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    mwbutler's Avatar
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    Virtualbox + image for programming classes

    Hi all

    I've been asked to look into creating a software package for Virtualbox + an image of XP (our new PCs have 2gb ram - not enough for a virtualbox + W7) for programming classes that are going to happen sometime next school year. This also needs to be ideally free but if you know of some relatively cheap solutions my boss may be persuaded to go down that route.

    I had a go at getting a package made with Virtualbox + an XP image and it didn’t quite work as intended – the XP image doesn’t show up for any users in Virtualbox and they cannot access the C Drive to load up the images. However this is possibly a good thing as I don’t see how we would go about resetting the Virtual image without reinstalling the software package after each use (it does have a snapshot feature but if these got deleted then we’re back to reinstalling the software again).

    What I think it possibly a good idea is – I can make a simple Virtualbox package which doesn’t contain any Virtual images and install that on any PC we want it on. Then in a student accessible drive I can put a previously exported Virtual image of XP in a folder then all anyone has to do is double click it and import it into Virtualbox. This takes 2 clicks and about 3 minutes to import it on my PC.

    Or I can try again and get Virtualbox to have an image pre-loaded when any user runs the software.

    What do you guys think? Have you looked into doing this yet and if so what have you done?

    Thanks for any suggestions

    Matt

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    Chapter*8.*VBoxManage - vboxmanage is the CLI to do all sorts of clever stuff, registervm might be what you need to look at.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwbutler View Post
    Or I can try again and get Virtualbox to have an image pre-loaded when any user runs the software.

    What do you guys think? Have you looked into doing this yet and if so what have you done?

    Thanks for any suggestions

    Matt
    Been looking into this recently too.

    The best way I've found to load it is using:

    Code:
    "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxSDL.exe" --comment "TestCoding" --startvm "24da79dc-1abd-4727-b5d7-5e2f360ea82d"
    VBOXSDL runs the machine without any config/admin tools, so no way to edit modify the image/setup etc.

    Comment shows at the top of the screen so you can make it pretty and display stuff

    And VM guid tells it which image to load on running, so no picking what they want! pewpew

    Still stuck on trying to make shared areas for saving to, that aren't accessible from normal accounts

    Steve

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    I've made a XP VM in virtualbox and enbale the rdp server in virtualbox. The students can then rdp in it 127.0.0.1 .
    Take off file permissions for .rdp files. Slight delay with usb sticks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfoot780 View Post
    I've made a XP VM in virtualbox and enbale the rdp server in virtualbox. The students can then rdp in it 127.0.0.1 .
    Take off file permissions for .rdp files. Slight delay with usb sticks.
    What stops them copying games etc into the VM and running it, if you're doing it off USB?

    Steve

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    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Would be a bit more of a project but System Centre Config Manager can give you the ablity to (through a web portal) allow students access VMs hosted on a server - can do snapshotting ect with no issues.

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    USB stick would just be used to get work off the xp machine. But good point. I only made it in anticipaton of the new curriculum focused on programming. Though the vm would be on the C Drive which is protected by deep freeze.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Been looking into this recently too.

    The best way I've found to load it is using:

    Code:
    "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxSDL.exe" --comment "TestCoding" --startvm "24da79dc-1abd-4727-b5d7-5e2f360ea82d"
    That's very similar to how we've done it except we have the VM snapshotted so that it's boxfresh on every use. We map a shared folder into the VM for file transfer, but only programming students have access to it.
    Last edited by jtotheb; 21st May 2012 at 12:20 PM.

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    Hi all,

    I've made good progress on this today.

    I now have a test windows 7 VM which is on Immutable disks so resets after each use. The VM is opened without the user having access to the menu tools.

    Currently the VM image is held on the C:\ drive of the host. Is that the best place for it? Once I have my image ready is it just a case of installing VirtualBox to the hosts and copying to the same location on each the image?

    My next question is once the pupils boot up the VM and have used the software on it - how do I then give them access to their own H:\ drives so they can save work? Or does everyone just use a common area which they can then dip in to from the host PC?

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Nice easy one, just finished doing ours.
    Look up the shared folders option - we have ours set to the home drive. Networking is disabled apart from "host only network" for that to work.
    And yeah, keep it on the C: drive unless you have another drive specifically for the VM.

    If you want to push out Virtual Box by MSI (GPO, SCCM etc) then you'll need to install the certificate so the drivers will install without intervention - if you need that, give me a poke. I've just finished packaging the VM itself too (we used a stripped down version of Windows 7 - the image is 10GB including Netbeans, Notepad++, all windows updates, .net framework 4.5, Python etc)
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 15th July 2013 at 04:16 PM.

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    kennysarmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Nice easy one, just finished doing ours.
    Look up the shared folders option - we have ours set to the home drive. Networking is disabled apart from "host only network" for that to work.
    And yeah, keep it on the C: drive unless you have another drive specifically for the VM.

    If you want to push out Virtual Box by MSI (GPO, SCCM etc) then you'll need to install the certificate so the drivers will install without intervention - if you need that, give me a poke. I've just finished packaging the VM itself too (we used a stripped down version of Windows 7 - the image is 10GB including Netbeans, Notepad++, all windows updates, .net framework 4.5, Python etc)
    LOL - I missed the auto-mount option - dur

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    You shouldn't even need host only enabled. Ours have no network card, and no connection at all. If you use the shared folders they directly mount without need for connection, think of it as a virtual disk.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    You shouldn't even need host only enabled. Ours have no network card, and no connection at all. If you use the shared folders they directly mount without need for connection, think of it as a virtual disk.

    Steve

    Hi Steve,

    With the network card offline how did you activate windows?

    I've just installed another test PC with virtualbox and installed windows 7 - it auto found our local KMS box and activated itself.
    My worry is if I disable the network card what happens after 180 days when it wants to reconnect to KMS for another 180 days?

    I am thinking I should just go with a MAK key. But not sure now how to override the KMS ....

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    We don't use Windows on it, as you "officially" have to pay for the license to run it in a virtual machine Using Ubuntu

    Edit - but on a side note, without using a network connection it's got no way to update it's time to realise it's 180 days anyway. As it's new connection everyday remember Immutable drive and all

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve21; 8th August 2013 at 01:35 PM.

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    Hi

    I have the image setup with an immutable disk and connect to the user drive but I cannot get the below shortcut to wrk!

    "C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxSDL.exe" --comment "TestCoding" --startvm "24da79dc-1abd-4727-b5d7-5e2f360ea82d"

    I have changed the uuid to the relevant one but a cmd box just appears and then shuts down.

    Any ideas?

    Regards

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