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Hello, Firstly I am very new to Linux, so please bear with me. I am a windows .NET developer and need help to set up my perfect environment which I ...
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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Calling all Linux Guru's!!


    Hello,
    Firstly I am very new to Linux, so please bear with me. I am a windows .NET developer and need help to set up my perfect environment which I see as follows:
    I would like to take my PC and install a VERY small linux (just the absolute bear minimal to boot up). Once booted up, it will start VirtualBox VM where I can install various versions of WinXP to do my development. Basically, each WinXP VM will be a configuration for each of my clients, which i can start as needed.
    So, I would like someone to help me walk thro this project to see if it can work. I already started looking at DSL, which is getting there but way more than I need from Linux. Like I said, I just need the bare core (kernal?) to boot up with and start the VirtualBox application UI so I can choose which guest OS to start. But my knowledge of Linux is the square root of sod all, and at best I've played with (and installed) Ubuntu. I am also keen to learn Linux as I go along... who knows, maybe one day I will ditch windohs alltogether, but until then, it helps me pay the bills

    Regards
    Louis

  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Damn Small is a modified version of Debian, but there is a minimal version of Debian proper called "net-install." It gives you basically a command-line system with the default kernel, and you can add on as much or as little as you want. You could start with that and add a bare-bones X11 environment like Fluxbox or TWM, and use that to launch your Virtualbox sessions.
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  3. #3
    oz
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    Welcome to the forums!

    You can find some info on other mini versions of Linux here:

    Mini Linux - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Perhaps Tiny Core would work well enough for you:

    Welcome to Tiny Core Linux
    oz

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    Wow, quick reply! Thanx

    X11?... Flubox?... TWM?..... HUH!?!

    Sorry, I am very new to Linux! What are they? Tiny Core sound interesting, and looks like it's what i'm looking for. Now is there a script or something that can be automatically run to start up all the required apps (bins?) needed to get VirtualBox started?

    I will investigate Tiny Core a bit more.

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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Linux Guru rokytnji's Avatar
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    Quick answer.

    Flubox. is a desktop enviorment. Like what you see on the screen for Windows vista or XP. So is X11 and TWM. The link above I gave you should help a little in understanding jargon. The link in my signature has all kinds of free books and links to knowledge that you can bookmark in your browser. Good luck with your project and Happy Trails.
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    Brilliant! nice one! I'll do some reading...
    I might need some help installing\setting up my chosen tiny linux.

  8. #8
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    With Microsoft Windows, the operating system and the graphical environment are one entity. You can't have JUST a command-line OS on Windows anymore. Originally, you had MS-DOS and Windows, and they were mostly separate entities.

    Linux has always been (and still is) two separate entities in this regard. The Linux kernel and basic OS are command-line interfaces, and you have a separate graphical layer that runs on top. This is the X Windowing system (or X11). X by itself doesn't really do anything. It just provides the platform on which you can run a display manager.

    Think of it like the internals of a cell phone that lets you change the faceplate. Take off the faceplate and there's not much there, not even buttons. However when you pop on a new pad of buttons and snap on the outer case, you have what looks like a completely different phone, but it's really the same underneath.

    Window managers and Desktop Environments are those faceplates. They're all interchangeable in Linux, and they all add different kinds of interaction and visual appeal. Your basic, simple window manager like TWM or Fluxbox will provide you with the bare minimum, basically just a blank canvas and menu system upon which you can launch graphical programs.

    As you increase the size and complexity of your desktop software, you get more bells and whistles. Full desktop environments like KDE or Gnome (the two main standards in Linux desktops) offer lots of graphical prettiness and a full suite of applications to go with it. I gather from your first post that's not quite what you're looking for, thus my suggestion of something lighter.
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    That's a nice analogy! Makes better sense now.

    Ok, here's where I am... I downloaded net-install and burned it to disk. I installed it onto said machine and all seems to be good... I got it to boot up... a whole lot of text, then finally what looks like a command prompt. I take it this is just the OS that has now been loaded, and what is needed now is to load some form of script to start up VirtualBox, right?

    BTW, do I need a desktop in Linux? Can you not get the OS to start and application like VirtualBox without first loading a desktop?

    Your thoughts?

  10. #10
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LouFer View Post
    I take it this is just the OS that has now been loaded, and what is needed now is to load some form of script to start up VirtualBox, right?

    BTW, do I need a desktop in Linux? Can you not get the OS to start and application like VirtualBox without first loading a desktop?

    Your thoughts?
    Since Virtualbox is a graphical application you're going to need some sort of graphical environment in which to run it. You can't run it inside a BASH (command-line) session. The quickest way to get that from a net-install (provided you've already set up your network connection) is this command:

    Code:
    apt-get update
    Followed by
    Code:
    apt-get install fluxbox
    That will download and install a basic graphical system for you to run. From there you can install Virtualbox.
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