Rob Harris robh at apearl.net
Thu Dec 25 22:06:23 UTC 2008

Hi, thanks for this.

For the VI Linux user, has anyone any success or comments about running
Windows screen reader on  a windows guest under a Linux host please?
Better: is anyone succeeding to run a Linux screen reader under the Linux
host and a Windows screen reader for the Windows guest os? and toggle
between the two maybe??

Thanks more,  RobH.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "marbux" <marbux at gmail.com>
To: "Linux for blind general discussion" <blinux-list at redhat.com>
Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 10:23 PM
Subject: Re: VM?

On Wed, Dec 24, 2008 at 5:14 AM, Rob Harris <robh at apearl.net> wrote:
> Can any one pass comments or advise on VM, requirements, accessibility,
> how straight forward to set up this would be.  I do mean running Linux as
> primary OS and sliding Win2k into a VM from there.  I know nothing of this
> technology yet;   so any advice including a good read that will make it
> clearer would be appreciated.  Great project for the season.

I'm running WinXP as a guest atop Kubuntu 8.04 using Virtual Box,
<http://www.virtualbox.org/>. Had tried VMWare Player, but it's far
more difficult to set up a new virtual machine if no one has put one
together for downloading (wouldn't happen with a proprietary OS). Plus
Virtual Box is open source but VMWare definitely is not. So you can
build Virtual Box from source if you need to. The download page lists
two packages for Mandriva, 2007.1 and 2008.
<http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Linux_Downloads>. But those packages
are for i386 Mandriva, so you may need to build from source.

Can't rate Virtual Box on accessibility; I'm sighted. End user
documentation is linked from this page.
<http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/End-user_documentation>. The
documentation tends to be a bit sketchy. No step-by-step instructions
to speak of and it isn't always clear whether they're discussing
controls in the host OS, the guest OS, or the VM app.

Installing the "guest additions" is a good example. The guest VM has
to be created and running   before a "Device" menu springs into
existence in the Virtual Box app and provides the installer. But
installing the guest additions is poorly documented; I had to post in
the user forums to learn how to install them. And without the guest
additions, you can't begin to set up access to the host's partitions.
And unfortunately, that's the step that is the most poorly documented,
where the assumption that you already are intimate with both operating
systems is at its zenith.

One thing I like about Virtual Box is that you need not burn the guest
OS to a CD in order to install it. It can install the guest OS from an
ISO image. That saves some steps and makes it fairly easy to create
multiple virtual machines.

A tip from my local LUG mailing list on running any virtual machine.
Locate the virtual partition on a second physical drive if you have
one. That saves a lot of hard drive read/write head thrashing that you
get if you're running both the host and guest on the same hard drive.

There are still other packages for running virtual machines but I
haven't tried them.


> Any complications there might be using  a 64bit version of Mandriva on a
> 64bit system and running a VM of "in2k under that.  I've no interest in
> dual-boot or trying to run them in parallel. Running VM might well feel
> that precisely of course, but  I'll see what you all say.

Virtual machines definitely are a big improvement over dual-booting.
Single keystroke switching between host and guest OS. But you can't
run the VM without running the host OS. The crucial steps are creating
a partition for data that can be shared/accessed between the host and
guest. Emailing data to yourself as attachments with a web mail
service  like Gmail or using a remote backup service is a poor
work-around but can get you by while you're getting things set up. .

Cross-platform apps are definitely a big plus when running a virtual
OS. Data is kind of useless if you can't load it in an app on the
particular OS you want to use at the moment.

Hope this helps,


Universal Interoperability Council

Blinux-list mailing list
Blinux-list at redhat.com


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