Art Alexion on 5 May 2008 07:01:56 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Microsoftian Encephalitis & failure to WindowsUpdate

On Monday 05 May 2008 2:17:17 am JP Vossen wrote:
> Potential issues with this include:
> * VMware Server 1 only supports USB1, and the current VMware Server 2
> betas have no USB at all.  (Presumably, they are re-writing the USB
> stack and it will re-appear later.)
> * I've also not had luck with parallel ports, and since it's USB1 that
> can be bad for printing.  But you can host and drive the printer on the
> Ubuntu side and connect to it via IPP from the Windows side trivially.
> * Sound can be a pain (I had to turn sound off on the Ubuntu Dapper side
> for it to work on the W2K side).  Possibly that's improved since Dapper.
>   (This is a production machine for my wife, hence the Ubuntu LTS.)
> * Gnome Ubuntu isn't all that "lightweight."  Xubuntu is better, but
> also a red-headed stepchild in some ways compared to Gnome.  But I've
> also done a stripped down Xfce2 on CentOS-4 for this purpose, and either
> Ubuntu flavor is, IMO, much friendlier and more useful when you do need
> to do things on the "host" side.  I'm willing to take that hit rather
> than spend a lot of time fiddling for a more minimal host.  (Though you
> could run the host totally headless and console in from elsewhere;
> that's not a good solution in this context.)

I also have this setup at home, mainly set up to run TurboTax.  I am using 
KVM/QEMU and have the same issues.  No printing is a bad thing; I export to 
PDF and email the stuff to myself on the Linux side.  No USB is a bad thing 
as well, forcing me to use a lot of CD/DVD-RW. The good thing is that KVM is 
so snappy on this machine, under KDE, that Its barely noticeable in terms of 
performance that windows is not the host OS.  None the less, this is not a 
ready for prime time solution for regular users.

The idea we've been tossing around at work is using terminal services instead 
of virtalization for desktops. Everything seems to work that way, and 
maintenance of the central server replaces the need for imaging.  OTOH, you 
have a lot of users sharing — and potentially harming — the server.  The idea 
is to recycle our white boxes as thin clients.

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