[IAEP] [Sugar-devel] A Virtual Box solution that works with Sticks

Dave Bauer dave at solutiongrove.com
Thu Sep 24 09:42:05 EDT 2009

On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 10:19 PM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com>wrote:

> Hi Dave,

> ** unless you put the whole damn vdi on the stick and forgo the idea of
> booting the stick independently as a normal OS, though there could be room
> to investigate booting of a small partition with a reliable host OS that did
> nothing but dive right into the VM for those cases. Seems doable, but scary.
> Would much rather spend effort in finding a way to boot a USB directly –
> likely requires providing a Mac only image, though they can quite happily
> boot from USB, they just require correct boot formats (EFI for Intel Macs)
> but current Linux's seems well behind that curve. Most other HW
> manufacturers are still on old BIOS set-ups, Macs can support this for
> booting, Boot Camp does just this, but not for booting from USB devices
> unfortunately.
SoaS does include EFI. I am not sure how it works. Macbooks do support
booting from a USB hard drive, but I am not sure about a USB memory stick.


> --Gary
>  Dave
>> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 8:12 PM, Gary C Martin <gary at garycmartin.com>
>> wrote:
>> Hi Bill,
>> On 24 Sep 2009, at 00:17, Bill Bogstad wrote:
>> > On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 4:26 PM, Gary C Martin
>> > <gary at garycmartin.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >> Sure, you could just link the ~/default/datastore directory on the VM
>> >> to the matching location on the stick. I'm not sure how the pretty
>> >> way
>> >> to do this would be (likely at this moment in time would be just
>> >> tweaking the VMs to assume the stick was there). Pop stick in, then
>> >> run the VM would be the workflow once set-up. From a future stand
>> >> point, you'd likely want to push upstream for a feature where Sugar
>> >> checked for valid (and correct version) data-stores on start-up
>> >> (perhaps with a UI if more than one valid data-store was found), so
>> >> any external media device, or perhaps even mounted network volume
>> >> could become the default data-store for that session.
>> >
>> > Could you clarify what you are suggesting?   Most VMs (including
>> > VirtualBox) typically use large files within the host  environment to
>> > provide the contents of virtual disks to the OS running under
>> > virtualization. By default VirtualBox uses a format that dynamically
>> > allocates in the real filesystem as the guest OS actually writes to
>> > the virtual disk.   I don't think this file is going to be directly
>> > compatible with any file (or filesystem image) that SoaS is storing on
>> > a USB stick.  If you were thinking of something else, please let me
>> > know.
>> Yes, I routinely use the "Shared Folders" feature for VirtualBox on
>> the Mac :-) Every thing Sugar flavour I work on resides there for easy
>> access between different VMs. VirtualBox treats this as a device
>> (after installing guest additions) so after a reboot I run:
>>       sudo mount -o uid=500 -t vboxsf <name_you_give_share>
>> <name_of_intended_mount_point>
>> ...which should should do the trick.
>> Also be aware that you need to tell VirtualBox it's allowed to use
>> USB, I think it defaults to allow, but you can also filter for named
>> devices if that makes more sense in a deployment. I would also want to
>> sanity check the shut down process to make sure we didn't bork users
>> sticks at the end of a session.
>> Ping if you'd like to work this through, should be easy enough for me
>> to set up a test cycle here if you think this is valuable.
>> Regards,
>> --Gary
>> _______________________________________________
>> Sugar-devel mailing list
>> Sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org
>> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/sugar-devel
>> --
>> Dave Bauer
>> dave at solutiongrove.com
>> http://www.solutiongrove.com

Dave Bauer
dave at solutiongrove.com
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