Skip to main content

At Work with Linux: Third Time's a Charm — Linux Mint 12 Installed on VMware Player 4.0.1

As the post title signifies I successfully installed Linux Mint 12 on a VMware Player virtual machine. I stumbled upon the solution while installing Ubuntu 11.10 on a workstation almost at the same time that Willem Brown (via a comment) was posting the same solution. I'll comment further on Ubuntu 11.10 in a following post. This post is all about Linux Mint 12.


The problem was indeed an inability to communicate with the internet during installation. While Ubuntu will actually install if it can't reach the internet, Linux Mint can't be told not to reach out to the internet. Based on my experience you need network connectivity in order to successfully install, or at least to install in a timely manner.

The problem was with the proxy server setup. During the active desktop stage, before you install Linux Mint, you need to explicitly configure the proxy server under Applications | System Tools | System Settings. This brings up the Systems Settings application. On the System Settings top-level panel click Network, then on the Network panel, in the list on the left, click Network proxy. On the method dropdown menu select Manual, and then fill in all four text boxes beneath the dropdown. Finally, click the "Apply system wide" button and you're good to go. I had to do the same with Ubuntu 11/10, which I did before my third successful installation attempt with Linux Mint.

After the installation I installed the VMware Tools. Linux Mint does not come with any of the VMware Tools as part of its distribution the way that OpenSUSE 12.1 seems to.



With the VMware Tools ISO mounted I brought up a shell, untarred VMware Tools into the /tmp directory, changed directory to /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib, then ran the vmware-install.pl Perl script.

The installation script is all text based. I elected to take every default.


Fortunately Linux Mint installs gcc and the kernel headers, so the VMware Tools script was able to successfully build all the necessary kernel modules. That's the good news. The bad news is that if the kernel is updated then you have to go through the same dance all over again. This is no better than Virtual Box.


Once the VMware Tools installation script finished I rebooted X (Alt Backspace). I logged back in and was able to re-size the VMware Player screen and have the Linux Mint 12 desktop handle the resize automatically.


If you look closely at this screenshot you'll note I (inadvertantly) changed the widget theme. I have no idea what the initial theme name is because when I brought up Appearance it was blank. Clicking on the theme dropdown selector showed only Adwaita. Fortunately for me I prefer Adwaita far more than the stock installation theme, whatever it is.I also selected a more low-key wallpaper. With those two small changes the overall desktop environment appears quite viewable, at least to my eyes. Your mileage my vary.


There is one annoying problem with the Linux Mint 12 desktop.Moving a window around on the Mint desktop can leave it in a corrupted state. You can quickly and easily clean it up by minimizing to the bar at the bottom of the screen then bringing the app back to the desktop. Doesn't make the overall distribution totally unusable, but it's still a significant problem in my book. I have seen the same problem with Fedora 14 under Virtual Box running on a RHEL 6 host, so it's not limited to Linux Mint. But under this version of VMware Player, this is the only distribution (so far) to exhibit this problem.

Right now I'm running an update on Linux Mint 12 with 215 updates. I'll check when it's finished and see if the problem might have been "magically" fixed or not...

Nope, the update didn't fix anything.


Another quirk is themeing. It's not consistently applied. Compare the tabs on Nautilus' File Management Preferences dialog with the tabs on the Update Manager. They are physically different. This isn't nearly as bad as the movement-to-corruption issue, but it's still a quality issue.

Overall I'm very impressed with what Linux Mint has done with Gnome 3. For all intents and purposes it's indistinguishable from Gnome 2, which should make the old and reactionary Gnome 2 desktop users happy. But for us it may be irrelevant. I've installed Ubuntu 11.10 with Unity on bare metal, and based on a few days of use we see no reason not to use Ubuntu, at lease as far as the Unity UI and desktop are concerned. More on this in my next post.

Comments

  1. I'm glad you are back to comment on Linux distros.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

first night for the gingersnaps

The first night has passed and the two have managed to survive, in spite of what their tiny hearts might have thought when first arriving. Greebo, the larger of the two, has been in hiding the entire time so far. Ponder has spent the time zipping in and out of hiding spots, checking things out, and learning just how comfortable pillows are for resting your head.

During the night I felt the tiny body of Ponder hitting the bed as he leaped up on the side, and then climbed to the top to run around on top of me. At least once he play-attacked my fingers. He might be small but his claws are still quite sharp.

When I got up in the morning the bowl of cat kitten food was fairly well depleted. It's been refilled and fresh water put in the big dish on the floor. I'm assuming that both Greebo and Ponder are feeding and drinking. I have seen Greebo under the furniture peeking out at me when I went looking for him. I'm leaving him alone while he continues to adjust.

So far the guys h…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.