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Ubuntu 11.04 virtualbox 4.0

Great news for those who want to try out the latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal with the Unity interface without booting a CD or Live USB - Unity now works in the latest VirtualBox 4.0. All you have to do to get Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity to work in VirtualBox 4.0 is to enable 3D Acceleration and obviously, install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. Read on!

Get Ubuntu 11.04 with Unity working in VirtualBox 4.0

1. Firstly, install VirtualBox 4.0.x. For installation instructions, see our previous article: Install VirtualBox 4.0.x (Stable) In Ubuntu, Via Repository

2. Download the latest Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal daily live ISO from HERE.

3. In VirtualBox, create a new virtual machine, go to its settings and on the Display tab, check the "Enable 3D Acceleration" box.

4. Now you'll need to install Natty in VirtualBox. When done, start it and proceed to step 5.

5. Install the VirtualBox Guest Additions in Natty: open a terminal (in Ubuntu Natty that runs in VirtualBox) and type:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install virtualbox-ose-guest-utils

When done, restart the virtual machine and Ubuntu 11.04 with the Unity interface should be working!

Extra tip: if Unity defaults to a classic "windows 95-ish" theme when it starts, run the following command to get the default theme back (thanks to Phillip Daddy for the tip!):
killall -9 gnome-settings-daemon && gnome-settings-daemon

Update: for a permanent fix, see: Fix Ubuntu / Linux Mint Theme Changing To A Classic, Windows-95-like Gray Theme

Unity VirtualBox

Update April 4th, 2011: the initial instructions for installing the Guest Additions stopped working a while back so I've updated the post with new instructions that work with the latest xserver / kernel 2..6.38 (I've tested it with the latest Ubuntu 11.04 daily ISO / VirtualBox 4.0.4-70112). Thanks to Andrei Sun for the tip!

Thanks to Singh for the tip!