Notice: This post may damage sensitive ears. At points it may be vulgar.
Notice: If you want to get to just the Linux parts, scroll down to the “Patience and Linux Saves The Day” headline.
The Beginning of Horror
First a few positives for Windows 10. It runs a Bash system thingy on it now, that’s pretty cool. It loads much faster than Windows 7 (and Vista, LULz). It still plays and supports basically all the games first. It has active tiles, but I guess that’s an arguable positive.
Alright, nothing like multi-OS environments so you can prepare for the maximum number of issues that might come up. My recent issue is re-opening some virtual machines, originally created on Windows 10, and now with intent to use them on Linux. When trying to open these existing virtual machines I’ve gotten the following error:
Kernel driver not installed (rc=-1908)
The VirtualBox Linux kernel driver (vboxdrv) is either not loaded or there is a permission problem with /dev/vboxdrv. Please reinstall the kernel module by executing
where: sublibOsInit what: 3 VERR_VM_DRIVER_NOT_INSTALLED (-1908) – The support driver is not installed. On linux, open returned ENOENT.
Upon researching I found this could occur on multiple operating systems really, and have included the fixes for the various platforms. First however, let’s talk about the Linux fix.
For this particular situation I tried the command given in the dialog modprobe vboxdrv to see if that would fix it. But no go. I got some additional errors that seemed nonsensical.
At this point I dug into the search engine. The first post I found seemed to make sense. I tried the commands.
The results pointed out that my install of Virtual Box, done via the Ubuntu App Store, was version 5.2.8. This is clearly not going to work out well because the latest version is 6.0.4 right now. Next I uninstalled this old version via the Ubuntu App Store Application.
Next I navigated back out the Virtual Box Download page. There I downloaded the latest version and installed it via the downloadable Ubuntu *.deb file.
This installs Virtual Box through the Ubuntu App Store application but sets up the more up to date repository to get the installation from.
Ok, so all this at this point I ran VirtualBox after the installation, it installed according to the standard directories this time but still didn’t work. What the hell, I’ve no idea. I did another search and found Øyvind Stegard’s blog entry on fixing the “VirtualBox + Secure Boot = Fail“. He states at the start of the blog entry,
“The problem is the requirement that all kernel modules must be signed by a key trusted by the UEFI system, otherwise loading will fail. Ubuntu does not sign the third party vbox* kernel modules, but rather gives the user the option to disable Secure Boot upon installation of the virtualbox package.”
Stegard then adds two very important links with pertinent information about this issue, I’ve reposted here too:
Now VirtualBox started up just fine. Finally. Ugh! But hey, in the process I now understand a little bit more about secure boot, current BIOS’s, and related hardware concerns. Not that I had set out or wanted to deal with this right now, but boom, it’s done!
Alright, but if you fall into this with MacOS, it’s a slightly different story. Here’s some fixes around that.
I mentioned, since I’d run into this problem, a while back in my post “Oh, exFAT Doesn’t Work on Linux” which then includes a fix. Here’s a slightly more updated fix for the same and another fix for mounting just the Windows 10 partition if you have a Windows 10 System Drive (i.e. the drive with the OS on it). First, the exFAT install can simply be done with the following, no need to go get it with git via a clone.
The other trick is to get a Windows 10 System Drive mounted. To do that, open up the disks application and click the gears on the drive. Then make the following settings by clicking off for “User Session Defaults”. Then you can set “Mount at system startup” and add “remove_hiberfile” to the end of the command parameters as shown. Now the drive can be mounted, just click the mount button and you should be set.
At this point, I’d say do not buy a Dell XPS 15 unless you are only going to use Windows 10 apps and such on the machine. Linux runs like garbage on the machine. The generic drivers that allow one to sort of load Linux onto the machine work mediocre at best, with lot’s of crashes, kernel panics, and related wrecks within seconds and minutes (if you get that far) after starting the machine with Linux. So that the situation there.
Docker, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox Conflict
As I’ve used Windows 10 I keep hitting hard roadblocks on getting things done. After years of MacOS and Linux usage it’s kind of an ongoing, slow motion, insulting train wreck how monopolistic a lot of their applications are still built to run. For example, the latest application that I’ve tried to use that is effectively disabled is Virtual Box. Upon further research I realized I can’t used Virtual Box if I have Hyper-V installed. But that means if I want to use the latest and greatest Docker software then I either have to enable Hyper-V and use Docker or disable Docker and Hyper-V and use Virtual Box. Which means I could go back a version or two of this and that and use Docker-machine with Virtual Box, but, seriously, that’s ridiculous.
The way, from what I understand so far, is that they’ve built the operation of Hyper-V to work on Windows 10 in a way that it effectively prevents Virtual Box, and I suppose VMWare, from actually operating. So one has to go and disable Hyper-V in order to be able to run Virtual Box.
