Monday, August 31, 2009

Ubuntu Netbook Remix in VMware

I needed to install Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) in a VMware Virtual Machine so that I could try to reproduce a bug. It was kind of an asspain. Problem is, UNR is made to be installed from a USB flash drive, and VMware can't boot from USB devices. There isn't a DVD or CD ISO image for UNR 9.04 available. It turns out that you can make a DVD image from the UNR .img.

I found the following guide on the Ubuntu forums (see below for a link). It should work from most linux distros:

Make a directory to hold the contents of the UNR DVD image:

$ mkdir unr

Make a mount point to mount the UNR .img file:

$ mkdir realunr

Mount the UNR .img as a loop device:

$ sudo mount -o loop -t vfat ubuntu-9.04-netbook-remix-i386.img realunr/

Copy all the contents from the UNR image to your unr/ directory. Note that realunr/.diskimage is critical:
$ rsync -a realunr/ unr/

Rename syslinux to isolinux:
unr$ mv syslinux isolinux
unr$ mv isolinux/syslinux.cfg isolinux/isolinux.cfg

Generate a DVD image from the contens of unr with the following incantation:
mkisofs -o ubuntu-9.04-netbook-remix-i386.iso -r -J -l \
-V "Ubuntu-Netbook-Remix 9.04 i386" -b isolinux/isolinux.bin \
-c isolinux/ -no-emul-boot -boot-load-size 4 \
-boot-info-table unr/

mkisofs will generate a DVD image that you can either boot a VM from or burn to a DVD.

Guide on