Installing Ubuntu Under Virtual PC 2004


After my post the other day linking out to a post about authoring file systems on Linux with Mono, I decided that I wanted to try it out myself. So, I went and grabbed the latest Ubuntu, and sojourned out to install it under Virtual PC 2004.

I remember trying to do this 6-12 months ago and having it fail _miserably_ for me (or most of the Linux distros for that matter) when trying to install under Virtual PC 2004. Eventually, I just gave up. Now that I have a little more knowledge on Linux and virtual machines using Virtual PC/Virtual Server, I decided to try again. Luckily, I'm now up and running with Ubuntu in a virtual machine. It wasn't without its hardships though.

Since I don't really use my virtual machines for multimedia purposes, I haven't bothered looking into whether the sound is working properly or not. Besides, my largest problem was with the graphics display. And if I can't even see what the hell I'm doing, how am I suppose to figure out if the sound is working :). Basically, when booting up Ubuntu, the graphics would freak out, go into a total whacko resolution, and there was no usage-o going on-o. This was easily fixable though. First, on the boot menu, I chose a display of 1024x768. Second of all, I forced it to boot with the vesa driver. You can either use the "boot with safe graphics" option or simply add "xforcevesa" as a boot option to the regular boot (which I ended up doing even though that might be the only difference between the two options. After doing that, my graphics were fine and I was living happily in Ubuntu land (as an aside: now I see why people are so excited about Ubuntu; it comes a _long way_ in bridging the "usability gap" between Windows/MacOS and Linux for the "typical" computer end-user (not the geek, mind you)).

Of course, after all this, I found this article on the Ubuntu site describing how to install it under Virtual PC 2004. How in the world could I have missed that article six months ago? I'm hoping it's just because the article is new and not because I'm a total tool.

So, to make a long story short, if you're wanting to try out Ubuntu under Virtual PC 2004 (and why wouldn't you considering everything you need is free :D), make sure to check out the guide from Ubuntu. It will save you time and heartache if you're not a Linux guy.

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