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Ubuntu test-drive for Windows users.

Posted by felipegaucho on April 22, 2007 at 5:27 AM PDT

Simple and direct, let's install everything you need to try out Java on Linux at your Windows machine.

Step by step guide to run Ubuntu on top of your Windows XP/2000 operational system:

Step #0 Downloading the required software:

  1. VMware Player 1.0.3 (30 MB)
  2. Ubuntu 7.04 VMware Image Download (906 MB)
  3. 7-zip 4.42 (1 MB) - any RAR unpacking tool here, 7-zip is Open Source.

Step #1 Installing VMWare Player

  1. VMWare is distributed as an executable file, so you just need to click on it to get the virtual machine player running
    on your computer. A special note is about some configuration changes suggested by default during the installation, as shown in the figure below:


Click here for detailed installation instructions.

Step #2 Running Ubuntu Linux on the VMWare Player

  1. First of all, you need to unpack the Linux image you've just downloaded. Follow these steps:
    1. Install 7-zip: it comes as an executable file, just run it and accept the default options - no danger here ;).
      Since 7-zip is suggested here just to unpack the RAR file, you can uninstall it after this step, despite I suggest you to play
      with this nice Open Source tool in order to evaluate its value before throwing it away.
    2. On Windows Explorer, right click on the Ubuntu_704_VMware.rar file and select 7-zip/Extract here. Done,
      wait until the unpack process is done to finish and you are ready to taste Linux on your machine.
  2. Open the virtual machine player: Windows Start Menu / All programs / VMWare / VMWare Player
  3. When the VMWare startups, it asks you to point the file Ubuntu.vmdk (the one just extracted by 7-zip). Navigate to that file and press OK
  4. The next window asks you about the location of the virutal machine configuration, just accept the suggestion and press OK
  5. The next window is a weird alert about the absense of the Ubuntu CD-ROM, just ignore it and press OK.
  6. The first window of the system will ask you to login:
    		(Benutzername) - Username: jars
    (Passwort)    - Password: jars
  7. If everything is fine, Ubuntu will be loaded into the player - Welcome to Linux!
  8. Navigating between the operational systems (Ctrl + Alt): do you notice now you
    have two different operational systems
    running on your machine? You can use both at the same time, testing usability and evaluating by yourself how to do things
    in both environments. To navigate between the virtual machine player and the host Windows OS:

    • Inside Ubuntu: just click Ctrl+Alt to return to Windows.
    • On Windows, just click with the mouse button on the VMWare window and you will be transferred to the Linux system.

    Very easy, isn't it? Remember the mouse will be locked inside the VMWare window when you are
    using Ubuntu. To see a window beside the active one and to not be allowed to
    click on it is an unatural usability for Windows users, but you'll become accustomed very quickly to that :)

Step #3 Configuring Ubuntu to your keyboard/language

The Ubuntu image you are running comes in German by default - thanks for distributing the image. For most users, German is
not the default language and the keyboard may also startup wrongly configured at the first time. Here there are some few steps you must proceed
in order to get comfortable usability from your new operating system.

  1. Changing the locale configuration: in the Ubuntu menu, select System/Administration/Sprachunterstützung


    Important: for some reason, under VMWare the locale was not update automatically after I press OK.
    The solution is windows-like ;) I pressed the red button close.jpg
    on the top right corner of the operational system, and logout the
    system (Ausschalten or Neu starten). After restart the Ubuntu on the VMWare player, it comes with the selected language working fine.
    I guess through line commands everything should work smoothly, but I am trying to keep it simple, so I suggest the MS-style reboot procedure
    to fix the locale :)

  2. Changing the keyboard configuration: in the Ubuntu menu, select System/Einstellungen/Tastatur


    then you must select your hardware configuration. Tip: if you don't know what it is, just press Ctrl+Alt and then check in your
    windows control panel about the hardware configuration of your machine.


Now you are ready to enjoy Linux. Of course you will need some time to figure out the tricks about the new operational system
but there are several sources of knowledge about that on the Internet. I suggest you two starting points to discover more about
your new toy:

Step #4 Playing Java on Linux

A long time ago dream is every day more simple to become reality. Ubuntu Feisty Fawn is the first Linux distribution that comes
with the Java platform embeded by default. We have a lot of tricks to be discussed here, but for now the most important is to
get it running. In order to test Java installed in your new Ubuntu, just trigger Eclipse from the operation system menu:


Done! Now you select the workspace folder, and leave it running in your new desktop:


Netbeans and Glassfish

The image provided by comes without Netbeans and Glassfish. There is a simple line command to download and install everything
at once. Open a console - at the OS menu: Applications/Acessories/Terminal and then run the following line:

sudo aptitude install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-javadb glassfish netbeans5.5

You will be asked to confirm some license agreements and to download the Netbeans tar file and copy it to the temp directory. Here it worked
without any problems.

VMWare player is free, but the tool required to create the images not. For that reason, I cannot publish a ready for using
version of Ubuntu, in english and with full JEE5 platform :). But I am sure it is a question of short-time to some one
provide us such version. A good chance is the community.

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