Making Ubuntu Server Work in Sun's VirtualBox

Here’s a quick fix if you’re interested in installing a VM running Ubuntu Server in Sun‘s OSS virtualization tool, VirtualBox.

After installing the 32bit version of Ubuntu Server 8.10 in VirtualBox 2.0.4 on my MacBook Pro (OSX), I was faced with the following error message when starting the VM, which I found also happens on other platforms:

This kernel requires the following features not present on the CPU: pae

From Wikipedia:

Physical Address Extension (PAE) refers to a feature of x86 and x86-64 processors that allows more than 4 gigabytes (GB) of physical memory to be used in 32-bit systems, given appropriate operating system support.

Fortunately, the fix was as easy as pie:

  • Once VirtualBox is up and running, select your Ubuntu Server VM.
  • Go to the “General” configuration screen and select the “Advanced” tab.
  • Check the “Enable PAE/NX” option.

Here’s a screenshot:

Ubuntu Server in VirtualBox: PAE/NX option selection

Try starting your VM again, and all should go as planned. It did for me.

SSH Setup for EC2 UI on Mac OS X

If you are using Amazon’s EC2 as a cloud hosting solution, you owe it to yourself to install the most excellent EC2 UI Firefox extension (source) to manage your server instances (note: not yet compatible with Firefox 3).

Now, if you also happen to be on Mac OS X, one annoying thing is that EC2 UI is configured by default to be used on Linux (and GNOME). Looking online, all I could find were questions on how to set EC2 UI on OS X to use the proper terminal and ssh, but no answer.

Fear not! Yours truly spent a few minutes on the case, and ended up finding a solution that is at least viable for myself, and will hopefully be for you as well. The trick is that I have X11 installed on my OS X box anyway, so I just use the binaries intended for this package.

EC2 UI setup for OSX

There you have it. Now, I can right click on any instance listed in EC2 UI and select “SSH to Public DNS Name”. X11 and xterm are both seamlessly launched and proceed to log me into the desired instance.

Parallels Desktop for Mac Update RC Wins MacWorld Expo 2007 “Best in Show”

RENTON, Wash. – January 10th, 2007 – Parallels announced today that its Update Release Candidate (RC) for the Parallels Desktop for Mac, released today, has been named “Best in Show” at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco. The “Best in Show” award is presented to the most elite of the several thousand products and services on display at the annual MacWorld Expo and Conference.

Congratulations! :)

Screenshots of Fedora Core 6 in VMWare Fusion Beta

Please note: this is an early report, and more details will be posted as I have more time to dig deeper into Fusion. Loads of screenshots in the meantime.

As I mentioned earlier, VMWare Fusion for Mac has had its first beta version released publicly today. My first thought was to try the existing Fedora Core 6 x86 virtual machine I put up for download a few weeks ago, to see if it would run as is on my 2006 Core Duo Macbook.

Having experience with both VMWare on other platforms and Parallels Desktop on the Mac, I was eager to see how the two compared. Having moved VMs between OS platforms with VMWare, I really wanted to know if the Mac would indeed be treated equally.

So since I’m busy packing for a holiday trip, and only have little time for it, I thought I’d post screenshots of how it all went. Hint: it’s all good. :) You can go ahead and download my VM image, and give it a shot for yourself.

I’m only going to embed a few screenshots below, so the page stays light, but here is a complete archive: (71 screenshots. SHA1SUM: 0e468e48e8727ff842258e720b323960f19b92ad)

VMware Virtualization for Mac Beta Released

The new VMware desktop product for the Mac, codenamed Fusion, allows Intel-based Macs to run x86 operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris, in virtual machines at the same time as Mac OS X. It is built on VMware’s rock-solid and advanced desktop virtualization platform that is used by over four million users today.

The beta is now freely downloadable. Looks like Parallels is going to have some competition. Eager to see how this pans out, or if Apple builds virtualization in their next-gen OS.

I also wonder if the VMWare images I have built will work as is on my Mac. Can’t wait to try it.

Hoping Parallels and Fusion won’t somehow conflict whe installed on the same box.