iTunes on Ubuntu and all its official variants

Israel israeldahl at gmail.com
Sat Dec 14 13:59:55 UTC 2013


This reply was posted on Ubuntu Forums, so I thought I'd post it here
for all of you:

Hello all,

Let me just start this response off by saying that I'm brand new to the StartUbuntu initiative, but I support it wholeheartedly.  I've already converted my wife's Dell Inspiron laptop to Lubuntu (after converting all of my machines in the past year) and am hoping that with the short remaining life of XP I can branch out to other family and friends.  

It is of course critical to do this wisely and "the right way" - making sure that we don't leave anyone out to dry with features and/or functionality missing and a sour taste in their mouths about the Linux community.  We have enough of a reputation already of being inaccessible and too complicated for the everyday user.

In response to the original post, I'm happy to share that I've been successfully running Windows 8 as a VM within my Debian Wheezy machine. The initial reason for me to make this setup work was that I own a Canon multifunction printer/scanner (USB - not a network device), and anyone that's tried to make Canon devices work in Linux knows that it's anything but a straight shot. It proved to be a much more feasible task to run my Windows 8 installation (which I had purchased as an upgrade to the Windows 7 that shipped on my PC) as a VM and use the printing/scanning functionality provided with the Canon/Windows software.

The easiest software for this is Oracle VirtualBox, hands down.  Not only is it free for personal use, but the GUI interface has full functionality making setup and configuration a breeze. It also allows for USB device redirection, which for me meant my printer could communicate directly with the running Windows VM, and for and Apple fan, their iPod/Pad/Phone can connect directly to the iTunes software running in Windows. I've tested and used iTunes successfully with my wife's iPod, so I can vouch for that as well.

There are of course a few considerations before jumping on board the VM route. Even though my ~2004 IBM Thinkpad with a single core 1.5GHz CPU and 2GB RAM can run Windows XP on top of Debian Wheezy, it's still a bit of a stretch. I would not be able to pull it off with much less RAM. VirtualBox requires you to dedicate an adequate portion of the host memory to the guest machine, so if you're working with a PC that only has 1GB or less of physical RAM, it might not be the most feasible option. Dual (or more) core processors definitely improve the performance of a VM, but aren't necessary as long as the host OS (whatever Linux variant) is not too background process heavy. If the machine in question doesn't have the hardware to pull of a VM, the best option is dual booting - leaving a partition with Windows intact solely for the use of the Windows-only software. Of course if you can convince a friend/neighbor that their PC will be useful for longer than they imagined, it might not be ha
 rd to convince them to upgrade their RAM so as to allow for a VM.

I've given this topic a lot of thought and experimentation, so I'd be happy to contribute some more detailed info on how I pulled off the VM scenario, as well as some more "fun" directions this project can go - like how to run an already installed/configured Windows partition as a VM, or set up the Windows VM to logon with a shell using only the necessary application).

This is a super important piece of the puzzle when it comes to making Linux usable right now. I certainly wish we could abandon Windows altogether, but the reality is that many things are simply "made to work" with Windows and almost nothing is "made to work" with Linux.

-Tim


On 12/13/2013 06:33 PM, Andre Rodovalho wrote:
> The VM solution will work... I have already used a Vbox to flash and
> root an Android device... But for that, you need to set "optional"
> extention to have USB 2.0
>
> AFAIK VM is completely transparent, so, you will be able to run
> everything, if the "hardware" the VM offer is enough...
>
>
> 2013/12/13 Israel <israeldahl at gmail.com <mailto:israeldahl at gmail.com>>
>
>     How do you get newer devices to work with Banshee?  Or ones that
>     have never been 'activated' by iTunes.  That is a rather big
>     issue.  Setting the Firewire GUID doesn't seem to help, either.  I
>     have also heard that the current version of Rhythmbox works as
>     well, but I have never had success with any of these on a
>     non-activated device.  If they have been previously activated
>     (connected to iTunes) there shouldn't be a problem.
>
>
>     On 12/13/2013 01:50 PM, Britt Dodd wrote:
>>     Congratulations on trying to convert the neighborhood over to
>>     Linux. Thumbs up!
>>
>>     The two that I know of are Banshee (excellent GUI) and Amarok.
>>     I've personally used Banshee, and its integration with iPods and
>>     Apple products are pretty seamless. There was an issue back in
>>     2007 when the iPod media list hashing algorithm changed and the
>>     list would wipe out if incorrect. That was fixed a couple of
>>     months after.
>>
>>     Banshee works well, amarok also works well but Banshee is more
>>     visually appealing.
>>
>>
>>     On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:49 PM, Britt Dodd
>>     <brittman914 at gmail.com <mailto:brittman914 at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>         Congratulations on trying to convert the neighborhood over to
>>         Linux. Thumbs up!
>>
>>         The two that I know of are Banshee (excellent GUI) and
>>         Amarok. I've personally used Banshee, and its integration
>>         with iPods and Apple products are pretty seamless. There was
>>         an issue back in 2007 when the iPod media list hashing
>>         algorithm changed and the list would wipe out if incorrect.
>>         That was fixed a couple of months after.
>>
>>         Banshee works well, amarok also works well but Banshee is
>>         more visually appealing.
>>
>>
>>         On Fri, Dec 13, 2013 at 2:27 PM, Ali Linx (amjjawad)
>>         <amjjawad at gmail.com <mailto:amjjawad at gmail.com>> wrote:
>>
>>             Hi,
>>
>>             Kindly have a read at:
>>             http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2193567
>>
>>             Thoughts?
>>
>>             Thank you!
>>
>>             -- 
>>             Remember: "All of us are smarter than any one of us."
>>             Best Regards,
>>             amjjawad <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad>
>>             Areas of Involvement
>>             <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad/AreasOfInvolvement>
>>             My Projects <https://wiki.ubuntu.com/amjjawad/Projects>
>>
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>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
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