Over the past weekend I got around to setting up my server. The physical machine has two sides which are each their own computer. For the last year I have only been using one of them. While talking with the IT guy at work, he mentioned that Vmware has a barebones free hypervisor. So I decided I would load it on the other half of my server.
Install was quite easy. After registering on Vmwares site, I downloaded the ISO to create a boot disk from. I don’t have a disk drive on the server so I wanted to boot from a USB flash drive. After reading a few articles I went with unetbootin and couldn’t have been happier. Downloaded, ran, selected Ubuntu for the planned OS (I read somewhere that was the one to use) and selected my flash drive and the VmSphere ISO file. This I then plugged into the server and booted it up. Just left all the defaults during install, choose a root user password and that was it! Once it booted up I did change some settings (static IP, etc) but there wasn’t much more. So easy!
Back on my desktop I first navigated to the machines IP in my web browser as I had read that Vmware had a web interface. Apparently that is for a more complex (paid) setup but there was a nice little webpage shown explaining that I should go get the Vmsphere client.
The client asks for the machines IP and your login info that you set during install. This then presented a screen with some info about the machine and resources available. I was planning on moving a minecraft server I have been running on my desktop over and have some experience with Ubuntu so I went and got the latest ISO for the server edition. You could use a desktop edition too as the Vmsphere client gives you a “console” into the virtual machine that is graphical. Last time I tried installing Ubuntu without a CD I had a horrible time (12.04 had some known bug with installing from a USB flash drive) so I was a little anxious to see how it would go now.
new virtual machines are incredibly easy to spin up. The best part in my opinion is that the Vmsphere client can load ISO (from the computer running the client) into a virtual drive on the VM. This made installing Ubuntu very trivial. The only problem I faced was that I couldn’t seem to see any USB flash drives I stuck into the server. It took me a while to figure out that I never selected that I wanted any USB hardware available to the VM. This was fixed by shutting down the VM and adding in USBs in its properties (make sure you add the real ones and not vmwares virtual ones). When I started up the VM and Ubuntu the USB drive showed up under /dev as it was supposed to.
All in all it was a very strait forward process and setting up the host hypervisor was actually the easiest and least time consuming part. I am very happy so far with it.