tax software on Mint SOLVED

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gbvoris
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tax software on Mint SOLVED

Post by gbvoris » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:28 pm

I'm looking for a way to run my tax software on Mint. When I look on Wine the list doesn't show any current versions, so I came here....
The originator was asked for info on his system, I have pasted mine here:
System: Host: greg-M68M-S2P Kernel: 3.13.0-37-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
Desktop: Cinnamon 2.8.6 Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa

I will be using XP to run it, unless it would be quicker to use Wine?
I have never used either, help please>>>>>>
Last edited by gbvoris on Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kyphi
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by kyphi » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:43 pm

What is the name of the tax software that you want to run?

Your options, as I see them, are

1. Dual boot with Win XP or later Win - since you will only be using this software once a year.
2. Install VirtualBox (current version is 5.0.14) and install XP or later Win in VirtualBox.
3. Check if your tax software will run under Wine or CrossOver (https://www.codeweavers.com/)

Please note that CrossOver is not free of cost. Check "What Runs" to look for your tax software.
Linux Mint 19.2 Cinnamon - 64bit

Mute Ant
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Mute Ant » Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:49 pm

I am assuming you already have a stable running Mint machine.

Wine is the easy solution, if it works. Tax Software does not sound like a demanding multi-media application, so you may get lucky; it's not on the list because nobody has tried it, yet.. Install wine from Mint's Software Manager, then try to install your Tax Software just like you would in a real XP system...clicking on setup.exe or whatever. Everything you install or save is kept in your home folder in easily recognised folders.

Windows XP running inside a virtualbox appliance will behave (almost) exactly like a partition-installed XP. I am still learning how to get data into and out of the appliance. You use Mint's Software Manager to install the virtualbox-nonfree package first. Run virtualbox and make an XP appliance, then install Windows XP into that appliance, then install your Tax Software.

In fact, for me, it was so much extra effort learning to use virtualbox that I just made a real 8GiB XP partition at the start of my hard drive. That may be an option for you too. Mint knows how to boot XP.
While you're waiting, read the free novel we sent you. It's a Spanish story about a guy named "manual".

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:49 am

gbvoris wrote:I'm looking for a way to run my tax software on Mint. When I look on Wine the list doesn't show any current versions
If you mean the WineHQ Database this means, no one has until now reported about the tax software inside wine. The software may or may not run in wine, it may or may not run sufficiently in wine, only a test will show this.

Using XP inside a VM seems to be a good idea. XP does not need much space on the drive. You can remove the network adapter in the VM, so that XP is not open to attacks from the outside. A VM with XP can be run sufficiently wit 512 MB RAM attached, even 256 MB would do (but this slows the VM down), so that even on a host with only a low amount on RAM this should be doable.

As you do not need the latest features of VB 5 (e.g. usb 3 support) for XP I recommend to download the latest version of VB 4.3..

Hoser Rob
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Hoser Rob » Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:30 am

I'd definitely recommend running your tax software in windows. Business applications or tax stuff is too damn important to be dicking around with WIne, which is just not that reliable.

While I don't have any windows partitions anymore, it's because I don't need them. Others do, esp. for business, and if I was a gamer I'd still have windows.

Running windows in a VM is the best way, I think, because I don't 100% trust dual boot setups for reliability. But dual booting is fine if you don't want to take a crash course in running a VM before doing your taxes.

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:18 am

Hoser Rob wrote:if you don't want to take a crash course in running a VM before doing your taxes.
Which crash course?
  • You install VB.
    You create a VM (for XP in this case), leave all settings to default except to set the network adapter to None.
    You install XP (identical to physical installation).
    You install the guest additions (on a physical machine you would have far more work to do to download and install the hardware drivers and you would have to remove the network connection inside the installation ASAP).
That's it.

As in this case a Mint installation already exist installing XP as dual boot and then needing to install grub again is far more complicated for a newbie.
Result: 1:0 for the VB solution. Easier and quicker and safer.

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by H.Remedy » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:40 pm

Sometimes in Linux it's easier to just not fight against the Windows gods. I find it easiest to use web-based tax software (which is platform-independent) than to fiddle with VMs or Wine.

You didn't mention the particular software you want to use or the country for which it is meant. Are you obligated to use this, or can you opt for a web service? If there is some reason you must use your particular software, then I think the best bet is to use a virtual machine as others have said. It's going to be more reliable than Wine, and tax software is "light" enough that your VM will not need a big share of the system resources.

