Ubuntu 11.10 VMware image with Tools
This is the virtual Oneiric Ocelot that comes as a VMware image with VM Tools installed. The VMware Tools offer fine features like Shared Folders, copy and paste or drag and drop. This integration functionality between host and guest has been tested. Otherwise this Ubuntu appliance is exactly the Ubuntu 11.10 image without VMware Tools that we put up shortly after Ubuntu came out with their Ocelot.
We did some testing with the new desktop environment Unity and the additionally installable Gnome Shell as an alternative for those who like to experiment with modern desktop ideas. See below.
How to compare Unity with the Gnome Shell? The Shell doesn't seem to work in a Ubuntu VMware image yet, but it can be installed. Just click the Dash home icon at the upper left and enter "Gnome Shell" into the search bar. The Ubuntu Software Center app then allows to install the Shell. By the way, Synaptics is not included by default. It has to be installed separately if you want to bypass the Ubuntu Software Center. Interestingly most comments that accompany the description screen seem to favor Gnome's new desktop over Unity...
So, what about the Gnome Shell as an alternative to Unity for this image? Sadly, we have to admit that after installing it like described above, it still wasn't startable. After logging out, the welcome screen offers additional options like Gnome, Gnome Classic and some more, but it all throws you into the Unity world.
The VMware Player should have turned on "Accelerate 3d graphics", because Gnome 3.x uses 3d functionality. This setting can only be enabled when the image got shut down completely. But even using the latest VMware Player, which is at the time of writing 4.0, along with the latest VMware Tools didn't do the trick. Let's see if there is some trick, or if we have to wait for the next VMware Player or Ubuntu release...
Another interesting alternative is the Lubuntu 11.10 image, which is derived from Ubuntu 11.10. The "L" stands for light and this distro uses the LXDE desktop. It is the newest Ubuntu flavor like Kubuntu with KDE and Xubuntu with Xfce. Lubuntu looks and feels like the classic Gnome 2.x system with one fine advantage. It is much faster.
Then there is the Linux Mint 12 image, which uses Gnome 3.x as the Mint team decided against the new desktop Unity from Ubuntu. They also found Gnome's ideas cumbersome and so they implemented the classic Gnome feeling into 3.x. Linux Mint is a fine distribution. It is built on top of Ubuntu, comes complete with all codecs, apps etc and... it is still usable.
Finally, the Linux Mint 12 with LXDE has all the comfort Mint users enjoy and the swiftness of LXDE. This fine desktop adheres to the user ergonomics that Gnome also knew - during their 2.x era.
Applications: Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice, Transmission, Shotwell, Simple Scan, Brasero, Pitivi, Banshee, Gwibber, Empathy and many other audio, CD, video and system tools. Also installed are the newest VMware Tools.
Zip md5: 5b9f48005f6de1403fd2626d949ddc67