Friday, 30 October 2009

Running the MySource Mini VM with VirtualBox

If you don't have access to VMWare player to give the MySource Mini virtual machine image a try, you can use the free VirtualBox player instead. VirtualBox has the ability to use the HDD image from VMWare without the need to have VMWare installed. You do need to set a couple of options though, which I'll run you through.

The first thing you need to do is download VirtualBox. Make sure you have the latest version (I'm using 3.0.10) as I've read that older versions may not have all the options we need.

Now you want to create a new virtual machine. Give it a name (MySource Mini is fine) and it will ask you what type of OS it is. You want to pick Linux, Debian (64 bit).

You'll need to pick how much memory you want to give it. I gave mine 512MB but it doesn't really matter as you can change this later.

The next bit is the virtual hard disk. You want to use an existing hard disk. Click the icon to launch the Virtual Media Manager. Click Add and then locate the MySource Mini folder that was extracted from the MySource Mini download. Select the file MySource Mini.vmdk and then use this as hard disk for your VM.

Now you can finish creating your VM. It will appear in the VM list once it has been created, but you need to configure a few more things before you can start it up.

Select the VM and click Settings. Go to System and make sure Enable IO APIC is selected.

Now go to Storage, select Enable Additional Controller and make sure SATA (AHCI) is selected from the drop-down. In the Attachments section at the bottom, click IDE Primiary Master and select SATA Port 0 instead.

You may need to fiddle with your Network settings as well. I had to use Bridged networking for some reason, but I haven't looked into why NAT was not working for me.

If everything works, your VM will boot and entering ifconfig eth0 should show you a valid IP address you can connect to. Now you can follow the VM Quick Start guide and have your MySource Mini system up and running in a few minutes.

MySource Mini now free to download

The big news (for me) at the MySource Matrix International User Conference (MMIUC) this year was that MySource Mini can now be downloaded for free as a virtual machine image. You'll need VMWare player to run the image, but you are also free to convert it to another format if you want.

In addition, Squiz showed its commitment to open source by announcing that MySource Mini will be released under the GPL and will have a public SVN repository. We're in the process of getting this ready and we'll have it done in a couple of weeks.

Sticking with our goal of keeping everything about MySource Mini simple, the virtual machine is easy to install and you can subscribe to the automatic up-to-date system to have it upgrade itself. A personal subscription is only $250 a year and when you take a look what has been added in just 6 months, it's great value.

I showed a demonstration at the MMIUC of the new features added since the MySource Mini launch in April this year. The main features I showed were:
- multi-site support
- embedded videos and automatic conversion to FLV files
- embedded and lightbox-style image galleries
- track changes functionality built right into the inline WYSIWYG editor
- improvements to the help system for new users
- an integrated bug-tracker based on Bugzilla

I've been saying how good MySource Mini is for a while and how its powerful functionality is made simple through great user interfaces. But now you don't have to take my word for it. Grab the VM and have a play around yourself.

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