VM Ubuntu Installation

Again — Do not install Ubuntu with the Ubuntu Textbook’s instructions as we will install into VMWare or another Virtual Machine (VM).  To this extent, please read this and all subsequent pages in their entirety before proceeding so that you have the big picture. 

Please read through these directions in their entirety first to get the big picture as interfaces change but the functionality will remain consistent. To this extent I have created a video with my Ubuntu installation in the latest VMWare interface and you will find this below as this will make you read through the instructions to become more familiar with the functionality and terminology.

While these directions are for VMWare the functionality is consistent with other VM approaches (Hyper-V, Virtual Box, etc.). If you choose one of these other options you will have to rely on Google and/or YouTube videos for support as I cannot remotely diagnose your foreign system with all its unknown (to me) components.

Also – my instructions and screenshots below were taken from the Apple OS so if installing on Windows you will have to do a little translation (e.g. the “Add New…” will be in slightly different areas but just look at my instructions and the translation into Windows should be intuitive.  Note this is important as it requires an conceptual understanding on your behalf and quickly identifies whether you have been doing the necessary reading and research over the past 10 LLs. Having said this we also know that the interface could be changed but if we have performed the necessary reading and research we should be able to work through anything.

Should something go wrong please read the troubleshooting notes below but you knew that as you read through the entire document before starting per the instructions. For clarity (repeating the main menu content) the Host OS is your system’s OS (e.g. Mac or Windows most likely) whereas you will install guest OSs in the VM.

Ubuntu installation into the VMWare Virtual Machine (VM)

1. You should have downloaded the Ubuntu ISO to your desktop from the Ubuntu link in step 2 and verified the download in step 3.  Note this iso will work for the USB install as well (USB install is one possible final project). Again, the iso is a disk image so you do not burn this to disk but select the download when installing.

Also note YouTube has many installation videos and it is wise to watch a few videos to cement your knowledge.  Also if you had to download an earlier version of VMWare Fusion or Workstation, YouTube has videos of Linux installations in these earlier versions as there are minor variations in VMWare versions (but with proper reading you should be able to navigate the installation without the videos… if you need the videos this is a good indication that you have not read through this lab enough and this should server notice to stop and perform more reading).

2. Open (start) VMware and choose the “Add” icon with the + sign and down arrow in the upper left corner of the VMWare screen and then choose “New”.  Again interfaces change so this could be under “File” on a Windows machine and they you would choose something like “New Virtual Machine”.

2. Choose “Continue without disk” as we downloaded the Ubuntu iso to our desktop.  Here is where interfaces really vary but functionally, you will be browsing to your computer’s desktop to locate the iso for VMWare.

3. “Continue without disk” will lead to the next screen below where you “Choose a disk or disk image” and choosing this will open another window where you will choose the Ubuntu iso you downloaded to your desktop (2nd screenshot below) and choose “Open” and then choose “Continue” on the next screen.

4. You should now be looking at the “Choose Operating System” page (below) and it should correctly reflect “Linux” and “Ubuntu” in the drop down menus.  Please choose continue.

5. Now VMWare and the Linux Easy Install does most of the VM configuration for us so all we need to do is check that our display name (e.g. James Looby) and username (e.g. jameslooby) are correct (please correct them as necessary if they are not in this format as you will need this for your Linux Lab assignments) and then choose and confirm a password.  Leave the “Make the home folder available to the Virtual Machine” and you may change the option to “Read/Write” so that you can move things between your host OS and VM.  Lastly choose “Continue” to move to the next screen.

6. Now a new option will appear for which I do not have a screen shot.  Please allow VMWare to download the Linux Tools.  If it fails there is no problem as we can also do this later if necessary.

7. Now we will let VMWare choose our default settings as we can modify these later so choose “Finish” which leads us to a confirmation page to name our Guest OS and choose where to save it.

8. Ubuntu should now begin to install, please watch and read the installation screens as they appear.

9. When complete and when you shutdown your VM, please take a snapshot (located in the VMWare Library Screen)


Note 1, on some Windows systems you will have enter the BIOS to enable Virtualization support.

