Apples and Orangeness

Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” came out today (*checks clock* err, yesterday) — congrads to the Ubuntu community on the release! I just finished installing it under VMWare Fusion on my MacBook, and will upgrade my home and work Ubuntu desktops this weekend.

Installation was painless. I didn’t even need to edit xorg.conf and specify my monitor’s horizontal refresh rate! 🙂 Video, sound, and networking all worked. I must grumble a little bit, though, that the installer still can’t automagically detect the keyboard type, and instead presents a list with a zillion obscure variants (with a default selected). Maybe it’s just not possible… I remember how installers of yore used to do the same thing for mice (“Serial mouse? Bus Mouse? PS/2 protocol, or Logitech?”, etc.), but that all seems to Just Work now. Selecting my physical location is also slightly annoying; it might be neat to do a GeoIP lookup to guess… Anyway, both just small nitpicks.

One thing I am a little confused about is what (if any?) VMWare stuff needs to be done. In the past, the usual process was to install the guest OS, and then install VMWare Tools to get various things working. Now it seems like the Ubuntu installer has already done some of that… At least, it gave me vmware-specific video and mouse packages. But the desktop doesn’t resize when the VMWare window is resized, and VMWare’s Forums seem to have some arguments going on (hi Al!) in regards to their Tools stuff not working on Hardy and a perceived lack of support. So, I don’t know what’s up with that. Things seem to be working well enough that I’ll just use it as-is for a while, and then check back later when other people figure it out. Or maybe I’ll lazyblog about it, and hope someone comments. 🙂

P.S. Love the Heron artwork!


2 thoughts on “Apples and Orangeness”

  1. Automatic keyboard layout detection would be great but isn’t going to happen soon. As far as I know PS/2 keyboards don’t support layout detection at all and USB keyboards only theoretically would. But because it is cheaper to always put the same chips into a keyboard and not even changing a few bits most keyboard manufacturers just print different key labels and leave the layout setting at its default value. Really a shame. I don’t know anything about laptop keyboards but often the same interfaces (PS/2, USB etc.) with a different form factor get used.

  2. The open-vmware-tools packages should be autodetected and installed for this release. This means that VMware works out of the box.

    Of course, I updated the QA image *two* days ago so now I have to go do it again. *grumble*

    Fedora 8 is still all busted ass when it comes to VMware though and with no hope of redemption.

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