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  Date: Dec 03    Category: Unix / Linux / Ubuntu    Views: 345

A while back I posted that Im working with a local organization who is
tied Microsoft Access for a piece of software. We are progressing to the
point that I need to install other IT equipment which I would prefer to
use Ubuntu with. Ive noticed more people taking about virtualbox and
others lately so I wanted to ask those who have used it - If you run say
three different programs based on MS Access from some VM on your server,
and then run your internal mail and internal web hosting from the linux
side - that should be ok - right?



16 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered On: Dec 03    

I'm not sure what you mean by okay.

You may run into a problem with running a Windows VM for an organisation if
it is Windows VM because running Windows in a VM is technically not legal.
Individuals may be able to skirt the issue because they are not likely to be
prosecuted and test this in court. Organisations may not want to be put in
that position. Just a thought before we pursue this topic too far. We can
speak in hypothetical terms of course.

Answer #2    Answered On: Dec 03    

Ah.. I didnt know that. Good thing I asked.
So if I have 1 physical server I cant run ubuntu and then windows
virtually to run a windows app - legally. Shoot. Well - there goes my
ideas :D

Im trying my best to be able to help this company without going all MS
just because they are going to have troubles with a MS environment like
they are now.

Answer #3    Answered On: Dec 03    

Millions of people run Microsoft environments without problems. What are they
doing that's causing the problems?

Answer #4    Answered On: Dec 03    

They are a small not for profit without a IT person and cant do what
they want without help. I can help from a far -safely- with ubuntu and I
think long term it would be better for them.

Answer #5    Answered On: Dec 03    

Your motives are good. There may be other solutions. MS Access is not the
only relational database. It all depends on the level that they need. There
is Kexi which is part of KOffice that is billed as MS Access for Linux. It
is even mentioned in Wikipedia in ths context. There is also OpenOffice
Base. And then there is MySQL which is very big and powerful. Even Microsoft
uses it or so I have heard.

As for the VM hypothetical issue, if they have a licensed copy of Windows
then it is not likely that MS would litigate a paying customer. It sounds
insane to think that they would. If things were done on the QT then it need
not be a limitation. However, if the organisation in question is a church or
some other ethical body then it should be strict in the interpretation, IMO,
as they want to be beyond reproach.

MS is making it difficult for their own reasons. It is not just about
selling Windows, but in controlling how it is used. VMs can be cloned and
moved around and MS wants it on a physical machine to prevent this, sort of
like DRM. They may be cutting off their nose to spite their face. Now that
XP is defunct from a sales point of view they could be giving new life to it
and making old machines work beyond their normal lifespan. However, that is
not the game plan. MS wants to sell new copies of Windows 7 and sell new
computers with it on it. It is an obvious case of putting their interest
ahead of the user.

I would look into Kexi, Base and MySQL first. You can also run MS Access
with Wine or Crossover Office I believe.


Answer #6    Answered On: Dec 03    

They use several applications that are built on Access so they are tied
to them.

We do have license copies of Windows.

Ill take a look at Crossover. I had troubles with Wine in the past -
thought that doesnt mean I wont try again.

Answer #7    Answered On: Dec 03    

Microsoft seems to think everyone has tons of money to burn - that is the sole
reason I found out about Free Ubuntu Linux because I cannot afford to get
Windows 7 and a new faster and better graphical computer -- that would be
thousands of dollars and then what -- a few years down the road they say you
have to buy another computer to use their next version because Windows 7 is
expiring -- it is crazy!!! I can now see why Apple makes fun of them in their
commercials. MAC vs. Windows etc....

Answer #8    Answered On: Dec 03    

it's one of the big reasons I came to Linux. MS is of
course a profit making corporation and they deserve to be compensated for
developing and popularizing Windows which now dominates the operating system
world. But maybe they have lost their enthusiasm for "creating great
software" as Bill Gates used to put it, and are now concentrating too
exclusively on the almighty dollar. The software licence which you are
forced to assent to gives the company all the rights and severely limits
what the user can do with the software which it turns out s/he is really
only renting.

