I can give it another try however...
    The big thing about this is that you will have less problems, since you'd be running a native solution, while virtualization is just virtualization... The main problem you might have with vm's is that they might not emulate correctly all the hardware, speed will be an issue once you start compiling big things, but, as said, that's not an issue if you are not going to compile qt or something like that :P

    But maybe it is just me... I never considered virtualization as a serious solution for anything. Maybe I am just way too biased to have an objective about this concrete issue.

    I'm kind of surprised I can't find any distros that are decently user-friendly and actually geared towards programmers...they all seem focused on converting Windows users these days... :/
    I use Gentoo, and highly advise it. You must be willing to learn and invest some time on it, though.

    But I really don't know what do you mean with "user-friendly and actually geared towards programmers". At a given time, you have the same software available in every distro under the sun... You just need to use your package manager to install a working toolchain, eclipse, kdevelop, quanta, emacs, kate or whatever you'll need to program in almost any imaginable language that ever existed.

    Some, like Gentoo, even let you install many versions of your gcc compiler, and you can easily install even the documents, manuals and everything that a developer would dream of. For the rest, I just need google.

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    Quote Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post
    The big thing about this is that you will have less problems, since you'd be running a native solution, while virtualization is just virtualization... The main problem you might have with vm's is that they might not emulate correctly all the hardware, speed will be an issue once you start compiling big things, but, as said, that's not an issue if you are not going to compile qt or something like that :P

    But maybe it is just me... I never considered virtualization as a serious solution for anything. Maybe I am just way too biased to have an objective about this concrete issue.
    Your probably right. Virtualization is something I've ignored until just recently so maybe I'm just a bit caught up in the cool factor of how great it's working on my powerhouse desktop. :P

    It's probably more worth my time to get familiar with Cygwin, so I'll do just that. Although I have to say DSL has me intrigued in terms of it's performance, I might try installing it to a bootable USB drive...

    Quote Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post
    I use Gentoo, and highly advise it. You must be willing to learn and invest some time on it, though.

    Gentoo even lets you install many versions of your gcc compiler, and you can easily install even the documents, manuals and everything that a developer would dream of. For the rest, I just need google.
    Interesting, Gentoo is one of the few I haven't tried, although I did hear it was great for that kind of advanced configuration...

    Quote Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post
    But I really don't know what do you mean with "user-friendly and actually geared towards programmers". At a given time, you have the same software available in every distro under the sun... You just need to use your package manager to install a working toolchain, eclipse, kdevelop, quanta, emacs, kate or whatever you'll need to program in almost any imaginable language that ever existed.
    Oh yeah of course, that's the beauty of Linux. Just noting my surprise that (considering it's generally programmers behind putting stuff together) there isn't a distro or branch of a distro that's default setup out of the box is designed for a programmer. Of course it's not hard to get everything needed installed through package manager, but...well I'm just being lazy is all... xP

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmaster64 View Post
    Oh yeah of course, that's the beauty of Linux. Just noting my surprise that (considering it's generally programmers behind putting stuff together) there isn't a distro or branch of a distro that's default setup out of the box is designed for a programmer. Of course it's not hard to get everything needed installed through package manager, but...well I'm just being lazy is all... xP
    Well, it's been long since the last time I used a graphical installer. So I don't know how do they behave nowadays.

    Some years ago they used to come with simplified options to install whole "blisters" of software. For example, a checkbox to install *everything* (well, the most common stuff) related to developent, or to games, or to graphics...

    It would depend on the distro. I haven't tested dsl.

    Gentoo is not that way, and it will never be. Since in Gentoo everything is compiled from source (there are no official binary packages), you surelly don't want to spend two weeks compiling every little package over the Earth. You really don't need to. Gentoo gives you some power, but power forces you to take decissions. You are the one that has to evaluate if it is worth the effort for you.

    Gentoo is installed by hand, and you "emerge" the packages you want/need. There was some graphical installer around, but it has given some serious problems in the past, and I don't recommend it.

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