post music: feint - do better
Been a while, innit?
I recently began the transition from a mostly Windows-centric workflow to a mostly Linux-centric workflow (with a side of Windows to keep the stream game alive). This transition was on my project list for a very long time, but I haven't been able to actually commit to it because of a reliance on some Windows-exclusive software-- most notable of which being FxSound Enhancer. That was alleviated with the discovery of qpaeq.
That's not what this is about. This is about integrating some of the guaranteed Windows-only applications into my Linux workflow-- software like Microsoft Office and the full fat Visual Studio. What would be the best way to unify the two platforms seamlessly?
The naive answer would be "wine 4head", and while, yes, Wine has come a long way in terms of software compatibility, most noteably in its use in gaming, but it's not quite what I'm looking for, especially considering I'm bringing my old Windows stuff in as much as possible. So I thought "well what if I just virtualised it?"
So I virtualised it. I installed KVM on my install of Debian, pointed it at my Windows install, and proceeded to break my activation for all eternity. Now I have a Windows installation inside of my Linux desktop. But you know that I know that this isn't "ultimate unity". If we want to achieve "ultimate unity", we gotta get rid of the desktop, leaving only the applications. I've got a few ways to approach this:
First thing I tried was RemoteApp. RemoteApp is an extension of Remote Desktop that presents an application in a seamless manner. This would have been the best option.... if it worked. Yep, it doesn't work. It almost works, but using the only freely available solution in freerdp causes a RemoteApp session to almost connect, but right as it presents the application, it dies with a "Closed by X11" error. This is apparently a fairly-known issue, but as far as I know there isn't a solution or a workaround for it, so for now, RemoteApp is out. I may revisit this as a newer version of FreeRDP is available, but it's in backports, so this may not work as intended.
Next thing I tried were looking in to VNC-oriented solutions. I found one in MetaVNC, but it hasn't been updated since 2007 (or 2013, depending on how you look at it), and I fear greatly that it won't be compatible with my modern setup.
I then found Winflector, which perfectly matched what I wanted. Except there are a few issues with graphical artifacting and a weird session limit quirk with the free version. But, it actually works, and-- spoiler alert-- it's what I settled on in the end.
Last thing I tried was VirtualBox. Now, you're thinking right now "noo stop you can't run virtualbox and kvm at the same time". Yes, I know. You can't run two hypervisors on hardware. But I had an ace: VirtualBox in software virtualisation. It didn't work. It hung at initialisation. So I threw it out.
In the end, that makes Winflector the play, and what I've gone with for now to achieve "ultimate unity".