I was trying to get Ubuntu 10.10 to work with OS161. It was a big struggle but the main trick of getting it to work was having gcc 3.4. To install gcc 3.4 you would use the following command
wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/libstdc++6-dev_3.4.6-6ubuntu3_i386.deb && wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/gcc-3.4_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb && wget http://ge.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/g/gcc-3.4/gcc-3.4-base_3.4.6-8ubuntu2_i386.deb && sudo dpkg -i *.deb &&
You would then probably like to change your default gcc to 3.4 by doing the following command
cd /usr/bin/ sudo ln -s gcc-3.4 gcc
Then you can get the source of os161 and follow the nice step by step instructions by clicking here.
Hope this lets you spent less time configuring and more time hacking.