I use VirtualBox to run Windows XP as a virtual machine within Ubuntu Linux and periodically like to compact the virtual drive (VDI) file.
Being a bit boneheaded, every time I do this, I spend ten minutes searching for instructions, so I thought I’d post them here both for myself, and for anyone else it may help.
Steps to Compact a VirtualBox WinXP Guest in Linux
- While in your Windows XP virtual machine, download the sdelete program and save it to your c: drive in Windows.Â This program allows you to ‘zero out’ the free space on the drive by writing zeros to the unused sectors.
- In WinXP go to Start/Run and type ‘cmd‘ to open a command prompt.
- Change directory (cd) to the location where you saved the sdelete.exe file.
- Enter ‘sdelete -c c:/’ to execute the program.
- Once sdelete is finished, shut down the Windows virtual machine.
- Open a terminal in Linux and cd to the directory that contains the VDI you’d like to compact.
- Type ‘VBoxManage modifyvdi xxxxx.vdi’ compact where xxxxx.vdi represents the filename of the virtual disk you’d like to compact.
- After the command is runs, your VDI will be reduced in size.
There’s a ton of information on Sun’s VirtualBox site and forum.Â Here’s a forum thread that I found especially helpful.
I needed a better way to track the time I spend on web design, development and maintenance projects, and several months ago, a friend recommended Hamster.
Tracking Time with Hamster
Hamster is a Gnome application that sits in a panel so you can access it easily. It’s available in the repositories of several Linux distributions and, if you’re an Ubuntu user, there are APT sources you can add to install via Synaptic.
After tracking my time for several months, I’m consistently surprised at the blatant discrepancy between how much time I thought I spent on a project and the actual amount of time I actually worked.
If you’re looking for a way to better understand and influence where your time goes, give Hamster a try.
Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (codenamed ‘Hardy Heron’) was released today and is available for download here.
If you don’t have broadband, you can also request free CDs.
Linux Fest Northwest 2008 is April 26 & 27 at Bellingham Technical College in Bellingham, Washington!
I had a great time last year and even won a Silicon Mechanics server.
I’ll be making the geek pilgrimage again this year and hope to see you there. 🙂
Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (Hardy Heron) LTS will be formally released on April 24, 2008 and I’m excited.
Aside from some of the new and updated features, I’m thrilled that it’s a Long Term Support release, which means Canonical will support it for 3 years on desktops and 5 years on servers.
Since the quality of Linux distributions has increased tremendously over the last few years, I’ve been growing out of my distro hopping tendencies and want a release that I can stick with for a long time. For now, Ubuntu is it.