How to install Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) in OS X using Parallels Desktop 3.0 – a complete walkthrough

by Ross McKillop on August 15, 2007

Linux Mac

This tutorial will take you every single step of the way through installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) using Parallels Desktop 6.0 for MacParallels Desktop for Mac for OS X. In other words, even your parents should be able to follow along.

Note: if you’re looking for help installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) in Parallels, see this tutorial.

1. Who this tutorial is for
2. Background
3. Setting up Parallels for Ubuntu
4. Installing Ubuntu
5. Installing Parallels Tools in Ubuntu


Who this tutorial is for

This tutorial is for anyone with an Intel based Mac who is curious about Linux – specifically Ubuntu, and has about an hour to kill (not including the time it takes to download Ubuntu).

The steps and screenshots used for this tutorial are specific to an earlier version of Parallels Desktop 6.0 for MacParallels Desktop for Mac running on a MacBook Pro w/ OS X (10.4.10). With that said, they will be nearly identical if you have a Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook or any other Intel based Apple Mac, and the process itself is still quite similar (if not easier).

Background

Ubuntu is a free, open source Linux-based operating system with a clear focus on the user and usability (it should “Just Work”). When you finish your Ubuntu installation your system is immediately usable. On the desktop you have a full set of business productivity applications, internet applications, drawing and graphics applications, and games. For more information on Ubuntu, visit http://www.ubuntu.com/ubuntu.

As you may have noticed, here at Simplehelp we often recommend software, and 90-something percent of the time that software is free. Parallels isn’t free, but it really is worth the cost. It will allow you to run other operating systems (like Ubuntu) on your Mac – without having to worry about any of your OS X settings, documents or files being accidentally deleted. And if you don’t like Ubuntu you can trash it and carry on like it never happened.

One other (major) benefit of using Parallels is that you run the other operating system (in this case Ubuntu) while OS X is running. You don’t need to restart your computer each time you want to switch from OS X to Ubuntu and vice-versa.
Read more about Parallels here: <Parallels Desktop 6.0 for MacParallels Desktop


Before you start – make sure to download Ubuntu from http://www.ubuntu.com/download. The file you’ll want to download (as of 8/15/07) is ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso. Also, make sure Parallels Desktop 3.0 is installed.


Setting up Parallels for Ubuntu

  1. If this is the first time you’re using Parallels, the Wizard will launch automatically. If it’s not the first time you’ve used Parallels, launch the Wizard by selecting File -> New…
  2. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

  3. Select Custom and then click the Next > button.
  4. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  5. In the OS Type: select Linux and in the OS Version: select Other Linux kernel 2.6. Click Next > to continue. NOTE: In the latest version of Parallels, there is an “Ubuntu” choice from the menu. If you’re using the very latest version of Parallels, select it rather than Other Linux kernel 2.6.
  6. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  7. The amount of memory (RAM) defaults to 256MB. I opted to ‘upgrade’ to 512MB as my MacBook Pro has 2GB. When you’ve made a choice, click Next >.
  8. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  9. Choose Create a new hard disk image and again, Next >.
  10. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  11. The default virtual hard disk size will be set to 32000MB (roughly 32GB). If you opt to use an Expanding virtual hard disk, you won’t actually use 32000MB right away, rather, Parallels will allocate space as it’s needed, up to 32000MB. The defaults are a good option. Click Next > after you’ve made your selections.
  12. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  13. I used Shared Networking as the networking option, but you can make the choice that best suits your needs. Click Next >.
  14. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  15. Now give this virtual machine a name – anything will do, but something descriptive is always a good idea. If you click the small More Options arrow, you can also choose where the virtual machine files will be stored, and if Parallels should make a shortcut to Ubuntu on your desktop. Click Next >.
  16. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  17. Here you’ll need to decide if you want to allocate more performance to the virtual machine (Ubuntu in this case) or OS X – when the virtual machine is running. Once you’ve made a choice, click Next >.
  18. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  19. Click More Options and select ISO image. Then click the Choose… button.
  20. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  21. Navigate to your Ubuntu .iso file (ubuntu-7.04-desktop-i386.iso), select it and click Open.
  22. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  23. Make sure Start Linux Kernel 2.6 installation is checked, and then click Finish.
  24. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  25. Ubuntu will now boot up for the first time.
  26. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  27. Click inside the Parallels window, make sure that Start or install Ubuntu is highlighted, and hit the enter key on your keyboard.
  28. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  29. Don’t be at all surprised if the video on your screen seems to go “fuzzy” for a while (20-30 seconds).
  30. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  31. Ubuntu will start up. Because the .iso file you downloaded is a “Live” image, you can actually play around with Ubuntu right now. If you’re not connected to the Internet…
  32. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  33. select the Network icon from the far right of the menu bar. Choose Wired Network and you should connect to the Internet via OS X.
  34. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

