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How to Install Ubuntu 8.04 Desktop on Virtual PC 2007 - Part II

Updated on June 29, 2008

Installing Ubuntu on your new virtual machine

You can read instructions on how to get your new virtual machine in Part I.

Before continuing with the installation, please remember that once you click inside the Virtual PC window, your mouse will get trapped within the virtual machine. To release it, just press the right-hand side Alt key. To toggle in and out of full screen, press Alt-Enter.

Now, select your new virtual machine and click on Start. On the menu at the top of the virtual machine window, click on CD and select Capture ISO Image. Select your Linux ISO image and click Open.

Capturing the ISO image

Choose a language and click Enter. You'll now see an installation menu.

We now need to make a couple of preliminary adjustments. Press F4 and choose Safe Graphics Mode. Then press F6 and add the following to the end of the command line:


Finally, choose "Try Ubuntu without changing your computer." (already selected). The screen will go blank for a minute while it loads the Kernel.

Loading Ubuntu without installing it

The next screen will have an icon named INSTALL. Double click on it to launch the installation program. You will then go through a few screens giving Ubuntu the information it needs to install itself in your virtual machine.

Almost ready to install Ubuntu

Click on Forward to move from one step to the next::

  1. Choose a language.
  2. Select your city.
  3. Select Keyboard layout.
  4. Accept the default partition. It will take a few minutes to see the next screen.
  5. Fill out your name, username (which must start with lower case), a password, and the name of the computer.
  6. Don't worry, there is no 6th step.
  7. Finally, click on install and take a break. The installation will take a while depending of how fast your computer is.

Final Configuration

At the end of the installation, click on CD, release the ISO image and then click on Action, Reset to restart the machine.

Ubuntu is now installed in your virtual hard drive but we still need to configure it so it works smoothly. When Ubuntu restarts, press "exc" while GRUB is visible and then press "e". Choose the line that starts with "Kernel" and press "e" again. Add the following text:


Press Enter and "b" to boot Ubuntu.

Updating boot command

Updating boot settings

While Lunux boots up, you might see the screen go crazy for a few seconds. You will then need to type your username and password. Once you are in, open a terminal window by clickin on Application, Accessories, Terminal. Tyepe the following:

sudo nano /boot/grub/menu.lst

bash (the default terminal) will ask you for your password. Type your password again and move down until the "Ubuntu 8.04...." section. Locate the line "Kernel boot/vmlinuz..." and add the following to the end of the line:


Press Ctrl-O to write the change and Ctrl-X to close the editor.

Fixing boot settings

Configuring Sound

Virtual PC emulates Sound Blaster 16 for its sound. We need to tell Ubuntu to load Soundblaster drivers when booting. Still in the terminal, type

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

Scroll down to the end of the # lines (before "exit o") and type a new line:

modprobe snd-sb16

Then, press Ctrl-O and Ctrl-X to save and exit. You now need to reboot Linux.

Once you logon again, click on System, Preference, Sound and set the playback options to ALSA.

Configuring Sound

Congratulations! You now have a working Ubuntu 8.04 virtual machine. My final suggestion is to copy the folder you installed your virtual machine in, just in case something happen with it. You would then just copy the files back into the folder and you won't need to start from the beginning.

Have fun.


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