Upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on Parallels

The upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) couldn’t have been any easier. I’m still using a nearly default installation of Ubuntu 7.04 so I just went into Update Manager and made sure I installed all the waiting updates. Then I rebooted Ubuntu just to be safe. I reran Update Manager and installed the waiting 7.10 update. Click the thumbnail to the left to see the Update Manager screen, it shows both the waiting update and the upgrade to Ubuntu 7.10.

I still have two annoying issues with the VM, although they don’t seem to affect data. The first is that the network connection doesn’t start automatically. I have to start it manually. It’s easy enough to do – click the network icon in the top right, near the date, and select “wired” as the network.

The second issue is the screen never clears when shutting down the VM. The status bar runs down indicating the shutdown completes but the Ubuntu logo remains on the screen and the VM is still in a running state. I have to shut it down through Parallels which warns me that the VM is still running and I may lose data. I’m sure Ubuntu itself is shut down because it doesn’t do any disk check or recovery process when I start it up again.

I reduced the memory usage to 256MB and startup was painfully slow. GNOME displayed an error that it couldn’t start due to the lack of a response but then the desktop eventually appeared. I found this a bit strange and noticed that while Ubuntu was starting up my Windows XP VM was running extremely slow. My Mac still had plenty of memory (17%) and CPU (>20% always) available. The Windows XP VM itself showed little CPU activity (once I got task manager running). It appears Parallels was a bit of a bottleneck here, although only when starting the VM. Once the Ubuntu VM was up and running things were fine with both of them. I was able to run update manager and apply the few updates that were available for Ubuntu. Future startups of the Ubuntu VM, with the Windows XP VM running seemed normal. This may mean it was a fluke or maybe it was fixed by one of the Ubuntu updates. I guess there has to be a little frustration in everything.

My Ubuntu install is still very standard. I haven’t added or removed software since the initial installation, I’ve just applied what update manager told me was needed. I reduced the memory usage to 256MB so I could run more VMs at one time. After a normal startup, before running any apps (except system monitor) system monitor tells me 34.7% of memory is used and there hasn’t been any swapping.

There have been numerous updates to both Parallels and Ubuntu since I installed this VM. The network startup and Ubuntu shutdown issues are annoying enough that I may decide to just re-install from scratch. It may be easier for me to do it now when I’ve only used Ubuntu for exploration rather than wait and find I want to re-install after making changes. The nice part about VMs is I can install a new one while keeping the other one around.

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