Linux Days preparation: Kernel Panic!

Posted on Sat 10 March 2012 in random notes

I’m already looking forward to this year’s Linux Days of Graz since I’ve decided that I’m going to help with the amateur course. I’ve maded that decision last year after having attended half of the course which was given by Manfred as well as Bernhard and Thomas. Since they had been talking about wanting to give a course for intermediate users as well there was lots of room for an additional presenter which would be me.

Of course, after having some slight repercussions during last year’s course (read: the Ubuntu partner repository not being enabled on a live CD and therefor not being able to install Skype for demonstration purpose) we want to make sure we have everything ready and tested twice or even thrice.

However, since my primary machine is a Macbook Air these days, I’ll have to prepare something that houses the required Ubuntu installation for the Linux Days. That basically gave me 3.5 options:

  • Virtualbox (open-source, except some proprietary extensions 1, free, preferred)
  • Parallels (commercial, complex integration with OS X, 30 day trial)
  • VMware Fusion (commercial, 30 day trial)
  • dual booting (not in consideration, rather: use a different machine)

As you can easily see the obvious choice was Virtualbox. Usual procedure: Download, install, install extensions, mount iso, roll. Except for the “roll” part. For some reason the sane defaults didn’t do it. To enable network access I had to switch the network options from NAT to bridged to be able to get a connection.

After having solved that tiny problem I was going to test the installation. I rushed through the installer’s questions and went away from my laptop for a while only to come back seeing that I was logged out. Unfortunately that only offered one conclusion: Something bad had happened. I logged in, went to Console and found that the Macbook had restarted after a Kernel Panic. Damn.

So I had to consider the other options again. Checking the date gave me a little more time however, since the Linux Days would otherwise not be included in the 30 day trial. I’ll also try Virtualbox again without Oracle’s extensions to see if that works better.

Interestingly though Virtualbox seemed to require less resources than older versions, since the fan in my laptop wasn’t constantly running on full speed.

Have little doubt. I might not be able to guarantee that this year everything will work perfect. Nevertheless we will try to prepare everything as well as we can given that there’s work for university and us having social lives too.


Update: Fixed typo in title


  1. All platforms Support for USB 2.0 devices, VirtualBox RDP and PXE boot for Intel cards.