If you install Windows XP on a partition of your Mac using Bootcamp, VMWare Fusion should see it, and allow you to boot Windows inside the VM. I installed Ubuntu Feisty on another partition of my Mac, so VMWare Fusion doesn’t notice it automatically, but I finally found out how to get Ubuntu running in the VM without requiring a second installation with a separate VMWare disk image.
The secret is to use vmware-rawDiskCreator as discussed in this InsanelyMac forum. Here are some more detailed directions:
- In VMWare Fusion, create a new vmware instance called MyUbuntu. Under “Settings” for that vm, you can change or add a new IDE hard drive. This will make life easier, since you won’t have to worry about having the right SCSI driver if you are running a minimalistic Linux distro. From the command line, MyUbuntu is really a directory called MyUbuntu.vmwarevm (yes, vm appears twice in that extension).
- Close MyUbuntu in VMWare Fusion, so you can edit it directly.
- In a terminal:
cd "/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion/"
- List the partitions on your hard drive.
./vmware-rawdiskCreator print /dev/disk0
- Create a file that points VMWare at your partition. (My bootcamp partition is number 3, so that is why you see a 3 in the following command.)
./vmware-rawdiskCreator create /dev/disk0 3 /Users/USERNAME/MyUbuntu.vmwarevm/bootcamp_partition ide
- Add or edit these lines in the text file /Users/USERNAME/MyUbuntu.vmwarevm/MyUbuntu.vmx
ide0:0.present = "TRUE" ide0:0.fileName = "bootcamp_partition.vmdk"
- Run MyUbuntu in VMWare Fusion. You will be asked for your administrative password, because VMWare Fusion must be granted access to read and write to your bootcamp partition.