If I had a ten pound note ($20) for every article I’ve read that starts with the words, “Getting Linux to (insert your task here) is never easy, but…” – I’d have loads of money, or something.
I am happy to say, however, that despite the many occasions in the past when I’ve simply given up, this time around I finally managed to coax Ubuntu into installing Parallels Tools, which enables many of the same features of the Windows equivalent.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain. Those who found this from a Google search, in the same desperation I was beginning to feel that such a thing might not be possible, can skip this bit and go right to the list of pointers below.
Ubuntu is a version of the free operating system Linux. Parallels Desktop is an application for the Mac which “pretends” to be a PC, so you can run Linux and Windows alongside Mac OS X. Because this virtual machine also has a virtual CDROM, hard drive and hardware drivers (for display, keyboard, sound and so on) it can sometimes be a bummer getting certain breeds of Linux to work properly.
Such was the situation with Ubuntu 7.10. I installed Parallels Tools as instructed and boom – no display drivers upon re-boot. The trick then is to do the following:
To Install Ubuntu in Parallels, create a new virtual machine, choose the ISO image file downloaded above and follow the on-screen instructions.
You should now be able to move between Ubuntu Linux windows and Mac OS X desktop, without having to hit Control and Option to enable the mouse. You can also re-size the Ubuntu desktop just by dragging the bottom right hand corner re-size window in Mac OS – like so…
Full screen mode also plays well with Spaces in OS X Leopard, so you can have your Linux machine running at the same time as your Mac OS machine and keep the two neatly and separately organised.