Monday 8 September 2008

Virtual Box, Linux and PSKMail

Sun Microsystems has just released version 2.0 of its free virtualization software. The free and open source software runs on all major operating systems. Sun VxM Virtual Box runs multiple operating systems at the same time on the PC. Virtual Box runs Linux on the Windows desktop, in a separate window. It supports the Solaris OS, OpenSolaris, Windows, Macintosh OS X, and Linux. Here, at VE3MPG, I've been using it to experiment with PSKMail which only runs on Linux at present. The photo at the left (click for larger view) shows Puppy Linux running on the XP desktop. For all of you who have wanted to experiment with the different flavours of Linux this software will run most distributions quite nicely on Windows XP or Vista. The software allows Linux to boot from an iso CD image that you download from the various Linux sites. So far I've run Puppy, Mandriva and will be trying openSuse in the next few weeks. There is a live PSKMail distribution called PSKLive. It has everything installed and ready to run and uses Mandriva 2007 linux distribution as its base.

More information on the various flavours of Linux distributions can be found at Distrowatch.

The first graphic below shows the startup and configuration screen of Virtual Box. The second graphic shows PSKMail and fldigi, a linux psk program running under the PSKLive distro.

We experiment and try new things, this is what hams do, and PSKMail seems like a worthwhile effort to pursue. More on this in a future post.


Grant Wagner said...

Howdy, Bob! I stumbled here from AB9NZ's blog, and so far I've enjoyed reading through it.

This post made me chuckle through. I'm familar with all the software mentioned, and use Virtual Box at least on a daily basis. I however have always used it in the reverse manner. I run Ubuntu Linux natively, and use Virtual Box to run Windows XP for my rare needs such as tax software, and temporary RMS Express for win2K packet. My HF station isn't completely up yet, but I hope to work pskmail on my arm based home server here shortly.

I love all linux, and I'm happy for the mention.

Bob VE3MPG said...

Hi Grant and welcome to my blog. I've been so busy this winter that not much got posted here since last fall. Gotta do something about that.

Thanks for reading my blog.