Networking lost when cloning Ubuntu image

I use Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 to host a couple of server. I have become accustomed to having template virtual machines so I don’t have to start from scratch for every installation. When I did that to a newly installed Ubuntu 7.10 I immediately noticed that I lost all networking.

It turns out that Ubuntu 7.10 has moved some settings for MAC address mapping for interfaces to the file /etc/udev/rules.d/70-persistent-net.rules. Edit that file and make sure that the MAC address matches the MAC address given by the virtual host.

Reducing clock drift in Linux 2.6 under Virtual Server

The combination of Ubuntu 7.10 (or any other 2.6 kernel based Linux distribution) and Virtual Server 2005 R2 leads to extreme clock drift, causing the clock in the guest operating system to drift several minutes per hour. This amount of drift is beyond what NTP can normaly cope with and while some people have advocated running ntpdate as a cron job every hour, such an remedy would only reduce the issue since it would drift many minutes before it would be reset again.

Microsoft has issued a knowledgebase article that describes a solution to the problem.

In short, add “clock=pit” to the kernel options in /etc/grub/menu.lst.

Installing Ubuntu 7.10 on Virtual Server 2005 R2

I was trying to install Ubuntu 7.10 on Virtual Server 2005 R2 and was continuously met by an error saying “your installation CD-ROM couldn’t be mounted”.

Ubuntu CD mounting error

It seems that every time I try to install Ubuntu, I run into problems. Last time it was caused by lack of hardware support in the CPU on my VIA motherboard for some compiled-in feature. That was solved by using “alternate” build. In this case it seems to be a mismatch between my version of Virtual Server and Ubuntu. What worked this time was to use a minimal installation ISO which pulls down the rest of the installation over the network. This still doesn’t make the CD work but I have no use for the CD in this specific installation so that is fine by me.Sidenote: The same version worked flawlessly in VMWare Fusion. Lessons learned?

Vanishing icons on Mac OS X

Every once in a while the icons on my desktop suddenly almost disappear, leaving just the text underneath and a very tiny border where the icon should be.

Lost icon problem

The first time this happened I was quite perplexed and just couldn’t understand what I had done or how I could get the icons back. I tried rebooting but it was of no good. Then I realised that the only icons that were affected were shortcuts from Safari. Apparently, the icon cache gets messed up and needs to be fixed. The solution is simple:

  • From the Safari menu, select “Reset Safari”
  • Mark the option to remove all website icons and click “Reset”
  • Finally, Finder needs to be reset. Either log out and back in or press option-command-escape and relaunch Finder.

Lost icon solution