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Re: Installer: 32 vs. 64 bit

Paul Wise:
> On Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 1:32 PM Chris Knadle wrote:
>> A logical place to check or the lack of BIOS virtualization features and show an
>> error message for this would be within the .postinst script for the virtualbox
>> package in Debian.  This way when Virtualbox is installed the user installing it
>> can be warned that VT-x or AMD-V isn't active and give a hint as to how to fix
>> it.  Alternatively a /usr/share/doc/virtualbox/README.Debian file could contain
>> a warning about this for the user to read, which assumes the user knows to look
>> for that.  [I checked -- right now the virtualbox source package in Debian
>> contains neither AFAICT.]
> I think printing errors like this in the postinst is unlikely to
> attract the attention of users who such a warning might be targetted
> at.

Yes I'm also concerned about that; we (Debian Developers) have been discussing
that issue for a long time.  A Debconf prompt is probably better, but it's also
more invasive and those are meant to be avoided unless necessary.

And in this case the issue started with a Debian VM running in VirtualBox on a
Windows host.  *shrug*

> Even for the extra-technical ones who do read their apt logs
> judiciously (or have a script to do that for them), it also doesn't
> fix the situation when folks are running Debian VMs in VirtualBox
> running on other platforms.
> So probably the VirtualBox UI should be indicating the lack of
> VT-x/AMD-V and inducing users to reboot and turn that on in their boot
> firmware.

Looking at the code, I think this is already the case.

In the source package for VirtualBox in Sid I see text for warnings related to
this in translation files such as
src/VBox/Frontends/VirtualBox/nls/VirtualBox_eu.ts; however they don't appear in
src/VBox/Frontends/VirtualBox/nls/VirtualBox_en.ts.  The VirtualBox_en.ts and
qt_en.ts files are significantly shorter than other translations, but I think
that's due to the English translation being built-in.

   -- Chris

Chris Knadle

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