Installing Ubuntu

  1. When you’re ready to install Ubuntu, double-click the Install icon on your Ubuntu desktop.
  2. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

  3. Select your language from the list in the left column and click Forward.
  4. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
    click to enlarge

  5. Choose the city closest to you from the Selected city: list and then click Forward.
  6. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  7. Select the type of keyboard layout you’d like to use, and then click Forward.
  8. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  9. Make sure Guided – use entire disk and SCSI1 are both selected (they should be by default).
  10. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  11. Nothing to import, so click Forward
  12. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  13. Enter your Name, the name you wish to use to login, a password and whatever you want to call your “Ubuntu computer” in the spaces provided. Once again, click Forward.
  14. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  15. And now finally, click the Install button.
  16. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  17. Go get a cup of coffee or your beverage of choice. This can take a while.
  18. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

  19. When the installation is complete, choose Continue using the live CD instead of Restart now (because we’ll want to make a few changes before using Ubuntu again).
  20. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

  21. Power off Ubuntu by clicking the red “Log off” button in the upper-right corner of your Ubuntu desktop.
  22. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

  23. And select Shut Down from the menu.
  24. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu

  25. Don’t be too surprised if Ubuntu freezes at some point, and the video seems to ‘scramble’. Use the keyboard-combo to ‘release’ your keyboard and mouse focus from Ubuntu (it will be displayed in the very bottom left corner of your Parallels window). Use the red square Stop Virtual Machine button to completely power off Ubuntu.
  26. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  27. Back at your Ubuntu configuration window, click the Configuration link.
  28. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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  29. Select CD/DVD-ROM 1 from the left column. On the right frame of the Configuration Editor, select Use CD/DVD-ROM (instead of Use image file). Click OK.
  30. parallels desktop 3 and ubuntu
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Installing Parallels Tools in Ubuntu

  1. Start up Ubuntu again, and after you get to the Ubuntu desktop, use the keyboard-combo to return your keyboard and mouse focus to OS X. Select Actions from the Parallels menu, and Install Parallels Tools… from the drop-down list.
  2. install parallels tools in ubuntu ubuntu

  3. You’ll get a warning/about pop-up. Click OK to close it (after you read everything, of course).
  4. install parallels tools in ubuntu ubuntu
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  5. Back in Ubuntu, a File Browser window will appear. Ignore it for now.
  6. install parallels tools in ubuntu ubuntu
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  7. Select Applications -> Accessories and finally Terminal.
  8. install parallels tools in ubuntu ubuntu

  9. Enter the command:
    sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

    and enter your password when prompted. After a few moments you’ll be returned to the command prompt. Make sure that the line above the prompt reads Please restart your Xserver or reboot whole VM, and then close the Terminal window. Press ctrl + alt + delete to restart your Xserver (or use the log out button). Once you sign in again, you should notice that you can move your mouse (and keyboard focus) in and out of the Ubuntu/Parallels window without having to use the keyboard combo.

  10. install parallels tools in ubuntu ubuntu
    click to enlarge

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  • david toub

    Thank you for an excellent tutorial. I’m new to Ubuntu, to Parallels, and not too experienced with OSX. The tutorial set aside many of my concerns.

  • Cube

    I can’t seem to work the terminal. it says it couldnt open it. why is it?

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  • http://blog.johnjosephbachir.org John Bachir

    Hi. Thanks a bunch for the tutorial.

    When selecting “OS Version”, why select “other linux version 2.6″ instead of “ubuntu” (which i think was available when you wrote this tutorial). What does this effect?

    Thanks again,
    john

  • paul vail

    I used the Ubuntu linux option and had no troubles at all. Sound came up, networking — the rest of the tutorial was great, but this little difference didn’t seem to matter.

