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Unix OS on Windows Vista ?

Mike Thomson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 115
Hi all,

Basically, I need to learn how to write and execute the shell scripts. Before learning the shell scripts, I need to learn UNIX basic.
So far, I have worked in Windows only. I have googled and came to know that Microsoft Visual PC can able to install other OS. Right now, my laptop has installed with Windows Vista OS. Whether I can able to install the UNIX OS thru' Microsoft Visual PC. Please advice on it.

If it possible thru' Visual PC, where can get the UNIX OS download?

In the forum, I have found many people talking about Linux Ubuntu OS? Can I able to install the Ubuntu OS in Windows Vista? It won't give any issues right..?

Can I able to learn UNIX commands in Ubuntu Linux OS? Is it my comparison is right?
MS-DOS (Command) - Windows (GUI)
UNIX (Command) - Ubuntu (GUI)

Other options are also welcome. Also, any good books / links for learning UNIX for beginners will be appreciated. And I confused with many shell scripts like Bourne Shell, C Shell and others. Why there are so many shell scripts, how it will differ from each other?

[ November 26, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Thomson ]
[ November 26, 2008: Message edited by: Mike Thomson ]
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16101
    
  21

Linux (and Unix) is an independent operating system. Originally that meant that you couldn't run Linux and Windows at the same time.

However, these days, you can, by running a primary OS (Vista) that supports virtual machines. You can then create one or more Linux (or other) virtual machines and get the best of both OS's and even network them together.

You can download Ubuntu from ubuntu.org. Another popular favorite is Fedora, which is at fedora.org. There are, however, probably several dozen other versions of Linux available as well. You can also buy installation CDs/DVDs from various places if your download capabilities aren't fast enough (I can do CD's, but DVD's are more than I want to attempt).

Although there are a number of shells available, bash is the most common, with some of the commercial products using the Korn shell. If you know bash, you'll be able to manage most any shell scripting needs. Whay so many? Each one has capabilities that made it do something the author thought no existing shell did. Just like all the different programming languages.

Yes, Linux is considered to be "Unix" for most practical purposes (though not legal ones). My experience with Linux versus Solaris - which is a true Unix - is that the Solaris shell commands were about 10 years dumber. Meaning that the Linux commands had extra options that Solaris didn't.

One major difference you'll see between Linux and Windows is that you have a lot more scripting options. While the shell can do a lot, Linux also has lots of scripts written in Perl, Python, and other languages.


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Mike Thomson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 115
Tim Holloway,

Thanks a lot. Your information will be very useful for me.
Mike Thomson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 115
Unfortunately my laptop is having Windows Vista Home Basic. I have downloaded the Microsoft Vitrual PC, but the hsot opertaing system doesn't support Windows Vista Home Basic.

Please suggest, how can I install UNIX in Windows Vista Home Basic Edition?
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

Aaack. Don't use MS Virtual PC; use a real product like VMWare. The player is free, and there are pre-built VMs for various Linux flavors available for free too. See http://www.vmware.com/products/server/ .


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Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659
    
    5

A shell is not an OS. You probably want a Linux distribution.

You might try the Cygnus User Tools which provide a shell that runs on windows.

As others have said, use a real VM software package, or better yet, get an old cheap PC and install Ubuntu or some other distro on it.

If you have spare hard disk space, you can install Ubuntu and other distros on the same disk drive (after partitioning it) and pick the OS you want to run at boot time.

I forget the name, but recent Ubuntu releases even have a way to install Ubuntu's files under windows.
Jesper de Jong
Java Cowboy
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 16, 2005
Posts: 14194
    
  20

VirtualBox is a very easy to use virtualization tool (in my opinion, it is easier to use than VMWare). You can use that to install Linux (or any other operating system) in a virtual machine.

Ubuntu also has a way of installing it that doesn't require you to repartition your harddisk. It includes a tool called wubi, which installs Ubuntu inside a big file on your Windows partition.


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Jeshan Babooa
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 13, 2008
Posts: 2
I recommend virtualbox too
Mike Thomson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 115
Hi,

I have downloaded Virtual Box and Ubuntu .iso image(ubuntu-8.10-desktop-i386). I have installed vitrual box and followed all the procedure for installing ubuntu in virtual box. My OS is Windows Vista Basic Home and I don't have CD/DVD driver. SO I have downloaded the .iso umage and followed the step by step procedure given in the following site.

http://www.simplehelp.net/2007/05/13/how-to-install-ubuntu-studio-in-windows-using-virtualbox-a-complete-walkthrough/

But while attempted to start the guest OS (Ubuntu), I am getting the following error:

FATAL: No bootable medium found! System halted.

Attached the log details:
-------------------------
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

Opinion alert

If you aren't familiar with anything but windows attempting virtual computing is going to cause you more grief. Example, issues like you are having. If you just need to learn some basic *nix commands and shell scripting but are running windows then I suggest these solutions:

1. Install cygwin. It gives you a *nix shell in windows.

2. Run a distro's live CD. Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora, etc all have what is called LiveCD's available. That means you can run the entire OS from a CD/DVD without ever installing it on your harddrive. You won't really be able to persist anything. Once you restart, anything you did is gone. But its a good way to check out a linux distro and just play around and learn some stuff.


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Charles Lyons
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 836
I agree that VirtualBox/VMWare can be a pain to setup if you don't know what you're doing. So I'm also going to add this to the list:

3. Wubi (for Ubuntu). It installs just like a Windows application but allows you to boot Ubuntu as though it were installed on its own partition. The "hard drive" Ubuntu sees is actually just a file on the Windows partition. It can all be uninstalled via Add/Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel. Standard install gives you the GNOME graphical desktop.

I've had great success using it when demonstrating it to others. Live CDs are slow because everything is copied into RAM, and people tend to therefore think "Linux is slow" which is utter rubbish. If you'll be using it a lot too, it's just irritating waiting for the CD to boot fully. But the Wubi approach runs almost as well as a fresh Linux install on its own partition, and is idiot-proof on the (un)install.

Let me know if that helps you!


Charles Lyons (SCJP 1.4, April 2003; SCJP 5, Dec 2006; SCWCD 1.4b, April 2004)
Author of OCEJWCD Study Companion for Oracle Exam 1Z0-899 (ISBN 0955160340 / Amazon Amazon UK )
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15299
    
    6

I forgot about Wubi. I think that is another excellent option for any linux newbie.
Mike Thomson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 07, 2007
Posts: 115
Hi,

I have installed wbui and reboot the system. Like dual boot up, it's asking for Windows Visa and Ubuntu, I have selected Ubuntu, but after logon loading, the system hang up. Please advice.
Charles Lyons
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 836
Are you actually able to login and see a desktop, or does it hang at the login screen before entering details, or after submitting the password? Next thing to try is hit Ctrl+Alt+F1 at the graphical login screen, before entering username/password. That'll bring up a console (black screen, white prompt) and you should be able to login that way and run CLI commands. You can then read any kernel boot alerts using this command at the prompt (use the up/down arrow keys to scroll through it, and Q to quit):Unfortunately all Linux distros can be a bit buggy with some graphics cards, sound cards etc., mostly due to the vendor's reluctance to write drivers for Linux or open-source their code. There are often alternatives which can be used, but we first need to find what is the actual problem!

Oh, and you might want to use "sudo reboot" or "sudo shutdown -P now" to reboot or shutdown from the command line.
[ November 29, 2008: Message edited by: Charles Lyons ]
 
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