How to install Ubuntu 20.04 on Hyper-V with enhanced session

Keywords: #ubuntu #20.04 #lts #hyperv #windows10 #installation #vm

A few days ago Canonical officially released the latest version of Ubuntu. The first of the two releases of 2020 marks a new long term support (LTS).

This post aims at configuring an Hyper-V virtual machine running Ubuntu 20.04 desktop with enhanced session enabled. At the time of writing this the Hyper-V wizard of Windows 10 1909 supports Ubuntu 18.04 and 19.10, but we can easily bypass this limitation by installing the tools manually.

Create VM

Open the Hyper-V Manager and on the right panel click on New, then Virtual Machine.

A new window will appear. Choose an appropriate name for your VM and click Next.

Make sure you select Generation 2 on the next page. This will ensure that UEFI is enabled. Then, click Next.

As for the amount of memory, 4GB is the minimum requirement for a good experience. I suggest you to go to 8GB if you can. Then, click Next.

Be sure to select at least one network interface so that Ubuntu can download updates while installing and later on we can download drivers too. Then, click Next.

By default the wizard will create a 127GB disk. For my purpose that amount of storage is enough. Then, you guessed it, click Next.

Last but not least, select the ISO downloaded from the Ubuntu website. To end the wizard, click on Finish.

Before you can start the VM, we have to disable secure boot as Ubuntu doesn’t support it. Select the VM, then on the right panel click Settings.

On the left panel click Security and make sure that Enable secure boot is unchecked. Then, click Ok.

We are now ready to start the VM and run the OS setup (remember to disable auto-login, otherwise the enhanced session won’t work). Once you have finished, we can start installing the linux-tools provided by Microsoft.

Setup enhanced session

On Ubuntu, open a terminal, download and run the setup script.

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Microsoft/linux-vm-tools/master/ubuntu/18.04/install.sh
sudo chmod +x install.sh
sudo ./install.sh

If you receive an error at the end of the install script, there is one more thing to do. Using your favorite editor, open /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini (sudo required) and edit the following lines:

port=vsock://-1:3389
use_vsock=false

Save the file and shutdown the VM. From Windows, open a PowerShell prompt with admin privileges and type:

Set-VM -VMName <your_vm_name>  -EnhancedSessionTransportType HvSocket

where <your_vm_name> is, well, the name of the VM (the one chosen at the start of the creation wizard). There you go! Now start the VM and in a matter of seconds you will be redirected to the XRDP login page.

Step 10