ubuntu 13.10 + windows 8.1 + vmware player 6.0.1 = success

Ubuntu Gnome (Gnome 3 + Ubuntu 13.10)
Last night my copy of VMware Player 6 automatically updated itself to version 6.0.1. In the process the VMware Tools that are installed on the various virtual machines were also updated, in particular those for the latest Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 13.10.

Under VMware Player 6 the shared directory kernel module failed to compile. Under 6.0.1 the module successfully compiled, installed, and executed, allowing my Share directory on the Windows 8.1 host side to be seen. And of course, as I reported earlier after repairing the version 6 installation, networking out of the VM into the outside world is working just fine.
Gnome 3 showing some of its hidden capabilities
As the picture captions note, this is Ubuntu Gnome, a distribution built up from Gnome 3.8 and Ubuntu 13.10. This combination has resulted in a stable and pleasant distribution. I find it somewhat amusing that two of the more controversial desktops (Gnome 3 and Unity) are now the most polished of the desktops out there. In my earlier Ubuntu 13.10 post I called it a "stellar release." Gnome Ubuntu is equally "stellar."

I'm not "dissing" the earlier community "responses" to these two desktops, such as Linux Mint. I'm just saying that both of these are now top-notch quality distributions with equally good desktops. Combined with Linux Mint and Cinnamon, they come together as an informal trinity, if you will, of alternative operating systems. I haven't seen Linux this good in a long, long time.
Gnome 3 showing some of its desktop effects
There is still one minor issue with shared directories, and I've tested this with both Gnome Ubuntu and straight-up Ubuntu. The VMware shared directory does not automount on startup. The workaround is to simply type 'sudo mount /mnt/hgfs' at the command prompt and it will mount. I suppose I could add an entry to /etc/fstab (or whatever passes for that in Ubuntu these days), but most of the time I just suspend the VM on the Windows desktop rather than shut the VM down. It makes it easier to start it back up later, especially if I've got editors and files open under Linux.

If you're wondering why I bother, the answers are fairly simple:
  1. I still like Linux for the kind of work I do.
  2. Virtualization removes nearly all issues, especially the issue "Linux won't run [whatever]". I can either run Linux in a VM on Windows, or run Windows in a VM on Linux. I've done both, and it's irrelevant to argue which is superior.
  3. At some point in the very near future I am switching over to a full Linux stack on a new notebook. It will run side-by-side my current Samsung. Paranoia is driving me in this direction. I'm slowly unwinding my positions on the web, dropping accounts (such as my dropping Facebook) and hardening what I have left with strong encryption that hasn't been compromised/back-doored by the NSA.
I would have moved to one of the BSD derivatives (Free and Open come to my mind), but my experiences with the latest FreeBSD distributions (9.2) has been less than satisfactory. The BSD elitists may turn their noses up at Linux, in much the same way the Linux elitists turn their noses up at just about everything else, but if I had to make a choice between just two operating systems, Linux and BSD, I'd choose Linux every time.

P.S. No, I will never buy a system with, or run, Google's Chrome OS.


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