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Author Topic: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?  (Read 6438 times)

MilesAhead

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Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« on: May 10, 2014, 01:40:34 PM »
Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?

I have VMWare Player set up on my Windows 8 Laptop.  I already have W7 Pro set up on it.  I'm looking for a Debian based Linux image that would install via the "easy" method.  Just to play around without a lot of effort.  It's been a long time since I toyed with Linux.  This VMWare Player makes it easy to get the basic system going.  So it's now or never.  :)

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2014, 10:52:20 PM »
If you're just getting back into the swing of things you might be better off to try installing to a bootable USB key - or just running off a live CD of debian - possibly with provisions made for persistence. VMs introduce a few oddball things to the mix that can trip you up and/or cause confusion if you're new to Linux.

AFAIK there are no official pre-built virtual images for Debian. If you want Wheezy, you'll need to do a regular install as a guest OS in VMWare last I heard,

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2014, 08:19:51 AM »
Thanks for the info.  I did find a Mint14 VM for download.  It opened but at the moment it is downloading VMWare Tools for Linux.  I'll see how it goes.  :)

Edit:  I'm at the desktop.  Seems a bit sluggish.  I guess it is set for 1 GB ram usage.  The calculator came up.  So it's not dead.  :)

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2014, 08:23:00 AM »
^Most excellent! Keep us posted. I'm very interested in how it works out for you. Luck! :Thmbsup:

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2014, 09:11:36 AM »
Ah, that partition showed 27% fragmented from unpacking the files.  I'll see how it feels after the defrag.

Shades

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2014, 11:23:25 AM »
@MilesAhead:
You might have to defrag the installation/distro itself inside VMWare as well. There is a button inside VMWare that allows you to defrag a VM (when it is not activated).

To my knowledge, none of the more modern distros such as Mint, Suse, Fedora will work well with only 1Gbyte of RAM assigned to it in any virtual environment. If you want a small(er) distro that is rather nice to look at, try ElemetaryOS.

40hz once linked to a website/blog from a guy who reviews distro's, but I didn't find the link anymore. That blog is gold if you are looking for a distro that is "just you". On that blog I saw a distro that was very interesting in looks, resource usage etc. It came from Korea, I believe.

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 01:38:15 PM »
Thanks.  I didn't know about the internal defrag.  Also out of curiosity I added a USB 3.0 thumb for ReadyBoost.  It doesn't seem like it will let me increase the memory for the VMs though.

I'm installing a Vista x64 image now just for grins. It's going to be stuck on expaning files for quite some time.  :)

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2014, 01:40:09 PM »
40hz once linked to a website/blog from a guy who reviews distro's, but I didn't find the link anymore. That blog is gold if you are looking for a distro that is "just you".

Two good desktop distro review site links:


Desktop Linux Reviews
(da name sez it all!)

Dedoimedo (not just reviews of distros - most of what's here is solid gold too)

also check out:


How To Forge
(more sysadmin and project oriented - but also good how-tos on setting up what they consider "the perfect desktop" under various flavors of Linux. Highly recommended.)

Gnomefiles (sorta like Snapfiles is for Windows, except for Gnome and related desktop users)

Linux Foundation Videos (for those times when a quick "show me" is worth more than an hour long explanation or a 300 page manual read)

FLOSS Manuals (repository of texts for those times when there's no way to not RTFM)

penguin-cute-2.jpg
We see you're new around here...

Also don't neglect some of the communities when you decide on a distro. Not all (e.g. ArchLinux) are newbie friendly. But many others (Mint, CrunchBang, etc.)
most certainly are. If you find yourself bunking in one of those camps, don't be a stranger. :Thmbsup:


MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2014, 01:43:15 PM »
Great stuff.   :D

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2014, 01:46:45 PM »
^I track so many NIX/FOSS resources that I can easily wear out my welcome. ;D

And I try not to data dump (too much) - so let me know if you want/need more.

