Ubuntu 7.04 and Virtual PC 2007 – No Mouse Issue

Update: October 18, 2007 – The new version of Ubuntu, 7.10 is now out. If you haven’t yet installed Ubuntu, I’d suggest using 7.10. I have step by step instructions at https://arcanecode.wordpress.com/2007/10/18/installing-ubuntu-710-under-virtual-pc-2007/

Last week the folks at Ubuntu released Fiesty Fawn, better known as version 7.04 of the Ubuntu OS. I had planned a new version of the “step by step” to detail how to install under VirtualPC 2007.

Sadly there seems to be a severe error that prevents 7.04 from running in Virtual PC. This error lies somewhere deep in the kernel, and affects the mouse. As you have discovered, Ubuntu won’t recognize the mouse when running inside VPC.

This was actually a much more serious error at first, Ubuntu and several other Linux distros had errors recognizing most PS/2 style mice, as you can see from this bug: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=223606

They have opened a new bug specifically for Virtual PC, which you can monitor here: https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=234348. (Credit due alert: Thanks to Michael Wexler for first pointing out these links!).

I’ve spent quite a while trying various combinations, but thus far have found no easy solution or workaround to the problem. So for now, my advice is simple.

If you have an existing Ubuntu install under VPC, I recommend you NOT upgrade. You will lose your mouse for sure, and probably keyboard as well. If you want to experiment, start with a fresh virtual machine and go from there.

In the meantime, keep an eye on the second bug I listed. I’m hopeful there will be an update in the near future. At that point I’ll work up some step by step instructions, which should be pretty similar to the 6.06 instructions.

Update: (April 25th, 2007) – I found a work around (of sorts) that will let you use your numeric keypad as a mouse. Not the most pleasant experience, but it does work. See my post on the 25th ( http://shrinkster.com/ocx ) for full details.


15 thoughts on “Ubuntu 7.04 and Virtual PC 2007 – No Mouse Issue

  1. hi, im just installing now on vpc, same mouse prob, im just a linux noob, but just had a thought. how bout bluetooth and a wiimote? just a thought, good luck to yall too.

  2. The workaround suggested by Chuck Ebbert on the bugzilla item worked for me. I installed 7.04 on Virtual PC as follows:

    1. I downloaded the normal CD ISO image – not a special version.

    2. On the boot menu, press F4 for VGA and choose 1024x768x16 to prevent the graphics corruption problems.

    3. Press F6, remove the option “splash” and add the option “i8042.noloop” – this fixes the mouse.

    4. Run through the install process normally.

    5. During first boot, press Esc in grub, then e to edit the boot option and make the same adjustments as in step 3 to the kernel command line so the mouse works during first boot.

    6. Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and change the boot options as per step 3 so the mouse works in subsequent boots.

  3. Re: Paul Hickman

    Depending on how you like your pain you can do either the above or just boot up without the mouse and do ALT+F1 and follow the menu into accessories into a terminal then it’s just:

    sudo vi /boot/grub/menu.lst

    to edit your boot options (replace vi with editor of choice of course) save and reboot using ALT+F1 arrow keys to access other menus/items and reboot.

  4. i installed ubunto and at any time you can do this step:
    you do not need to be in first time.

    “During first boot, press Esc in grub, then e to edit the boot option and make the same adjustments as in step 3 to the kernel command line so the mouse works during first boot.”

  5. remove the option “splash” and add the option “i8042.noloop”

    Works fine. Kernel generic.

    No additional patches needed. Thank you.

  6. I have a different issue – got the mouse working fine, all the install goes well, but when I restart Virtual PC seems to fail to save the virtual HDD image, and I have to restart with the CD each time (like it’s trying to run off the CD rather than install – which implies some sort of install problem).

    Have you run into this?

  7. Just to confirm that again, at this point, after a software update on ubuntu (inside VPC) mouse stopped…
    Using info in comments here works
    during grub press ESC
    ‘e’ edit
    edit the ‘kernel’ line to add i8042.noloop

  8. to do a permanant fix for no mouse use these steps as prev dont let you save menu this one will
    Open a terminal and type this:
    gksudo gedit /boot/grub/menu.lst

    edit the line splash with i8042.noloop then alt and f arrow down too save


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