I knew more about flying the Space Shuttle than I know about Virtualization software like Hyper-V ‘n VM VirtualBox, which is basically nada. 😉

However, I know even less about Capture Screen software and the Capture hardware required for taking pics of my Linux installation tests, which is less than nada. Most searches turn up tons of info on Game Capturing or capturing screens in an already installed OS. Recently I contacted B&H for help…their products always have reliable info ‘n advice included on a product’s page. I probably don’t know enough to even ask a good question (Not for Google search anyway), but here was my question:

Subject: Device to capture pics during Linux OS installations

I run a small blog which reviews Linux Distros. Do a lot of installing of OSes and want to know if there is hardware or software that can take pictures/snapshots of the stages in that installation process. Everything is done on desktop computers…both Intel and AMD.

I’ve searched and searched but everything I find seems related to Game Capture devices for video captures.

Thanks in advance,

Here was the reply:

Thank you for contacting the Sales Department at B&H Photo Video and Pro Audio.

Assuming your running it on another computer a capture card would be a perfectly valid way of doing it. You could then take still from the video. Here is a link with two options a 4k and a 1080p version. The 4k is nicer, but it is also not in stock. the 1080p is available now. For Youtube either should be fine, for stills the 4k might be worth the wait.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/compare/Elgato_Cam_Link_4K_vs_Elgato_HD60_S/BHitems/1453840-REG_1251517-REG

Please let me know if you require any further assistance.

Thank you for choosing B&H.

Like I said, I knew more about flying the Space Shuttle…anyway, he lost me right from the start with – “Assuming your running it on another computer,” but at least there was enough info there to work with. So, those ‘tHiNGiEs’ run roughly from 130-165 Gringo Dollars ‘n a further search revealed you also need a compatible camera and/or camcorder. Maybe if the ‘tHiNGiEs’ worked with my $25 ‘Kamera’ I would spring for those kind of Gringo Dollars, but not at this time without knowing for sure. Best option may be to start checking game sites, to see what they use ‘n how they hook up everything ‘n what all they can do with it; however, the hardware needs to work with its own OS (I think?!) or be able to capture the screen of another pc running Linux installation software…which might be what B&H meant by “Assuming your running it on another computer.”

I’ve been occasionally trying to find info on how to capture screens during Linux installations, since soon after starting this blog in January of 2019, but never get the answer I’m looking for. Most all info seems game related and/or about the methods used by already installed OSes. At some point along the way, I read something about VM VirtualBox being able to take screenshots, and remembered it recently. Have used VirtualBox before, but never cared for it ‘n that small screen. Tried one of the old Window versions (possible WIN7) ‘n it still needed a product key, on VirtualBox under Linux. The new version I’m testing seems much better than the version I used in those old tests. Enter Hyper-V ‘n VM VirtualBox:

Had actually been planning on giving VirtualBox another try for some time now, but never got around to doing it until I installed Oracle Linux recently ‘n “‘borrowed‘ those two pics” shown in that post. Oracle makes VirtualBox, but still had to install it on their Linux Distro. That was about the same time I saw something about Microsoft’s Hyper-V being available on WIN10 Pro, so decided to test Hyper-V ‘n VirtualBox on the ‘Apevia’ Ryzen™ test computer’s WIN10 Pro SSD (just swap SSD’s around in Hot Swap SATA bays), after first testing VirtualBox on a couple Linux Distros.

First tried VM VirtualBox on Oracle Linux, Ubuntu ‘n Fedora. Have read that it was easy to work with – easier than Hyper-V also; however, I found it to be a little difficult ‘n even clumsy feeling at times. Linux has never mastered the basic Scroll Wheel Mouse ‘n the mouse problems didn’t improve in VirtualBox; however, it got a little easier as I went along (mouse stays a pain throughout), and eventually managed to get some Distros booted up and into test installation stages. Discovered that “Take Snapshot” is not the same as “Take Screenshot” – after spending time trying to open a bunch of Snapshots. 😮

Screenshots worked great, but some Distros like Oracle didn’t show the full window/page in various stages of installing:

The right-side is chopped-off…maybe I had a setting wrong, but Oracle Linux had the same problem in VirtualBox over on the WIN 10 test area. However, here is the same summary page in Hyper-V:

Hyper-V gets the full Installation Summary page, which makes for a perfect Capture screen and/or Snipping Tool snip. It quickly became clear to me, once I moved from the Linux test area over onto the WIN10 test area, that Hyper-V was much easier for me to work with. I don’t like the Clipboard capture method as much as the VirtualBox Screenshot method, but the basic Scroll Wheel Mouse works w/o problems in it, and Hyper-V seemed much easier ‘n more reliable than VirtualBox, for novice me.

Hyper-V has a few installation methods – I used the “Turn Windows features on or off” method. The Hyper-V Manager is then installed *PLUS* the Hyper-V Quick Create tool. I can’t find the Hyper-V Quick Create icon anywhere on the web (?!?!?), but it sorta looks like ‘half’ the Hyper-V Manager icon with a small bright yellow-orangish ‘Star’ (?) on upper left corner. Quick Create does all the work ‘n quickly, tho it was already pretty quick with the manager.

Again, I am no expert on either VirtualBox or Hyper-V, but everything works for me in Hyper-V ‘n stays working until you delete it. For me, VirtualBox would have a Distro stop working all together…by stop working, I don’t mean to “Power off” or “Turn off” the machine, it has something go wrong ‘n needs a new one added again…I dunno. Maybe testing it several times w/o installing causes problems!? Here’s a pic of Hyper-V Manager ‘n WindowsFX Virtual Machine opened on the desktop.

I’ll still do most Distro testing ‘n installing on a real machine, but I can see where Virtualization would be very useful, at times, even for a novice like me.

Note: The previous was written yesterday…this morning, I decided to install Hyper-V (2018 link but useful) on my main computer ‘Antec Jr.’ after doing a backup image; however, Hyper-V tested out so well that I have confidence in adding it to my main working computer. Can always remove it using the “Turn Windows features on or off” in that setting…unchecking it would need a reboot ‘n then it would be gone. It’s part of Microsoft’s Windows 10 Pro so it will be a useful steady ‘n reliable tool.

Just installed Oracle Linux ‘n added Gnome Tweaks, Gnome Shell Extension, and then added the Dash to Panel extension…here’s a pic of the DE virtual window:

Here’s a shot of Firefox opened in Hyper-V on the main desktop:

About the same size as my normal Firefox is when opened. Haven’t figured out how to import my bookmarks, but that might be part of the separation that Hyper-V maintains from main computer system, i.e can’t see other drives or folders from inside of Hyper-V, apparently.

OK, I have a backup image ‘n will think about keeping this new tool; however, testing Linux Distros in their own environment will generally work for me, unless I need to capture a screen during installation. Interested Microsoft Windows users might be able to safely test Linux with this Hyper-V virtualization tool, if they have WIN10 Pro (Home doesn’t offer it), and maybe some Vista versions and/or WIN 8 versions will work, but I am not sure.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!