Installing Ubuntu 8.10 in Fusion

If you have a Mac and Fusion this article will get you started with a safe way to install Ubuntu without having to mutli-boot your Mac. In this article we’ll be discussing installation of Ubuntu using a commercial virtualization product from VMware called Fusion, in the coming days we’ll also look at Virtual Box an opensource project similar to VMware Fusion.

VMware Fusion is the OS X equivalent to VMware Workstation or VMware Server (free), which runs on Linux and Windows. These products allow you to virtualize operating systems without having to format your main desktop or laptop hard drive. We are going to look at a the installation of Ubuntu 8.10 inside of VMware Fusion and discuss some caveots you may encounter along the way. Before we begin we’ll assume you have the Ubuntu 8.10 ISO image downloaded and you have the latest version of VMware Fusion installed.

Like most virtualization desktop products VMware Fusion uses a very simple GUI wizard to guide the user through the installation allowing them advanced installation options if they wish. Throughout the article, I will reference (Figure X) to correspond with the correct images which are displayed at the end of the article.

Virtual Machine Creation

  • Open Fusion and create a new virtual machine by navigating to File > New from here a new window will appear (Figure 1).
  • Next, select “Continue without disk“, this will bring you to another window (Figure 2) allowing you to select the installation media. Select “Use Operating system installation disk image file ” select the Ubuntu ISO image, then click “Continue“.
  • Next, select the operating system and distribution type (this will default to Linux, Ubuntu 32bit) and click “Continue” as shown in (Figure 3).
  • Finally, You will be presented with a finalization window displaying the current settings of your virtual machine. If you wish to make further advanced customizations to the memory, cpu, disk and so you can select the “Customize settings” button. You can also have the virtual machine automatically start when Fusion is opening by putting a check in the “Always open this virtual machine when VMware Fusion starts” option. (Figure 4)
  • Once you are satisfied with your settings click, “Finish” to build the virtual machine and continue with the Ubuntu installation. You will be prompted to enter a name for the virtual machine once you finalize your settings.

Ubuntu Installation

  • NOTE: Once you click in the virtual machine window your keyboard and mouse are locked in, press Control-Command to release it.
  • Your virtual machine will now restart and the Ubuntu installation will begin (Figure 5), select the appropriate language and press “enter“.
  • Next, you will be presented with a menu (Figure 6) using the arrow keys select the “Install Ubuntu” option and press “enter“. Installation will begin as shown in (Figures 6 and 7). Once the installer has loaded a new window will be presented starting the actual installation (Figure 8 ) the language you selected in the previous screen should already be highlighted. Click “Forward“.
  • On the next screen select your timezone and click “Forward” (Figure 9), select your keyboard language layout (Figure 10), click “Forward“.
  • Next, you are presented with the disk partitioner. We are going to use the defaults here which is “Guided – use entire disk“, click “Forward” to continue the installation.(Figure 11)
  • Next, you will be presented with a series of questions pertaining to setup of your user account. Fill in the fields with the acceptable information and click “Forward“. (Figure 12)
  • At this point installation is ready to begin, look over the proposed settings and click “Install” when you are ready. This will take a few minutes to complete. (Figure 13)
  • Figures 14, 15, 16 , 17 , 18 and 19 are examples of what you can expect along the way during installation.
  • When the installation is completed you will be prompted with a windows requiring you to restart the computer. Before doing this click the “Settings” button on the Fusion menu, navigate to the CDROM and disconnect it by un-checking the box, you will be given a warning select “Yes“. Once the CDROM is disabled, click “Restart now” to finalize and reboot (Figure 20).
  • Once your machine has rebooted you will be prompted with a login screen as shown in (Figure 21) enter the username and password you specified during installation to log into Ubuntu.

VMware Tools Installation

Now that our Ubuntu desktop installation is complete we need to install some additional tools in order to maximize productivity. VMware provides a utility called VMware Tools, which allows you to share folders, the keyboard and mouse between the virtual machine and the host operating system, in this case OS X and Ubuntu.

  • Once you are logged into the Ubuntu Desktop, you will want to install all the latest updates for Ubuntu to ensure the VMware tools install correctly. To do this, goto System > Administrator > Update Manager, click the “Check” button and enter your password if required.  Updates will be displayed, finally click “Install Updates“. This may take awhile depending on your Internet connection speed and the amount of updates required. Once completed, reboot your Ubuntu Desktop.
  • Once rebooted, Click the “Virtual Machine” menu bar while in Fusion. From here select the “Install VMware Tools” option. You will notice a CDROM being mounted on your Ubuntu desktop, drag the file to your desktop and double click it and drag the contents to the desktop. (Figures 22 and 23)
  • Next, we need to drop to a terminal and install a couple pieces of software. Navigate to Applications > Accessories > Terminal at the command prompted enter the following “cd ~Desktop/vmware-tools-distrib” and  “sudo apt-get install build-essential” to install the compilers needed for the VMware tools installation. If prompted enter your password, a confirmation dialogue will appear enter “y” and press enter. (Figure 25)
  • Once complete, run the following command to begin the VMware tools installer “sudo ./“. To save room I did not include the output from the installer, however, you can select the defaults throughout by pressing “enter” for each question.
  • Reboot once the VMware tools installation has completed, log in to your Ubuntu Desktop and then maximize the screen. VMware tools should automatically resize your desktop to fix your screen and your mouse should flow from Ubuntu to OS X without issue.
  • Enjoy Ubuntu 🙂

Below are the images referenced during installation.


