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Using Ubuntu Linux on a Mac with Fusion
Summary
This article talks about using Ubuntu (Linux) on a Mac. This Linux virtual machine has been installed as a virtual machine using VMware Fusion. Here are some notes and thoughts on using that virtual machine. Couple of programming environments (Python from command line and Eclipse) are shown here. OpenOffice apps, sound, video, and Internet usage from this Ubuntu virtual machine are also discussed. Screenshots of how Ubuntu looks as a virtual machine are also included.
 
Table of Contents

Installing Fusion and creating an Ubuntu virtual machine

Ubuntu Main Window

Figure 1. The main window of Ubuntu as a Fusion created Linux virtual machine. You can see a game, an editor, and a calculator on this virtual machine running on a Mac.

Figure 2. Desktop effects cannot be enabled for this Ubuntu virtual machine. Fusion (2.01) does not yet support the high-end graphical user interfaces in Windows Vista and Linux operating systems.

Applications

Figure 3. Choosing from a list of applications on Ubuntu to display in the main menu

Figure 4. Running Python in command line mode inside an Ubuntu virtual machine

Figure 5. Many free / open source applications are available to install on Ubuntu. Here Eclipse is shown in the Add/Remove Applications dialog box.

Figure 6. Downloading and installing Eclipse on Ubuntu from the Add/Remove Applications window

Figure 7. Running Eclipse from an Ubuntu virtual machine on a Mac.

Open Source Office Applications

Figure 8. Open Office suite of applications on an Ubuntu virtual machine. Writer, Calc, and Impress are running on an iMac (inside a virtual machine).

Sound, Video, and Internet

Figure 9. Hulu from FireFox inside an Ubuntu virtual machine. Requires Flash Player plugin.

Figure 10. Installing the Adobe Flash Player for use in FireFox on Ubuntu virtual machine running on a Mac.

Figure 11. Watching hulu from FireFox on an Ubuntu (Linux) virtual machine created with VMware Fusion on a Mac.

Figure 12. Watching hulu from FireFox in Full Screen mode on an Ubuntu (Linux) virtual machine created with VMware Fusion on a Mac.

Summary

More Articles on Fusion

 
Article Series
Previous Article:
Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Mac with Fusion
This article is part of the Series:
Article Series: Fusion on a Mac
Next Article:
Using Windows, Linux, and OS X together on a Mac with Fusion

Installing Fusion and creating an Ubuntu virtual machine

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

Then an Ubuntu virtual machine was created on the Mac with Fusion software. For notes on creating this Ubuntu virtual machine on Mac, please refer to the following article:

Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Mac with Fusion

Remainder of this article goes through using the Ubuntu virtual machine created as described above.

Ubuntu Main Window

The operating system installed here is UBUNTU (not KUBUNTU); the desktop GUI used here is GNOME. The look of this main screen is a mix of Windows and Mac OS X. While, there is no start button, the applications are accessible through a bar. These bars are called Panels; and by default there is a panel at the top and another at the bottom.

Figure 1. The main window of Ubuntu as a Fusion created Linux virtual machine. You can see a game, an editor, and a calculator on this virtual machine running on a Mac.

Figure 1. The main window of Ubuntu as a Fusion created Linux virtual machine. You can see a game, an editor, and a calculator on this virtual machine running on a Mac.

The Panel (bar) at the bottom holds the icons to the currently open applications, just like the Windows bar. In a way, Windows Start bar is split into two here.

The desktop here is simple environment without any special visual effects. Those visual effects requiring a faster graphics card cannot be enabled in this ubuntu virtual machine.

Figure 2. Desktop effects cannot be enabled for this Ubuntu virtual machine. Fusion (2.01) does not yet support the high-end graphical user interfaces in Windows Vista and Linux operating systems.

Figure 2. Desktop effects cannot be enabled for this Ubuntu virtual machine. Fusion (2.01) does not yet support the high-end graphical user interfaces in Windows Vista and Linux operating systems.

Applications

The default installation of Ubuntu comes with many applications. These applications include:

  • Standard Accessories like Calculator, Text Editor, and Terminal
  • Plenty of games, including Chess, Blackjack, Solitaire, and Sudoku
  • Graphics programs like GIMP Image Editor
  • Web Browser and Mail
  • Microsoft Office like OpenOffice
  • Sound and Video utilities like Sound Recorder, Music Player, Disk Burner

More applications are available by default than are shown in the menus of the top panel. If you right-click on the top menu and choose Edit Menus from there, the Main Menu window will be displayed.