  • Marc S

    Using a MBP 2.2 Dual Core with 10.4.10; I am not getting the browser pop at step 3 of the parallels tools install. Can’t mount the CD-ROM either (although it’s connected). Lower right of parallels CD icon states Connect to vmtools-linux.iso and it’s grayed out. So it looks like it’s connected to the right iso. I just can’t mount it for some reason. Using

    sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

    I get

    sh: Can’t open parallels-tools.run

    when I run mount cdrom I get

    mount: can’t find cdrom in /etc/fstab or /etc/mtab

    Am I missing something here? I’ve followed these steps exactly three times to no avail. Thanks everyone!

  • Marc S

    Nevermind. I had to do the extra step of double clicking the .iso in the browser to ‘open’ it I guess. All good now.

  • Dave T

    excellent tutorial…one of the best. thanks a lot. I am now up and running with ubunto, parallels and OSX

  • http://palantetech.com jack

    Great guide! Easy to follow and thorough. I’m now happily running Ubuntu on my MacBook.

  • steve

    not working for me. tried 5 times its says boot from hard drive…

    I have absolutely no experience with linux

    help!!

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  • http://cubberley.stanford.edu John Bickar

    Thanks for the excellent tutorial! One small troubleshooting tip – the install froze for me on installing an intel “piix” hardware driver. Decreasing the amount of memory allocated to the virtual machine (from 1024 to 512K) solved the problem.

  • michael canfield

    Installing Ubuntu 7.10 on Parallels 3.00 build 5160 gets to a point where it stops installing with this error: The display server has been shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds. It is likely that bad is going on. Waiting for 2 minutes before trying again on display :0. I am selecting the Linux OS install and Ubuntu Linux in the install process. I have repeated the install procedure 5 times at least with the same results. I have also tried the Ubuntu Safe Graphics mode install with the same results. Any thoughts?

    Mike

  • Michael Canfield

    This very nice install procedure works for Ubuntu 7.04. But does not seem to work for Ubuntu 7.10.

    Mike

  • http://www.summitcolorado.com Breckenridge

    Everything works, I just cannot copy/paste between os/x and linux. I have installed 7.10 and not 7.04, would that make any difference?

  • Philipp Eversfield

    I am writing this in Ubuntu 7.04.
    The tutorials were absolutely superb.

    It just worked like it should on a mac!

  • http://www.simplehelp.net Ross McKillop

    @Breckenridge:

    You’d need to install Parallels Tools – which I’m not 100% sure works in 7.10 yet (I haven’t installed it yet, but will in the next few days). In fact I don’t even have Parallels installed right now (just upgraded to Leopard and haven’t reinstalled everything yet – I decided to wipe my drive and upgrade rather than just update). But I think if you select something like “Tools > Install Parallels Tools” from the Parallels menu, it’ll either work (and then you can copy paste/drag drop files between the OS’s) or it’ll be gray’ed out (because Parallels Tools isn’t ready for 7.10 yet).

  • Jack Krebs

    Just installed on my nw 24″ iMac. Excellent instructions, and easy as pie. Thanks

  • Jack Krebs

    P.S. I just installed 7.0.4, which is what I use on my regular Linux machine. I didn’t try 7.10.

  • 410guy

    Yeah…..the same seems to be happening on my comp as well…..
    What’s the trouble??

  • arkaycee

    If you already have another Parallels VM running (say, Windows), at least with Production 3.0, you can’t get the network up in Shared Networking. Bridged Networking for the ubuntu machine makes this all work out ok though, as long as you don’t mind that this will show up on your network as another server alongside your Mac OS X box.

  • http://www.coachpeterson.net Mike Peterson

    Worked perfect on my MacBook 2GHz 1 G Ram running OSX 10.4.10 running Parallels Build 5610. Thanks a bunch.

  • Stephen

    Everything seems to work, but not internet. On a macbook pro I can surf wireless using Windows , but not linux (kubuntu 7.04).
    How about the kubuntu 7.10 release? why it does not work?
    Thank you,

    Step

  • Sami

    Exellent “walktrough” Thanks alot!!

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  • http://yeblik.wordpress.com Brett

    Great guide, install went fine but unable to get parallels tools to install. I have the same problem as mark s:

    sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

    gives

    sh: Can’t open parallels-tools.run

    I can see the cdrom in the file browser and terminal but it just wont install. Sounds like it suddenly worked for mark but not for me. Also 1024×768 is highest res available. If anyone has ideas that would be great.