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by GreyGeek » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:10 pm

You already have your tax software installed. It's called FireFox (or Chrome). There are several excellent online tax websites
I've been using CompleteTax, which now calls itself eSmartTax, since 2008. It carries last year's tax info forward to the current year automatically when I do my taxes. 1040EZ is free, others are $19 and $39, depending on how complicated your tax situation is. Just like the boxed sets they have all the possibilities for deductions and exemptions covered. In the early 2000's I used to write software for the Nebraska Dept of Revenue to test tax submissions by various software houses (TurboTax, HR Block, etc) in order to approve their use for submission to the state. Online tax software has gotten very sophisticated. Security? Only as good as your password and their passwords to their servers. It all goes to the IRS and they are notorious for letting stuff leak.

Makes life easy.

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gbvoris » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:09 am

OK. I have a stable install of Mint 17.3 Cin. Memory is sufficient, 4 gig. I installed VM, no problems with it; but the resolution is below the software's min. it looks grainy at even half screen and the settings are greyed out.
Is there a setting I haven't found to allow changing?
I would send a screen capture; but I don't know how in Mint

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Moem » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:29 am

To make a screenshot: just hit PrtSc, and you'll find your screenshot in your Pictures folder. Open it in an image editor if you want to trim it.

In general, when talking about taxes and tax software, it is (as stated) relevant to mention your country. People who don't mention where they are are generally in the US (and expecting everyone else to be there, too) but we can't assume. The internet is a global place, and this forum is, too.
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:30 am

Regarding resolution:
Do you have the guest additions installed inside(!) the guest system? You can do this easily from the device-menu on top of the running VM.

Taking screenshots of a VM is especially easy, as VB has a built-in function for that. It is also reachable from the menu or you press host-E; the host-key is by default the right ctrl-key.

gbvoris
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gbvoris » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:10 pm

When I go to "Machine / Settings / Display" I get this:
[img]/home/greg/Pictures/Screen%20shot%20from%202016-02-03%2017:58:21.png[/img].
I can not copy the screen for the other setting point I found, "View /Virtual Screen 1" . There I get a list of resolutions, all greyed out.
The img only shows as a link, now what?

Cosmo.
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by Cosmo. » Thu Feb 04, 2016 5:25 am

Look at your post: There is a path on your local system, but no link and no picture to look at.

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by D-man » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:54 am

I do agree with M0em that it is necessary to mention a particular country.
Had the OP been from Russia, I could have helped. For Linux Mint users in Russia it's actually not necessary to use any Windows software. There is some special tax soft. And it is targeted exactly to Windows users. But one does not have to have it installed. Whatever an individual may need to do can be done online on the website of the Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation. It is very easy and convenient.
I do not know if in OP's country there is something similar though.

gbvoris
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gbvoris » Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:18 pm

@ Cosmo - All I get is the link, how do I post an image?

The country is USA, software is H&R Block

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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gold_finger » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:48 pm

gbvoris wrote:how do I post an image?
See here: How to post a screenshot to forum
Please add [SOLVED] to your thread if a solution is found. Go to your first post in the thread, hit "Edit" button and add [SOLVED] to the title of the post.

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Try Linux Beginner Search Engine for Linux questions.

gbvoris
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gbvoris » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:50 pm

I think this should show the one screen shot I could get.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byf-Ul ... sp=sharing

The setting I most want to capture shows under the "view" tab, when the windows is running "in the box".
The last entry under view is, "Virtual Screen 1" it shows different sizes; but they are greyed out. H&R Block calls for a min. of 1280x720.
When I try to capture it I get no change, no flicker, PrtScn has no effect at all

gbvoris
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gbvoris » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:05 pm

Screenshot 1.jpg
This is the capture.
Changing the video memory might help; but it is greyed out and I don't find any way to change that.

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LinuxJim
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by LinuxJim » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:21 pm

gbvoris wrote:Changing the video memory might help; but it is greyed out and I don't find any way to change that.
That is because your virtual machine is currently running.

You need to shut it down before you can change the settings.

gbvoris
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Re: tax software on Mint

Post by gbvoris » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:22 pm

That is because your virtual machine is currently running.

You need to shut it down before you can change the settings.
I shut it down, still nothing.

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