Getting started Using the Vinux Virtual Edition.
The files included within the archive will enable you to run Vinux as a virtual machine, regardless of what host operating system you are running windows, linux etc. This guide is written for windows users, as that is mostly what people will be using but a version of the VMWare player for linux can also be obtained from the downloads page.
The version of the VMWare player included by default will only work on windows, but if you’re using linux, please download the version 32bit or 64bit for your host version of linux from the downloads page.
- NOTE: if the latest version of VMWare player does not work on your hardware because PAE technology is not supported, please use the older VMWare player release Included in the archive within the “VMWare player for older computers folder”. This will still allow you to run Vinux, but you will not be able to create virtual machine versions of Vinux yourself.
First time users, please follow the instructions below.
First, extract the files needed for the Vinux Virtual Edition to run to a place on your Hard Drive by running the file you downloaded. By default, you will be prompted to extract the files to the folder you are in for example my documents. The files will be extracted to a folder called Vinux-3.0-Virtual-Edition. This folder will be created by default for you.
Installing the VMWare Player
Next, install the VMWare player. This can be done by clicking on the “VMWare player” file in the main folder and following the instructions below.
- The first screen displayed is the VMWare player welcome screen. Click next or press alt N to continue.
- The second screen allows you to choose the destination folder. There is no need to change this from the default value. Click next or press alt N to continue.
- The third screen will allow you to select if VMWare player will check for software updates. It is strongly recommended that this option is disabled, as VMWare may constantly nag you to install new updates which will probably not affect or improve the performance of Vinux at all. Press alt p or un-tick the checkbox to uncheck the “check for product updates” option, and press alt N to continue.
- The next screen will ask you if you wish to improve VMWare player by sending anonymous information. Again, this can be disabled as it is not needed at all. Press alt H or un-tick the “help improve VMWare player option” and press alt N to continue.
- The next screen will ask you if you wish to create shortcuts and where those shortcuts should be placed. Scroll down the screen and select all the places where you would like the shortcuts to be placed, and un-tick the ones you do not want. When you have made your selection, press alt N to continue.
- The next screen is the confirmation screen. At this point, you will be able to confirm if you are satisfied with the options you have selected. If you wish to change anything, press alt B to go back to any of the previous screens. If you do not wish to change anything, press alt C to continue and install VMWare player.
When installation is complete and you are prompted to restart, press alt N or click on restart, but do not run the VMWare player yet as we need to set some more options before doing so. If your PC freezes and does not restart, restart manually from the shutdown option in windows, ending any processes that are still running if prompted.
Preparing to run Vinux for the first time
Before running Vinux, there are a few changes we need to make to VMWare player. Please follow the instructions below.
- First, if you wish to enable sharing folders, you will need to go in to the folder which contains the Vinux files extracted earlier, and run the “(click first!) Enable shared folders” batch file. Answer y at the prompt, and a folder called VinuxShare will be created at the root of your C: drive. We also need to enable this option in VMWare player as explained below. The sharing folders option will allow you to share files and folders between Vinux and windows. Any files in the shared folder will show up inside Vinux. There is a VMWare menu option in the main menu inside Vinux, and within this menu there is an access shared folders option which will take you to the folders shared between windows and Vinux.
- Next, click on the VMWare player icon on your desktop or in your programs menu. When the player opens, press up arrow to accept the license agreement, and click ok. Answer No if you are prompted to download any components or updates. You will then be placed in a list view which by default will contain 1 item called home.
- Next, go to the file menu and click on open or press control O. Browse to the folder called Vinux-3.0-Virtual-Edition and within that folder, click on VMWare files and then click on Vinux-3.0-Virtual-Edition.VMX. The Vinux virtual machine will then be displayed in the list view. Highlight this with the arrows.
- Before running Vinux, you will need to enable the shared folders option. To do this, press control D to bring up the settings dialogue. This dialogue can also be accessed by pressing tab to the edit virtual machine settings button and pressing space. The first tab is the hardware tab. We don’t want to be on the hardware tab for this, though this tab can come in useful if you need to add more USB ports to the virtual machine, or increase the memory size. Press shift tab, and press your right arrow to go to the options tab. Press tab to the list view, and then press your down arrow until you reach the shared folders option. Press tab, and then press your down arrow to select the folder sharing always enabled radio button. Then, tab to ok and press enter. You will notice as you are tabbing that there is a list view with the VinuxShare folder listed as a shared folder. If you wish to add other locations on the hard drive as shared folders, you can do this by clicking on the add button, and following the on-screen instructions.
- You will then be returned to the list view. A quick note about hotkeys. By default, Vinux is set to use control G to direct input to Vinux, and control alt to return to windows. If you are a console user, or wish to use the console, you will need to change the default combination of alt control to alt control shift. The process for doing this is outlined in a separate section below, as most users will not need to change this from the default value. At this point, we can press alt L to launch Vinux.