  • http://yeblik.wordpress.com Brett

    Wow, I was up late trying to get parallels tools installed (see last comment) and I left ubuntu running on my macbook with firefox open. I slept in this morning and when I woke up my girlfriend was using the macbook, still running ubuntu. I said, “oh your using linux, what do you think?” and her response was “Am I?”. She didn’t even realise it wasnt OS X. I’m not making this up.

  • niksam

    Brett try sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

  • Professr

    @ Michael, I’m having the same problem. I haven’t found any solution to it yet – any suggestions from others?

  • kailash

    i also face the same mentioned problem with installing parallels TOOLS:

    kailash@kailash-laptop:~$ sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run
    [sudo] password for kailash:
    sh: Can’t open cdrom/parallels-tools.run
    kailash@kailash-laptop:~$

    any help? pls reply to kailashamrit@gmx.net

  • kailash

    SOLVED PROBLEM:

    no.15 of the given instructions above is the solution of the problem. after doing so i could easily install parallels tools…

  • Chinito77

    Bad luck with Ubuntu 7.10 i386 installs with Parallels 3.0.

    At first I picked the Linux/ubuntu option with 1gb of ram and 16mb video. The install would freeze while loading the cupsd file. I get this regardless of live or text install mode.

    512ram with 4mb of video:
    Receives “The display server has been shut down about 6 times in the last 90 seconds” error. Never fixes it self. I get this regardless of live or text install mode.

    1gb ram with 16mb of video and amd64 version of ubuntu:
    Receives “Your cpu does not support long mode” error. I find it odd since on the ubuntu site, it says to pick that version if you have an intel pc. I get this regardless of live or safe mode.

    1gb ram with 16mb of video and i386 alternate version of ubuntu:
    Picked text install and success!!

    Glad I have Fios to download a new ubuntu OS quickly each time one didnt work or I would have given up a long time ago. I hope this info helps someone.

  • http://cogntivieneurobiology.com Phoenix

    That will never work. You’ve partitioned the memory!

  • Mark

    hi.

    when installing tools i get

    uncompressing parrallels .. save data bla bla
    continue? (yes/no): yes
    found xorg version .
    installing for xorg.. not found.

    and sends me back to the beginning. any ideas ??

  • http://Foundasolution! Tom40

    After spending about 2 hours trying to solve this problem on my own after running into the same error that everyone else such as:

    sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

    gives

    sh: Can’t open parallels-tools.run

    My final solution was to not use the Ubuntu Installation CD to access the parellels-tools.run file.
    Instead
    1. I copied the vmtools-linux.iso file from /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools-linux.iso

    2. pasted it onto my desktop

    3. ran ubuntu in parallels and at the bottom right, I clicked on the CD icon and chose Connect Image. I then selected vmtools-linux.iso

    4. restarted ubuntu, and before logging in, I followed these steps

    5. Start Ubuntu, wait till X-server starts;
    6. Press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace simultaneously;
    7. Press Alt+F6;
    8. login with your root ID/password
    9. Press Control + Option to access mac OS mouse
    10. Clicked on Actions > Install Parellels Tools
    11. Then I opened the terminal and entered:
    cd media/cdrom0/
    12. then entered:
    sudo sh parellels-tools.run

    And then it finally worked. I know there are shortcuts to these steps, but I did it the long way on purpose.

    Well, I hope this helps others who haven’t found a solution.

  • http://www.tom-stone.com Tom40

    it would help if I spelled Parallels correctly in the file name.
    so, be sure to type it out as

    sudo sh parallels-tools.run

  • http://www.tom-stone.com Tom40

    just a warning to all the Noobs like me out there.
    I spent hours on installing everything from 7.04 through 7.10 and everything was working perfectly in Parallels.

    But then I had this wonderful idea to upgrade to 8.04 LTS.
    NOT A WONDERFUL IDEA

    I then suddenly discovered video driver problems and parallels tools just disappeared and I wasn’t able to install them.

    So, I’m now having to start all over again with installing 7.04 from the beginning.

    Take this lesson learned from me and be sure to find support documents on upgrading to 8.04 before you do it. Because after I did it, I found out that other people were running into this problem.

