Easily run free Linux software under Windows…for free

July 29, 2006

Sometimes, you need to connect from Windows to a Unix or Linux system just to run a specific software, for example, if you want to run some Linux open source program under windows. What you need is a Linux machine in your network or a virtual machine runningĀ  a linux server under windows itself. Here I describe an easy way to do it using Xming + VMWARE player if you want to run linux in the virtual machine.

Xming is a open source X server that runs under windows, easy to install and use. Just go to the homepage: http://freedesktop.org/wiki/Xming.

VMWARE player is a free computer emulator from IBM. You can download an already made virtual machine (called “virtual appliance”) from the VMWARE website. There are many, just install a Linux distribution that you like or want to experience. I suggest Ubuntu but there is a big choice. You can also create your virtual machine if you like, it is pretty easy with VMWARE server and it is free. It is not required to have a complete installation of Ubuntu with a GUI, a server installation is enough and take less memory. Your GUI will be the Xserver under windows.

The installation of XMING is pretty forward. Once installed, the easiest way to use is to run it straight away. You have an X icon on your windows desktop, run it.

Then you need a remote terminal connection software, the best open source is Putty.
It is an executable, just download it and lunch it. Depending from the remote terminal service that is running on your virtual server under VMWARE player, configure Putty to use it. I suggest OpenSSH. You have also to configure the X11 Forwarding setting in Putty to forward the X session to your windows machine IP address. Done.

You will get a console, login in on your Linux server and lunch the application you want. Magically, it will appear on your windows desktop. I use this method to run application like Kivio (no need to buy Visio ) or other good open source that I will mention in other articles, on my office notebook when I am at home. The server is my Linux machine.

I repeat the instruction:

1) Install under Windows the VMWARE player, Xming and Putty. Run under VMWARE player a Linux server that you simply download form VMWARE website.

2) Have a terminal server running under Linux in the virtual machine, like OpenSSH

3) Execute Xming under windows: double click the X icon

4) Execute Putty: configure it to connect your virtual server Ip and to forward the X11 to your Windows machine IP.

5) Login and run the Linux application.

If you need more help just drop a line in the comment.

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ATI driver in Dapper

July 26, 2006

I have an ATI9550 and my experience with Dapper is very positive. The difficulty of installing ATI card under Linux and Ubuntu are pretty much referring to more than 1 year ago. Since beginning of 2006, the effort of ATI to make easy the integration of their driver with the various Linux distribution is giving good results.

For sake of truth, I found that the only howto really working is this:

Ubuntu Dapper Installation Guide

I suggest to use the Method 1. It works, hassle free, guaranteed. There is really no reason to use method 2, unless you are a masochist. Using method 1, the driver will be automatically updated everytime the system will be updated. If you use method 2 then for every kernel update (3 times a month at least) you have to re-compile the driver.

Anyway, the fun with Linux is that you have the control and you can choose, so method 2 can be fun too.

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Read files under Windows that are stored in your Linux partition (ext2, ext3)

July 26, 2006

Sometimes you want or have to use Windows. I know, it is not your fault but there is one application that you cannot really run under Linux. For example, some people want to use Linux to download file from p2p network but they need it under Windows later on. If you have to keep the PC connected to the internet 24h, it is better to run it on Linux.

Windows cannot access the Ubuntu ext3 filesystem by default but there is a nice application that wiil help you:

Ext2 Installable File System For Windows



It works both with ext2 and ext3 file system. After installation, the ext2 or ext3 partinion will be visible under windows and available for reading. No writing support.

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Flash Player 9 on Linux – Adobe promise

July 26, 2006

Last news about Flash development for Linux.

Adobe returns attention to Flash for LinuxJuly 25, 2006 11:03 AM PDTAdobe has resumed work on a Linux version of its Flash Player and plans to catch the software up to its Windows and Mac OS X equivalent, version 9, the company has said.”Yes, Adobe is actively working on the Linux version of Flash Player 9,” said XXX in a May blog posting. “We expect to make a pre-release version available on Adobe Labs for early feedback and testing before the end of the year, with the full release expected in early 2007.” A better performance for the Linux version is one goal, as is a consistent experience across different operating systems.An Adobe developer, Mike Melanson, launched a blog about the Linux Flash work. On Monday, he described the software interfaces he plans on using and asked for input on his choices.Adobe has revived other desktop utilities before as well. The company skipped version 6 of Adobe Reader but released version 7.Adobe doesn’t release Linux versions of its flagship desktop software products, though. A Novell survey found that Linux users believe Adobe Photoshop is the most important missing desktop application.

Adobe returns attention to Flash for Linux | News.blog | CNET News.com

Let’s see. Maybe they realized that they are going to miss opportunity in the enterprise.

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Adobe Flash Player 8 on Ubuntu

July 23, 2006

If you are a Linux user, for sure, you noticed that many web site are using the latest Flash player ver. 8.0. The point is that Adobe haven’t release yet the ver. 8 for Linux and it seems that doesn’t want to. Take a look to this site: http://blogs.adobe.com/penguin.swf/2006/07/stoppage_1.html

This is a big limitation for the desktop Linux users, just an example, it is not possible to see the trailers for many new movies. The whole Internet experience is crimpled and many features are limited to the Windows users.

First of all, if you are a web developer, please don’t use Flash, use something else or at least try to use the open source version of Flash (I know, it isn’t easy).

Then, as usual, I give you solutions….2 solutions, very similar indeed.

Solution #1: Install Internet Explorer 6 using IE4Linux . The installation is pretty simple, as explained in the site and works, I swear. After installing IE, just go to the Flash site and install the new player. The video playing can be a little bit “flashing”, but it is Flash player, so what’s the matter with it.

IEs 4 Linux Forum Forum Index

Solution #2: Install Firefox using WINE and then install the Flash player. I don’t like this method because Firefox is native in Linux, so why install it under WINE. Just use IE6 installed through IE4linux. Use this method only if you don’t like IE6 and M$.

Warning: Do not try to install IE6 directly using WINE, simply doesn’t work anymore after the release 0.9.5 of WINE.

If you can, please donate to the open source projects, these guys deserve your money.

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Multimedia support in Ubuntu

July 22, 2006

Here my experience on installing Multimedia support in Ubuntu.
I reccomend to follow the Ubuntu WIKI for Restricted format, I did it for Kubuntu and Ubuntu and it simply works. You have to use the consolle, but the installation at the end will be very clean and functional.

Here is the link: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RestrictedFormats

I tryed Automatix in Ubuntu, it doesn’t really work well. It install a lot of unusefull stuff and the multimedia support is not working in some cases, i.e. DVD playing and few multimedia format. There isn’t a clear description of the many package it ask you to install, just to be sure I installed them, but at the end I found my system full of “garbage”.

It is worth to try Automatix only if you want to have an automatedinstallation of all the package that are not coming with the basic install and you are really scared of the console.
Anyway if you want to try, this is the web site : http://getautomatix.com/

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TUX magazine

July 22, 2006

The best magazine for Linux desktop users is, without any doubt, TUX magazine. It is published by the Linux Journal editor, it is free and ROCKS!

You will find all you want to know about linux for desktop use: software reviews, suggestions, howto, etc.

The level of quality of the articles is really high and even the novice will find easy and interesting.

You can subscribe and your copy will be delivered every month in your Email.

Dont’ miss it, http://www.tuxmagazine.com/

TUX CoverTUX Cover

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