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MS Office 365 (Click-to-Run): Remove unused applications 2015-08-16

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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Too many MS Office 365 appsIf you install Microsoft Office trough click-to-run you’ll end with the full suite installed. You can no longer select what application you want to install. That’s kind of OK because you pay for the complete suit. Or at least the organisation (school, work, etc.) offering the subscription does. But maybe you are like me and you dislike installing applications you don’t use. Or even more like me: you’re a Linux user with a Windows VM you boot once in a while out of necessity. And unused applications in a VM residing on your disk is *really* annoying.

The Microsoft documentation to remove the unused applications (Access as a DB? Yeah, right…) wasn’t very straightforward so I post what worked for me after the needed trial-and-error routines. This is a small howto:

    • Install the Office Deployment Toolkit (download). The installer asks for a installation location. I put it in C:\Users\<me>\OfficeDeployTool (<me> is my username, change accordingly).
    • Create a configuration.xml with the applications you want to delete. The file should reside in the directory you chose for the Office Deployment Tookit (e.g. C:\Users\<me>\OfficeDeployTool\configuration.xml) or you should refer to the file with its full path name. If you run the 64-bit Office version change¬†OfficeClientEdition="32" to¬†OfficeClientEdition="64".
      You can find the full list op AppIDs here. Add or remove ExcludeApps as desired. The content of the file in my case was like follows:
      <Add SourcePath="C:\Users\<me>\OfficeDeployTool" OfficeClientEdition="32">
      <Product ID="O365ProPlusRetail">
      <Property Name="FORCEAPPSHUTDOWN" Value="TRUE" />
      <Language ID="en-us" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Access" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Groove" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="InfoPath" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Lync" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="OneNote" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Outlook" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Project" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="Publisher" />
      <ExcludeApp ID="SharePointDesigner" />
      <Updates Enabled="TRUE"/>
      <Display Level="None" AcceptEULA="TRUE" />
      <!-- <Property Name="AUTOACTIVATE" Value="1" /> -->
    • Download the office components. Type in a cmd box:
      C:\Users\<me>\OfficeDeployTool>setup.exe /download configuration.xml
    • Remove the unwanted applications:
      C:\Users\<me>\OfficeDeployTool>setup.exe /configure configuration.xml
    • Delete (if you want) the Office Deployment Toolkit directory (that includes the downloaded office components)

Enjoy the space (if you are using a VM don’t forget to defragment and compact the Virtual Hard Disk to reclaim the space) and the faster updates.

Migrate a virtualbox VM to a bigger virtual disk 2012-03-18

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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When a virtual machine has limited use, you don’t want to loose too much space. Sometimes, however, you get the size wrong.

In my case, I have a minimal Windows VM on my Ubuntu laptop. Once in a while I test an upcoming Padre (The Perl IDE) release or update a crappy usb device with Windows-only support. Win-modems may be gone, but we still have GPS devices that run GNU/Linux but can only be connected to Windows. (I guess seeing your market-share shrink because of smart-phones is what they call bad karma, TomTom.)

Windows being Windows, adding disks is a terrible experience (what’s up with the alphabet as a mounting point?) and moving a Windows installation to a second disk is a nightmare. Luckily, free software gets the job done:

1. Make sure your guest machine is halted properly. This is specially important for a NTFS (virtual) partition of a Windows VM.

2. Download Ubuntu (It does not matter if you use the 32- or the 64-bit version, other GNU/Linux distribution will work as well). The screenshots are from a Ubuntu 11.10 setup.

3. In the specific VM-settings, add a new disk (to the same disk controller) and a new cdrom. Load the Ubuntu iso in the virtual cdrom drive.


4. Make sure the VM boots from the cdrom.


5. “Try” Ubuntu. Once Ubuntu is loaded, launch “gparted”.


6. Select the old disk (normally the first one, check the size).


7. Right on the disk representation and “copy” it.


8. Select the new disk from the combo-box on the upper right (check the size).

9. Go to “Device”, choose “Create Partition Table…”. Click “Apply” in the pop-up window.


10. Right on the disk representation and “paste” the original disk. Click “Apply” in the pop-up window.

11. Click on the green “Apply tick” on the icon menu to apply the changes. This will take some time. Get some coffee.


12. Right on the disk representation and select “Manage Flags”. Enable “boot”.

13. Shut down the Ubuntu Live cd.


14. Remove the original disk from the VM configuration (back it up first).


That’s it!

VirtualBox: Install Windows XP using pbx boot 2008-06-24

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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VirtualBox is a great product for a developer (or even a regular user) to run several OSes simultaneously. I run Linux on my laptop, but I need a Windows partition with certain software and updates to connect to the work network. A virtual machine is a fine solution. Specially when running in seamless mode (only the program is open in your Linux desktop and not the complete Windows desktop).

Installing Windows from cd on a VirtualBox instance is really easy. However, I need a *specific* windows installation that can only be installed from a Windows PXE server at work. Sadly, the virtualbox open source edition delivered with Ubuntu 8.10 is unable to do this. This is what I did: (more…)


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