Thursday, December 22, 2011

Help needed for Debian and Ubuntu

If you read any of my previous blog entries, you must be now familiar with this 'express installation' concept we have in Boxes. Its pretty neat actually, you just set a few options at the beginning and then you can leave Boxes (or your machine) and when you are back, everything is setup for you automatically in a new box.

I have invested a lot of time/efforts on this already and will be spending a lot more time in future as well but I am just one man so can not possibly cover all operating systems out there. That is why I am asking for help from anyone who will be interested in adding express installation support for Ubuntu and Debian while I focus on Fedora and Windows variants. Oh and if you are interested in adding support for some other distribution/OS, that contribution will also be more than welcomed.

In any case, happy hacking!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Another awesome release of Boxes

Yesterday we rolled out the second release of Boxes for upcoming GNOME 3.3.3. There are many fixes/improvements in this release to list them all here but the most significant ones in my opinion are:

  • A nicer UI for deletion of Boxes designed for protecting the user from accidental deletion of boxes. Here is a video demo of it in action.
  • Special handling of 'live' and unknown media: Quick launch of a temporary box for it, which is made permanent automatically (only) if anything is installed on the box by the media. Here is a video demo of this behaviour in action.
  • Express installation for Windows XP now works, thanks to important clues provided by Lucas Meneghel Rodrigues. Don't believe me? I have video footage that proves it.
  • UI for setting user and administrator password and in case of older Windows, ability to set product key as part preparation for express installation. Please check out the videos above for demo of this feature in action.
Apart from changes in Boxes itself, there were some note-worthy changes in our dependencies that helps us directly.
  • Christophe Fergeau added a big bunch of new APIs to libvirt-glib (libvirt-gconfig to be precise) for dealing with libvirt's configuration XML. Now Boxes uses that instead of manually writing/editing XML strings.
  • A Google Code-In participant, Mateusz Kaplon added a lot of data about various different operating systems to libosinfo. For Boxes that means more complete and reliable detection and default resource allocation for various operating systems.

For a detailed list of changes in Boxes 3.3.3, please refer to the release notes.