A quick note about g4u – g4u (Ghost for you) is a hard disk imaging tool similar to Norton Ghost, but without the cost. g4u allows you to image hard disks to both files and physical media. This can be accomplished within a physical machine, a virtual machine, or by using an FTP server on either of the two.
The VMware Fusion team recently announced that the new beta version of VMware Converter (beta 2) will allow importing of Virtual PC 2007 based virtual machines, as well as Parallels Desktop 2.5 and Parallels 3.0 based virtual machines.
This means that you can now easily convert old virtual machines that you might have running on G3/G4/G5 PowerPC Macs, as well as convert newer virtual machines on Intel Macs running Parallels to VMware Fusion – the better product in my honest opinion.
The operating systems supported are Windows XP Home and Pro, Windows Sever 2003, Windows 2000 and you also get the added bonus of being able to import Microsoft Windows Vista virtual machines from Parallels.
Take that with a grain of salt though… I do currently work for a VMware partner On the other hand, VMware Fusion did just receive the annual MacWorld Editors’ Choice Award – you be the judge.
Here are the release notes from the VMware blog:
VMware Importer Beta 2 allows for the importation of Virtual PC 7.0-based virtual machines with the following operating systems:
- Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Windows Server 2003
VMware Importer Beta 2 also lets users import virtual machines created using Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5 and 3.0, including:
- Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
- Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Vista
Check out the VMware Importer Beta 2 landing page here, and give it a whirl!
I can now confirm that the Windows Vista MSDN x86 ISO is fully installable using Virtual PC 2007 Beta on Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit.
Even though these are both MSDN images, neither of them was activated, nor did I enter a serial number during the install. Just click next when they ask you for a serial, and make sure to confirm that you do not wish to enter a serial number by pressing the “no” button.
(click on thumbnails for 1600×1200 images – the virtual machine is running at 1280×1024)
The installation took some time, even with 1GB of RAM allocated to the Virtual PC 2007 virtual machine, but after about
30 90 minutes or so, Vista Ultimate x86 virtualized on Vista Ultimate x64 using Virtual PC 2007 is a definite go-ahead-and-try-it install.
Follow normal VPC installation procedure, select Vista as the guest operating system, and chug along as the install proceeds.
Coming up next: full installation instructions.
Note: Unfortunately Virtual PC 2007 is beta, and I don’t see any plans for adding 64bit virtualization any time soon. If you have info that states otherwise, please let me know is this appears to be the only viable option for Vista VMs at the moment.
Since installing bbPress on the forum.blandname.com subdomain, I’ve become addicted to the rapid posting workflow: add topic, title, description and post! It’s 4 steps and is over so quick I’ve been thinking about making a bookmarklet that will automate the task for me. Here’s the latest smaller posts I sent there, but should some day expand upon here (I’ll use blandname for longer posts from now on):
- vTiger CRM Virtual Machine
- RDP Manager for your Windows System Tray
- HOWTO TrixBox – VoIP Virtual Machine
- Online Virtual Machine Builder
- Microsoft Distributes Demo Software via VHD
- FREE Terminal Server Monitoring Tool
- VMware Workstation 6 Feature List
- Multi monitor support for RDP 6
- Add Reflections to bbPress Images
- Google PageRank and Alexa in Your Firefox 2
- Display Digg in WordPress – Digg Dugg Plugin
- Google Analytics Plugn for bbPress
Currently the only way to get Vista on Vista virtualization running is to either use Virtual Server 2005 with some tweaks, or if you are part of the Virtual PC 2007 beta you can install Virtual PC 2007 (VPC 2K7) on Vista with no tweaks or hacks needed whatsoever. Unfortunately neither of these solutions can virtualize a 64bit operating system, but VMware Server should be Vista compliant soon – so I’m holding me breath until then.
Following my friend’s guide to setting up Virtual PC 2007 on Windows Vista found over at WebandRaptors, I was able to get VPC 2k7 set up quickly and without pain.