Note 2, on some systems the installation iso will continue to be detected and the Ubuntu installation may try to run again.  If this occurs the easiest fix is to delete the Ubuntu iso you used for installation.

Mac OSX Installation

Windows 7 VMWare Player Pro Installation

Exercise 10.4

If you are here, congratulations as you are now running a Virtual Machine or a virtualized environment!  Please take a screenshot of your running Ubuntu guest OS  (adding it to your pdf file with your Hash Comparison 10.3) and submit this pdf file.


You may now work entirely inside Linux should you choose to do so. To create a document do the following.  Look at  and scroll over the items in the left panel dashboard.  Open the “Libre Office Writer”.  Hit return a few times to give yourself space for the screenshots and headings. Choose “File” and then “Save As”, name the file as instructed above and for now, save it to your desktop (Later you can save it to a specific folder like Documents but let’s keep the file in plain sight for now).

To take a screenshot do the following.  Open the Launcher Dash home (top icon in left panel dashboard) and type Screenshot in the textbox and then choose the Screenshot application.  (Actually, if you just type “screen” you should see the Screenshot Camera Icon in the Applications panel).  Note the various options as you can take a picture of the entire desktop, current window or even choose an area (you will be presented with crosshairs to select the region).  Also note you can choose a delay so that you can open minimized windows or change focus to a particular window before the screenshot is taken.  When the next screen comes up save the screenshot to your desktop (again later we will save it a better place).  Lastly, note that you can drag the Screenshot Camera Icon to your left panel application menu bar or alternatively, once it is open, right click on its icon in the left panel launcher and choose “Lock to launcher” as you will use it throughout the Linux Labs.

After taking the screenshot of your Ubuntu system, drag the screenshot from you desktop into the open document, give it a heading and save it.

Now we have not really moved into exploring the Ubuntu desktop yet but there is another way to take screenshots – via Keyboard Shortcuts.   I leave this optional item to you should you wish to research it but note you can remap these as necessary but I would leave them at the default but you may use these as necessary.

Ubuntu Exploration

Now when exiting you should shut down your system gracefully, while VMWare will shut down your system properly should you close the VMWare window let’s operate as if we are on a standalone Linux system.  There are several ways to shut down the system, I use the gear icon in the upper right Linux window which expands to show “Shutdown”.

OK, so everyone should have an Ubuntu instance up and running so play around with the Ubuntu desktop (e.g. explore applications, firefox, etc.).  Now note the Ubuntu desktop has undergone a major revision as the top menu panels were replaced by a  dock-like launcher (Dash) and task management panel that is displayed vertically along the left-hand side. The top panel will house application indicators, window indicators, and the menubar of the active window (very similar to Mac OSX).  Now I admit I am was a little lost at first when trying to find functionality but now I just go to the dash home (top icon in left dashboard) and type in what I am trying to find (e.g. software center).  Now I’m not sure I want my Ubuntu behaving like an iPad but oh well – 🙂

Lastly, please find the terminal (i.e. open Dash and search for Terminal) as you will need this for subsequent LLs and the Final Project.

VMWare Exploration

Note that you can create shared folders between your host OS and guest Ubuntu OS in the VMWare Settings => Shared Folders (note this requires VMWare Tools and you may need to reinstall this periodically).

Trouble Shooting

Your first course of action should be to Google your error and include the keywords “VMWare” and “Ubuntu”.

If Ubuntu does not install correctly (i.e. non-functioning Ubuntu VM) and your cryptographic hash computation matched the hash on Ubuntu’s site => delete your Ubuntu VM instance and reinstall Ubuntu.  If this fails go back on VMWare’s site and try an earlier version of VMWare or in Win 7/Win8/Win10 you can try one of Microsoft’s built in VMs.

Ubuntu Troubleshooting

Several students have documented problems with the Dash icons not showing up. A quick Google on “VMWare Ubuntu no icons” revealed the following => Turn off 3D Acceleration in VMWare.  Goto “Virtual Machine Settings” click “Display” and uncheck Accelerate 3D Graphics.  Note this also works for disappearing mouse pointer but for a missing mouse pointer you should also research how to reveal a disappearing mouse pointer (ctrl-command on Mac).

