LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

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LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

Postby professorsnapper on Thu May 28, 2009 2:07 am

Hi all,

Firstly, dev team, take a bow. Impressive work.

As much as this post is a question, it is also feedback on my experience loading & running LM7 on Mac 10.5.6, using the latest virtualbox (v 2.2.2). As such, I'll add any further threads to this post as I go. (note: I have given the VM 512MB RAM & a dynamically-expanding 5GB virtual disc)

(Note: I'm writing this from my girlfriend's Mac Mini, but as soon as I clear some disc space on my 13" MacBook (also 10.5.6), I'll be doing likewise there, and will report anything interesting from that setup here too)

Early comments:
- hurrah! Polished look. A textbox popups when I tried to change screen resolution, but I was able to disregard easily enough with no dramas.
- No show-stoppers evident - hooray!
- Automatically detected my wired ethernet connection (no wireless here)- I just opened Firefox & off I went. Good stuff.
- Under Display Settings, "Detect monitor" doesn't work, and there are only 2 settings available: 800 x 600, & 640 x 480. On this machine, I'm using a standard CRT monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution, which the mac detects fine.
- youtube works flawlessly (incl. fullscreen option). The videos at vimeo.com, however, stutter a bit in playback at times (& sometimes stop dead mid-playback even though the download is complete), and the fullscreen button does not work (it does work under FF on OSX).

More as I go along...
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Re: LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

Postby emorrp1 on Thu May 28, 2009 4:23 am

I do think most of the problems you outline are due to virtualbox, you can only show so much in virtualisation. A real install should basically solve the display problems.
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Re: LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

Postby professorsnapper on Thu May 28, 2009 8:03 am

emorrp1 wrote:I do think most of the problems you outline are due to virtualbox, you can only show so much in virtualisation. A real install should basically solve the display problems.


While I don't understand why the above would be so (it's an intel mac), it sounds reasonable that the virtualisation software is likely to be responsible. I am able to run XP and Ubuntu 7.04 or 10 (but not later 'buntu's) using different VM software (Parallels), and what's more, both are displayed in full screen and run at respectable rates.

Unfortunately, Parallels seems not to support more recent Ubuntu-based releases (without paying (again) to upgrade to version 3 or 4, and even then reports seem to be mixed), so I am pinning my hopes on Vbox and other free offerings.

I may, however, be able to get my own macbook going on dual boot to test your theory about a full install fixing things, and when I can, I'll post back here with results. This may take a little while - gotta clear some space on my drive (it's nearly chock-full) ...

Thanks again, emorrp1!
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Re: LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

Postby emorrp1 on Thu May 28, 2009 10:40 am

professorsnapper wrote:While I don't understand why the above would be so (it's an intel mac)

Taking the detect monitor as an example: The monitor the guest sees is virtual, it's specs are created by virtualbox, so detect monitors will only detect what virtualbox reports to it, not the host monitor.
Similarly, the video stuttering and fullscreen might be due to bad drivers for the virtualised hardware (e.g. intel chips).

The only real way to tell how well an operating system really works is to run it natively. However I do agree that it would be useful if virtualbox e.g. reported the real screen capabilities, but I've found installing guest additions tends to take away any resolution issues I run across.
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Re: LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

Postby professorsnapper on Fri May 29, 2009 10:47 pm

emorrp1 wrote:Taking the detect monitor as an example: The monitor the guest sees is virtual, it's specs are created by virtualbox, so detect monitors will only detect what virtualbox reports to it, not the host monitor.
Similarly, the video stuttering and fullscreen might be due to bad drivers for the virtualised hardware (e.g. intel chips).

I see what you mean. Thanks for the clarification.

emorrp1 wrote:The only real way to tell how well an operating system really works is to run it natively. However I do agree that it would be useful if virtualbox e.g. reported the real screen capabilities, but I've found installing guest additions tends to take away any resolution issues I run across.


I imagine there'll be quite a few people using Mac, windows or another flavour of Linux that will be looking to run Mint as a virtual Machine. Given this, I'd like to think that the dev team will continue to consider improving the experience for those users too (noting that part of the issue lies with the developers of the VM software too).

Re: guest additions - is that something common to a number of virtualisation apps? I'll have a look at Virtualbox and see if I find it there...

Thanks again,
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Re: LM7 on Mac (via virtualbox)

Postby emorrp1 on Sat May 30, 2009 5:26 am

It terms of assigning blame, the resolution issue would be virtualbox's, and the driver issue I suspect is because Virtualbox presumably emulates intel graphics, which suffer from the same upstream driver issues as you do on a real install too, so while I agree it would be great if mint ran perfectly in emulation, there's not really anything the devs can do to improve it.

The guest-additions is most definitely VirtualBox, I don't think the other's use anything similar. You install it in the guest by mounting the guest-additions iso as cdrom, and running the install script as root, it's really cool with things like mouse integration, so I really recommend it if you haven't already.
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