How to Migrate From Home windows to Linux

Introduction

As most men and women do,when I commenced applying Linux, I made separate partitions for Linux and used Lilo or Grub to boot possibly into both Home windows or Linux, according to the various task requirements.

I generally applied my laptop computer Laptop throughout the day in a corporation that used Windows apps in a Home windows based LAN and for that reason I commonly experienced to boot in Home windows for the duration of the working day to function with my colleagues while at property I would boot primarily into Linux. This method has a handful of cons as follows:

My function e-mails were in Microsoft Outlook and I had to boot under Windows to obtain them.
I made use of KMail (and later Mozilla Thunderbird) for my personalized e-mails and I experienced to boot less than Linux to access them.
I could accessibility Window folders from Linux and copy facts from Windows, but I could not access any Linux listing from Home windows.
I attained the conclusion that there should really have been a better way to use my Computer system and I seemed for a remedy that would allow to obtain both equally Linux and Home windows apps without having rebooting.

I investigated some of the available items. I located that the wine or CodeWeavers Crossover supported most prevalent Home windows purposes, but some other types would not function. VMWare seemed attention-grabbing, but I most popular to use right until lately Win4Lin (initially formulated by Netraverse to assist only Home windows ninety five, ninety eight or ME and afterwards upgraded by Virtual Bridges to assist also Windows 2000 and Windows XP) but this product or service is no for a longer time upgraded and supported,

I had to come across a replacement and ultimately made a decision to put in Digital BOx, a virtualization platform originally developed by Sun Micro Techniques and later on supported by Oracle, immediately after its acquisition of Sunshine.

Some excellent strengths that I identified in Digital Box are the following:

VirtualBox 3 is a desktop virtual machine software making use of a “Form 2” hypervisor that needs a appropriate host working method (Linux, Windows, Macintosh, or OpenSolaris) and personal computer components primarily based on x86 or AMD64/Intel64 to functionality
The set up of Virtual Box is rather uncomplicated, but there are a several difficulties that I will explain later on.
You can conveniently set up quite a few various Operating programs and the performance is really fantastic. You can examine a listing of the supported Operating Methods at virtualbox.org/
Creating a VM is fast and effortless, many thanks to a VM generation wizard that usually takes you action-by-step through creating your visitor VM.
Putting in Virtual Box
Virtual Box can be downloaded from virtualbox.org, but I did not have to obtain it for the reason that the software is integrated with my Linux distribution (OpenSuSE 11.3).

You will uncover a lot of documentation at theVirtualBox.org Complex Documentation page.

The installation is very quick, but you have to remember to manually add the people who will entry Digital Box to the exclusive consumer group vboxusers. This can easily be accomplished in OpenSuSe by working with the security and customers alternative of Yast.

Making use of Windows less than Virtual Box
I put in underneath Digital Box only Home windows XP for the reason that my principal purpose was to generate an built-in Desktop ecosystem wherever I could effortlessly obtain each Linux and Home windows purposes

One essential prerequisite for a superior integration is to have the likelihood to entry from Home windows also Linux directories since this allows to transfer information concerning the two environments.

However this is not really uncomplicated to attain. Virtual Box enables to declare Shared Folders which can be accessed from both equally Linux (host working technique) and Windows (visitor operating units). I declared my Linux home directory as a shared folder, but when I commenced Windows the shared folder was not noticeable in the explorer. This challenge and its solution will be better explained in a different place.

The most important benefits of putting in Home windows below virtual box are the pursuing:

The Virtual Box Windows installation is undoubtedly considerably better built-in with Linux than a indigenous Windows installation and you will have at your disposal the electric power of Linux and Home windows applications with out any have to have to reboot.
Windows underneath Virtual Box features increased virus security than a stand-by yourself Home windows set up. You can easily help you save your Home windows listing as a tar archive and several viruses will not have any effect
There is no Windows boot sector and for that reason boot sector or other boot time viruses are ineffective.
Digital Box installs Windows data files in subdirectories of the host Linux filesystem and for that reason FAT32 or VFAT relevant viruses are ineffective.
Executable files and macro viruses can continue to assault, but will not influence the Linux technique unless you transfer to the host filesystem an infected file. To minimize the pitfalls, you could possibly make your mind up to declare a directory as a shared folders only when necessary
Digital box Constraints and Peculiarities
Virtual box does not help copy and paste concerning the Linux and Windows environments.