So I find the philosophy, innovation and professionalism which come with
Linux, especially Ubuntu, both refreshing and liberating. Frustrations there
are, but in many ways Windows is even worse, in my humble opinion, and I
taught Windows for many years.

Answer #9    Answered On: Dec 03    

Bill Gates may have said they "create great software" but that has
always been a sales pitch. I used to use MS products because I didn't
know any better. I thought XP was a great OS until I use it today, or
fix someone's computer that won't change there computing habits.

Now that I have used a truly great product, I can't believe how well MS
had the wool over my eyes.

Maybe if you had an idea and talked to those fine people at MS you could
claim some space on there ads that claim you are a piece of machinery.
You may be able to have the world laugh at you the way they laugh at MS
and it's actors on those ads.

The main reason I am a convert is quality. Quality is something MS has
never exhibited to the public from their DOS days. If you can't deal
with blue screens, lack of security, poor support, poor documentation,
and licensing designed to limit the competition as much as they can by
legal means, rather than a quality effort. It is time to learn the OS
that has no competition, /Linux.

/You may wonder about the No competition, so I will explain my view.
Downloads are numbers that don't define users. My one download has
multiplied several times over in the number of copies I have made and
installed. Because I teach the recipients of the copies I make, how to
use Ubuntu, I have yet to find them on this or any other list asking for
help. They know of these lists because I have told them about finding
support, and this group is the first one I mention to them. To be
honest numbers are only important to those that measure success by the
market share they sell to, and Ubuntu is not sold. Support for Linux is
growing, I believe, because the number of users that are making it known
to companies like Delorme, if they don't support Linux in the future,
they won't sell another copy of their product to them.

I don't see a use for VM myself, because I will only support the
companies that choose to support Linux. I don't care if they keep rights
to their developments they have spent man hours on. I will buy a
program ported to Linux, but won't buy in the future from a company that
fails to port to, and support their product on Linux, or fails to offer
support for their hardware on the Linux platform. If I want a piece of
hardware I first look on the box for Linux support. If it is a must have
in my book and the box fails to mention Linux, I go to their website to
find support. No support, No sale! I am through with Microsoft.

Answer #10    Answered On: Dec 03    

Folks like to keep things simple. They want someone to trust. Microsoft has
never had to earn their trust. They get it by default because Windows comes
with the computer and works well in the beginning. However, things quickly
fall apart and users are left to their own devices. People forget this part
and remember only that Windows was easy to use because it felt comfortable
and familiar. They cut MS and Windows a lot of slack which they are not
prepared to extend to Linux.

I have had people tell me that Windows is easier to install. They forget
that it takes longer, does not come with any programmes and you need to feed
it driver disks for a long time to get it up and running then you need to
re-boot after every update. I once counted the time difference and mouse
clicks and you would not believe the difference. The problem is that Windows
users are so used to clicking through EULAs that they no longer register
this as a step. They are so used to scrambling around for driver disks that
this becomes a norm. When they don't have to do it Linux they think that
Linux is inferior because it has not installed the driver. Most of the time
the driver is installed but not activated or set up properly.

When there is no sound they blame Linux. In most cases it is usually just
muted. When the wireless does not work they have not set up their wireless
network with security etc. They say that it just worked in Windows. No you
need to set it up the first time there too. They forget.

Linux is NOT Windows. I hate to think of the number of times that I have
written that. People would not expect that OS/X would be like Windows, but
they expect it of Linux for some perverse reason that I cannot figure out.
They expect that their Windows programmes will not work in a Mac, yet expect
it of Linux. Sometimes I think that we try to do too much and in so doing we
are fuelling this desire for Windows. That is why I gave up on Wine and
seldom even use my Windows VM. By giving Wine and VMs solutions to new users
we are doing nothing for them but making them dependent on Windows. I prefer
a clean break or even a dual boot. Keep them separate and never the twain
shall meet is my current thinking.