Cheers! :Thmbsup:

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2014, 02:06:37 PM »
Thank you both.  :)

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2014, 06:35:28 PM »
Heh.  This is a defragger's paradise.  They recommend defragging from inside the running VM(which I did by installing auslogics) then closing it and defragging the virtual drive from VMWare settings tools.  Then defragging the host's HD.

I did all that.  Bumped the ram for each VM up to 2 GB.  Alo running 4 GB of ReadyBoost.  I'm still not sure if RB is a placebo or actually does something besides making a 4 GB file on the USB.

In any case things are slightly spiffier.  W7 x64 is actually usable once it comes up.  Now I just need a real destop machine(and a real desk) to put it on.  The Mint is still pretty sluggish.  But at least I got to take a look at it.

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2014, 06:57:57 PM »
The Mint is still pretty sluggish.

That's likely because of the virtualization. That's why I think it's better to just run Linux live and off a USB key if you're not gonna install it for real. VMs are ok for occasional use. But for any sort of real day to day productivity, unless your machine has serious kahunas, the results are often disappointing running virtual under a Type-2 hypervisor (i.e. OS-level rather than baremetal) - which to me is more a glorified sandbox than a true virtual environment. (That's purely my opinion BTW. There are many who will strongly disagree with me on that point.  ;D)

But FWIW, I've got Mint 16 installed baremetal on a couple of older Core 2 Duo laptops with 4Gb RAM (and those slow laptop drives) and the response is very crisp. On my i5-powered box with 8Gb RAM, Mint flies.

 8)

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2014, 07:10:21 PM »
Another factor could be that this mint is an already configured machine.  The folder full of files is on E: partition whereas the other VMs were iso files that were then installed.  If I had a desktop right now I'd probably dual boot the W7 x64 and a mint distro,  I'd put all W8 and other on a machine with UEFI and GPT.

To me W8 is negligible except for the imperative to keep up for support work purposes. :)

Edit:  W8 I guess is at least a learning vehicle for GPT and EUFI stuff.  Other than that I hate it.  :)

superboyac

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2014, 11:45:00 PM »
The Mint is still pretty sluggish.

That's likely because of the virtualization. That's why I think it's better to just run Linux live and off a USB key if you're not gonna install it for real. VMs are ok for occasional use. But for any sort of real day to day productivity, unless your machine has serious kahunas, the results are often disappointing running virtual under a Type-2 hypervisor (i.e. OS-level rather than baremetal) - which to me is more a glorified sandbox than a true virtual environment. (That's purely my opinion BTW. There are many who will strongly disagree with me on that point.  ;D)

But FWIW, I've got Mint 16 installed baremetal on a couple of older Core 2 Duo laptops with 4Gb RAM (and those slow laptop drives) and the response is very crisp. On my i5-powered box with 8Gb RAM, Mint flies.

 8)
I have Mint on an old laptop ~2008 that is not very powerful at all, and Mint is very fast.  I also use virtual machine linux installations, i've tried a whole bunch.  VMs are always more sluggish, no matter what.  I use it like 40 says, as a sandbox to try stuff.  I have never done anything serious with VMs.  There's a great jazz sheet music app that is only available on Mac, and i use the VM for that.  8)

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2014, 06:56:26 AM »
Yeah, I can't wait to set up a real computer room.  Just have a bunch of PCs with one or 2 OS at most on each and just network 'em.

It will be interesting to see how much of a pita GPT is with multiboot systems.  I haven't read up on it yet.  Other items at the front of the line.  I need to play around with web pages and see if I can't make a buck doing them.  But first I have to get any steady income.  Time to hit the job training centers and do the social worker schtick.  :)

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2014, 11:58:53 AM »

To me W8 is negligible except for the imperative to keep up for support work purposes. :)

Edit:  W8 I guess is at least a learning vehicle for GPT and EUFI stuff.  Other than that I hate it.

I have less issues with Win8 than I did originally. But I still very much dislike it in its current incarnation. And I completely despise Microsoft's implementations (reinterpretations?) of GPT/UEFI. And I also don't much care for the Metro-like interface they slapped on top of Windows Server 2012 - although (with tolerance born of necessity) I'm getting used to it.

