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Installing Ubuntu

First, download the installation ISO. (I prefer KDE, so I grabbed Kubuntu.)

Open xVM and go through the Add Machine Wizard. Details (if needed) are found in the New Machine Wizard section below Figure 1 in Part 1; the difference is that you select Ubuntu as the OS type and use a name that will remind you of the OS of the guest you create. Create a disk.

Settings are the same as for XP above as described in Settings Window section below Part 1, Figure 3, except that you point CDROM at the Kubuntu .iso using whatever path on the host gets you to the ISO, unless you burned yours to a CD, in which case you mount the C/DVD drive.

If you are new to Linux, note that your first boot is to the live CD. Click the Install icon, which opens a wizard. Do what it says: Accept all the defaults and keep clicking Forward, click the Install button when you get to that point, and go through until it reaches the last screen where it gives you a choice:

  • Continue Using the Live CD
  • Restart Now

Right-click the CD icon on the bottom-right of the Kubuntu window and select Unmount CD/DVD ROM from the menu. Then click Restart Now.

There is a problem, though. The default window for *nix seems to be 1600×1200 or something like that. If you can't see the display and can’t resize it (this happened to me during the initial CD load), you can right-click the desktop to bring up a menu that includes shutdown and logout options.

Guest Additions

Install Guest Additions by pulling it down from the Machine menu, double-clicking the DVD disk icon, and right-clicking the .run file and selecting Run as Root.

Figure 1

Figure 6 Installing Guest Additions—Kubuntu

Restart when the system says to. Right-click the desktop and select Create New Folder. When it asks for the name, type in whatever you want to call the host workstation shared folder you will be accessing from your guest VM desktop. You will be using that name for “shared-folder” when you edit the rc.local file below.

Setting Up Shared Folders Without SAMBA

As I said, you do not need to set up SAMBA in order to get shared folders on xVM.

To set up the shared folder, follow these steps:

  1. Click the VM's Settings accessed through the xVM Console icon.
  2. Click the Add icon (hover the mouse over the icons on the right until the identifying tooltip reads “Add Shows”).
  3. Add the path directly or browse to the directory on the host to whatever host folder you want to share with the guest VM.
  4. Add a share name.
  5. Click OK.

Use some name for the shared folder share name other than that of the directory at which it will point—i.e., if your desktop folder for Shared Folders is data, make the share name data-1.

To mount the shared folder automatically on boot, open /etc/rc.local on the guest VM filesystem with a text editor as root and then add the following line. Do not put this in /etc/fstab; xVM shared folder is mounted to the xVM guest filesystem after /etc/fstab is run.

$ sudo nano rc.local sudo mount -t vboxsf shared-folder-share-name /home/username/Desktop/shared-folder -o uid=1000,gid=1000,exec,rw

(The above is one line whether you see it with line wrap or not.)

Ubuntu doesn't support a direct root login, so you have to use sudo here. Nano is my favorite *nix console text editor, and vboxsf is the filesystem type for Linux. The mount command operates as usual with the mount point shared-folder being a directory created in the desktop for the purpose and shared-folder-share-name being the name of the share set in Settings or from Device > Shared Folder (the name, not the workstation filesystem path).

The group and user IDs are appended so that the user will have access to content which would ordinarily be root-only. Change the uid and gid to match that of the intended user, probably yours. Find out what these are by going to Start > System > Users and Groups from the KDE menu or the equivalent user/group manager for Gnome.

If you can’t find the Shared Folder after boot, go to the Installing Guest Additions instructions for installing Windows XP in Part 1, and follow the instructions starting with “Click on the Devices menu.”

Setting Up Shared Folders as Network Folders with SAMBA

This might work for you if you already have a SAMBA environment set up. However, if the only reason you have SAMBA set up is to share folders within VMware Server, I recommend following the instructions in the previous section instead. Getting rid of SAMBA means one less thing to go wrong with your workstation environment.

  1. Open the file manager (I used Konqueror).
  2. Open Network on the left.
  3. Keep clicking along the path to your shared folder. I used my main host data directory tree as the shared folder so I can operate on these files using any application in any guest VM.
  4. Set up a symlink to a folder on your desktop for convenient access.

Setting Up USB

After you've followed the instructions for setting up USB access on the host as described in “Getting USB Working” in Part 1, from the console with the Ubuntu VM shut down, highlight the Ubuntu VM and click the Settings icon. Repeat the procedure for USB in the Settings Window section below Figure 3 in Part 1.

Note that now you should have the same kind of device setup experience as you do with Ubuntu running on a physical machine, as long as the device for which you want to install a driver is enabled on the Console menu.

Using USB

Right-click on the USB icon on the bottom-right of the guest VM window. Click the checkbox corresponding to the device (such as scanner or printer) you want to enable. Deselect it when you're finished with it. Only enable a device when you need it; when a device is enabled on the VM, the host can't access it anymore.


Right-click the USB icon on the bottom of the running OS window. Make sure your printer is selected. (If it isn't there, shut down, click the OS and Settings, and choose USB, Add Filter to get the one that matches your printer model.)

Go to Start > System Settings > Printer and in the CUPS Add Printer Wizard, select your printer from the list. Print a test page, and save if it works. If the printer isn't available, google [distro name] “[printermake] [model]” and see if you can find a driver.

I used the closed-source turboprint Linux driver package because my printer doesn't work well with any available CUPS driver. After setting it up (instructions on the turboprint page), open Properties in Turboprint Setup and change

Command: kdesu turboprint 


Command: sudo turboprint

Now click the Turboprint Setup icon. Click Add. It will ask you if you want to add a supported printer. Select the printer:

  1. Open Start > System Settings > Printer.
  2. Right-click tp0, and set it to default.
  3. Send a test page.

If it works, buy a license key from Turboprint and install it.


Choose Start > Graphics > Kooka. When you open Kooka, it will look for a scanner and ask you if your (supported) scanner is what you want. Click Yes and then start scanning. If you don't like kooka, install xsane via the Add Software GUI in the Start menu or find something else. If no scanner is seen, right-click the guest VM window and make sure your scanner is enabled.

To return scan and print to the Linux host, unclick the guest VM window USB checkboxes for the printer and scanner.

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