Screenshot Troubleshooting

If you experience screenshot difficulties within Ubuntu (optional component), please use your host’s screenshot functionality to take a screenshot of your entire desktop that includes your guest Ubuntu OS and submit this from your host OS.  (Note you should research how to take screenshots on your host OS on your own as this is a fundamental IT skill).

Note, one student was able to resolve the black screen screenshot problem by disabling 3D graphics in the virtual machine setup, this solution was suggested by a forum the student had googled.

Getting My Help

Again Google is your best friend as it is available 24/7 but I am here to help and I will get you through this as we have many alternatives.  We can also use Jing to communicate online.

Note that per LM1 and the Course Introduction, I will not respond to emails that do not adhere to the “Contacting your Professors” email convention. Specifically I need to know what system you are on (32 vs. 64 bit, OS version, etc.) and exactly what step you are on so if you need help, please send me your last completed step so I can properly assist you. Also, I stated we must be precise with our terminology and our academic and professional success will depend on this. I know this is new to everyone as I am still receiving questions that demonstrates a lack of specificity (VB is a VM, Ubuntu is Linux, snapshot vs. screenshot, etc. )

Again I know this email policy may be misconstrued as harsh however we must transform ourselves into Information Systems professionals and this is a necessary step.  To this extent, students are responsible for rereading LM1 to find this information (and any or all previous coursework) as some students have requested that I simply resend this information. This also is a very important aspect of our development as CIS is foundational and we must frequently review previously covered material.  In the future, if you continually ask your boss to resend information they previously sent, you will probably not last long in that position.

Discussion Board Posts

One component of this assignment is a discussion board (DB) that requires that you document/relate your installation experiences and your 1st impression of Linux in the Blackboard discussion. Your description should also detail your host system as this may identify common problems for certain platforms.  It also gets you in the IT Support mindset as you will understand IT Support’s frustrations as I cannot tell you how many times I have received emails with “I can’t get my Firefox to work” without any other information.  Of course this leaves me with absolutely no course of action.   If nothing else, how would you improve my instructions above as training will become a component of your jobs (note that certain information has to be a little vague relying on the user’s intuition as I do not control VirtualBox’s or Ubuntu’s installation scripts or Website links and naming conventions). Also, could someone research and inform the group about the difference between a Virtual Machine’s Bridged vs. NAT networking modes?  In some enterprise architectures you may need to use bridged mode if you are connecting directly to the system and need to see all server shares.

In summary your post should include:

1. Your host OS/platform

2. Your installation experiences/challenges

3. Your first impression of VB and Ubuntu Linux

If you have difficulties, please post your difficulties but email me with this text as well as email will show up on my radar quicker.  From an OS perspective, email may be thought of as interrupt driven whereas me constantly checking for new posts is polling and polling is inefficient – 🙂


I recommend you take a snapshot to preserve your working VMWare Ubuntu instance/state.  This will be slightly different depending on your VM application (e.g. VMWare, Virtual PC, etc.).  To this extent you are required to research how to take a system snapshot to save the system state for your particular VM. Again, as previously introduced, there is educational value here as understanding virtualization software stack is required.

To take a snapshot in VMWare, shutdown your Ubuntu and look at your VB with Ubuntu closed.  You will see a little icon in the top menu titled “Snapshots”.  Choose this icon and then choose the “Take” icon, name the snapshot “Installation” and add notes if you choose.  Now you should take snapshots frequently and you may delete old snapshots when you confirm everything is running smoothly.  This is particularly important during the Final Projects.

Note that an Ubuntu screenshot is different from a VM snapshot.  The screenshot captures your screen, a snapshot captures the state of your system and therefore provides you with a stable backup.  Now having introduced this you should take a snapshot of your system when you shut down your Ubuntu system and you should shut down a Linux system.  Snapshot instructions are located further below.

Thank you and let the fun begin – 🙂

Prof James G. Looby

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