I just upgraded my Mac OS X Snow Leopard desktop machine to Lion, and one of the very first things that I did after upgrading was install the latest version of VirtualBox (virtualization software). Using VirtualBox, I successfully installed Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' as guest OS inside Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion'. So far, it's been running really well when using the classic GNOME desktop and quite good when using the dreaded Unity.

For those of you who would also like to install Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' on Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' using VirtualBox, here is a step-by-step process on how I did it:

1. Download the latest version of VirtualBox (VirtualBox 4.1 for OS X hosts) from HERE. Install it.

2. Download the Ubuntu 11.04 (32-bit) installer (ISO image) from HERE.

3. Run VirtualBox and click on the 'New' icon to start creating a new virtual machine. A wizard will guide you through the process.


Here is how I configured my virtual machine:

I allocated 1024MB of RAM...


I chose dynamically allocated disk file and allocated 20GB of virtual disk space...


4. After creating your virtual machine, you are now all set to install Ubuntu 11.04 as guest OS on Mac OS X Lion host. Inside the ‘VirtualBox Manager’, click on the 'Start' icon to open the 'First Run Wizard'.


5. Once you are prompted to select an installation media, be sure to point the 'Media Source' to the Ubuntu 11.04 installer (ISO).


6. The Ubuntu Natty Narwhal LiveCD installer will now be running. Install Ubuntu like you normally would and wait for the installation to finish.


7. To be able to fully optimize the performance of your guest OS, you will need to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. While running Ubuntu, go to 'Devices' menu of VirtualBox (found on the Mac OS X menu bar) and click on 'Install Guest Additions'.


8. You will also need to enable 3D acceleration in order to use Ubuntu with the Unity desktop. To do this, shut down Ubuntu, and then inside VirtualBox Manager, click on Settings -> Display and tick ‘Enable 3D Acceleration’.


Here is a screenshot of my Mac OS X 10.7 'Lion' desktop running Ubuntu 11.04 'Natty Narwhal' using VirtualBox:


That's about it. If you have questions, feel free to ask via comment.

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