More on Ubuntu

After some exploring and googling I found some tricks to get rid of the nasty isapnp errors that prevented my Ubuntu from installing on Virtual PC.

One was solved by disabling the virtual sound card emulation that Virtual PC does by default on evert virtual machine. Uncheck, rerun, voilà.

The other one was not as easy. Googling for “isapnp ubuntu virtual pc” gave me lots of chaff but also some wheat, and I found an obscure forum where somebody reported how decreasing the amount of available RAM for the virtual machine would make the Ubuntu installer continue despite of the isapnp error. So, the error is still there, but the installation continues. So I decreased my virtual machine’s RAM from 1 GB to 512 MB, launch, install… and there it flies. Great. But… why does decreasing the RAM make an ISA PnP error be less important?

I had to fiddle a bit with the video settings for the installation, but after a couple of frustrating attempts, I got Ubuntu up and running on a Virtual PC machine. Running? Well, barely.

It does run. In fact, performance is quite nice as compared to Vista. But it is unusable. First of all, the system clock goes ballistic. I mean, I set it to the current time, and after a few seconds it has gone two or three minutes ahead. I can actually see the minutes running on the task bar. Yes, the minutes, not the seconds! Secondly, the keyboard repeat time is so low that pushing any key on my keyboard generates a sequence of 2 to 5 identical letters. I guessed that some setting could be adjusted to improve this, but first I had to log on! So I armed myself with patience and after 6 minutes (not kidding) I managed to type my user name and password at the prompt and be let in. You need to take into account that alphanumeric keys generated a sequence of characters, but the backspace key also generated a “sequence” of back spaces! Anyway. I logged on and found the setting. But even at its minimum, the repeat time is so low that most key strokes generate a couple of characters. Fortunately, there is another setting to disable key repeat altogether. Unfortunately, this also disables the very handy backspace repeat.

Finally, the mouse pointer jumps erratically to a random spot on screen every few seconds. No apparent pattern. It occurs at full screen and running on a window. Odd.

Ubuntu has installed, reluctantly. It is still unusable because of a crazy pointer, a runaway clock and a fastidious keyboard repeat setting. I will continue investigating in my spare time. And reporting. So far, my verdict is still: very substandard.

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3 Responses to “More on Ubuntu”


  1. 1 Joserra 26 July 2006 at 19:03

    You must have the fastest CPU on earth!!!

  2. 2 cesargon 26 July 2006 at 19:27

    Oh well. I am running these tests on a Dell Precision M90 with an Intel Core Duo at 1.83 GHz and 2 GB RAM. Video is an nVidia Quadro FX1500 M.
    In any case, I imagine that the system clock speed should be independent of the CPU speed 😉

  3. 3 A demagogue 22 August 2006 at 16:39

    Come on CesarGon, try it in a real PC or even a real virtual machine :p
    Give a real chance to Ubuntu… I have seen it working well at almost every machine.
    About the obscure messages that you talk and the non-usefulness of the Ubuntu installation… are you really talking about Ubuntu Dapper’s installation??? I think is 100 times easier than Windows XP: 6 steps with no blue screens telling me to press F3 or D to delete partitions or… Just “Next->Next->Next” very “user like”, my father would love it!!! :pI really think you should use Ubuntu as your main OS for a time to really understand this system’s weak and strong points, the same way most of us has used Windows for long and now we know why we prefer Ubuntu 😉


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