[sf-lug] Need help with VirtualBox on openSUSE and Feisty (or Gutsy)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Apr 6 12:07:25 PDT 2008

Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):

> The science teacher has been waiting for some time to do this video
> editing work, and needs to make his lesson plan.  If he can't get his
> lesson plan solidified soon, he is likely to disregard the Linux
> solutions, and conclude that it is not worth his time.

For the longer term, I have two key concepts you should consider:
"requirements analysis" and "system administration".  

"Requirements analysis":  Any Linux deployment -- or for that matter any
software project whatsoever -- needs to be planned with very detailed
specifications of everything the software must be capable of doing.  If
the project scope includes "must be able to run Adobe [foo]", then
planning for and construction of that project must fully address that
need -- and customer sign-off on completion should include acknowledging
that the desired functionality, along with all the other required bits
of functionality, have been delivered.  Customer should likewise
acknowledge in his/her signoff that no "Oops, I forgot to mention"
requirement have been accidentally left out.

(In fact, a smart consultant doesn't take the customer's word for the
latter point, but rather independently surveys the customer's computing 

Failure to do the above in a Linux deployment can cause rejection of the
entire deployment -- an outcome that is particularly likely if you're
foolish and/or generous enough to perform the work free of charge, which
always greatly increases the likelihood of the customer feeling zero
commitment to the fruits of your hard work.  Such rejections then form
an extremely unfortunate precedent, making it extremely likely that any
similar proposals will be rejected out of hand -- shooting not only
yourself but also anyone who comes after you in the foot.

"System administration":  Making sure you manage your kernels properly 
and setting up multiuser access in such a fashion that you don't
sabotage system security[1] are skills that are elements of system
administration, which is a profession -- though, certainly, you can
learn it the hard way, too.  Doing that job properly for a customer
deployment, so that the entire project doesn't go sideways for lack of
attention to the basics, is equally as important as is requirements
analysis, to avoid rejection and ruining the chances for any future 

It's nice that you are willing to do work for, I gather, no money.
Consider, however, the possibility that doing a questionable job for
free, for example, one without proper requirements analysis or security
setup, might not be doing your customers a favour.

[1] E.g., by introducing "generic accounts", and by installing critical
system software within a single user's home directory -- or in any other
tree owned by a user or by a "generic" user.

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