Answer #11    Answered On: Dec 03    

Running windows in a VM don't you have to have the windows
license for the copy? If you have the license how would it be illegal,
or are we talking pirated copy type thing.

Answer #12    Answered On: Dec 03    

The Microsoft XP license says expressly that it must be run on a physical
machine with a core processor and prohibits use in a VM. They changed this
is 2008 when Microsoft allowed its* server* editions to be installed on VMs.
So anything before 2008 is not allowed and anything since must be a server
edition for this purpose, ie. expensive. See:

Microsoft has had its own virtualisation but it has not been adopted so they
have resisted the efforts of VMware and others to loosen up. Some companies
have taken the position that it can be installed in a VM provided you keep
it there for 90 days and don't move or transfer it. Moving a Windows VM to
another machine is considered a transfer of license by Microsoft and it is
subject to their restrictions. This of course only applies to their server
products such as NT and not desktop products like XP.

We are technically in violation of the license if we use XP in a VM.
Everybody does it and it has not been tested before the courts. Going to
court with MS would bankrupt anybody but the largest companies. There are
lots of Windows licenses around. I personally have paid for several and
thrown them out over the years. Using them in VMs would be handy for those
needing Windows compatibility. It is not something we should advertise if we
do it. However, if you have an NT license then you are in luck. I don't.

Answer #13    Answered On: Dec 03    

We just received new XP licenses for the computers so.. they arent in
that new legal crap :D

So if I have a NT 4.0 license server I can do it but I cant if I have a
XP desktop license?

Answer #14    Answered On: Dec 03    

I believe you can use your NT license provided that you keep the VM in place
and don't transfer it before 90 days to another machine. I don't know how
you plan on using it and I am not a legal expert. I am just going by what I
have read and what I have seen elsewhere. It might be one of those cases
where you need to actually read the license and even then it might be hard
to fathom. I only know that this is a significant issue and that VMware went
to bat on behalf of users and MS resisted. I know that Windows 7 has
Virtualisation if you pay for the right license. I also know that MS wants
to sell as many of those licenses as they can and aren't interested in
getting older versions to work for you.

Answer #15    Answered On: Dec 03    

Actually, it is completely *legal* to run Windows in a VM, the police will never
come after you for doing it.

It might not be allowed under Microsoft's license agreement, which might be a
contract between you and Microsoft -- or maybe not.

There was a time when I followed this issue closely, but I haven't heard
anything about it for years. The last time I heard something, the courts were
not impressed by clauses such as, "by opening this box, you are agreeing to the
following conditions," or the requirement to click "I agree" in order to use
something you paid for.

Answer #16    Answered On: Dec 03    

I agree with your point for individuals and said as much. I posted this
because he was working on behalf of an organisation and trying to save them
money. Having your organisation mixed up in a litigation battle with
Microsoft is not saving money and there may be ethics involved, depending on
the organisation. A church would have to have higher standards and
scrupulously follow the letter of the law at least for outward appearances
for example.

In the end the user must decide what works for them. As open source users we
don't have to deal with this issue, but many Windows users face moral
dilemmas all of the time and companies encourage piracy with their pricing
policies which factor in piracy to their costs and at the same time put the
product out of reach for ordinary users. In Canada where I live it even goes
beyond this. It is legal to pirate because companies pushed for and got a
levy on all unrecordable media from CDs to usb keys. In effect users
are subsidizing companies for piracy and therefore free to pirate. This has
been tested in court where the courts have said that the industry can't have
it both ways. This has given the perception by the industry that Canada is a
haven for pirates. But it is really no worse than elsewhere. Most people
recognise that piracy is wrong and don't do it even though they are
compensating industry for their losses with each purchase. I find that
objectionable that I am paying for potential crime by others, but can't do
anything about it.

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