If you decide to try the VM option read on but read all before you start. And don’t blame me when things turn out different from what happened here. It’s computer stuff and strange things happen all the time. But here’s what i’d do: (remember host
is the OS of you computer, VB will be the guest
. Screenshots are not from a recent VB version, but not much has changed since)
- Make sure you have at least 10GB of disk space available, but i think 20GB is better. If you want to put your entire DCP inside the Linux system, you’ll need that much space extra. But i think that’s a silly way of making things work.
- Download Virtualbox Choose either VB for OS X hosts (when you’ll install it on a Mac) or the VB for Windows hosts for a Windows machine.
- If you will use USB for transferring the DCP, it will be very slow unless you install the Extension Pack as well. It will upgrade the virtual machines USB from 1.1 to 2.0 and 3.0. Download the Extension Pack for All supported platforms. Read and stick to the License please. Install by double clicking the downloaded file after you installed VB.
- Download a Linux distribution. There are many. I choose Lubuntu It’s lightweight but also connected to the established and well maintained Ubuntu.
- Install VirtualBox. It’s pretty straight forward.
- Start VB, then go to Preferences in the menu bar and select the place where you want the Virtual Machine(s) to reside. This may be an external drive, but be aware of possibly slower performance. You can adjust other settings as well, if you know what you are doing. Click OK when ready.
Now click the blue New button to create a VM in which you can install your Linux distro. Read about the system requirements of your distro and make sure you give the VM the right properties. Whereever you don’t know, stick to the default options.
- I gave it 1024 MB. You may give it more or less, as you wish. More is faster, but will not be available to your standard OS when the Virtual Machine is running. Check the instructions that came with your Linux distro. For formatting and transferring you do not need much. You can change this setting later, even when the VM/Linux is installed. Continue.
- Make new virtual disk (standard option), Make. Choose VDI (standard)
- Now you have to decide if the size of the disk will “grow” as the VM needs more (first option, standard) or that the size will be fixed from the beginning (second option) I choose the first.
- Make it 10GB (for Lubuntu) or larger (depending on the Linux version you’ll pick, read the system requirements of your distro)
Now you have a virtual machine listed in VirtualBox. Go to Settings. Here you can adjust several things. At System/Motherboard i have Chipset ICH9 (i run it on a iMac), I/O-APIC on. Processor: 1, 100% PAE/NX on. Acceleration both on. You might need to try what works best for your gear, find detailed info on the web.
Select Storage. At Controller: IDE click on the CD symbol. Next to it you can now choose the install image you downloaded in step 7. Click on the disc symbol next to CD/DVD-station [IDE second Master] (this might be something else, leave as it is). Choose Virtual CD/DVD disk image and navigate to the downloaded install image. Check Live CD/DVD
Go to Ports. Check USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 if you are going to use it. Next to the field Filters click the icon with a blue dot to create a filter that accepts anything USB, click the icon with the green plus sign to add the USB host controller. (You may also create specific filters for other USB gear you need to work with the VM).
It is easy to access host files from a Linux VM if these files are in a shared folder. So you may need to set the folder in which your DCP resides to be a shared folder in the host OS. The alternatives are: USB and network drive. Once the DCP is in a shared folder, or your USB or networked drive is connected in the host OS, go to Shared Folders and click on the small folder icon with plus. Select the folder or drive that contains your DCP. Click OK.
In VB, select the VM and click the green Start button. You can now install but you can also let the Live image boot. You can install later as well. Installation can take quite a while.
- If things don’t work, check documentation on the Linux distro, change settings of the VM and try again.
- Once you’re finished, you can close the VM and choose Save the machine state. This will let you quickly return to the state where you left your VM. Alter settings to the VM in VB is not possible if you stopped your VM this way. But that’s okay if everything worked fine. If you do want to change settings shut down Linux by choosing Send the shutdown signal or use the shutdown option in Linux.
Please look at my Links page for more detailed info!
Henk Rhebergen, edited march 2021