in Linux, Mac

Installing Ubuntu Dapper on Parallels running on Tiger

After my success with installing Windows XP on my shiny new iMac, I tried to install Ubuntu Dapper (a.k.a. Dapper Drake). Why would I want to install Linux on a Mac? Because that’s what I’m running on my server, so I need a sandbox where I won’t risk breaking real stuff.

Anyway, I created a new VM, chose Linux as the Guest OS Type, and Debian Linux as the Guest OS Version (since Ubuntu is derived from Debian and was most likely the closest).

Next, I put a CD of the latest Ubuntu install (Server Version: 6.06). Using mostly the defaults all along, the installation went smoothly. The only part were I went fancy was to use LVM (Logical Volume Manager). Everything went smoothly till it was time to reboot the machine…

The reboot went fine till after it was done uncompressing the kernel. Then it froze! Ouch.

From there, it was a lot of testing of various options, versions of Linux, even redid a full install without LVM. Nothing made any difference! So, I went ahead and tried to install Sarge (Ubuntu 3.1). This went like a breeze and worked the first time around (after all, Parallels officially supports Debian). So I was feeling a bit better…

… and went on to do some more research. And read that some people had had some luck with the Live CD (I had used the server CD since I wanted a permanent installation). So after a little while the download was over, and I booted the LiveCD, and it worked! Hurray! Bring on the champaign… Hold on, we are not quite there, but keep it in a nice cool place… Just in case…

And after playing for a while, just starring at me on the desktop was an “install” icon, so I figured, just one more try would not hurt. I went through the installation, and was bracing myself for the freeze right after the kernel gets uncompressed, but lo and behold! It did not freeze. Wow! Home free at last.

Ok, yes, you can bring on the champaign now.

Not sure what’s different about the 2 installers, but I don’t think I’ll try to figure it out. If anyone knows, would you let me know, please?

Note: this is my first post done using TextMate Blogging Bundle, so this may have a few hiccups…
In case you were wondering what the xmlrpc URL is for typo, it is /backend/xmlrpc (Thank you Damien)


  1. I tried to upgrade Ubuntu 5.10 virtual machine to 6.06 the other day and encountered the same problem. (On Windows host OS)

    It seems to me that the problem you encountered is because of the same reason.

    It turned out that it was related to a known bug about PCMCIA service, the exact bug written on the upgrade documentation… (

    And because it’s VM, you cannot access file system with Rescue CD. And you cannot boot Ubuntu with interactive mode. So the solution provided there didn’t work.

    Maybe the next minor release of Ubuntu has fix on it.

  2. Thank you for the link, tadatoshi! It is possible that either the LiveCD install does not include the PCMCIA module, or a newer (or older version).
    Maybe if you have a way to create an other partition and install something else, like a debian, then you could mount your original partition, follow the procedure and reboot. Or even just boot with the liveCD. Once booted, you can mount the partition you can’t boot on.

  3. I had the same problem and found a workaround. Use Dapper “Alternate install CD” instead of “Server install CD”. Type “server” at the “boot:” prompt. Now I have a working Ubuntu Dapper server on Parallels runing on Tiger. Give it a try.

  4. Thank you, Hiroaki. This sounds like an easier method. My guess is that it doesn’t load the PCMCIA module if you are running in server config. Still a long shot as far as an explanation goes ;)

  5. I am almost sure it is a problem with smp. The installer seems to recognize the 2 virtual processors and installs an smp kernel. But Parallels does not support smp so the booted kernel hangs.

  6. I had trouble installing Ubuntu Linux 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) through Parallels running on the latest version of Leopard (10.5.1). About 35% into the installation, I kept getting an I/O error for the CD-ROM. Although I found some tips online regarding possible solutions, I was unable to get it to work. So I decided to try installing 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) first and then upgrading to 7.10—and it worked!

    I figured it would be helpful to post the Parallels Virtual OS config file (.PVS) and the .HDD image online for those attempting to use the same setup.

    This installation also addresses an issue regarding the X11 server crashing in Parallels.

    The torrent is available on MacNBits (registration required):

  7. I have not tried Gutsy yet, so the tip is welcome, LtzPhn.

    I was in fact planning to upgrade my current install, and knowing it would not work will save some time.

  8. Err, I meant to say: knowing a new install does not work makes an update even more appealing.

  9. While installed dapper i got a blank screen, so i restarted and repeated to make it done but it cant solve the problem. What happened? Can anyone help me?

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