My Triple-Boot Laptop
If you still need (or want) to run Windows applications—in my case, CorelDRAW and Word—you have a few options. First, you can create a multiple-boot system, as described above. However, if you use only a few Windows applications, you may be able to run them using CodeWeavers' Wine or CrossOver Office. Wine is free, whereas CrossOver Office is a beefed-up commercial product based on Wine; a license for the Standard version will run you $39.95. They work well for several popular Windows applications, such as Microsoft Office 1997–2003, iTunes and Internet Explorer, but don't count on being able to run your favorite programs.
A third and, in my opinion, more fun option is to install your copy of Windows on a virtual machine using virtualization software, allowing you to run it within Linux. An excellent open-source solution, Fabrice Bellard's QEMU, provides full hardware virtualization. Following the tutorial listed in the Resources for this article, it's quite easy to install QEMU, create a hard disk image and install your copy of Windows (or any other operating system). Once you have the guest operating system running, you can transfer files to and from it by passing in a USB device or mounting the disk as a loopback device (although you will not be able to write to it if it uses the NTFS filesystem). Alternatively, you can set up a network connection between the host and guest OS using TUN/TAP networking and transfer files via FTP. This method also gives you the option of allowing the guest OS access to the Internet, although there are obvious advantages to isolating your Windows install. Here's my QEMU startup script as an example:
#!/bin/sh ARGS="-boot c -kernel-kqemu -net nic,vlan=0 -net tap,vlan=0,script=/etc/qemu-ifup -m 512 -localtime -cdrom /dev/hdc -usb -usbdevice host:xxxx:xxxx -std-vga -full-screen xp.img" exec qemu $ARGS
The performance is quite good if you use the kqemu acceleration module, particularly if you have a dual-core processor, but I wouldn't recommend running resource-intensive programs. If you're running on batteries, keep in mind that running a virtual machine consumes a lot of power.
What are the advantages of a Linux laptop? The main advantage of Linux in general is the degree of control it gives you over your computer. This is even more important on a laptop, where you have limited resources—particularly with respect to memory and storage. Linux permits a degree of customization that is impossible in any other environment. For example, you can run a stripped-down Arch Linux with the lightweight Fluxbox window manager for a memory- and power-efficient system. Or, if you're plugged in, you can boot into a full-featured Ubuntu system with GNOME or KDE and a powerful composite window manager, such as Novell's Compiz or Beryl, a Compiz fork developed by Quinnstorm (Figure 4). For those who enjoy a little razzle-dazzle, take a look at what these window managers can do on YouTube. My Ubuntu/Arch/Windows setup gives me the flexibility I need to work (or play!) wherever I am. Arch provides a lightning-fast, stripped-down system with reduced power usage, and Ubuntu provides a full-featured, easy-to-use system with an excellent package manager to reduce bloat.
I would like to thank Anthony Egan, my system administrator at Washington University, without whom I probably would never have dared to install Linux on my laptop. He helped me with many of the issues mentioned here and was always available to talk Linux.
How to Share Firefox and Thunderbird Data between Windows and Linux: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=203524
Arch Linux User-Community Repository: aur.archlinux.org
GNU's Octave: www.gnu.org/software/octave
How to Install QEMU: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/WindowsXPUnderQemuHowTo
How to Configure QEMU to Share Your Network Connection: ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=179472
P. Surdas Mohit is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and a Visiting Scholar at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Tech Tip: Really Simple HTTP Server with Python
- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide