Aug. 30th, 2013

(The canonical location of this blog post is now Some Linux virtual machines on my web site.)

I run Linux. Sometimes it's helpful to use a different Linux distro installation than my main one. For example:

  • For building Lasercake, I test building on both 32- and 64-bit Debian installations with only the necessary packages installed. This helps test that Lasercake doesn't accidentally depend on one of the thousands of packages installed in my main system.

  • I had to use OpenModelica. It didn't work right on my main Linux system at the time[1]. It did work right in Debian Stable, so I used it there.

  • For running software that might be malicious (e.g. random programs off the Internet) or vulnerable (e.g. old browser versions I'm using to test websites), certain virtual-machine configurations can prevent that software from compromising my main account.

  • Familiarity with virtual machines is also helpful for servers and for deterministic builds.


Some methods I've used:
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