Enabling / Disabling VirtualBox and Hyper-V
Ok, here’s one way to do this with Powershell. Open up Powershell with the “Run As Administrator” option. You’ll have to do that by clicking the start menu (or whatever it’s called these days) and typing “power” which brings up the Powershell application icon. Right click on it and select “Run as Administrator”.
# Remember, all of these commands need executed via Powershell that is started/opened with "Run As Administrator".
Here’s the dialog where one can disable Hyper-V to run VirtualBox too. One this is run, or disabled, Windows 10 will likely want you to restart your computer. You’ll actually need to do this too, because VirtualBox will still die out without a clean OS launch for the base underlying operating system.
Once the restart is complete however, VirtualBox should start up and run virtual machines just fine. Emphasis as usual for Windows on the keyword of should.
Virtual Machine SITREP Resolved Poorly
At this point I’m moderately ok with this solution. It just means that I need to re-create all of my images in Hyper-V and nuke VirtualBox though. I’m really indifferent on which one I need to use, but would have liked to have RTFM’ed the docs before so I had realized upgrading to Windows 10 and using Hyper-V for Docker would kill off my VirtualBox images that I’ve been using for months. Oh well, onward!
The other thing that I find horrifying about this though, is as I’ve learned why and how Hyper-V disabled VirtualBox from running side by side, it seems like 90’s era monopolistic Microsoft building something in a way that disables competition. Ok, so I know it isn’t really because of that, but it’s close enough that it just seem dirty, nasty, and all around kind of disingenuous on Microsoft’s part. Especially considering they neglected Hyper-V for so many years and of course now are all like, “hey, Hyper-V is the way the future, nobody uses it outside of the Windows camp, but it’s the way of the future so bow down and use it Windows users!!” But whatever, I’m at least back in business to get some things done and get some development images put together in Hyper-V.
Hyper-V plus Docker for Windows 10
At this point, since Linux has such poor support on the Dell XPS 15 I’m just sticking with Windows 10 and going the Hyper-V + Docker + Virtual Machines path for what I’m working on. More on this soon, and I’ll be mentioning various things on Twitch soon too. When I get back around to getting the Linux + XPS 15 situation sorted out and tried out again I’ll be sure to blog that too!
In 1979 Unix v7 started being distributed with the original Bourne Shell. Simply, it’s a program that sits at /bin/sh and runs in the terminal. You may ask, “what’s the difference between a shell and the terminal?” Let’s cover that right now, because it’s something that routinely isn’t common knowledge, but it really ought to be as it sets the basis for understanding a lot of what is going on in Unix based systems (that includes almost every practical system on a PC, Server, in the cloud, on your phones, and more. Probably easiest to explain it simply as everything that isn’t the Microsoft Windows OS)
A Shell and the Terminal
Terminal – A terminal is the text input and output environment on the system.
Shell – This is the command line interpreter that is run at the terminal.
Another point of context, is that a terminal, shell, and the word console are all used in various ways and sometimes interchangeably. However, these words do not mean the same thing at all. They are distinct individual parts of the system. For example, console, which is used in a strangely disingenuous way all over Microsoft phrasing, is the physical terminal of the system, which is where the system terminal, i.e. the thing I’ve described above, actually runs in so that we can type and interface with it as humans.
Albeit, as English does, these definitions aren’t always taken as the exact, appropriate, and pedantically correct definitions today. For example, many at Microsoft argue that the console is just the terminal, that the terminal is the console. Sure, ok, that’s fine I can still follow along in the conversation, and this adds context, for when someone steps out of line and uses the more historically specific definition in context of a conversation.
Alright, that’s all groovy, so now we can get back to just talking about the shell, all the power it gives the Unix/Linux/POSIX System user, and touch on the terminal or console as we need to with full context of what these things actually are!
Alright, with that little bit of context around Bourne Shell, let’s talk about what we’ve actually got today running as our shell in our terminal on our console on the computers we work with! The Bourne Shell, years later had a replacement written for it by Brian Fox. He released it in 1989 and over the years it became a kind of defacto replacement of Bourne Shell. The term ‘BASH’ stands for Bourne Again SHell.
The Bash command syntax is a superset of the Bourne Shell syntax. It provides a wide range of commands that includes ideas drawn from the Korn shell (ksh) and the C shell (csh) such as command line editing, command history, the directory stack, the $RANDOM and $PPID variables, and POSIX command substitution syntax. If many of those things make you think, “WTF are these variables and such?” have no worries, I’ll get to em’ soon enough in this series!
But with that, this is the beginning of many short entries on tips, tricks, tutorials, syntax, history, and context of bash so until next time, cheers!