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Dec 26

Virtual Box 4, Windows 7, and Fedora 14

I got my new laptop with Windows 7-64 on it the other day. One thing I wanted to do on my previous machine, but just couldn’t due to lack of memory and CPU was to use a bunch of virtual machines for various tools and experiments. Virtual Box is a product Oracle has inherited from its buyout of Sun Microsystems. Version 4 was just released so I’m going to try this tool with Fedora 14.

One of the reasons I write this blog is so that when I figure something out I have a place to write it down and look it up again later on when I’ve forgotten what I did. So in that vein this is going to be a quick trip through exactly what I did to get this working.

My steps:

  1. Download VirtualBox from here and install it.
  2. I started the download of Fedora as an iso image from the Fedora site here.
  3. While that was downloading, I grabbed Virtual CloneDrive from SlySoft here and installed that. This tool will allow me to mount my fedora ISO virtually – being green and all that I won’t have to make a DVD/CD.
  4. Once you have the ISO, right click it, and mount it (hey this is a PG blog!). The drive should appear in your My Computer.
  5. Now start up VirtualBox and click “New” to create a new virtual machine (VM). It will walk you thru a Wizard. I took all the defaults. It “knew” I was going to do a Fedora install. Creepy…
  6. The next step is the first-time startup wizard. Click the VM to start it up. It will ask you where the OS’s install media is – pick off the mounted iso file and you are good to go. If you screw this up from what I can tell just delete what you did and try again.
  7. Fedora will startup in “live” mode with the hard drive install on the desktop. I clicked that and installed it. I retried all errors and if I got anything with a retry then I did that and it seemed to work ok.
  8. The next thing I did was restart the VM. When you do that the first time, you will be prompted to create a user account. I did that and then quickly restarted. Everything was ok so I then took a shapshot from the Machine menu choice.
  9. The VM as installed is limited to 1024×768 resolution. That’s not going to work for me. Simialr to other VM products, VistualBox has a “guest additions” that you can install from the main menu of the virtual machine. Click Devices and Install Guest Additions. This will add a mount point to the desktop of the running VM.
  10. You can open up the mount from the linux distro and there are some minimal instructions, but these are much better. Installing Guest Additions will require root priv. What I want to do is allow for better screen resolutions. To accomplish this the linux account you created during install will need to get more privs. I did this by adding my user account to the sudoers file. I followed these instructions.

After doing all that I have my Fedora running great and I can stretch the window the VM is in as needed. That is pretty darn cool if you ask me. The networking worked straight away and so far it looks quite stable. I even wrote this post from inside my VM!

Oh yeah – once you get a base VM you are happy with – take a snapshot.

A few more notes on Fedora 14 – I haven’t done a full exploration of this new version but…

  • The services panel is no longer installed by default. If you want it then use the add/remove tool to add system-config-services.
  • By default SELinux is on. If you want to keep it on and run apache, you’ll need to add the boolean to allow httpd read access to the system. Use this: setsebool -P httpd_read_user_content 1
  • The apache config files are in /etc/httpd – I guess that’s the normal spot.
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