Okay, thanks to Bruce I think I have the difference between the two virtual machines sorted out. The one we run through VPN Client is an Ubuntu Desktop virtual machine installed on the SIRLS Sandbox Server that we access through a remote desktop. Because it is a desktop version of Ubuntu (i.e. a GUI-like interface) we have to find the terminal window to use the command line.
The Ubuntu Virtual Machine we have installed on our own computers is run through VM Fusion (for a Mac). This is a server version of Ubuntu, so it just runs from a CLI, not a desktop GUI like the virtual machine on the Sandbox server.
My installation of the Ubuntu 10.04 server on my machine went fine, after a few snafus. I was able to access VMware Fusion just fine and it ran just fine. Fortunately, I had followed Bruce’s advice to watch the installation videos in their entirety before I tried the installation, because when I tried to run the videos in another window so I could follow them step by step, it worked until I had to press the start button. At first it seemed as if it wasn’t doing anything; I pressed the start/pause toggle repeatedly, but didn’t get the screen with the big play button on it like in the video. I tried to click in the window, but it wouldn’t let me. I finally went to the menu at the top of the screen and decided to change the view to full-screen. Once I did that, I got the window with the big play button—but then I couldn’t see the videos anymore, nor the menu! And I couldn’t escape from the full-screen view, although I tried the escape key and other alternatives (although I didn’t try ctrl-C or ctrl-Z because I didn’t want to abort the install). So I just went on with the installation, and I remembered most of the steps in the videos. There were a couple of spots where I did not remember what options the videos said to choose, so I chose the default in those cases. I did install the LAMP server, the SSH server, and I also installed the database server, because I used to work as a database specialist and I wanted to play with that. The install seemed to complete correctly, and I eventually got the command line! Later, after I exited the system, I noticed the VMware icon in my taskbar and clicked on it, and behold the play window came up! I wonder if it had been there all along? The whole process took about two hours.
I know this description sounds vague, but I didn’t think to take a screen shot of the problem I was having. And once I got stuck in full-screen mode, I wouldn’t have been able to anyway!