Dietrich Schroff

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Dr. Dietrich Schroff
Updated: 14 hours 32 min ago

Windows Surface RT: There is a desktop?!

Mon, 2013-06-10 14:21
Last week i had the opportunity to use a Windows Surface RT tablet. For several month i am using a windows 8 laptop, which is equipped with a touchscreen. So i am used to the new tiles interface and i knew at least on laptops, you have the desktop-applications and the "tiles"-applications.
I was curious, how it feels to work without having "two worlds" of applications on a device...
But it was for me big suprise: If you install Microsoft Office on a RT device, you get the desktop back:
 On a tablet with a display size with 10.6 inches (27cm)? I tried to write a document and it wasn't easy to hit the right icons...
By saving the document it was astonishing, that i got a file chooser. From my Nexus 7 i was used to get no folder structures or similar things:
There are two problems with this desktop applications: If not in full-screen mode, you have to work with really small windows and resizing is very difficult and
 the applications are not shown in the application bar:
They are all summarized with desktop... There is no way to switch directly to your word application or powerpoint.  You have to move the desktop und then choose your Office application....

Dual-Boot on UEFI PCs: Booting Ubuntu only works randomly

Wed, 2013-04-24 14:51
In my posting about using ubuntu on a Windows 9 laptop, i ended with:
But now rebooting works like expected (with Ubuntu and Windows 8).

Linux and UEFI: Files, Mountpoints, Commands...

Mon, 2013-04-22 14:28
With Windows 8 secure boot is used. That means if you want to add a Linux kernel, this kernel has to be signed. After installing Ubuntu on a Windows 8 machine, here the directory listing of the /boot directory:
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   844882 Okt  9  2012 abi-3.5.0-17-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root    17402 Apr 21 18:48 boot.efi.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root        0 Apr 21 18:49 boot.txt
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   147884 Okt  9  2012 config-3.5.0-17-generic
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root      512 Jan  1  1970 efi
drwxr-xr-x 5 root root     4096 Apr 21 18:45 grub
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 23040071 Apr 21 16:33 initrd.img-3.5.0-17-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   176764 Jan  3 23:48 memtest86+.bin
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   178944 Jan  3 23:48 memtest86+_multiboot.bin
-rw------- 1 root root  2901710 Okt  9  2012
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  5129040 Okt 17  2012 vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-generic
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  5130968 Okt 17  2012 vmlinuz-3.5.0-17-generic.efi.signed
The directory grub contains all files related to grub/grub2. The directory efi is a mountpoint:
/dev/sda3 on /boot/efi type vfat (rw)
/dev/sda3         258048   48975    209073  19% /boot/efi
This partition is a partition, which was created from Windows 8 and contains the following:


Using Ubuntu on a Windows 8 Laptop: because of UEFI more problems as expected

Sun, 2013-04-21 14:19
Today i tried to install Ubuntu on a Windows 8 Laptop. First thing: you have to use 12.04 or greater because Windows 8 uses secure boot with UEFI.
But after the first boot with a USB-stick i got:
(initramfs) Unable to find a medium containing a live file system?? - If you ask google you get something like: Do not use a usb 3.0 port... Great... There is no usb 2.0 port on my device....
So just trying around with a usb 2.0 hub  - does not work
Looking inside BIOS i found XHCI:
And after that Ubuntu is installed without any problems... (hmm - that is not really true: resizing the Windows 8 partition could not be done via Ubuntu installer - but just do this in Windows 8 - this will work without any problems).
Ok - end of this posting? Unfortunately not, because Windows 8 does not boot anymore.
I think this is ok ;-)
Asking Google gives the following solution: Just use Boot-repair.
sudo bash
add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair
apt-get update
apt-get install boot-repair
And after that the grub menu looks like this:
But now rebooting works like expected (with Ubuntu and Windows 8).
[If you still have problems that booting ubuntu does not work on every startup, read here]

Using Virtualbox images with Hyper-V

Thu, 2013-03-21 15:39
In 2008 i wrote about using vmware images with virtualbox. To migrate a host from virutalbox to Hyper-V, you have to do nearly the same, but you have to convert the hdd:
C:\Users\schroff>"\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox\VBoxManage.exe" clonehd
"c:\Users\schroff\VirtualBox VMs\Debian64-DS\Debian64-DS.vdi"
"c:\Users\schroff\VirtualBox VMs\Debian64-DS-Hyper-V"\Debian-DS.vhd
-format vhd0%...10%...20%...30%...40%...50%...60%...70%...80%...90%...100%
Clone hard disk created in format 'vhd'. UUID: c42129a8-c145-4a50-908c-023c8ed2b711

