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How to Migrate From Windows to Linux

Introduction

As most men and women do,when I started working with Linux, I established independent partitions for Linux and utilised Lilo or Grub to boot both into possibly Windows or Linux, according to the various occupation necessities.

I usually utilised my laptop computer Computer system all through the day in a business that employed Windows purposes in a Windows dependent LAN and consequently I typically had to boot in Home windows throughout the working day to function with my colleagues while at home I would boot mostly into Linux. This technique has a several cons as follows:

My function e-mails ended up in Microsoft Outlook and I experienced to boot below Windows to accessibility them.
I employed KMail (and later Mozilla Thunderbird) for my personal e-mails and I experienced to boot below Linux to access them.
I could access Window folders from Linux and duplicate knowledge from Home windows, but I could not entry any Linux directory from Home windows.
I achieved the summary that there should really have been a better way to use my Computer and I looked for a alternative that would permit to obtain both of those Linux and Home windows apps devoid of rebooting.

I investigated some of the out there merchandise. I identified that the wine or CodeWeavers Crossover supported most common Windows apps, but some other ones would not operate. VMWare appeared attention-grabbing, but I desired to use right up until a short while ago Win4Lin (originally created by Netraverse to assist only Home windows ninety five, 98 or ME and later on upgraded by Digital Bridges to aid also Home windows 2000 and Windows XP) but this product or service is no longer upgraded and supported,

I had to locate a substitution and last but not least decided to put in Digital BOx, a virtualization platform at first developed by Sun Micro Devices and afterwards supported by Oracle, right after its acquisition of Sunlight.

Some superior benefits that I discovered in Virtual Box are the adhering to:

VirtualBox 3 is a desktop virtual device software utilizing a “Form 2” hypervisor that involves a appropriate host operating process (Linux, Windows, Macintosh, or OpenSolaris) and laptop or computer hardware based mostly on x86 or AMD64/Intel64 to function
The set up of Digital Box is rather straightforward, but there are a number of concerns that I will describe afterwards.
You can easily put in several distinct Working methods and the general performance is really very good. You can go through a checklist of the supported Running Units at virtualbox.org/
Building a VM is quickly and quick, thanks to a VM creation wizard that takes you stage-by-action by way of building your visitor VM.
Setting up Virtual Box
Virtual Box can be downloaded from virtualbox.org, but I did not have to obtain it since the software is included with my Linux distribution (OpenSuSE 11.3).

You will find a lot of documentation at theVirtualBox.org Technical Documentation website page.

The set up is really uncomplicated, but you need to bear in mind to manually add the consumers who will accessibility Digital Box to the special consumer group vboxusers. This can effortlessly be carried out in OpenSuSe by working with the stability and customers alternative of Yast.

Employing Windows underneath Virtual Box
I set up below Virtual Box only Windows XP mainly because my key intent was to develop an integrated Desktop environment where I could easily access each Linux and Home windows programs

1 vital prerequisite for a excellent integration is to have the risk to obtain from Home windows also Linux directories because this makes it possible for to transfer facts amongst the two environments.

Unfortunately this is not incredibly very simple to reach. Digital Box will allow to declare Shared Folders which can be accessed from the two Linux (host running program) and Windows (guest functioning devices).
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I declared my Linux home directory as a shared folder, but when I started off Home windows the shared folder was not visible in the explorer. This issue and its resolution will be improved stated in a separate place.

The major strengths of putting in Windows under virtual box are the subsequent:

The Digital Box Home windows installation is certainly much better built-in with Linux than a indigenous Windows installation and you will have at your disposal the power of Linux and Windows programs devoid of any require to reboot.
Home windows beneath Digital Box offers greater virus security than a stand-by itself Windows set up. You can quickly save your Windows listing as a tar archive and many viruses will not have any influence
There is no Home windows boot sector and as a result boot sector or other boot time viruses are ineffective.
Digital Box installs Windows information in subdirectories of the host Linux filesystem and consequently FAT32 or VFAT related viruses are ineffective.
Executable documents and macro viruses can still assault, but will not impact the Linux method except you transfer to the host filesystem an contaminated file. To reduce the hazards, you may decide to declare a directory as a shared folders only when required
Virtual box Constraints and Peculiarities
Digital box does not guidance duplicate and paste amongst the Linux and Windows environments.

