[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu, BlackBerry PlayBook and Windows in VirtualBox

David King linuxman at avoura.com
Fri Jun 15 13:34:12 UTC 2012

I recently purchased a BlackBerry PlayBook. It's a great tablet, but it 
seems that RIM are not that Linux-friendly. Their OS is based on QNX, a 
Unix-type OS, so I thought they might at least have some Linux 

I can connect the PlayBook to Ubuntu via wifi, no problem, I can just 
enter smb:// (i.e. the PlayBook's IP address) and I can see 
all the files on there in Nautilus. I had enquired about this with RIM 
support and they could only tell me how to do it in Windows and Mac on 
their website, and suggested the Mac way for Linux. I suggested they add 
that it works for Linux too on their website, which they are considering.

But to do much more with the PlayBook, I have to connect it to a PC (or 
Mac) via the USB cable.

There does not seem to be any way to get this to work in Ubuntu, but if 
anyone knows how, let me know. The USB connection is necessary to do a 
system backup and for installing .bar files onto the PlayBook (apps 
converted from Android apk files).

I need to do it in Windows. So I used Windows in VirtualBox, connected 
the PlayBook via USB and Windows could see the PlayBook, but would not 
install the drivers. I contacted RIM tech support and they said the 
drivers are on the PlayBook and the Windows PC should automatically 
install the drivers. But in VirtualBox this is not working.

Any ideas how to overcome this problem? I have an old Windows XP disc 
somewhere. If I can find it, I can install it onto an old PC and try 
that, but until then the only way I am running Windows is via VirtualBox.

Anyone else had any experience with using the BlackBerry PlayBook?

David King

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