Running Ubuntu as a Virtual OS in Mac OS X
In the end, I did have a fully functional Ubuntu Linux running within each of the two virtualization environments—one was sufficiently fast that when I put it into full-screen mode on my 2.3GHz MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.1, I really could use it for editing documents, surfing the Net and experimenting with Ubuntu and Linux graphical apps. In fact, I was rather surprised by how snappy the operating system was within these environments, as I'd run Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista within the virtualization world and had found it functional, but not comparable to a real PC. Linux within the virtualization world, however, was quite pleasantly snappy and very usable.
This leaves us the fundamental question with which we started, why? If you have a logical reason to run a full Linux distro on your Mac for testing or experimentation, or to gain access to applications not otherwise available within the Mac OS X world, this is a satisfying path to travel.
Dave Taylor has been hacking shell scripts for over thirty years. Really. He's the author of the popular "Wicked Cool Shell Scripts" and can be found on Twitter as @DaveTaylor and more generally at www.DaveTaylorOnline.com.