Oh Mama! I tried this and it didn't work (at first). Here are the steps for others that want to try this 95% seamless integration of WDSC into the Linux desktop (I have only tried it on Ubuntu with XP Pro). I think my initial issue was the fact I didn't have the latest version of the "guest additions".

1) Install the latest version of VirtualBox
2) Boot up your Windows instance (XP Pro in my case).
3) From the VirtualBox menu select to install the "guest additions". (if you removed the menu based on my blog entry http://mowyourlawn.com/blog/?p=105, then you can select a shortcut of <HOSTKEY>+Home while in full screen mode. To get into full screen mode you select <HOSTKEY>+L)
4) Reboot Windows virtual instance.
5) Boot up Windows virtual instance and start WDSC (and any other apps). Then select <HOSTKEY> + L (i.e. the HOSTKEY is the RightControl by default I believe, I changed mine to the RightShift).

That will produce the following: http://mowyourlawn.com/temp/WDSC_Virtualbox_seamless.png Kick butt!

Oh man, that is just sooooo cool! The reason I say it is only 95% seamless is because Outlook and WDSC don't show up in my active applications at the bottom of my screen (see screen shot), and in the Alt+Tab they show up as a single Windows looking icon. I can deal with this for now though.

Note that while one of the apps running in the XP instance are selected you can hit your "Windows Start" key on your keyboard to bring up the "Start" menu (see screenshot). The "Windows Start" key is right next to the LeftControl key on most keyboards.

Thanks Luke for pointing this out as I had tried seamless when it came out but because I didn't have the latest "guest additions" it simply went to full screen and blocked the rest of my Linux desktop.

Oh man, this just made my day!!!!

Aaron Bartell
http://mowyourlawn.com

Luke Gerhardt wrote:
Aaron,

I have a comment regarding VirtualBox to run Windows apps in Linux with the 'coherence mode' you mentioned.

I just switched to openSUSE 11.1 when it came out, and have installed the latest VirtualBox version. I had a Vista Ultimate laying around (free from a seminar a year or so ago) so I grabbed it and installed it. Once you have Windows up and running, you install the 'guest additions' for VirtualBox. Then, when Windows is fully booted up and you have signed in you will have an option called 'seamless mode' available. This mode gives you the Windows start bar in Linux which can be docked on any side (even against your Linux task bar).

When you run a program from the Windows start bar it shows up as a running window in the Linux environment, and not stuck inside the confines of a guest VM's window. You can move them around and minimize them to the Windows bar. Pretty seamless if you ask me! :)

I have not yet tried installing WDSCi, but I can not imagine an instance where it would not work as it does on a native Windows system.

Even the performance is decent on my system with both OSes running. I've got a true dual-processor (two socket) 2.0GHz system w/ 2GB of PC2100 RAM. It's a little long in the proverbial tooth, but it seems to handle openSUSE 11.1 + Vista Ultimate (with performance-type settings) just fine!

You should give VirtualBox a try. It may be as close as we can get to having a native WDSCi on Linux for now. HTH.

--Luke G.
Programmer / Webmaster / Network Admin.


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