Monday, December 31, 2007

VMWare and Ubuntu Linux 7.10

I wanted to get an install of XP on my Ubuntu box and so downloaded VMWare server (its free) from here and found a howto here which I will quote throughout this post.

The first step is to load some of the Ubuntu modules you'll need to compile the vmserver via aptitude. Run the following command
sudo aptitude install linux-headers-`uname -r` build-essential (which requires your install cd)

Next install xinetd
sudo aptitude install xinetd
Per the instrustions from hotowforge, I went to the following site and downloaded the latest any-to-any patch. You'll need this patch in the middle of your install.

Untar the vmserver tarball you downloaded.

tar -xvzf

Change directory into the resultant directory (there will be only one) and run


I accepted the defaults with the possible exception of the default vmware file location (you'll want it on a partiton with some space) and the following question you show answer NO to.

Before running VMware Server for the first time, you need to configure it by invoking the following command: "/usr/bin/". Do you want this program to invoke the command for you now? [yes]

Answer NO. You will then exit the installation script.

Now you'll want to run the patch you downloaded. Untar that file and descend into the resulting directory.

sudo ./

Again, accept the defaults. The script modifies the installed vmware software. At the end you will again be asked to run the vmware-config. Answer YES this time.

After that completes, start vmware with the command
If you did everything right, the vmware console should appear. At this point you'll need to create a new virtual machine. If your machine once ran a microsoft product, you can reinstall on the new virtual machine but you'll need the license code off the old box. Alternately, you can install a new copy of Ubuntu or any other operating system supported by VMWARE.

So, to create a new guest OS you tell the vm server to create it, give it resource such as disk and memory. A note here is to use the defaults the first time you create an instance and, if you us FAT file system as a backup, allow vm server to split the created disk into 2 GB chunks.

After you have the VM created, put your OS install CD in and tell the instance to boot. It should read the CD and install the whatever OS you've selected. Follow the normal install procedure for that OS. The only additional step I recommend is to install vmtools into the new image once its up and running and has all the patches you wish to install.

Vmtools allows you to resize the screen above 460x680 and allows you to cut and paste between host and virtual machine.

All in all it was a fairly painless process outside of the OS install.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Galowwy LIVES!!!

I am happy to report that all is well in the fish tank. All five fish somehow survived the initial three week period of the tank cycle. Galowwy now swims regularly around the tank with the others so all seems well. I also discovered the Galowwy is a Mickey Platy as well. It was hard to spot the mouse markings among the darkly colored scales but its there, sure enough.

My wife took a water sample into the pet store to determine if we could add more, less fragile fish than the indestructible platies. The fish guy stated that our water was too acidic. This is an odd fact since we have well water and that water is known for being too alkaline.

The pet store guy indicated that our addition of shells and the castle might be the cause. NOT THE CASTLE!! That is the single coolest feature ever to grace the inside of any fish tank.

We decided to remove the shells and await the next test. Time will tell whether we are ever ready for fragile fish. Then again, maybe we should just stick with platies.

Well, it turned out what we had here was a failure to communicate. The fish guy stated our PH is too high which indicates our water is too alkaline not too acidic. Now this makes sense since our water is surrounded by limestone down in the well. I also determined that our castles, is indeed, plaster which add to the alkalinity.

So now our choices are to remove the castle (never!) and remove about a quarter of the water and replace it with bottled water or we can buy fish that actually like a high PH. Unfortunately these fish also eat platies and that's a life lesson I'm not quite ready to teach my four year old.