Installing Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron in Virtual PC 2007

A picture is worth a thousand words...


"An unrecoverable processor error has been encountered.  The virtual machine will reset now."

It looks like Ubuntu isn't the only one with this problem... Fedora 9 releases tomorrow and according to this post, it has the same error in Virtual PC.  Whatever happened to Linus' Law? (given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow).  I guess enough eyeballs writing kernel code are not doing so on Virtual PC.  😉

Fortunately, the fix is covered in the comments (and summarized by Robert) from Arcane Code's excellent article, aptly named Installing Ubuntu 8.04 under Microsoft Virtual PC 2007.

Using guidance from a number of participants on this blog I’ve successfully managed to install Ubuntu 8.04 on two separate PC’s running VPC 2007 and I have it running at 1152 X 768 @ 55Hz with working sound.

The notes below are nothing original, they are just summarized from previous entries and maybe clarified.

To get the CD to load,
Press F4 to select an alternate starting mode. When it pops up, change to Safe graphics mode and press Enter.
Select F6 and add “noreplace-paravirt” to the end of the command line and press Enter.
Now pick “Try Ubuntu…” (should already be selected) and press enter. Do NOT pick the Install Ubuntu option,

Once Ubuntu is loaded from CD, select install from the desktop and it’ll build the system on the VPC disk.
After you press restart, it just kind of hangs there. I shut the VPC session down and told it to save state, then started it again and it booted fine.

Once it gets to GRUB, interupt the boot and add the “noreplace-paravirt” to the kernel boot line.

1. Press “esc” while grub is visible.
2. You should now see 3 entries to select from. Leave the first one “Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic” selected and press “e”.
3. On the next page, select the second entry that reads “kernel /boot/vmlinuz…” and press “e” again.
4. You will see a command line that ends with “xforcevesa”. Hit “space” and add “noreplace-paravirt” (without the quotes) to that line and press “enter”.
5. You are now back at the previous selection screen with the entry “kernel /boot/vmlinuz…” still selected. Now press “b” and it should boot correctly.

Once Ubuntu has loaded, open a terminal window (Applications. Accessories, Terminal) and on the command line enter “sudu nano /boot/grub/menu.lst”
Enter your password and page down to near the bottom and locate the “kernel /boot/vmlinuz… in the “Ubuntu 8.04, kernel 2.6.24-16-generic” section

Move the cursor to the end of the line after xforcevesa and add “noreplace-paravirt” (no quotes)
Ctrl + O to write out, enter to accept the name, Ctrl + X to close

While you’re editing, you might as well fix the sound while you’re at it.

sudo nano /etc/rc.local

At the end of the # lines, but before “exit 0?, type on a new line (again without quotes) “modprobe snd-sb16?
Ctrl + O to write out, enter to accept the name, Ctrl + X to close.

Reboot Ubuntu. The reboot should be clean, and the sound icon should come up without an error indication.

Screen size is a little tricky. Go to

Find the entry from pb dated April 27 and cut the xorg.conf file from this entry and past it into the Ubuntu text editor. (Applications, Accessories, Text Editor). Save the file as xorg.conf in your user folder.

Open a terminal window.

Backup the old version of xorg.conf
sudo cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf.backup

Copy the new one you created to the same location
sudo cp xorg.conf /etc/X11/xorg.conf


When Ubuntu reboots, your get a black screen with a X in the middle, then you’ll get a dialog message to saying “Ubuntu is running in low graphics mode, screen and graphics card coud not be detected”.

Take the option to configure graphics mode.
In the drop down where it says plug & play, select “Monitor 1280 X 1024?.
Select 1280 X 1024 @ 60Hz as your resolution.
Select Test
You should get a larger ‘gray’ window with option to keep the confguration. Select the option to keep it.

Ubuntu will start as normal and will be exactly the same size as before. Before you reboot, take alook at /etc/X11/xorg.conf …. it’s not the one you just created. Creating the new one appears to force Ubuntu to create a new one with more options.

Reboot again and you shold have a Ubuntu session runing at 1152 X 768 @ 55Hz.

Last couple of things…. in System, Preferences, Sound, set the playback options to ALSA. It’s pretty crappy but works better than OSS and certainly better than Auto detect which generates a stream error when you try to play MP3’s or movies.

Whew!  That's a lot of text.  I'll leave you with the new Ubuntu desktop background, which is pretty cool in a orange-brown-must-be-the-new-black kind of way.


Comments (6)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Fedora 9 was released last week, which you can download here:

  2. Anonymous says:

    Installare Fedora 9 in Virtual PC 2007

  3. Anonymous says:

    Virtual Server on Windows Home Server

  4. Anonymous says:

    If you have Vista, or installed XP SP3, you might have seen some quirkiness out of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. To counter, Microsoft has released a Service Pack for this Virtual environment. The Download is for x86 and x64 and…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Reconozco que siempre he utilizado Windows, ya que mi trabajo así lo ha requerido, pero con los nuevos

  6. Anonymous says:

    Very helpful article. Using it I got a Hardy Heron Desktop install onto a Virtual PC VM on Vista. Any suggestions about how to get the Server install onto a VM instead?

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