VMWare Workstation 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 Easy Install – Too easy?

I’ve got a company laptop for the weekend and wanted to take Ubuntu 9.10 for a spin. Using wubi (and then later uninstalling it) would probably have worked, but I haven’t used the latest version of VMWare, so let’s have a look at how well the new VMWare 7 handles the equally new Ubuntu distro with Easy Install.

Based on the disk image I chose, VMWare Workstation already knew I was installing Ubuntu. It prompted me for my full name, desired username, and password. Next thing I know VMWare Workstation is blowing past any of the usual prompts during the bootup process of a Ubuntu install and formatting the partition.

Wait… what just happened? Easy Install makes a new installation almost too easy, so far!

Next I’m feasting my eyes on the new 9.10 installer. It’s been so long since I’ve installed Ubuntu, so the installer overhaul is a very welcome addition. I see that there’s been a lot of work done to make things easier on the eyes, as well as streamline the install process.

No more than 10 minutes after, VMWare is done with the initial install and reboot. I’m impressed! Equally impressive is that it pops up immediately with an prompt for my username and password to install VMWare tools… it would have been nice if the login was automated so that I wouldn’t need to login with credentials I setup 5 minutes ago.

After sitting for awhile doing it’s installation proceedure with no progress indicator, it boots me to a command prompt. There’s an X Server error on the screen so I figure there’s gonna be some configuration that I need to do, so no problem. I start typing sudo dpkg-reconf… and then zap! It’s gone.

A quick shimmy of the screen while the VM changes video modes and poof! I’m at the improved login prompt for Karmic. I login and instantly I’m looking at a fresh new install of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala and VMWare Workstation 7.

Took about 15 minutes when it was all said and done, including the reboot and mostly automated VMWare Tools install. Very nice. Very similar to how the last time I used VMWare Fusion to run Windows XP it asked for username, password, CD-Key, etc and automated the entire thing.

Now, all I’ve gotta do is install 107 updates for Karmic Koala… perhaps the installer team could have integrated a quick update during the install.

Overall, very impressed. Could have used more bacon.