When you click the mouse in the Home windows display, the process captures the mouse in Windows and it will not transfer outside the house of the Windows display. To use the mouse exterior, you need to press a critical to n-capture it.

Resolution of the Shared Folder entry challenge
I released the difficulty prior to and I identified it extremely aggravating since it is a significant limitation to the integration involving Linux and Windows. I was able to obtain a alternative in the Ubuntu Boards. I summarize the actions required to remedy the dilemma beneath:

Start off up Virtual box and then start off up Home windows xp
Go to the best panel of the Virtual Box and click on Units–>Install Visitor Editions
Obtain and put in the Guest Editions. This will induce a Windows reboot.
Established up your shared folders in digital box. For instance declare share folder residence/paperwork
Get started up Home windows, go to Start off–>Run, enter cmd and push
after in the dos console, variety net use t: vboxsvrdocuments. Observe that you need to set in only the past folder title on the finish of the command for case in point if you selected a folder below dwelling/mario1/paperwork the command would be net use t: vboxsvrdocuments
If you seem in the Windows explorer, you will see the new t push as a shared folder and you will be able to obtain its written content.
Getting rid of the primary Window partition
Just one negative place of acquiring each an initial Windows partition and the guest Home windows set up is the waste of space (for occasion I experienced MS Business purposes installed on both partitions).
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This setup could offer you superior safety, in situation of difficulties to possibly the Windows or Linux installation, but, at some place, I made a decision that I could use much better the disk room and do the job devoid of double booting with Linux and Windows less than Windows.

To prevent losing practical information, I executed pursuing things to do:

I discovered the Outlook mail bins by using the Home windows Come across possibility with “*.pst” and copied them to the Home windows ecosystem.
I identified the Outlook Convey maild bins by utilizing the Windows Find solution with “*.dbx” and copied them to the Home windows natural environment.
I identified my Eudora mail bins (applied for my particular mail) by employing the Windows Locate solution with “*.mbx” and copied them to the Windows environment.
I found the ‘Favorites’ folders used by Web Explorer and I copied it and its sub-folders to the Home windows surroundings.
I copied the ‘My Documents’ folder and all other folders that I utilized in my Windows setting
Building the previously mentioned copies in the Virtual Box environment is relatively effortless, because Linux can accessibility the mnt directory. You can mount the initial Windows partition in the Linux /mnt directory by using a ommand these as:

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

As soon as the partition is mounted, you can declare mnt as a shared folder and entry it in the Virtual Box Home windows session..

Once I was content that all essential info existed in the Home windows surroundings, I made the decision to reformat the Home windows partition and copy my Linux /house directory, that was integrated in the main root hierarchy, to a different partition. This exercise is explained in element down below.

Employing the freed partition for Linux, A great description of how to shift /home to a unique partition can be observed in a great tutorial by Daniel Robbins at IBM DeveloperWorks

The principal ways are as subsequent:

Build a filesystem in the new partition by working with a command this sort of as mkfs /dev/???
Mount the new filesystem in /mnt with a command these kinds of as mount /dev/??? /mnt/newhome
Fall to one consumer manner (init one)
Improve to the present household listing and enter a duplicate command these as cp -ax * /mnt/newhome. The ax choice brings about cp to duplicate in recursive mode by preserving all file characteristics.
Rename the previous /dwelling to /house.outdated by utilizing the command mv /property /house.old and mount the new one particular with mount /dev/??? /property.
When you are positive that every thing works effectively, you can take away the /home.old directory.
Conclusions
I feel that the method explained over will allow an best use of both equally Linux and Home windows sources.
It is typically complicated to use only Linux, mainly because often folks have to have to work in Home windows dependent LANs, interact with other Windows consumers or just because just one is also lazy to study new apps as an alternative of all those typically utilised in a Windows atmosphere.
A double boot system is inconvenient to use. An built-in solution like that described higher than lets a substantially more satisfactory usage of your computer methods and time.