Installing Ubuntu on Virtual PC 2004

I decided to give Ubuntu a try in Virtual PC to see how this distro works.  So far, I'm pretty damn impressed.  But getting it up and running in a Virtual PC wasn't quite as obvious as I hoped it would be.  Here are the steps if anyone else wants to try out this distro.  I basically just went through a default install, and when the thing booted up it freaked out on the display.  This is actually quite common with Linux distros that I've tried in Virtual PC.  Keep in mind, I'm not even too terribly sure how to pronounce Linux, so I just kinda faked my way through the steps.  You might know a really cool way to do some of these steps, and that would be great if you let me know

So after booting up in messed up graphics land, I was able to click the giant ass Reboot button on my 160x120 screen.  When it was rebooting, I hit ESC during Grub and booted into the recovery console.  This gave me root access (is this secure?  Sure as hell didn't seem like it to me...).  Once I was in there, I found the configuration file for the graphics card in /etc/X11.  Sso type in cd /etc/X11, although I certainly hope even the most harden of MScentric people can figure that out :).  Once in there I opened up xorg.conf using pico (so type in pico xorg.conf - isn't this fun?).  Browse down to the screen section.  Opps, looks like the defaultDepth property is 24, which VirtualPC doesn't support.  I changed this to 16 and hit CTRL-X to exit (saving when prompted of course).  Typed in reboot and awaaaaaaay we go.

Once I was logged in, I wasn't able to hit the internet but this was an easy enough fix.  Just go to System | Networking and enable the Ethernet connection.  At this point I was good to go.  I don't think I have sound yet, but I really could care less.  But if a wise soul would like to enlighten me, I wouldn't mind either.

So there we go.  I'm impressed with how easy this was to get up and running (besides virtual pc graphics snafu), and it looks great too.  I'm tempted to throw this on my laptop that I keep in my living room just because so many people use it.  You'd be surprised what my friend's girlfriends manage to install while we are watching football.  Stupid yahoo games.  But I digress.  So why all this trouble to post this on an ASP.NET site?  I've been tagged with doing a lot of the design work for my companies new site, and well, the old version didn't exactly work in Linux, i.e. the menus and some content doesn't show up at all.  Remember folks, Verdana isn't installed on everyone's PC.  It looks like the default sans-serif font is pushing some of the content around, which was dumb of me not to anticipate, so I'll have to fix this.  Good times.  Good times.


  • ‘…booted into the recovery console. This gave me root access (is this secure? Sure as hell didn't seem like it to me…)’

    If you can boot into ‘recovery console’, it means you have physical access to the machine. Introducing any security at this point doesn’t really makes much sense to me. :o)

  • why installing under emu when you can boot with live cd? you can test this distro all the way you want. don't kill it with virtual pc's emulation problems. boot it, see it, love or hate it :)

    btw - nice bloggie you have here...

  • Yeah, having physical access is of course the keys to the kingdom. It was just a little odd not to be prompted for a password is all.

    And as for the live cd, trying out Linux is about 30% the install process. Can it pass the "will I have to do it for my dad, or can he handle it himself" test is just as important to me as the user interface and the such.

    So far, so good.

  • oh yeah, you're right - sometimes installing linux (i tried gentoo once) drives you crazy. there are no problems with distros like red hat, fedora, madriva - nice and graphical interface makes installing a snap. ubuntu and debian in general does not have such useful interface. txt based instalations could be a problem novadays. but hey, the hardest thing is partitoning. everything after and before that step is rather easy imo.

    i'm glad you liked this distro. it has this little "something" that makes me using it from time to time. i just like it. it's simple enough for me :)

    so, good luck with your ubuntu abd warm hello from poland. oh and yes - excuse my english, it sucks :/... i know, i'm working on it.

  • Phil, thanks for the hints. I was wondering what was wrong with Ubantu.

  • hey bro...thanks for the tip...and god bless google

  • To get network to work go to the System/Administration/Networking and enable the device. Mine was disabled by default on both VPC 2004 and VS2005.

    Thanks for the video fix.

    A note about Virtual Server 2005: I couldn't get it to boot in the recovery console using the web interface. The pe interface worked fine.

  • well, you can also try an live cd distro in virtual pc, this is the simplest way to tray it without any real risk to your fisical pc.

    pd: sry my english, pero yo hablo español jeje.

  • I Think Linux Holds the future and did hold the past but this windows Came in with is all stolen concepts all from Unix Operating system. Windows may have become dominant Operating system in the home user section but at the end of the day Linux is and will be the most reliable OS.
    Ubuntu I guess is among the most versatile one. Remember the first time you sat on the windows interface you had problems too but gradually you did learn it same will happen with Linux also, only thing this time you will realize that you are dealing with a better most powerful and more reliable operating system. Virtual PC utility just gives you the benefit of having windows and not missing playing your windows based favorite games. And also does fiddle with Your MBR. Go Ahead install it and see the difference!!!

  • Hello I too am having trouble getting pico to load the "xorg.conf" file. I can manage to get into pico, however I cannot navigate to the config file any help?

  • I love your "tell it liek it is mentality" "giant ass reboot button" lol thanks for the tip...

  • If you are trying to enable all of this from command line, to enable network>

    nano /etc/network/interfaces

    remove the # from the eth0 to uncomment
    save, exit

    /etc/init.d/networking restart

  • Hi. I am new to all this malarky.

    I am trying to install ubuntu onto virtual pc for my unix processing systems unit...however....i have windows xp home edition on my laptop, and now virtual pc 2007 does not support this.

    Is all i have to do is find an old 2004 version of virutal pc, then just run ubuntu without having to partition?




  • @Greg:

    how about read reading the intro text just a line or two above the shell prompt that you were so grateful to be dropped into?

    It will tell you in a snap to use 'sudo' if you need to exercise root priviliges.

    That doesn't warrant a 3page manual, now does it? Also, you cannot be prompted for a root password, until you choose to install. Which, conveniently, you didn't have to do yet, since you are booting *a live-CD*, the way it SHOULD BE (hehehe)

  • I am a complete noob to linux ,having only tried mandrake once before about 9 years ago. I have just installed Unbuntu 9.10 on Microsoft Vpc 2007 wich is running on an older hp laptop(dv2000). The host os is the rcwin 7x64. I did have to work through the video and network issues mentioned above but was surprised considering my lack of experience that things are working so well. Does anyone have an idea how to get the audio to work using vpc and unbuntu together? i am assuming I need some kind of generic driver but havent stumbled across what I am looking for yet.. any help would be appreciated... Thank You

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  • I have just installed Unbuntu 9.10 on Microsoft Vpc 2007 wich is running on an older hp laptop(dv2000). The host os is the rcwin 7x64..

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