Installing Ubuntu 32-bit In VirtualBox

For some time I have been unable to install in VirtualBox any 32-bit version of Ubuntu 16.04.x. I tried Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu, and Xubuntu. For me the problem began after the official 16.04 release. I had no problems booting and installing in VirtualBox the 16.04 beta versions. I am able to install the 16.04.x 64-bit version in VirtualBox.

The disk ISO always boots fine. When X starts there is a second or two when the screen display resizes as expected to the usual default 1024x768. Then the screen abruptly corrupts to 1152x400 and is unusable.

Eventually I dug deeper. The problem is known and a bug report was filed. Seems the problem started with 14.10 although I had no problems with the 16.04 beta ISOs.

Seems the symptoms vary among people experiencing this problem.

The work-around is funky but straightforward. After the display corrupts, toggle the guest virtual machine (VM) virtual displays.

The common advice found on the web is to press Host_Key+F1 then return to the X desktop with Host_Key+F7. That keyboard shortcut combination fails with 16.04 because 16.04 uses systemd. With systemd the X environment boots on the same virtual console (tty1). Therefore, the trick is to press Host_Key+F[2|3|4|5|6] and then return to X with Host_Key+F1. The first toggle can be any virtual console other than F1.

Yet Another WTF Moment. Virtualization is now standard and common. I am lost how this kind of bug gets past quality assurance testers.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: Ubuntu, Virtual Machines

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