Visual Tutorial -Learning Linux over Windows
In the tutorial below I’ll walk you through setting up Ubuntu on Windows inside a virtual machine.
0.First we need to download the free VMware player [ HERE ]
Before you start installing the VMWare player you probably want to start the Linus ISO download.
If you already have an Ubuntu CD, you can use that, but the VMWare Player let’s us create a VM instance from an .iso file on disk which is much faster than reading from a CD / DVD drive. So we can just download an .iso file and not bother burning the image to a physical disk.
Go to Ubuntu on line and download the .iso that yo want (I’ll grab the 32 bit version) [ Get it HERE ]
2.While that is downloading, go ahead and run the VMWare installer that you downloaded. Accept the default install options and, if you are prompted for permissions, say yes. When you’re done, double click on the VMWare Player icon .
When the VMWare player starts, select “Create a New Virtual Machine”.
When the “New Virtual Machine Wizard” starts, switch the “install from” option from “Installer disk” to “Installer disk image file”.
Once your Ubuntu download has completed you can click on the browse button and select the Ubuntu .iso file that you just downloaded.
After you select your Ubuntu .iso something cool happens. Note the line pointed out by the red arrow. The VMWare player is “Ubuntu aware” and has some built in smarts for installing Ubuntu (other Linux distros are supported by “Easy Install” too.)
Stop and read / look closely before you fill out the next screen.
The settings that you enter in this dialog will become your log-in credentials for this Linux installation.
- Your “Full name” can pretty much be anything using the accepted character set.
- Your “USER name” must be lower case.
- a password is required, but the rules are slack
When you fill out these fields and click next you will have a chance to name the virtual machine and select where the VM file will be located.
Next, I suggest you just take the defaults.
If you are going to build a VM that you will use seriously, you may want to increase the disk space allocation and the memory, but for our purposes the defaults will work just fine.
Also, if you’re using NTFS on your Windows install (which is the default on modern versions) you shouldn’t have problems moving the large single VM files around.
Click next and we will have the chance to revew our selections.
The “Customize Hardware” button will expose the options to increase the VM’s memory allocation, etc.
After you click finish, you will get a hint as to the devices that you can choose to attach to your Linux VM instance. We’re not going to connect any, but it’s a nice as to how easily you can integrate the devices that Windows is configured to use.
You’ll also get a dialog that asks you if you want to download and install the latest version of the VMWare tools for Linux. These tools help your Windows “host” and your Linux “client” to work together so i suggest you agree and click the “Download and Install” button.
You’ll see this dialog :
Just move the dialog out of the way and let it do its thing. We can move on with our configuration.
While the VMWare tools for Linux are downloading you will see that the VMWare player is installing Ubuntu Linux.
When it’s done, you will see this :
Ignore this prompt and in a few seconds you will see this screen:
Click on your user name :
Note this error / warning message !
Don’t worry, this is normal. Becuase we are installing Ubuntu Linux in a virtual machine, the VM presents a virtualized set of generic hardware. Ubuntu only wants to try to run Unity if it is sure your environment can support it. When you install on native hardware you may want to use Unity, however I prefer the classic Ubuntu interface.
Ubuntu will log you in and start the “Classic” desktop.
When you log out and than log back in you will see an option atthe bottom of the screen that will allow you to specify the Classic desktop.
Poof Ubuntu Linux is YOURS.
You will note that Mozilla Firefox is installed by default.
Since FireFox is the best browser on the web – it is all you will ever need but, should you want a different choice, for testing perhaps, you can install Chrome, Opera or one of the other browsers that support Linux.
Also, Ubuntu will automatically check to see if there are any updates available.
Since you are a Windows user, you should already be used to this model.
Click on the Update Manager Link
You can review and choose which updates you want to install. I update everythign that is available.
The first update will take a few minutes.
You may also want to do a separate “proprietary” driver install.
In the case of our Virtual Machine we will use this to install the VMWare Client tools for Linnux.
BUT, if you are installing directly to your machine and your machine’s manufacturer supplies Linux drivers, you may find these proprietary drivers available for install here as well.
In a follow up post I’ll focus on the developer tools that I’ll be using to do demos but I want to show you how easy it is to install software applications using Ubuntu’s Software Center.
For email, Ubuntu includes Evolution Mail by default, but I much prefer Mozilla Thunderbird so lets use the Ubuntu Software Center to install Thunderbird.
At the top left corner of the desktop you will see the Applications menu, pull it down and select the bottom option”Ubuntu Software Center”
When the Software Center starts you can either browse categories or search by name.
This is party central for free software – so you’ll find dozens of applications you will want to try.
Type “thunder’ in the search box ….
Thunderbird Mail / News will appear in the hits list, click on the Thunderbird install button.
You will see “Installing” and “In progress” indicators that show that the application is installing.
When the app is fully installed you will see the progress bar turns in to a “Remove” button.
Viola ! You’re up and running and ready to explore Linux – and all it cost you was a little disk space.
Next, I’ll start spinning up a developer tools stack and we’ll get to writing some code.
have fun, email me with problems or questions !