Ubuntu 9.04, otherwise known as "Jaunty Jackalope", was released last week, and the geek in me was eager to try it out. So I grabbed the Ubuntu 9.04 ISO image and created a new virtual machine with it in VMware Fusion 2.0.4. And I am happy to report that with a couple of tweaks, things work pretty well today.
Here are the steps I took to get a working Ubuntu 9.04 virtual machine:
1) Download the Ubuntu 9.04 x86 Desktop CD image.
2) In VMware Fusion 2.0.4, use the New Virtual Machine Assistant (File -> New), and point it at the Ubuntu CD image file.
3) Follow the instructions in the New Virtual Machine Assistant, and select Easy Install. Since VMware Fusion 2.0.4 was released before the Ubuntu 9.04 release, it does not include Pre-Built Kernel Modules for Ubuntu 9.04. As a result, there are a couple of issues with VMware Tools that I will address further down, but Easy Install is still a good place to start – it will still get a lot done during the initial setup.
4) Finish the New Virtual Machine Assistant, and let Ubuntu install. Once the Ubuntu virtual machine finishes installing and then boots up, you will have a working Ubuntu 9.04 virtual machine with a couple of minor issues that we can work around.
First, you will immediately notice that you cannot move your mouse cursor outside of your virtual machine window. You will need to use key combo CTRL+CMD to do that. This is because the vmmouse driver, a VMware mouse driver that enables the mouse ungrab feature, was not installed by X.org included with Ubuntu. This can be easily fixed by running command "sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse" in a terminal window in the Ubuntu virtual machine:
After reboot, you should be able to mouse in and out of the virtual machine window without the ungrab key combo.
Second, shared folders do not work. The kernel module vmhgfs that powers the shared folder feature, failed to compile during the VMware Tools install. The failure is due to a kernel API change in the new Linux kernel that ships with Ubuntu 9.04. A small source code change is required to fix this. If you don't mind getting your hands dirty a bit, check out this VMware Fusion forum post where some VMware Fusion users discuss how to do this. (Credit: the original workaround for this was posted by Laptopbisnis in their blog).
After making these two small changes, all the great features you have come to expect with Linux virtual machines in VMware Fusion now work, including file drag and drop, text copy and paste, automatic screen resize, shared folders, and even Unity.
While VMware Fusion 2.0.4 does not support Ubuntu 9.04 guests because Ubuntu 9.04 came out after VMware Fusion, hopefully this post will get you up and running with the "Jaunty Jackalope" right away, until we ship official Ubuntu 9.04 support in a future VMware Fusion release.