For this article series, VMware Fusion was used as the virtualization software for Mac. So, before any virtual machines (Windows, Ubuntu / Linux) were created, Fusion software was installed on the Mac. Please refer to the following article for notes on installing Fusion on the Mac:
Installing Fusion on Mac OS X
Rest of this article goes through creating an Ubuntu virtual machine with the help of Fusion (installed as described above).
Starting with the Installation
The latest version of Ubuntu Linux (the desktop version) at the time of this writing is 8.1. However, this version is not fully supported (with respect to Easy Install feature) on VMware Fusion version 2.01. As you can see below, Fusion identifies the Ubuntu version wrongly in the case of version 8.1.
Figure 1. Ubuntu 8.1 is identified as Ubuntu 7.04 or lower on VMware Fusion 2.01. The support for Easy Install for this version was not there at the time of this writing.
The supported version is Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS on Fusion 2.01. This version gets recognized properly. Rest of this article is about installing Ubuntu 8.04. You can download the latest version of Ubuntu (Linux) from the Ubuntu site for free and burn it on to a CD/DVD.
Figure 2. Ubuntu 8.04.1 LTS for Easy Install on Fusion. This is a quick way to create a Linux virtual machine on the Mac.
VMware Fusion comes with Easy Install for operating systems like Windows and Linux. Here you would provide the basic information and Fusion will install the entire virtual machine.
Figure 3. Easy Install for Ubuntu Linux virtual machine to be created with Fusion. Just provide the account information.
Default Settings for Ubuntu
The settings suggested by Fusion for an Ubuntu virtual machine are 512 MB of RAM and 20 GB of disk space. These numbers are exactly half of what was suggested for Windows Vista Ultimate. For Vista, the suggestions were 1 GB of RAM and 40 GB of disk space. These numbers can be changed later.
Figure 4. Default machine settings for Ubuntu virtual machine. For a regular installation, 512 MB of RAM and 20 GB of disk space is plenty. Default sizes for Ubuntu virtual machine are exactly half those of Vista virtual machine.
In a non-Easy Install situation (i.e. you would be answering all the Ubuntu installation questions yourself), you will go through a series of installation screens. They include:
- Questions about choosing a language
- Choosing the time and region settings
- Choosing the keyboard layout
- Disk Partition
- User Settings
All the above stuff is automatically taken care of by Fusion’s Easy Install.
Figure 5. Progress on the installation of Ubuntu virtual machine being created by Fusion on Mac.
Then the virtual machine goes through an automatic normal boot after the installation of Ubuntu. When an Ubuntu virtual machine is rebooted, you would see just the window containing the Ubuntu OS go through the motions of rebooting. The actual physical machine (in this case, the iMac) will not get shutdown or rebooted. That is the beauty of virtual machines, of course.
Then you will be presented with the first login screen of Ubuntu after installation. After you login, you will see the main screen of Ubuntu.
Figure 6. First screen of Ubuntu desktop after logging in. The top holding window belongs to Fusion and the machine here is iMac.
Updates on Ubuntu virtual machine under Fusion
As you can see, right after the installation, there are 223 updates. These updates fall into two categories: important security updates and recommended updates. These updates are from across the board:
- Components of the operating system
- Linux kernel
- Compilers (GCC, Perl, Python, etc.)
Figure 7. Installing updates on Ubuntu virtual machine. It uses the same Internet connection used by the host, the OS X on the Mac.
Figure 8. Updates are downloaded via the Update Manager on Ubuntu virtual machine on a Mac.
Figure 9. Updates are being installed on this Ubuntu virtual machine. By clicking on Details, you can see the log of updates.
In this case, creating an Ubuntu Desktop virtual machine using Fusion took the following simple steps:
- Download the .iso file from Ubuntu site (ubuntu-22.214.171.124-desktop-i386.iso).
- Burn the .iso file to a CD (did it to a DVD actually)
- Let Fusion recognize the version on DVD for Easy Install
- Easy Install
- Install Updates via Update Manager
More Articles on Fusion and Ubuntu
The following article has thoughts on using Ubuntu (Linux) in a virtual machine environment. Couple of programming environments (Python from command line and Eclipse) are also shown here. OpenOffice apps, sound, video, and Internet usage from this Ubuntu virtual machine are also discussed.
Using Ubuntu Linux on a Mac with Fusion
This article series on Fusion goes through a couple of virtual machines created with Windows Vista and Ubuntu operating systems. These articles also go through using popular applications like Microsoft Office, SQL Server, and Visual Studio on these virtual machines created with Fusion. They also discuss the pros and cons of virtual machines, graphics, sound, video, and Internet connections in them.
Article Series: Fusion on a Mac