Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” on VMware Fusion 2

Images 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.
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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.
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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:
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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.

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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.


21 comments have been added so far

  1. It’s funny, I just installed this Linux distro this morning. I’m loving it so far, I mainly did it to make sure that my website looks good on firefox for Linux. And it does.
    Great post guys, thanks.

  2. Harish, Debian is an unsupported guest OS in VMware Fusion, so we do not track it closely. The steps may not be the same, or necessary. It looks like the latest Debian 5 is based on kernel 2.6.26 – so I am not sure if the HGFS recompile is necessary.
    I would recommend you try it out and if you run into same issues with VMware Tools, try applying similar workaround.

  3. Hi,
    I am also suffering from the vmmouse issue in my (64 bit) Ubuntu 9.04 install in VMWare fusion. However, the workaround posted about, “sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse”, does not work for me as I already have that package installed. Any other ideas ?
    cheers Chris

  4. Hi David,
    Thanks for the prompt reply. I did manage to get Debian installed ok, and I also managed to get the Vmware tools working: this required a bit of compiling with kernel modules and so on which was very straight forward.
    However, soon after posting my first comment, I tried Ubuntu, and I am most definitely a convert now. Ubuntu has the same raw power of Debian should I need it, but it also have a very polished UI which works as is, without much tinkering.

  5. My mouse ungrab was also not working but I already had xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse installed and the xorg.conf edits mentioned in the other comment’s link didn’t fix it either.
    What did work for me was to:
    sudo apt-get remove xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse
    and then
    sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse
    I then logged out, restarted the Xserver and now the mouse is getting released automatically just fine when pointer is moved outside the VMware fusion client’s window.

  6. Has anyone else had a problem with the tools installation for X? After upgrading from 8.10 to 9, and attempting to install VMWare tools I get the following error message after I choose the display size for X to start with:
    Undefined InputDevice “VMware Keyboard” referenced by ServerLayout “Default Layout”.
    (EE) Problem parsing the config file
    (EE) Error parsing the config file
    Fatal server error:
    no screens found

  7. Does this all mean, I’ll have similiar problems on the next ubuntu kernel upgrade when running under fusion?
    Why isn’t there just a .deb for the vmware-tools? Could be maintained seperate from fusion and we wouldn’t have to bother with all sorts of fixes while waiting for fusion to be updated.
    regards, fil

  8. Thanks, openthreads,
    I was having the similar mouse problems on my upgrade to Kubuntu 9.04 on a 64-bit Fusion VM.
    I followed what openthreads suggested, and now the VM ungrabs my mouse and lets me move it out of the VM into OS X.
    Strangely to me, kdesudo hung when I tried to remove the xserver-xorg-input-vmmouse. kdesudo checked the dependencies and told me what would be removed, but it never asked me if I wanted to go ahead. I had to use sudo to do that.

  9. I installed ubuntu Jackalope on 2 different virtual machines on my a mac. After installing apache, linux, php, and mysql and configuring everything, I shut down the second vm with ubuntu and shut down vmware, I restarted vmware and opened the second virtual machine and … nothing. I was at the ubuntu installation page.
    I chose the change nothing and view ubuntu on this computer option and it started, but has nothing installed, none of my configs, etc.
    Any ideas?

  10. I must say, im impressed and pleased that this install works for all of you, my experience has been this:
    1) downloaded Ubuntu 9.04
    2) install fine on several PCs (so media and download is ok)
    3)Try to install in VMWare fusion = hangs
    4) try to install again = hangs
    5) tried with different settings = hangs
    6) tried with and without easy install = hangs
    7) trying now again for the 100th time = hang.
    Ah well, at least Snow Leopard is out today..something to look forward to.,

  11. Nope, now something new…..now it crashed VMWare Fusion during install HAHA…this cant be normal, ive never had this much trouble with VMWare.
    Is there any specific reason that this should be occuring?

  12. I need to update the VMWare tools on mine (it keeps saying WMWare Tools not installed). How can I go about updating these tools? I’ve left you with my website, so feel free to shoot me an email from the website if you wish.

  13. When I try to run ./vmware-toolbox I get:
    Gtk-Message: Failed to load module “canberra-gtk-module”: libcanberra-gtk-module.so: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
    (vmware-toolbox-gtk:9199): Gtk-WARNING **: Unable to locate theme engine in module_path: “murrine”,
    above line repeated 6 more times and then:
    GTK Accessibility Module initialized
    /usr/lib/vmware-tools/bin/vmware-toolbox-gtk: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/libbonobo-2.so.0: undefined symbol: g_dgettext
    And then it dies. Any ideas?

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