[clug] Subversive "windows" linux/ubuntu machine.

Andrew Janke a.janke at gmail.com
Thu Jul 31 02:23:39 GMT 2008

Hi all,

We have a number of "PC/Windows People" in the lab here.  They don't
do much beyond office/IE/stata. I also run a cfengine managed ubuntu
based cluster that is composed of a bunch of quad core Intel machines
and a couple of dual quad xeons downstairs.  We need a new "peecee
person" machine and as such am wondering how I might subvert this
process to my own needs.

I am thinking quad core machine running Ubuntu (same as all the rest)
but presenting to all the world as a Windows XP machine (due to vista
virtualisation problems).  In the past I have achieved this via
installing windows on the thing and then running a stripped down no-X
ubuntu virtual "appliance" via the free vmware player that starts and
runs in the background and configures itself as needs be. Now I am
thinking of doing it the other way.

ie: Install Ubuntu as per normal, install VirtualBox (Now SUN
VirtualBox), install XP in virtualbox, create local user account that
auto logs in on boot with precious few privledges and then autostarts
the VirtualBox XP thingo in either seamless mode and/or fullscreen.
Best part is that then I can checkpoint/save the XP thing whenever I
want in case someone decides to try to break it.

Anyone have any clues on the best way to do this?  Is there a better way?

FWIW the ubuntu machine does not need X for my purposes (biomed
cluster computing) but perhaps I can use this technique to encourage a
bit of migration in the lab from the ubuntu-phobes when they realise
that everything they need is already there.  If the XP thing is run in
seamless mode (very cool BTW) then this should work well.


Andrew Janke (a.janke at gmail.com || http://a.janke.googlepages.com/)
Canberra->Australia +61 (402) 700 883

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