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Ubuntu 6.10 install on Virtual PC

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Feb-2007 20:27

Today I decided to test Ubuntu on a virtual machine. Ubuntu is a Linux distro, and quite an interesting one. I have installed a copy on an old AMD 2100XP+ machine a year ago, and I was impressed with how fast it installed, and how easily it identified all the devices (USB, network interface, mouse, keyboard, etc).

After installation it wasn't very different from Windows in the sense that it asked for an automatic update of all packages, and that was about 90MB of downloads. But I only used it for a couple of days before reinstalling Windows XP on that box to use as a host for Virtual Server.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to actually try Ubuntu again. This time I decided to install it as a Virtual Machine under Virtual PC. I already have a Windows Vista box running as a host for Virtual Server 2005 R2 with a couple of guest OS, but I decided to run Ubuntu on a Virtual PC because this way I could use it in full screen mode (which can't be done on a Virtual Server).

First I tried downloading it from one the Ubuntu mirrors. Thanks to TelstraClear not peering with other ISPs in New Zealand, the download from ftp.citylink.co.nz would take about five hours, even on my 10Mbps connection at home. At the end it took about 90 minutes to download from Australia.

But since I was looking for some "real" experience, I decided to extend my daily walk with Isabella and visit the local Dick Smith store. I approached one of the guys there and asked simply "Do you have any Linux distribution on CD?"... And the guy just walked straight to a display with Ubuntu and Fedora CDs. I have to say I was actually surprised to find these at the store.

So I paid $9.98 for an Ubuntu CD (which is cool because it comes with both Intel 32 bit and AMD 64 bit versions) and walked away ready for my experience.


Funny thing is, once back home I logged into the #geekzone IRC channel and one of the guys asked "freitasm, why did you buy Ubuntu?"... It just happens that I was recognised at the DSE store and the fact I am trying Ubuntu spread quickly - shock, horror, awe, a Windows users, Microsoft MVP running Linux!

Back to my test, it looks like Ubuntu doesn't like Virtual PC because it runs on 24 bit per pixel and Virtual PC only supports 16 bit per pixel. The system boots from the live cd and the display goes completely distorted. I then tried on Virtual Server, but had the same result.

I did get a recommendation from one of the Geekzone users to look at a page from the Ubuntu website "How to Configure Ubuntu for Microsoft Virtual PC 2004", but even following those recommendation I can't install Ubuntu under Virtual PC. Those instructions are for Ubuntu 6.06, and I have Ubuntu 6.10. Could be that the problem?

I will keep trying a bit more, won't spend too much time on it. I will probably boot from the live CD on an actual PC, but please don't suggest installing the full OS on it, because I don't have a spare box around for testing, and I can't/won't rebuild my laptop.

UPDATE: I've just downloaded Ubuntu 6.06 and it starts perfectly on a virtual machine. It seems Ubuntu 6.10 is the problem. Trying again now.



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freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

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