Tutorial :Which Linux distro is best for running in a virtual machine, for programming research?


I'd like to learn LAMP development for my own personal edification.

I tried setting up Ubuntu 8.10 "Hardy Heron" in Microsoft VPC, but I can't get the video to work above 800x600. Played with xorg.conf a million times but no joy. Can anyone recommend a good distro to work with that plays well with VPC? Any guidance on getting started with Apache and Perl/PHP would also be welcome.


I installed ubuntu 8.10 in a virtual machine on my Vista 64-bit laptop. I attempted the install with Virtual PC, VM Ware and Virtual Box from SUN. Virtual Box was the only vm software that I was successful with from the start. In the setup you choose that you are installing linux as your guest OS and everything works without spending your evening sifting through blogs trying to get install to work.


Firstly, if your goal is to learn LAMP development, I'd start by just downloading the WAMP stack for windows from http://www.wampserver.com/en/ or one of it's competitors. The "Linux" part of LAMP programming isn't likely to be a major part of your learning experience. Avoiding running a VM will be much less resource intense on your development workstation and avoid having issues with suspend/resume and disk IO contention.

Secondly, any linux should work, under virtualbox or msvpc. All the modern desktop virtualization systems emulate a full system, so it's just a matter of configuration and getting the right drivers. Like others said, virtualbox is more open source friendly so give that a shot.

Finally, I don't usually run X on my development VM's, since it just eats unnecessary resources. Just use putty on the host and ssh in to a VM running in console mode.

Not entirely the answer to your question, but I think it attacks your goal more directly.


If you're not wedded to VPC, a quick way to start might be to download the free VMWare Player at


and then you can try any of many, many distros prepackaged for VMWare here:


The appliances at the second link should work out of box, so you don't have to fiddle with X conf files, which is probably not the topic of your research. As a bonus, you may be exposed to distros you normally wouldn't know about.

Edit: Here's an appliance with Ubuntu 8.10:





This is largely a matter of preference. As has been mentioned, Ubuntu is a good choice. I tend to prefer debian as it is a bit less cutting edge (and therefor more stable). But it's not as easy a platform to learn as Ubuntu.

As has also been pointed out, I would recommend VirtualBox as Virtual PC doesn't support non-MS operating systems.


I use Ubuntu 8.10 and Mono.

However, to get the graphics to work properly, you need the


kernel parameter.


I use Scientific Linux 5.2 (which is just a rebranded RedHat Enterprise Linux 5.2) and it works fine. I also have had success with many flavors of Ubuntu. I run all of my machines under VMWare Server and have successfully used them with both the 1.0.x versions and the 2.0.x versions of VMWare server.


Does it have to be Microsoft Virtual PC? Virtual Box is much more open-source friendly and I used it with no problems to display higher resolutions of the guest OS.


Check Bitnami stacks. They are ISO live disks images. You just need to attach the iso to the boot cd of the vistual machine. There is a LAMP stack based on Ubuntu. If you like how it works, there is an option to install to a virtual disk.


I was able to get VMWare Server (free) to work fine with Ubuntu without much hassle (display, etc works out of the box). Install VMWare tools on the VM (they make it for linux) and you'll get a more seamless experience. My specific configuration:

  • VMWare Server 2.0
  • Host OS: Windows XP Pro, SP 3
  • Guest OS: KUbuntu 0804

Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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