- The machine will then begin to boot. Please allow up to 3 minutes for this process to fully complete. You will also need to press control G at some point within the time that Vinux is booting to direct your keyboard input to Vinux. You will know when the process is complete when you hear Speak up say “checking battery state, ok”.
- At this point, enter Vinux for your username and press enter, then repeat the same for your password. NOTE: the default password has been set to Vinux for convenience sake; these settings can be customized afterwards. To return to windows at any time, press alt control shift 2 or 3 times to insure that the alt or control keys do not stick. This will hand control of the keyboard and mouse back over to windows. To hand control back over to Vinux of your keyboard and mouse, press control G within the VMWare Player window.
You will then be asked if you moved the virtual machine or copied it. Click on the “I copied it” option, and click ok. If you have any devices such as pen drives plugged in, you will be told that you can add them to Vinux if you wish. Click on the “do not show this message again” check box, and click ok.
You are now ready to use Vinux. The main menu can be accessed by pressing Alt F1 and using your arrow keys and enter to navigate as you would in windows.
The desktop and other panels can be accessed by pressing alt control tab. To go directly to the desktop, press alt control D. From here, you can access the easy install icons for various scripts to add extra features to Vinux.
You can also press alt control enter to switch to full screen mode while in VMware player while input is not directed to Vinux. However, this hides the menu bar, so you will need to press it again to exit full screen mode, and then you will be able to access the menus as normal. This option is especially useful if you’re using magnification or if someone sighted wants to have a look at Vinux.
To access a list of all the hotkeys that can be used within Vinux, press control shift K at any time. This will open a read-only file listing all the hotkeys available in different sections of Vinux. You can also visit the vinux.org.uk homepage to view FAQ’s, as well as instructions on how to make the most of using Vinux.
If you wish to attach a device to Vinux for example a pen drive, return to windows by pressing control alt shift a few times if necessary, then press alt V to access the virtual machine menu. Then, scroll to the removable devices option and select the devices you wish to add to Vinux by clicking on connect/disconnect. The process is the same if you wish to disconnect a device.
If you wish to add further shared folders or customize the hardware your Vinux virtual machine is using, these options can all be accessed from the settings dialogue mentioned above when Vinux is not running, or changed in a settings file as outlined below.
Some users may wish to update their system to the latest packages available from the ubuntu and Vinux repositories. To do this, press alt control T to go in to what is called the terminal. Then, you will need to enter the following commands, entering Vinux as the password if prompted.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
You will have to wait until each of these commands has finished in the terminal before typing in the next command.
Changing the default hotkey
If for some reason the alt control combination isn’t working well for you, or if you want to use the console, you will need to change the release input hotkey from alt control, to alt control shift. There are 2 ways of doing this. First, you can run the “change hotkey” batch file located in the “VMWare Files” folder, and answering yes at the prompt. Windows vista/7 users will need to right click this file and run as administrator.
For the technically minded, the other way of doing this is editing the preferences file manually. The VMWare preferences file is located in your application data folder in windows. The folder path varies if you’re running windows xp as opposed to windows vista or 7.
In windows xp, the full folder path is:
c:\documents and settings\username\application data\VMware\preferences.ini
Where username is your windows username. in windows 7, the path is:
The batch file will simply add the following line to the end of the preferences file.
pref.hotkey.shift = “true”
All you would need to do is paste that line at the end of the preferences file, and save changes.
If you receive an error after adding the line to the preferences file, or if you click on the batch file twice for some reason and answer yes twice to the prompt and the virtual machine does not open, you will need to delete the duplicate lines in the preferences file that mention the shift key.
For Advanced/previous users
For those of you that are regular users of the Vinux Virtual edition, you simply need to extract the VMWare image from the archive and run it. There is no need to reinstall the VMWare player.
By default, the memory allocated to the virtual machine has been set to 512 MB of ram, but if you open the .VMX file inside the VMWare files folder in a text editor for example notepad by right-clicking the file, clicking open with then choose program then clicking notepad, you will be able to change the default amount of memory used. Look for the line with “memsize” at the start and change the value in quotes to 1024 to use 1 GB, for example.
If you want to share an alternative folder instead of creating the default folder, you will have to change the folder path manually by editing the last lines of the VMX file. Most users will not need to do this. Scroll up from the bottom and change the folder path in the following line.
sharedFolder0.hostPath = “C:\VinuxShare”
You can share more than 1 folder; edit the lines as needed to reflect your changes. Because shared folder 0 is the first, the next folder you decide must be shared folder 1 etc. change 0 to 1, 2, 3 etc throughout the lines at the bottom of the file to reflect your changes. All shared folders will be available when the shared folders option is clicked in Vinux.