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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, best way to run windows apps on ubuntu linux? in Technical; I am transitioning a bunch of classroom computers from XP to Ubuntu Desktop and want to make the transition as ...
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    best way to run windows apps on ubuntu linux?

    I am transitioning a bunch of classroom computers from XP to Ubuntu Desktop and want to make the transition as invisible as possible to the users.

    The Ubuntu deployment will have to include a Windows VM (Virtualbox? VMware? don't know yet) or some other way to support legacy Windows apps. (probably not Wine or CrossOver though).

    How can I make these launch with one click from the host OS desktop, as they would in a native Windows environment? Virtualbox can run in 'seamless mode' and lets you make a shortcut to lauch the VM itself, but what about apps that reside within the VM?

    The students are 12 - 13 years old and not super computer literate. If the computers don't function in the way they're accustomed to, they'll get very confused. Can this be done?

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    soveryapt's Avatar
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    I use Oracle VirtualBox for a VM because ITS FREE (other than the windows licenses etc) and works very nicely.

    Depending on the software you're trying to run, you could try installing it under Wine (I know you said no to it but if it works) then you would have the direct link. I think (I'll go poke around on my Ubuntu box) that you can set links to software that is under the VM and if the VM is loaded it will just load, if the VM isn't loaded then it will load the VM then load the programme.

    I would say as much as you can, using Wine might be your best way to go as then it's all just there and running "natively" (of sorts) and you're not having to load a VM first (as dependant upon your specs might slow the machine up too much to be usable.

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    the main Windows app I need to support is Kurzweil 3000 (for kids with reading issues - it reads a text file out loud to you). It requires a bunch of MS audio resources and last time we tried it with Wine it was a mess.

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    For text file reading, have you considered an Linux alternative like Orca or Festival?

    I haven't tried PlayOnLinux yet, but ity might be worth a look.

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    I'd say if you're going to be using a VM to run most of your apps, then you might as well just install Windows and be done with it as you'll need licenses anyway.

    If you want to go down the Linux route, do as @shenley suggests and look for alternatives to the Windows software you need

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    Citrix presentation server will deliver seamless windowed applications to linux desktops.

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    You might be able to get it running on Wine there is also winetricks which can be installed as an extra

    Wintricks outline

    Winetricks is an easy way to work around problems in Wine.

    It has a menu of supported games/apps for which it can do all the workarounds automatically. It also lets you install missing DLLs or tweak various Wine settings individually.
    quite handy if the program you are trying to install needs certain Windows prerequisites eg .Net etc

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I'd say if you're going to be using a VM to run most of your apps, then you might as well just install Windows and be done with it as you'll need licenses anyway.

    If you want to go down the Linux route, do as @shenley suggests and look for alternatives to the Windows software you need
    We have the xp licenses, they came with the PC's (which were donated) - so that's not an issue. I'm not looking to replace the software (which actually does a lot more than just read text files), just want to reduce the windows footprint as much as I can. Citrix is a good suggestion, I'll check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by misterfriendly View Post
    We have the xp licenses, they came with the PC's (which were donated)
    The XP licenses are likly to be OEM licenses that belong with the machine, i.e. you can't aggregate them all on to a server. If your PCs are older, donated machines their processors might not have hardware support for virtualisation, which VirtualBox (or any other virtualisation system) is going to need to run Windows VMs.

    RDesktop is the (only?) RDP client available on Linux, you can use that to connect to a Windows Terminal Services server - around 20 per CAL at educational prices, plus server license and hardware. That will support "seamless" mode, where you can specify the application to be run as it logs in to the RDP session, making it seem as though the Windows application is running on your Linux desktop.

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    Windows Terminal Services server - around 20 per CAL at educational prices
    more like a tenner.

    That will support "seamless" mode, where you can specify the application to be run as it logs in to the RDP session, making it seem as though the Windows application is running on your Linux desktop.
    AFAIK the seamless mode for 2008 terminal services only works on XPSP3 - are you sure Linux based RDP clients support this now. I was under the distinct impression that Citrix was still the only way to do this.

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    dhicks (9th June 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    AFAIK the seamless mode for 2008 terminal services only works on XPSP3 - are you sure Linux based RDP clients support this now. I was under the distinct impression that Citrix was still the only way to do this.
    Just checked the rdekstop man page - I think last time I used rdekstop in this manner, I used the -s option to run a specific application when the TS session opened. This was on Server 2003, though (it's a school, they didn't want to pay to upgrade...), so it could well have changed in Server 2008. Didn't Server 2008 introduce some new authentication protocol that was optionally turn-off-and-onable, letting you use rdesktop to connect?

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    The one program I'd love to run in Wine is Spiceworks .. does anyone know if Winetricks helps with this? (just as a side note on a similar thread) ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by aptproductions View Post
    The one program I'd love to run in Wine is Spiceworks .. does anyone know if Winetricks helps with this? (just as a side note on a similar thread) ..
    I thought Spiceworks was web based?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LosOjos View Post
    I thought Spiceworks was web based?
    It is, but needs installing on a Windows box to have that web base .. but I'd rather have it on an old box running Ubuntu that hogging main server resources .. when you install it on Wine though it throws a wobbler ..

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    I tried Kurzweill 3000 on Wine just to see if it was as bad as I remembered, and it was. We'll see if Citrix can help us though I suspect that will cost crazy amounts of $$$ (that's American for 'daft amounts of ')

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