Friday, January 25, 2013

Insert a CD image file in gnome-boxes

As I heard about the new Age of Empires II extension "Forgotten Empires" created not by Microsoft, but by an awesome community, I needed to play this game again! I don't like Wine that much as I once got a bunch of viruses having it just installed, therefore I decided to install Windows XP in a virtual machine.
I chose GNOME Boxes as it uses kvm. It was really fast and easy to install, I just needed my Windows-Installer-CD as an *.iso file.

However, I could not find any option to insert another *.iso image file to be mounted in the guest system. The user interface just does not provide to change the CD disc image - so we have to change the kvm options in another way. Open your terminal and type:

$ virsh edit Windows\ XP\ Pro.iso

(If you installed something else than Windows XP you might have to look in the folder .local/share/gnome-boxes/images/ how your machine is called.)
In this file search for the lines saying something like the following and exchange your iso-filename (+path):

<disk type='file' device='cdrom'>
   <driver name='qemu' type='raw'/>
   <source file='/home/tux/AoE.iso' startupPolicy='optional'/>

(If you need help using vim, check this out.)
Save it, reboot your Windows and enjoy having your disc image in the CD drive of the guest!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Linux: Start long running jobs with SSH

Recently I needed to start several long running jobs at my working machine from home using SSH. Unfortunately closing the SSH connection stops all the tasks started in this session.

Therefore we need a tool to start some tasks which will be kept running upon logout: SCREEN
There are tons of tutorials and howtos out there and a man page exists too.
However, here the most important commands and shortcuts:
Start it with typing

$ screen

then start your job, then press Ctr + A, Ctr + D  to detach the job and close the program without killing the running task. Running

$ screen -r

will resume your previous session.

Ctr + D closes the session and kills all tasks.
Ctr + A, Ctr + C opens a new screen "window",
Ctr + A, Ctr + N moves to the next window,
Ctr + A, Ctr + P moves to the previous window,
Ctr + A, Ctr + D detaches the task and closes the window,
Ctr + A, ESC enters scroll mode: use Up/Down/PgUp/PgDn to scroll, ESC again to exit this mode