      Hyper-V: Compile Linux Kernel with Microsoft device drivers

      Thu, 2013-03-21 14:41
      After knowing, that running a linux inside Hyper-V is only working with the "legacy" network adapter (look here), i was trying to build a kernel with the drivers (Microsoft has added the drivers into the Linux kernel versions >2.6.32).
      There is one nice tutorial out there:
      • IT FROM ALL ANGLES: Hyper-V Guests: Compile Linux Kernel 2.6.32 on Debian 
      But the menus of menuconfig have changed with kernel version 3.0. Microsofts Hyper-V kernel modules are no longer located inside the staging section. They can be found here:
      Device Drivers --> Network device support -->
      Device Drivers -->  Microsoft Hyper-V guest support -->
      Device Drivers --> HID Support --> Special HID Drivers -->

      All other steps work like described in IT FROM ALL ANGLES: Hyper-V Guests: Compile Linux Kernel 2.6.32 on Debian.
      Microsoft offers a ISO-image for installing the kernel modules for some special kernel version for this linux distributions:
      • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7, 5.8, 6.0-6.3 x86 and x64
      • CentOS 5.7, 5.8, 6.0-6.3 x86 and x64

      The ISO-image can be downloaded from this location.

      Note: If you try to build the kernel in you virtual machine, you need at least 6GB in /usr/src for compiling your kernel...

      Hyper-V: Installing a debian linux in a virtual machine - trouble with the (non legacy) network adapter

      Sun, 2013-03-17 15:03
      First try with a virtualization solution like Hyper-V is to install a guest. So let's try debian linux.
      The installer runs through this points:
      1. Name & path of the virtual machine
      2. RAM
      3. Network (how to configure a virtual switch with internet connectivity or how to configure internet connectivity with NAT)
        at this point you have to choose no connection (i will explain this later)
      4. Create a hdd
      5. The summary should look like this:
      Next step you have to open the configuration of this virtual machine. There you can see a network adapter with the following properties:
      Bandwith management? This sounds really good. There are two types of network adapters:

    1. A network adapter requires a virtual machine driver in order to work, but offers better performance. This driver is included with some newer versions of Windows. On all other supported operating systems, install integration services in the guest operating system to install the virtual machine driver. For instructions, see Install a Guest Operating System. For more information about which operating systems are supported and which of those require you to install integration services, see About Virtual Machines and Guest Operating Systems (
    2. A legacy network adapter works without installing a virtual machine driver. The legacy network adapter emulates a physical network adapter, multiport DEC 21140 10/100TX 100 MB. A legacy network adapter also supports network-based installations because it includes the ability to boot to the Pre-Execution Environment (PXE boot). However, the legacy network adapter is not supported in the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2003. 
    3. And now think about, for which type of network adapter the standard kernel has a kernel modul (or you can get sources for)... Right. Only the legacy adapter.
      So you have to delete the network adapter and add a legacy network adapter. After this step, your virtual machine should look like:
      The bandwidth management is gone, but your kernel can use the tulip module and your network is working... Here you have to choose a virtual switch, which you can create like described in these two postings:  how to configure a virtual switch with internet connectivity or how to configure internet connectivity with NAT.

      It is not really suprising, that Microsoft adds as default to each new virtual machine a network adapter, which only works on a few linux distributions. You can download drivers from microsoft via this page (scroll down to "integration services"). But to add the default each for every new virtual machine, so that you have to delete this one and add the "legacy" adapter.

      But after knowing this, it is no problem to install debian linux (or any other linux) onto your Hyper-V.

      Hyper-V: Howto configure NAT for virtual machines

      Sun, 2013-03-17 04:03
      In my last posting i explained how to configure a vEthernet adapter to get connectivity to the internet. But there was one "problem": You had to provide one seperate IP for each virtual host, you want to connect to the internet.
      But there is a solution (NAT) for this problem and it is easy to configure this with Hyper-V on Windows:
      [If you have not configured the "brigde"-solution i explained the last posting, then skip step 1 and start with step number 2]
      1. Unbridge your VSwitchExternal from Wifi
        (select both adapter in network adapters and do a right click an use "remove bridge")
      2. Create a new internal virtual switch via Hyper-V's virtual switch manager (look here, how to do this) and name it VSwitchNAT
      3. Edit properties of your Wifi adapter
        (right click and then properties)
      4. Open the tab "Sharing" and enable both Checkboxes.
        Choose "VSwitchNAT" for Home networking connection
      And after that your virtual machines are using a private subnet which will be NATted by your laptop. This private subnet can be configured via VSwitchNAT:
      • Edit properties of VSwitchNAT vEthernet adpater
      • Edit properties of ipv4 and here you can edit the subnet