PHPVirtualBox

PHPVirtualBox is a web-based program that allows you to control a remote Virtualbox GUI. PHPVirtualBox is ideal for systems that don’t have remote GUI access. Access is done via a browser. Remote virtual machines can be started and stopped, shutdown, and rebooted. In addition, snapshots can be taken, deleted and restored remotely via the browser. Howtoforge.com goes over the installation of PHPVirtualbox in this short article.

Things To Fix After Each Kernel Update

Every now and then, your running Linux distro will receive a kernel update. It’s a normal part of running a Linux distro, or any OS for that matter. Mac OS and Windows perform updates as well. Unfortunately in Linux, there are certain things that break after each kernel update. It’s annoying as all get out, but its a small price to pay for running a secure desktop. In this article, I will list 3 things that need fixing, and their solutions, after each kernel update.

Fix Virtualbox

sudo /etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup

Fix Alsa

sudo apt-get install module-assistant
sudo m-a update
sudo m-a prepare
sudo m-a a-i alsa

Fix Webcam

sudo rmmod uvcvideo
sudo modprobe uvcvideo

I rather not to do this after each upgrade, but it’s a fact of life in the Linux world. It’s a good thing, it doesn’t happen very often. Perhaps, in the future, when Linux becomes perfect, or near perfect, this unnecessary exercise can all be avoided all together.

USB Devices Unavailable in Virtualbox

If your USB device is not available in a virtual machine within Virtualbox, the most likely culprit is that you have a permission problem. You can easily fix this by adding your username to the ‘vboxusers’ group. You can do this by launching System > Administration > User and Groups. Click Manage Groups. Find the ‘vboxusers’ group. Make sure to check the checkbox to add your username to the ‘vboxusers’ group.

If you prefer the Terminal, you can run the command:

sudo usermod -a -G vboxusers username

You will need to restart your computer and rerun Virtualbox. Launch your virtual machine again. Your USB device should now be available for usage. Cool beans.

Boot Virtualbox From ISO

There are many advantages to having Virtualbox. One such advantage is having the ability to try out any Linux distro that you want, without deleting or touching one file or program on your Desktop computer. You can keep your desktop environment intact, and at the same time, play with a brand new Linux distro.

Trying out a new distro usually requires downloading the ISO from a project’s website, whether it’s from Ubuntu, Fedora, Linux Mint or openSuse. This whole process can get tedious after a while, not to mention all the wasted CDs and DVDs, each time a new distro comes out.

There is a way where you can avoid burning CDs and DVDs, and still be able to install a new Linux distro in a Virtualbox. So, instead of booting a distro from a CD or DVD drive, you will have to tell Virtualbox to boot from a virtual disk file or ISO.

Let’s say, you created a brand new virtual machine. You go through the process of assigning the appropriate resources, e.g. CPU, RAM, diskspace, etc. Once you are done, you will be asked to start the virtual machine.

The virtual machine, by default, looks for a bootable CD or DVD. Since you don’t have one CD or DVD on hand, it will complain that there is no bootable partition. You can now tell Virtualbox to use a virtual file instead of a CD or DVD.

You can do this by going to Devices > CD/DVD Devices > Choose a virtual CD/DVD disk file. Point it to your downloaded ISO file. Mine resides in my Downloads folder in my home directory. Here’s a snaphot of how to assign the CD/DVD drive to a virtual file.

Once you have the ISO selected, you will need to restart the virtual machine, to get it to boot from the ISO. The virtual machine should now boot with the latest distro you just downloaded. You can now proceed with the install of your latest Linux distro.

Multi Boot vs Virtual Machine

When I bought a 1TB hard drive last year, I had a decision to make. How would I slice up the new 1TB drive? I was running multiple operating systems on my computer desktop. I was using Linux 95% of the time and the other 5% on Windows, if at all.

So, I partitioned my drive and gave Windows 160GB. The rest went to Ubuntu. Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t do it the way I did it. I would format all 1TB for the Linux partition. What about Windows? From hindsight, I could easily install Windows as a virtual machine instead of having a multi boot setup.

There are several advantages to using virtual machines over multi boot.

  1. You can easily launch a virtual machine without rebooting your computer.
  2. You can have both Linux and Windows running at the same time.
  3. You can clone as many instances of Windows.
  4. You can easily delete a virtual machine and free up the partition.

These are good enough reasons for me to prefer virtual machines over a multi boot setup. Knowing what I know, I would rather install Windows in a virtual machine using Virtualbox. So, if you’re at the same juncture of trying to make a decision whether to partition your drive. Don’t. Use virtual machines instead.