I find myself in a position where I have to run Windows on my laptop, and use it on a daily basis. This does not make me a happy moggie, as I have run Ubuntu exclusively (except for gaming) for several years. I finally decided that the best solution would be to run Ubuntu in VirtualBox on top of Windows.

(Yes, I still run Hardy, as I still haven’t recovered from trying out the unmitigated disaster that was Intrepid. I may give Jaunty a spin some day; VirtualBox makes this so much easier… but in the meantime, Hardy it is. Besides, it’s an LTS release.)

Why not the other way around? Three reasons: Windows is a PITA to virtualize (not least from a licensing POV); I never do anything really performance-sensitive in Linux, but I do in Windows; and doing it this way around means I can suspend and hibernate, something Linux still can’t do. (Cue angry comments from Linux fanboys insisting that suspend and hibernate work just fine and I’m an idiot; sorry, but no, it has never worked for me on any of the laptops I have owned or managed—even those manufactured by companies that spend millions of dollars every year on Linux development.)

Running Ubuntu in VirtualBox is not as easy as it sounds, though. You can’t just create a new VM, pop in the CD, and install. There are several issues that took me quite a while to resolve, and the VirtualBox web forum was no help at all: the moderators arrogantly shut down any thread touching on issues covered by the FAQ, even when the answer given in the FAQ is incorrect and / or insufficient. Continue reading “VirtualWoes”