VMWare ESX 3.5u3 in Fusion

I’ve recently been working on a project and needed quick access to a ESX server for reference. I happen to use Macbook Pro and run VMWare’s Fusion product to manage my Ubuntu Linux and Windows desktops. I figured why not try to run ESX as well. Below are the extra variables I added to make ESX run stable inside Fusion.

Hardware: MacBook Pro 2.4ghz (code 2 duo), 4GB ram (early 2008 model)
VMWare Fusion: 2.0.1
VMWare ESX: 3.5U3

I needed to add the following variables to my .vmx file in order to successfully boot and install ESX inside Fusion. I’ve noticed some people are suggesting using 2 cpu’s instead of one however I found this caused serve slowness and ESX will run just fine with 1 CPU.

monitor_control.restrict_backdoor = TRUE
monitor_control.vt32 = TRUE
numvcpus = "1"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
ethernet0.virtualDev = "e1000"
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
ethernet0.connectionType = "bridged"


Macbook Pro Hard Drive Replacement

I decided to upgrade the hard drive in my Macbook Pro 2.4ghz laptop. I went with a 320GB 2.5″ Seagate Momentus 7200.3 7200RPM after reading some positive reviews, plus it was 7200RPM and double the size I currently had.

I followed the guide from which really helped, I kept the screws by each step on the printed out directions so I didn’t loose them (they are small). I also used a towel to protect the top of the MacBook Pro and to catch any screws.

The hardest part was getting the keyboard cover off and then back on again, there are small plastic clips on the front of the cover that need to be gently popped up. The ribbon cable on the hard drive was also glued down with really sticky glue and it had to gently be worked worked off the old hard drive.

I definitely notice decent speed increase in file transfer speed with the new drive and its quite. It was worth the money and the 30 minutes it took me to install it.


OSX SVN Client – Versions

If you are in need of a good subversion client for os x I suggest you check out While it’s not a free product, it comes with a 22 day trial so you can become familiar with it. So far this is the best GUI based svn client I’ve used for on my mac, I’m to lazy to learn how to use the command line 🙂


MacBook Pro 2.4ghz Review

After much contemplation I decided to go out and upgrade my first generation MacBook Pro to the latest and greatest! And I am not disappointed at all. Lets get down to the nitty gritty and the juicy details shall we?I opted for the 15in model with a glossy screen, 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB ram, 160GB storage and the Nvidia GeForce 8600M GT 256MB graphics card.

LCD/Screen: I had some serious concerns with getting the glossy screen vs the matte screen because of the possible glare issue. Now with the glossy screen there is some glare especially when the screen has a dark background I noticed the worse on black, but seriously it’s nothing to be concerned over. The image quality and brightness compared to my first generation MBP is 100x improved I’ll chalk this up to the new LED lighting the 15in MBP is using. Some people have been reporting grainy looks to their LCD’s, I don’t seem to have this problem.

RAM/Storage: I opted to get the default 160gb 5400 RPM, sata hard drive. This was another point on contention for me, I really wanted the 7200RPM drive but the apple store did not carry those and it was configuration option online only, so they told me. The extra speed would have been nice but I am not going to loose sleep over it. I also opted to get the standard 2gb ram and upgrade it to 4gb myself for half the cost, I purchased the 2x2gb upgrade from for $300 and let me tell you this laptop soars with 4gb ram. Bottom line if you can get the ram upgrade do it yourself for less its well worth it and its very easy to install.

Sound: Nothing much here, however I did notice when I have my apple ear phones in I often hear static or pops when switching from itunes to adium etc. Nothing to major, but its annoying sometimes.

Video Card: I enjoy playing World of Warcraft often and I am very pleased to say that the new Nvidia 8600M GT 256mb video card apple is using far surpasses the old ATI in the first generation MBP’s. I have yet to try any other games but my play in WOW is much smoother (no lag) and the quality is also very much improved. I don’t do any graphic or movie editing so I cannot comment in that area as far as improvements.

Heat Issues: Compared to the first generation MBP the heat is at least 60% less on the newer model even when running vmware fusion, wow, safari and mail.

Overall my experience with the latest and great MacBook Pro has been outstanding I have no complaints and I hope this laptop will last for some time, it was money well spent 🙂