Update: this tutorial covers installing Ubuntu 6.06.1. If you’re looking for help installing Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) please see this tutorial.
This tutorial will take you every single step of the way through installing Ubuntu 6.06 using Parallels for OS X. In other words, even your parents should be able to follow along.
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 Parallels Build 1848 running on a MacBook Pro w/ OS X (10.4.7). With that said, they will be nearly identical if you have a Mac Pro, Mac Mini, MacBook or any other Intel based Apple Mac.
Ubuntu is a free, open source Linux-based operating system 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: here.
Before you start – make sure to download Ubuntu from http://www.ubuntu.com/download. The file you’ll want to download (as of 9/17/06) is ubuntu-6.06.1-desktop-i386.iso. Also, make sure Parallels Desktop is installed.
- 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 New VM
- Click Next after reviewing the first screen
- Select Create a custom VM configuration and click Next
- Select Linux as the Guest OS Type:, and then Other Linux kernel 2.6 as the Guest OS Version:. Click Next to continue.
- Here you’ll need to select the amount of RAM that will be dedicated to the guest operating system (Ubuntu). If your Mac has 512MB of RAM, you’ll want to select 256MB or a bit less. Below 128MB will make Ubuntu a bit slow. Users on the Parallels forums have also mentioned having trouble when allocating more than a gigabyte (1024MB) of RAM. Because I have 2GB in my MacBook Pro, I’ve opted to dedicate 512MB to Ubuntu – and both OS X and Ubuntu run very quickly. After you’ve selected an amount, click Next to continue.
- Select Create a new virtual hard disk and then click Next
- Now you’ll need to set the size of the “hard drive” that Ubuntu will use. It might be possible to select less than a gigabyte (1024) and still install Ubuntu, but there would be very little room left for anything else. I would suggest 2 or more gigs (2048) at a minimum.
Review the differences between Expanding and Plain as a disk format. Parallels suggests using Expanding, and since I’ve only noticed a small difference in performance between the two, I would suggest it as well. Either way, don’t stress out over this decision too much – you can convert from one format to the other, using Parallels Image Tool, if you ever need to. Click Next when you’re ready to continue.
- Now you’ll need to select a location for the file that serves as the Ubuntu hard drive. The default location is always a good choice, but you can change this location if you’d like. Click Next to continue.
- Click YES if prompted
- Select Bridged Ethernet and then click Next
- Now you’ll need to select (if you have more than one) which of the adapters will provide Ubuntu with its network (Internet) connection. If you use AirPort to connect your Mac to the Internet, select it. If you use an Ethernet Adapter, select it. Both Wireless and Ethernet (cable) will work, just be sure to select the one you use to connect to the Internet. Don’t leave Default Adapter selected.
note: if you sometimes use Ethernet, but right now you’re using Airport, choose Airport. You can always switch the “Internet source” later.
- Give your new virtual machine a name (default is fine) and choose a location to save the configuration file (default is suggested). Finally – click Finish.
- The very first thing you have to do to run Ubuntu is change the CD-ROM setting in Parallels to point to the .iso file. Click CD/DVD-ROM 1
- Select Use image file and then navigate to your Ubuntu .iso file. Click OK after its selected.
- Click the green Power On button to start Ubuntu.
- You should now be presented with the Ubuntu boot screen. If your cursor doesn’t already have focus “inside” the Parallels (Ubuntu) window, click in that screen now. Hit Enter on your keyboard.
- Watch as Ubuntu boots….
- You’ll end up with the default Ubuntu desktop. It’s time to play! Try launching Firefox to make sure you’re connected to the Internet. Explore Ubuntu, and don’t worry too much about “breaking” anything. If you find that you’re not connected to the Internet, you can jump down to the Internet Troubleshooting part of this tutorial, or you can install Ubuntu and then troubleshoot the Internet issue. Don’t forget to try out full screen by selecting Fullscreen Mode in Parallels.
- If you’ve decided you like what you see and you want to keep Ubuntu installed, double-click the Install icon on the desktop.
- Select your language and click Forward to continue
- Select your location/Time Zone and make sure that the time is set correctly. Click Forward when all the settings are correct.
- Select American English (a future tutorial will help you customize your Apple keyboard in Ubuntu) and then click Forward
- Enter the required information in each field. Remember that both the user name and password are case sensitive – so “username” and “Username” are not the same. Click Forward to continue.
- Select Erase entire disk: IDE1 master (hda) – size Virtual HDD (0) and then click Forward. Again, don’t worry, this is not deleting anything on your hard drive. It’s using up the space you assigned to Ubuntu when you set up Parallels.
- Review everything on the last screen. If you need to make changes, use the Back button. When you’re ready to install, click Install.
- Grab a cup of coffee. This doesn’t take too long, but it’s not fascinating enough to watch that attentively.
- When the installation has completed, you’ll be prompted to either restart or continue using the live CD. Because we need to completely power off Ubuntu (rather than restart), select Continue using the live CD.
- Now shut down Ubuntu
- If Ubuntu doesn’t completely “turn off”, use the Power Off button in Parallels.
- Click Yes if prompted
- Now that Ubuntu is installed, you’ll want to change the CD/DVD-ROM setting to no longer point to the .iso file. In Parallels, select CD/DVD-ROM 1. Choose Use CD/DVD-ROM from the Emulation window and click OK. The next time you start Ubuntu, you’ll have full use of your CD or DVD-ROM.
Ubuntu is very good at automatically detecting your Internet connection from OS X, whether it’s via Airport (wireless) or Ethernet (wired). If by chance you’re not online, check the following settings.
- Click System and scroll down to Administration. From the Administration down-down menu, select Networking.
- Enter your password
- Make sure that Ethernet connection is active. Also, make sure eth0 is selected from the Default gateway device: pull-down menu.
- Try surfing the Internet now and see if that’s all it took to fix the problem. If not, open a Terminal by selecting Applications, then Utilities and finally Terminal. Type the command ifconfig and then hit enter. In the eth0 section, look for an inet addr:. It will likely be something similar to 192.168.0.101. Whatever it is, write down the number.
- Open the Network utility again, highlight the Ethernet entry and then select the DNS tab. Click Add from the DNS Servers section. Then enter the first 3 (three) ‘sets’ of numbers, and replace the last set with a 1 (one). For example, if the number you wrote down was 192.168.0.101, enter 192.168.0.1
Hit Enter on your keyboard to save the DNS server, and then click OK.
- Once again, try to surf the Internet. If you’re still not connected, try looking for help at the Ubuntu community. Or, leave a message below and I’ll see if I can help. Because you’re using Parallels, you can return to OS X and research the problem there, without having to reboot over and over again.