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  • Daniel

    I did all the steps of installing this via parallels on my Leopard Macbook Pro and then got to the parallels tools step. When it prompts me for my password, I can’t type. I’m not sure if this is just a problem on my computer specifically but no matter what I try it won’t work. Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  • http://www.tom-stone.com Tom40

    My final solution in the end was to get rid of my Boot Camp partition and then install a free open source PC emulator from Sun Microsystems called Virtual Box http://www.virtualbox.org/ and on that, I installed Ubuntu.

    Its useful because I don’t have to reboot my computer in order to use Ubuntu. Plus I can go to full screen mode and it’ll appear as if I’m not using an emulator. The benefits of this is that I can run the latest version of Ubuntu and all of my special function keys work correctly the way they should.

  • http://www.tom-stone.com Tom40

    Whoops!, wrong site. o_O

    I meant to say that I got rid of Parallels Desktop and then installed the free open source Virtual Box from Sun Microsystems. Its fully operational and has no problems with the latest version of Ubuntu.

  • Vlado Krempl

    Very easy to follow.
    Excellent tutorial.
    Thank you very much.

    Cheers,
    Vlado
    Sydney, Australia.

  • anand

    thanks a lot, worked fine until end but could not successfully install the parallels tools

  • henry proud

    thx it is working perfectly but its a bit slow so im ordering the cd and using it on my old toshiba i would have just downloaded it but my toshiba dont have wi-fi so i cant download it on my network

  • Andrew

    I found the final fix to the xorg problem here:

    http://www.macnn.com/articles/08/06/12/parallels.desktop.5608/

  • Caroline

    New to Parallels and Linux and this is an excellent tutorial – after encountering the Parallels-tools install problem i did the following (based on one of Tom40′s posts (number 32)):

    So Tom40 writes:

    after running into the same error that everyone else such as:

    sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

    gives

    sh: Can’t open parallels-tools.run

    My final solution was to not use the Ubuntu Installation CD to access the parellels-tools.run file.

    Instead

    1. I copied the vmtools-linux.iso file from /Library/Parallels/Tools/vmtools-linux.iso

    2. pasted it onto my desktop

    3. ran ubuntu in parallels and at the bottom right, I clicked on the CD icon and chose Connect Image. I then selected vmtools-linux.iso

    4. restarted ubuntu, and before logging in, I followed these steps

    5. Start Ubuntu, wait till X-server starts;
    6. Press Ctrl+Alt+Backspace simultaneously;
    7. Press Alt+F6;
    8. login with your root ID/password
    9. Press Control + Option to access mac OS mouse
    10. Clicked on Actions > Install Parellels Tools

    11. Then I opened the terminal and entered:
    cd media/cdrom0/
    12. then entered:
    sudo sh parellels-tools.run

    FOR INSTRUCTION NUMBER 11 I FOLLOWED TOM40′S INSTRUCTIONS TO NO AVAIL SO INSTEAD I WENT BACK TO THE TUTORIAL (point 5 above) AND ENTERED:

    sudo sh /cdrom/parallels-tools.run

    I entered my password when prompted and typed Yes (notice capital Y) to the question; the last line above the prompt was indeed “Please restart your Xserver or reboot whole VM”, then i closed the Terminal window. After pressing ctrl + alt + delete to restart my Xserver Parallel-tools was installed.

  • marantis

    hallo,

    ich hab ubuntu (9.0.4) unter parallels (3.0 build 5626) jetzt bereits zum 3x installiert. leider ohne erfolg!

    die installation ansich erfolgt absolut problemlos. aber sobald ich mich NACH der installation in das system einlogge, erscheint zwar für wenige sekunden der desktop, irgendein skript erscheint flüchtig und dann lande ich wieder im login screen! und das dauernd.

    wenn ich jedoch auf “terminal session” umschalte, kann ich mich problemlos einloggen. auch das root passwort ändern. aber mich (natürlich) nicht in den grafischen desktop einloggen, weil dies als root unter ubuntu offenbar verboten ist.

    user, password und x-session (läuft ohne probleme während der gesamten installation) können also nicht falsch sein.

    das problem erscheint unabhängig vom eingestellten system typ (egal ob ubuntu, linux 2.6 oder solaris als typ, egal ob mit 256 mb ram, 512 mb oder mehr)

    hat jemand nen tip?!

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