I’ve reinstalled Ubuntu (5.10, the latest release) under VMware 5.0 (I’m downloading version 5.5 as I write this) and Ubuntu deserves all the accolades it keeps receiving from the industry. It’s stable, fast, uses the oh-so-lovely debian package manager (apt-get) and does a fantastic job at ‘just working’.
For example, I first set it up in VMware using a wired ethernet connection. I then disconnected it, went downstairs, switched my host system (Windows XP) to wireless, restarted networking in Ubuntu, and bingo – network connection again. Of course, you might say it’s all about VMware… and maybe you’re right… but a lot of linux systems I’ve installed in VMware aren’t so forgiving when underlying variables such as networking changes suddenly.
I was also having a tough time configuring the VMware tools as I kept missing gcc-3.4, required to recompile the vmhgfs drivers (or something like that). A quick google, an apt-get update and apt-get install gcc-3.4 later and I was up and running. No reboot. Fantastic. Right now, I’m chatting using GAIM, through the VMware, using my wireless connection.
Now, the tough part is explaining that to your non-techie friend and making them understand why it’s so cool and l33t 🙂