Next came the Windows Vista install, which was pretty straightforward. Something to note: you don’t actually need to use a CD key during installation, you can simply click the “next” button and the installer will inform you that a CD key will be needed later, I think it’s about 30days before it becomes necessary.
Once Vista is installed and configured for remote access from within VPC, all you need to do to get Aero Glass running is to connect to the virtual machine using the Remote Desktop Connection (RDP 6) client. If your host, or physical, machine supports Aero Glass, the virtual machine will allow you to take advantage of it, giving you transparent blurred windows, mouse-over taskbar previews, and cool windows+tab animation!
In the coming weeks I will be working more on Microsoft’s Windows Vista as it ramps up to release to manufacture (RTM) status.
Although you can currently run Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 in 32 bit mode on a Windows Vista physical machine, I’ve learned that I was recently accepted into the Virtual PC 2007 beta tester program, and that Virtual PC 2007 can run on 64bit Vista.
If you are interested in joining the Virtual PC 2007 beta program, I highly suggest you sign up, then play some fantastic Rod Stewart albums until you are accepted.
By the way, this does in fact mean you can run Vista on Vista reliably now. VMWare Workstation and Server still don’t work at this point, but it’s on the way, just stay tuned.
Whenever you start adding funny-flavored operating systems to a network, you eventually run into filesharing problems. Even if you only have a few machines, coming to a consensus on how to get files from point A to B can be quite taxing – especially if there’s work to be done.
Over the years I’ve tried FTP, Samba, NFS and a host of others. When configured well they work like a charm. However, when a new node joins the network (that shiny new Mac Pro of yours), things need to be reconfigured and can generally be a royal pain.
That has changed, though. We now have an acceptable solution that is free, easy to use and above all, secure. Introducing… SCP.
SCP has been around for a while now, and is gaining quite a bit of traction in the hosting world where it is (albeit slowly) starting to replace FTP for upload and download tasks. SCP stand for Secure Copy (CP being Copy on *nix variants). SCP works a lot like FTP in that you require an address to connect to, a username (login) and a password (we won’t get into stored keys today).
Now that we’ve decided what to try in our ad hoc network, how do we set it up? If you’re blessed with any variant of Linux or Unix, the work has been done for you already – the tools come with the operating system, and are generally found under the network tools in your fancy menus.
It’s a different story on Apple Macs and PCs, though. For example, Tiger comes with an SCP server, but no client. Right, about the Mac server. In order to activate it in Panther, Tiger and even Leopard, head on over to the System Preferences pane, and choose the Sharing applet (the folder with the caution sign on it). Once it has opened, check the Remote Login checkbox. This will enable SSH, and in turn, SCP. We’re halfway there. You can connect to an SCP server by using the Terminal on a Mac, but from what I can tell most Mac users are frightfully scared of it. But that gives me the oppurtunity to tell you about one of my favorite applications – Fugu (japanese for blowfish – and sporting a suitably cute icon to boot). Fugu allows you to connect to an SCP server to both download and upload files. Fugu is quite easy to use, so we won’t get into that, but will save it for another time if need be (just like stored keys). Oh, and as the screenshot shows you, it works with Mac OS X Server 10.4.7 too! (as well as Leopard)
In the PC world, WinSCP is Fugu’s sibling. You get an extremly easy to use interface, complete with drag and drop. Installation is a breeze, and best of all it’s free as in both beer and speech. Just like those soapbox ramblers. Getting a Windows SCP server is a bit more difficult, but currently exists in the form of BitVise WinSSHD. WinSSHD is slightly complicated, but most of the configuration is done during the installation procedure. They supply you with the needed variables, and one you have finished you will have set up an account you can use to test from your other workstations. The screenshot above was taken with the wonderful WinSnap – it comes highly recommended.
Let the cross-platform filesharing begin!
If you have any questions, or would like to suggest a topic for a future article, head on over to the blandname contact page and we’ll see what we can do!
Oh, and by the way, since you’ve noticed I always talk about virtualization, this certainly applies to getting files to and fro from your virtual machines in VMWare Server, Virtual Server (Virtual PC if need be) and Parallels – I have even found it to be faster than any other technique!