So last night I decided to re-install a 64-bit version of Linux Mint 9, saving my important documents on a thumb drive. The reason I did this is that it’s currently impractical (i.e. impossible) to run the Steam gaming client or watch Netflix streaming movies directly on Linux. By installing Virtualbox, which is a way to run other operating systems within Linux, I can put Windows 7 onto my laptop and run it (I have a valid license for a copy).
Since my copy of Windows 7 is 64 bit, I needed to run a 64-bit version of Linux.
(1/24: A good friend has reminded me that in fact you can run a 64-bit OS on a 32-bit system, if you can run the Intel/AMD VT.)
Time will tell how well this works out. Flash runs fine (except for the Hulu.com website) so far. I don’t know what other issues I may find.
I installed Windows 7 last night into my virtual machine, and it seemed to be okay. However something I did this afternoon has created a problem. I’m going to try re-installing Virtualbox to see if it can fix. It looks like a known issue that sometimes occurs, so it shouldn’t be too much to correct.
LATER: Well, it worked, mostly. Win 7 is running fine, except I have no sound. Not sure why. Once I fix that though, it’s time for some Netflix action !
10:30 pm Tuesday: I got sound working. The Virtualbox forums had a solution – apparently the correct driver used for Vista/Win 7 sound had to be downloaded and installed. There are several links to the download file on the thread detailing the solution. Netflix works fine, however sound (and sometimes video) is a bit choppy. It’s more annoying than crippling. Youtube videos sounded pretty good, so I suspect this is the combination of Netflix, DRM, and running in a VM. I was using IE 8, not Firefox. I don’t know if that would make a difference.