Figure 3. Choosing from a list of applications on Ubuntu to display in the main menu

Figure 3. Choosing from a list of applications on Ubuntu to display in the main menu

For example, you can choose Programming from the left menu and then add Python (v2.5). This will add Programming menu item to the Applications menu and in there you will have Python (v2.5). Choosing Python will start Python inside a Terminal.

Figure 4. Running Python in command line mode inside an Ubuntu virtual machine

Figure 4. Running Python in command line mode inside an Ubuntu virtual machine

Many more applications are also available by choosing Add/Remove menuitem from the Applications menu. This opens up Add/Remove Applications window. From here applications from several categories can be installed.

Figure 5. Many free / open source applications are available to install on Ubuntu. Here Eclipse is shown in the Add/Remove Applications dialog box.

Figure 5. Many free / open source applications are available to install on Ubuntu. Here Eclipse is shown in the Add/Remove Applications dialog box.

In the above example, Eclipse was not installed by default. By selecting an application you can enable the installation of community maintained software. Meaning, that application will be downloaded and installed.

Figure 6. Downloading and installing Eclipse on Ubuntu from the Add/Remove Applications window

Figure 6. Downloading and installing Eclipse on Ubuntu from the Add/Remove Applications window

After the application has been installed, Eclipse will be available from the Programming menu item and it is ready for use.

Figure 7. Running Eclipse from an Ubuntu virtual machine on a Mac.

Figure 7. Running Eclipse from an Ubuntu virtual machine on a Mac.

Open Source Office Applications

Ubuntu desktop versions by default include OpenOffice applications. The installed Open Office suite includes the following:

Open Office Writer - Word Processor, like MS Word

[END LINK]

In addition an Open Office Mail and Calender program are also included in the Open Office suite of applications installed by default on this Ubuntu virtual machine.

Figure 8. Open Office suite of applications on an Ubuntu virtual machine. Writer, Calc, and Impress are running on an iMac (inside a virtual machine).

Figure 8. Open Office suite of applications on an Ubuntu virtual machine. Writer, Calc, and Impress are running on an iMac (inside a virtual machine).

Sound, Video, and Internet

Wanted to see how hulu would work inside an Ubuntu virtual machine. This will test three birds with one stone - sound, video, and Internet from an application running inside Ubuntu created with Fusion. Ubuntu comes with FireFox as the default browser.

Hulu requires Flash Player to play movies and TV programs.

Figure 9. Hulu from FireFox inside an Ubuntu virtual machine. Requires Flash Player plugin.

Figure 9. Hulu from FireFox inside an Ubuntu virtual machine. Requires Flash Player plugin.

Figure 10. Installing the Adobe Flash Player for use in FireFox on Ubuntu virtual machine running on a Mac.

Figure 10. Installing the Adobe Flash Player for use in FireFox on Ubuntu virtual machine running on a Mac.

After the installation of Adobe Flash Player plugin, hulu plays the videos fine. Both the sound and video are there. And the Internet connectivity is just fine.

Figure 11. Watching hulu from FireFox on an Ubuntu (Linux) virtual machine created with VMware Fusion on a Mac.

Figure 11. Watching hulu from FireFox on an Ubuntu (Linux) virtual machine created with VMware Fusion on a Mac.

On Windows virtual machine, there was a problem with running the video in Full Screen mode. However, on Ubuntu virtual machine, the video works just fine in the Full-Screen mode. Both the Full-Screen modes - hulu full screen inside the browser and virtual machine full screen on the entire desktop - work fine.

Figure 12. Watching hulu from FireFox in Full Screen mode on an Ubuntu (Linux) virtual machine created with VMware Fusion on a Mac.

Figure 12. Watching hulu from FireFox in Full Screen mode on an Ubuntu (Linux) virtual machine created with VMware Fusion on a Mac.

Summary

The goal here was to see if Ubuntu works fine as a virtual machine as created and managed by VMware Fusion. By default, Ubuntu got half the resources as a Vista virtual machine. Ubuntu got 0.5 GB RAM and 20 GB disk space, while Vista got 1 GB RAM and 40 GB disk space.

Even with reduced resources, Ubuntu feels much faster than Vista. As you can see compilers and office applications can be installed and used on this Ubuntu virtual machine without a problem.

I was actually surprised to see the full screen video work inside Ubuntu virtual machine without any problems, as compared to Windows Vista virtual machine, where the full screen video simply didn’t work.

More Articles on 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

Article Series
Previous Article:
Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Mac with Fusion
This article is part of the Series:
Article Series: Fusion on a Mac
Next Article:
Using Windows, Linux, and OS X together on a Mac with Fusion
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