Emboldened by the reviews of other bloggers (both of them), I downloaded the latest alpha of Ubuntu 9.04.  I decided to take the safe route and install in a virtual machine.  Here are the particulars:

  • host machine: Xubuntu 8.10
  • VMplayer: latest
  • vmappliance: live cd boot

The initial attempt had the 2G virtual hard drive that comes with the appliance.  When I elected to let the machine set things up, it came up with values then told me that the values were no good and the install might not work.  Completely unimpressed, I swapped in a 20G virtual drive I keep for just such purposes.

I have had some trouble in the past booting Ubuntu, whether live or install, because it wouldn’t allow me to select.  I finally figured out that the arrow keys DON’T WORK (in all cases) and decided to try the number pad arrow keys, which worked.

The auto partition worked just fine with the 20G drive and I was greeted with the traditional horrid brown Ubuntu (Gnome?) wallpaper while the install progressed.  You can feel free to take this as a slam or just write me off as not a big fan of craggy brown wallpaper, I don’t care.

Does this qualify as live-blogging if I’m doing it while it’s installing?

The `install’ took all of about ten minutes, if that long.  I discovered I had no nForce2 chipset, which is probably a good thing.  I discovered this because it told me while booting.   It comes up as one would expect.  There is an obvious design change for the login screen and then I’m up at what appears to be a fairly generic Gnome desktop.

Unfortunately I don’t like Gnome, hence the Xubuntu host system.

Firefox (3.06) came up as expected.  Obviously setup had no trouble with any of the virtual hardware (not that I’d expect it to).  The update manager found 310.4MB of updates to download.  At this rate, I might be up and running fully by next month (no fault of Canonical).

It has just asked me if I want to upgrade glibc now.  I am going to take a shot in the dark and tell it Full Steam Ahead.

The package upgrade took about four times longer than the install but that was mostly download time.

I raised the resolution from 800×600 to 1024, which made things a bit less clunky and `upgraded’ to XFCE.

NOW I’m comfortable.

And I can assure you that, this far, the beta works flawlessly 🙂

I’ll keep it up for days and report on my progress.  Or whatever else happens.  Quite frankly it isn’t that different so far from the machine on which it’s running.