Installation of Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) on VMWare Workstation

About two years since my second post on installing a Linux distro on VMWare Workstation, I think it's time for a new update. Today, I got hold of an ISO image of Zesty Zapus (Ubuntu 17.04 64-bit) on the cover disk of Linux Format (June '17) and went immediately to "work"...

What follows is my latest "recipe":


  • a downloaded ISO image of your favourite distro
  • a newly created virtual machine with 4-8GB of RAM, a 40-60GB disk and a couple of CPU cores


Mount the ISO image to your VM's optical drive and boot it up, then follow the instructions to install your distro selecting your preferences (timezone, keyboard layout, etc.). For accessing your VM via ssh from your host, it helps if your Linux account has the same username as the one on your host OS (Windows, OS X).

Once the installation finishes and the VM boots up, log in with your newly created user account and password and admire the new clean desktop. It won't last long.

Change the Screen Resolution, Keyboard and Mouse speed

At this point I always change the screen resolution from the default 800x600 to something more appropriate like 1280x960, even though this is short-lived as we will be installing the Open VM Tools with automatic screen resizing a bit later.
What I also do at this point, is set up the keyboard's repeat keys delay and speed, and the mouse's acceleration and sensitivity to my preferred values.

Enable root account (optional)

To enable the root account (disabled by default), open a terminal window with Ctrl+Alt+T and type:

sudo passwd

Type your own password first, then choose one for the root user (type it twice).

Install Open VM Tools

Install ssh and some useful tools:

sudo apt-get install open-vm-tools open-vm-tools-desktop

Do a restart and enjoy copy & paste from your host OS and an automatic resize of your client into the host's window.

Change prompt add some config

Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to start the terminal again and issue any config that you need. Here's a good prompt and a quick alias to start with:

export PS1="\n\[\033[1;32m\]\u\[\033[1;37m\]@\[\033[0;32m\]\H\n\[\033[0m\][\[\033[1;33m\]\w\[\033[0m\]] "
alias l="ls -lFa"


If you can't be bothered to sudo all the time for the rest of the process, then log in as root :

su - root

Issue an update of the latest and upgrade the currently installed packages.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install Additional Software

Install ssh and some useful tools:

sudo apt-get install ssh git mercurial
sudo apt-get install zip curl htop
sudo apt-get install vim vim-gui-common vim-runtime
sudo apt-get install gconf-editor unity-tweak-tool

Download and Install Chrome

Ubuntu comes with Firefox, so time to get Chrome. Before installing Chrome you need to make sure you have gdebi-gtk, so type:

sudo apt install gdebi

Go to the Chrome download page, choose the right version (64-bit .deb for example), download it and install it using the GDebi package manager (Open with "GDebi Package Installer").

Install Sublime Text 3

Sublime Text 3 is not part of Ubuntu repos, so you can go to the Sublime Download page and get it. Install with:

sudo gdebi ~/Downloads/sublime-text_build-3126_amd64.deb

Sublime is available in Mint's repos so you can more easily: sudo apt-get install sublime-text)

Launch it and enter your license details, if you have a license. If you don't, don't be a fool; go and buy one! Why wait?

Configure Sublime

Next, choose Preferences -> Settings - User from the menu. I usually have the following settings:

  "bold_folder_labels": true,
  "font_face": "DejaVu Sans Mono",
  "font_size": 9,
  "highlight_modified_tabs": true,
  "rulers": [80,128],
  "show_tab_close_buttons": true,
  "translate_tabs_to_spaces": true,
  "tree_animation_enabled": false,
  "trim_automatic_white_space": true,
  "trim_trailing_white_space_on_save": true,
  "use_tab_stops": false,
  "save_on_focus_lost": true,
  "ensure_newline_at_eof_on_save": true

If you don't know what else to put in the User preferences, you can see a full list with explanatory comments in Preferences -> Settings - Default, but be careful not to edit that file as those settings will be lost if you upgrade to the next Sublime patch.

For key bindings I leave everything as is, with the exception of two keystrokes that stayed with me from the 80s. As I was too young and innocent I haven't managed to get over them no matter how many text editors and operating systems I've changed. From the menu again, choose Preferences -> Key Bindings - User and edit to your heart's content. I do this:

    { "keys": ["ctrl+t"], "command": "delete_word", "args": { "forward": true } },
    { "keys": ["ctrl+y"], "command": "run_macro_file", "args": {"file": "Packages/Default/Delete Line.sublime-macro"} }

Mercurial, Bitbucket and Dotfiles

For my dotfiles, I use a Bitbucket private repository. First, I clone my repo on my home directory:

hg clone

Then, I have some scripts to create my dotfiles, links, etc. Usually my workflow looks like this:

cd dotfiles
./ linux
./ linux
cp hgrc ~/.hgrc
chmod 600 ~/.hgrc
vi ~/.hgrc                    # enter your Bitbucket password here
cp linux/bashrc ~/.bashrc

source .bashrc

Install root's .bashrc and environment

Occasionally I work with the root user and I have a set of files to setup manually (no scripts yet). My workflow is something like:

su - root       # enter password here...
cp .bashrc .bashrc-BACKUP
cp /home/ksymeon/dotfiles/linux/root/bashrc .bashrc
cp /home/ksymeon/dotfiles/linux/root/bash_aliases .bash_aliases
cp /home/ksymeon/dotfiles/linux/root/bash_env .bash_env
source .bashrc

Next steps


(For my own setup I have created a script ./dotfiles/

All done, close this terminal window and open a new one with Ctrl+Alt+T.


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