VirtualBox: Another Open Source Virtual Machine (Part I)

Somehow, an application that highly needed in the company I’ve been worked was failed to run with Linux upon the emulator. This application specifically ~ recognized from the meta file information ~ build from Visual Basic 6, using the Microsoft Access as the database storage & also requiring Crystal Report library to previewing the reports. Actually ~ as anyone can see ~ this is the very basic application & might run on emulator such as wine or crossover. From the global process explained by the programmer in US, I also found that it depends on some RPC (Remote Procedure Call) or similar process which didn’t exist in the emulator (it is a kind of thin client application models which try to connecting the server with VPN technology). Just a times before, I had tried several bottles methods from the latest version of wine or crossover but it seems can’t worked in any way.

After being get some failed & frustrated on how to emulating it, finally now I’m working on a different ways. Just make a try to run it in a virtual machine environment & hoping for a better result. Well, I’m currently not to using VMWare since its package is huge (about 130M) & requiring a high specification computer hardware which we doesn’t have yet in the branches. So, I’m trying to use VirtualBox developed by Innotek, another yet open source virtual machine which available to download from It is a multiplatform virtual machine & would work on any operating system likes Mac OS, Linux & Windows.

For the installation, the VirtualBox need only 13MB of empty spaces. It is a quite less virtual machine package than VMWare, ever!. The setup process are so easy, while it also require a dependency of compat-libstdc++ package which unable to detected before. This can be solve after downloading the packages from according to the using of your Linux version (I’m using Fedora Core 4 with kernel version of 2.6.17).

First, I try to create a virtual host environment for Windows 98 since ~ I thought ~ it will run more smooth than Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Preparing the virtual hard drive is easy as VMWare. I let the space for about 980MB for this. Next, I plugged in the Windows 98 setup CD into my external Asus DVD-RW drives and start the VirtualBox to boot it.

Picture #1. Booting From Microsoft Windows 98 Setup CD on My Fedora Box

Picture #2. Entering The Windows 98 Install Boot Menu

Picture #3. Initialization The Windows 98 Setup Process

Picture #4. Copying Files of Windows 98 On Progress

After finished installation, it’s need to restart. Once, the VirtualBox would raise an error messages likes “PIIX3 cannot attach drive...” or something similar. If you meet this exception, close the VirtualBox & try to fix recompile the setup with run a command below on console.
/etc/init.d/vboxdrv setup
Other else, If you see something else error messages likes “PIIX3 cannot attach drive to the Secondary Master”, try to plug out the devices likes USB flash disk, floppy or something else from the computers. This might be a solution for the problem. Hence I don’t know how to resolve it anyway.

Picture #5. Starting The Windows 98 For The First Time

Picture #6. The Windows 98 Desktop Is Ready

Overall, the installation need much time than I expected before. I’ll post my next article regarding to this about on how to connecting to the network & installing the application I explained above.



Eko Wahyudiharto
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