Ubuntu 7.10 in Virtual PC 2007

Ubuntu does run under Virtual PC 2007, but there are some issues with the ‘out of the box’ install. Video can be garbled due to Virtual PC 2007 not supporting 24bit color. The mouse and sound will not work, the clock may run too fast, and there is not a Debian version of the Virtual Server Linux Additions.

These are not insurmountable issues and they can be fixed with a little elbow grease. You are after all installing Linux, tinkering is to be expected!

Initial install

The first step is the initial install. We need to ensure that the display and mouse will work throughout the install process. To accomplish this, from the Ubuntu install menu highlight “Start Ubuntu in safe graphics mode”, press F6, add ‘i8042.noloop’ to the end of the line, and press enter.

Post install (Mouse and Clock)

We now need to ensure that the mouse works correctly on boot. We also need to add a fix to help prevent the clock from running too fast.

· Open a terminal window.

· Type ‘sudo –i’ to get administrator rights.

· Type nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

· Press CTRL-W and type ‘end default option and then press Enter.

· Find the line that starts with kernel and go all the way to the end of it, add ‘i8042.noloop clock=pit’, press CTRL-O, and press Enter to save.

· Press CTRL-X to exit nano.

Post install (Sound)

The next change is required if sound is not working properly.

· Type ‘nano /etc/modules

· Add ‘snd-sb16’ followed by a carriage return, press CTRL-O, and press Enter to save.

· Press CTRL-X to exit nano.

Press Post install (Video)

Virtual PC’s video card does not support 24bit color depths. We need to make the following changes to ensure that only 16bit or 32bit color depths are used.

· Type ‘nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf

· CTRL-W and type ‘screen and then press Enter.

· Change the value of DefaultDepth to 16

· Add a line ‘Depth 16’, press CTRL-O, and press Enter to save.

· Press CTRL-X to exit nano.

Post install (Virtual PC Additions)

· Install the Virtual Server Additions for Linux. You will need to convert them to a Debian format. Step-by-step instructions can be found here: http://www.aotk50.dsl.pipex.com/install-linux-vmadditions/install-linux-vm-additions.htm

· I recommend creating and saving the Debian package to make this process easier the next time. The package I created is named: vmadd-full_2.0-2_i386.deb

· Type ‘dpkg -i ./vmadd-full_2.0-2_i386.deb‘ to install the package.

· This installs several services into the /etc/init.d folder. We now need to ensure that they will start on system boot.

· Type ‘nano /etc/rc.local

· Add the following commands:

/etc/init.d/vmadd start

/etc/init.d/vmadd-heartbeat start

/etc/init.d/vmadd-shutdown start

/etc/init.d/vmadd-timesync start

· Press CTRL-O, and press Enter to save.

· Press CTRL-X to exit nano.

· Type ‘reboot’ to restart the VM

Ubuntu should now have the proper video, sound, mouse integration, and timesync with the host.

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About jasontarby

Enterprise Architect / Network Engineer at SRA International, Inc.
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