Saturday, November 01, 2008

Virtualbox in Ubuntu on the EeePC 901

Although VMware Server works OK on this machine, Senryu is just a little dissappointing in that vmwaretools can't be installed and a 800x600 screen resolution is the best that can be achieved while in FullScreen mode.
So, I decided to try Virtualbox. First though, the version in the Ubuntu repos doesn't actually work but full details on how to get a working version in given in this guide.
Once it's installed, you'll become aware of another problem which is that the Host-key (used to get to fullscreen mode) is by default set at RightCtrl. However, this key doesn't exist on the EeePC 901 so you need to use this guide to change it to something else.
Now the Senryu VM for VMware also works fine in Virtualbox so there's no need to download anything else.
Once the Senryu VM has been set up for VB, it works surprisingly well. So, it's easy to get to fullscreen mode, although, once again, no 1024x600 screen resolution is available. Nevertheless, in contrast to VMware, selecting a larger screen resolution does not give an error. So, 1024x768 gives a truly fullscreen Senryu although a small art of the screen is off the page to the bottom. However, this didn't really cause me any problem particularly as it's easy to use the Workspaces icon to pull stuff up that had been off the screen.
In addition, booting seems faster and mouse pointer movement seems a lot smoother than it is in VMware.
The major problem I have had up to now is an inability to get an Internet connection. It seems that four network cards are catered for on the EeePC 901 (two PCnet and two Intel). The two Intel options give a green light on the Network desktop applet (it's red for the PCnet cards) but I still can't ping anything.
Although others have had network problems in VB, there doesn't seem to be a lot of stuff adressing my speciific problem so I'm not yet sure how easy or otherwise it's going to be to fix it.
All-in-all though, Senryu in VB on the EeePC looks a lot more usable than it does in VMware Server. Just got to get that internet connection.

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