Other than that, Microsoft Rocks! (not) ;D :P

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2014, 03:34:56 PM »
Quote
And I completely despise Microsoft's implementations (reinterpretations?) of GPT/UEFI.
  Sometimes I wonder how things would have gone without the presence of the 500 LB gorilla.  MS always did have a penchant for expropriating standards and morphing them so that the originator is out of compliance.  Kind of like a stock takeover where Joe Smith, founder, owner, and chief salesman for Joe Smith's Electronics, gets bought out.  They keep the name but get rid of Joe the person.  "But this is my company!"  Not anymore Joe.  :)

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2014, 03:50:33 PM »
^It's far more than a penchant.

It's a Microsoft strategy that's been dubbed: Embrace-Extend-Extinguish.

You take somebody else's idea or standard, embrace it with fanfare, load it up with proprietary additions and actively push the hell out of your "enhanced" version (which you control), and thereby extinguish the non-proprietary version.

Sad part is, it (mostly) worked beautifully for Microsoft so far.
 

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2014, 05:09:04 PM »
I have to admit they seem to know exactly what they're doing when it comes to cornering a market.  :)

btw I'm downloading mint16 x64 iso now I just have to see how it runs when properly installed.  It doesn't seem sensible Linux would be slower than Windows.  Plus if I get lucky I may get to install it on a desktop.  :)

Now if PayPal would only bonus me that five large they have kicking around gathering dust.  Somebody not a brother inlaw must win sometime right?  :)

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2014, 06:04:20 PM »
Just to update:  I downloaded Mint 16 64 bit iso.  I installed it. Defragged.  It was still sluggish but I saw a suggestion to enable 3D accel. in VM settings.  That really makes the difference.  No more "software rendering mode" on startup.  Stuff I type in Firefox echoes right away.

I'm still trying to figure out how to switch between cinnamon and mate.  But now it's not urgent.  :)
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 06:05:43 PM by MilesAhead, Reason: remove redundancies »

40hz

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2014, 09:49:13 PM »
I'm still trying to figure out how to switch between cinnamon and mate.

Should be a piece of cake after you install the MATE metapackage. (It's huge btw... a 111 MB download that unpacks to 291 MB on disk. Yoiks!)

From within the Cinnamon desktop, just open Software Manager and do a search for mint-meta-mate.

Install it and reboot.

On the GRUB startup menu you should see the option to select either Cinnamon or MATE to boot into.

You'll need to reboot each time you want to switch the desktop environment.

 :Thmbsup:

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2014, 04:57:52 AM »
It's probably weird since it's a VM.  The software manager shows mate as installed.  But in any case I can mess with it if I really install on the metal.

The 3D accel. seems to be the reason the Windows VMs seemed faster.  The easy install must enable it by default.  Mint16 wasn't in the Linux list.

MilesAhead

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Re: Recommend Debian based image for VMWare Player on W8?
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2014, 03:42:03 PM »
I do like this Mint.  Not sure if I want to follow it to 17 as I heard it's going down the Ubuntu tree and I'm prejudiced against that distro.  :)

I still haven't figured out how to try out Mate but that's small potatoes.  What I have finally figured out is with the VMWare Tools for each Guest OS installed I don't have to mess around with copying files via network etc..  Even clipboard sharing is enabled.  Nice to be able to just paste a url from a browser running on the Host to the one running on the Guest. File drag and drop between the Host and a Guest works as well.

This is more useful on a Windows Guest OS because I can just drag the entire Firefox Portable folder to the Guest window to keep them in sync.

If I had 8 GB on this Laptop I think the VMs would be perfectly fine for light use.  With only 2 GB for the Guest the boot up is a bit slow.  Just a slight lag in browsing.  I'd be very curious to see how they run with 4 GB ram.  But the best thing is the Player is very intuitive.  Not a lot of rtfm involved.  :)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 03:47:28 PM by MilesAhead »