When you click the mouse in the Windows display, the system captures the mouse in Home windows and it will not go outside the house of the Windows screen. To use the mouse outside the house, you require to press a critical to n-capture it.

Option of the Shared Folder accessibility dilemma
I released the challenge in advance of and I identified it extremely bothersome simply because it is a severe limitation to the integration concerning Linux and Home windows. I was able to come across a solution in the Ubuntu Forums. I summarize the measures essential to address the difficulty below:

Get started up Virtual box and then start off up Windows xp
Go to the top panel of the Virtual Box and simply click Units–>Install Guest Editions
Download and set up the Guest Editions. This will trigger a Windows reboot.
Set up your shared folders in digital box. For case in point declare share folder property/documents
Start out up Home windows, go to Commence–>Run, enter cmd and press
as soon as in the dos console, sort internet use t: vboxsvrdocuments. Recognize that you should really set in only the past folder identify on the conclude of the command for instance if you picked a folder less than household/mario1/files the command would be web use t: vboxsvrdocuments
If you look in the Home windows explorer, you will see the new t generate as a shared folder and you will be capable to accessibility its material.
Eliminating the unique Window partition
One particular destructive issue of owning both equally an authentic Windows partition and the guest Windows installation is the squander of area (for instance I experienced MS Office purposes mounted on equally partitions). This setup could offer greater safety, in case of troubles to either the Home windows or Linux installation, but, at some stage, I determined that I could use better the disk space and do the job with no double booting with Linux and Windows under Windows.

To stay clear of losing handy info, I done subsequent functions:

I discovered the Outlook mail packing containers by using the Windows Discover option with “*.pst” and copied them to the Windows atmosphere.
I identified the Outlook Categorical maild containers by utilizing the Home windows Find possibility with “*.dbx” and copied them to the Windows surroundings.
I identified my Eudora mail bins (applied for my personalized mail) by employing the Home windows Come across possibility with “*.mbx” and copied them to the Windows setting.
I uncovered the ‘Favorites’ folders utilised by Web Explorer and I copied it and its sub-folders to the Home windows environment.
I copied the ‘My Documents’ folder and all other folders that I applied in my Home windows surroundings
Creating the above copies in the Digital Box setting is comparatively simple, because Linux can obtain the mnt directory. You can mount the primary Windows partition in the Linux /mnt directory by working with a ommand these as:

$sudo mount /dev/sdb3 /media/windows -t vfat -o umask=000

At the time the partition is mounted, you can declare mnt as a shared folder and obtain it in the Virtual Box Home windows session..

When I was contented that all vital information existed in the Windows surroundings, I made the decision to reformat the Home windows partition and duplicate my Linux /dwelling directory, that was provided in the main root hierarchy, to a individual partition. This action is explained in detail beneath.

Making use of the freed partition for Linux, A excellent description of how to go /dwelling to a distinctive partition can be located in a excellent tutorial by Daniel Robbins at IBM DeveloperWorks

The key techniques are as subsequent:

Create a filesystem in the new partition by employing a command such as mkfs /dev/???
Mount the new filesystem in /mnt with a command such as mount /dev/??? /mnt/newhome
Drop to solitary consumer mode (init one)
Modify to the current home directory and enter a duplicate command such as cp -ax * /mnt/newhome. The ax solution triggers cp to copy in recursive method by preserving all file attributes.
Rename the old /home to /home.old by working with the command mv /house /property.aged and mount the new 1 with mount /dev/??? /house.
When you are confident that every thing is effective effectively, you can remove the /property.old listing.
Conclusions
I believe that the technique described higher than allows an exceptional use of both Linux and Windows methods.
It is normally hard to use only Linux, simply because normally folks have to have to perform in Home windows dependent LANs, interact with other Windows people or just since a single is way too lazy to find out new applications alternatively of all those typically made use of in a Windows surroundings.
A double boot technique is inconvenient to use. An built-in answer like that described higher than allows a a lot far more satisfactory usage of your computer resources and time.

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