My ongoing experiences with Ubuntu, and later Mythbuntu, as a media center with MythTV. I'm also using the system for a virtual machine server, a mediawiki server and a general all around home infrastructure base.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Installing Virtual Box

I recently upgraded to VMServer 2.0.1 on my Ubuntu laptop and I'm very unhappy. The new console is very slow and it hangs often. I'm tried of watching "loading" message. Certainly my laptop is a little old (1.5GHz Celeron M processor) and maybe that is a contributor. On the other hand if you google the net, you'll find no shortage of other people with the same opinion.

I installed VirtualBox on my Mac laptop and found I really liked it. So I figured I'd give it a try on my Ubuntu laptop as well.

First you need to choose between the Open vs Closed Source editions. Despite being a fan of open source I went with the closed source, mainly because the Remote Display Protocol server sounded like useful functionality I might want.

Install was fairly straight forward, I went to the VirtualBox Linux Downloads page and clicked on the Ubuntu .deb link.

One annoyance is that it didn't install an entry in the Applications menu, so I had to start it from the command line:
% /usr/X11R6/bin/VirtualBox
I did add an icon on the panel using the following steps:
  1. Right Click on Application Panel
  2. Select "Add to Panel"
  3. Select "Custom Application Launcher" and "Add"
  4. Type is "Application"
  5. Name is "VirtualBox"
  6. Command is "/usr/X11R6/bin/VirtualBox"
  7. Click OK.
This will create an icon with the default "spring" image. If anyone knows where I can find a stash of images for applications, please let me know.

That's it. If I like it on my laptop, next step will be installing it on my server which will be more interesting since I'll want to have unattended, automatically starting VMs and I'll also want to re-use my existing VMWare images (the images on my laptop don't have enough state for me to worry about).
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