Getting an Ubuntu Image working on Windows 7

There’s a bug in VMWare’s easy install that makes keyboards not work with Ubuntu.  This makes it hard to, for instance, type in your password.  It’s actually a long standing problem, but it still isn’t fixed.  The short version is that you need to not use easy install. The long version is given below.  (Interestingly, it seems to work in command line mode, but not GNOME mode.)

Creating the Image

These instructions are tested on Windows 7 64-bit, Lucid Lynx 32-bit and VMWare Workstation 7.0.1. 

  • Choose Typical
  • Choose “I will install the operating system later”
  • Choose Linux/Ubuntu
  • Just keep with the defaults until you hit finish.

Now you’ve got a 100% blank machine.  Now to load the operating system:

  • Choose “Edit virtual machine settings”
  • Choose the DVD drive
  • Choose “Use ISO Image”
  • Browse to your downloaded Ubuntu disc image.
  • Click OK
  • Power on the machine

The next bit is obvious:

  • Choose Install Ubuntu
  • Go forward to Step 3.  Type in the box and make sure the keyboard’s working.
  • Erase and use the whole disk (this is a VM disk, remember…)
  • Click through to Finish.
  • Wait a long time and then hit “Restart Now”

Now you’ll get a prompt saying “Please remove the disc and close the tray (if any) then press ENTER”

  • Right click on the powered on machine.  (I called it “Ubuntu”)
  • Choose “Settings…” at the bottom
  • Choose the DVD drive
  • Choose “Use Physical Drive”
  • Choose your actual CD drive.
  • Click OK
  • Go back to the machine and hit “Enter”

You’ve now got a working Lucid Lynx image.

Postscript: For some reason, it doesn’t seem to affect you in command line mode.  Only in GNOME.  I’m sure someone knows why that is, but it might as well be magic as far as I’m concerned.

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Julian Birch

Full time dad, does a bit of coding on the side.

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