Working With Virtual Machines

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LINUX INSTALLATION

For this write-up, we would be focusing on installing any LINUX distribution of your choice via VMWare.

Things you need to get before installation:

  1. An installation of VMWare Software, if you are already running VMWare on your OS u can ignore this.
  2. A DVD containing the LINUX distro of your choice or in the alternative an image of your choice LINUX distro.

With these two, I guess we are set to go.

Linux is an hierarchical OS and as such everything in LINUX is a file.

With this firmly ingrained in your memory, you’ve made tremendous progress in becoming a LINUX user and maybe ultimately a guru.Everything in LINUX is a file, don’t forget that.

Now to the installation proper. I trust you have all the required software and hardware ready. There are two categories of people in open source and these are those that believe dual booting is old school and those who don’t. those in category one believe you can use VMWare and still get the same result. Here, we would be talking about both dual booting and installation via VMWare.

INSTALLATION VIA VMWare

This is a “lazy man’s” installation of a LINUX distro (although, you can install in advanced mode to give you a real feel of installation). With all the necessary Software and Hardware ready, lets proceed to installation proper.

Open the VMWare software and click on “New Virtual Machine”. Here we set the properties of our virtual system including the amount of space we want it to consume and the size of the RAM which we are willing to sacrifice for our incoming LINUX distribution. We thus proceed to set the properties of our LINUX distro. I’m using MANDRIVA and I’ve got an image somewhere on an external Hard Drive. I enter the amount of space to use for my LINUX distro (am using 4GB) and the amount of RAM (am using 512MB). Note that VMWare gives you the flexibility to choose these values, although the values can never be greater than that of the host machine. Also, I enter the location of my image( or navigate to where it is located). If you are using a DVD then VMWare automatically recognizes it when you put your DVD inside your drive.

VMWare also automatically detects the kind of OS contained in the media (in this case MANDRIVA).Now, we are ready to begin installation(as if on a physical system).

Installation is pretty interactive, so keep following the prompts until you get to the section which says “How do you want to partition your Hard Disk?????”

Usually, there are two options, you could allow MANDRIVA to automatically partition your Hard Disk, using all the free space available(on your virtual machine), creating all the necessary partitions and mount points (this not so much fun) or you could go for the manual installation, which is what we would be focusing on. The manual installation gives you the flexibility to choose what size you want to allocate to a particular file and so on.

Basically, every linux installation has a minimum of two files that must be specified for installation to take place and these are , the “/” and the SWAP.

Take a look at the diagram above and you’d see that the / is the top of the hierarchy and that’s why its critically important. So, without the /, no other file can exist. So, once you enter in the / as your partititon, enter in “ext3” as your file type and specify the amount of GB you want allocated to your /. For the SWAP, its usually calculated as :

SWAP = 2 * SIZE OF RAM

So, a RAM size of 512MB, would have a swap of 1024MB. The function of the SWAP file is for applications that are memory intensive to be able to run without glitches. This is done by swapping idle disk space with memory. The swap file is just a disk space which is used as memory space.

After specifying these two, click done. The partititons created are formatted and then created. I think everything else is pretty straight forward. Just follow the instructions and you are good to go. Dual booting is not that straightforward and we would cover it next.

LINUX INSTALLATION

For this write-up, we would be focusing on installing any LINUX distribution of your choice via VMWare.

Things you need to get before installation:

  1. An installation of VMWare Software, if you are already running VMWare on your OS u can ignore this.
  2. A DVD containing the LINUX distro of your choice or in the alternative an image of your choice LINUX distro.

With these two, I guess we are set to go.

Linux is an hierarchical OS and as such everything in LINUX is a file.

With this firmly ingrained in your memory, you’ve made tremendous progress in becoming a LINUX user and maybe ultimately a guru.Everything in LINUX is a file, don’t forget that.

Now to the installation proper. I trust you have all the required software and hardware ready. There are two categories of people in open source and these are those that believe dual booting is old school and those who don’t. those in category one believe you can use VMWare and still get the same result. Here, we would be talking about both dual booting and installation via VMWare.

INSTALLATION VIA VMWare

This is a “lazy man’s” installation of a LINUX distro (although, you can install in advanced mode to give you a real feel of installation). With all the necessary Software and Hardware ready, lets proceed to installation proper.

Open the VMWare software and click on “New Virtual Machine”. Here we set the properties of our virtual system including the amount of space we want it to consume and the size of the RAM which we are willing to sacrifice for our incoming LINUX distribution. We thus proceed to set the properties of our LINUX distro. I’m using MANDRIVA and I’ve got an image somewhere on an external Hard Drive. I enter the amount of space to use for my LINUX distro (am using 4GB) and the amount of RAM (am using 512MB). Note that VMWare gives you the flexibility to choose these values, although the values can never be greater than that of the host machine. Also, I enter the location of my image( or navigate to where it is located). If you are using a DVD then VMWare automatically recognizes it when you put your DVD inside your drive.

VMWare also automatically detects the kind of OS contained in the media (in this case MANDRIVA).Now, we are ready to begin installation(as if on a physical system).

Installation is pretty interactive, so keep following the prompts until you get to the section which says “How do you want to partition your Hard Disk?????”

Usually, there are two options, you could allow MANDRIVA to automatically partition your Hard Disk, using all the free space available(on your virtual machine), creating all the necessary partitions and mount points (this not so much fun) or you could go for the manual installation, which is what we would be focusing on. The manual installation gives you the flexibility to choose what size you want to allocate to a particular file and so on.

Basically, every linux installation has a minimum of two files that must be specified for installation to take place and these are , the “/” and the SWAP.

Take a look at the diagram above and you’d see that the / is the top of the hierarchy and that’s why its critically important. So, without the /, no other file can exist. So, once you enter in the / as your partititon, enter in “ext3” as your file type and specify the amount of GB you want allocated to your /. For the SWAP, its usually calculated as :

SWAP = 2 * SIZE OF RAM

So, a RAM size of 512MB, would have a swap of 1024MB. The function of the SWAP file is for applications that are memory intensive to be able to run without glitches. This is done by swapping idle disk space with memory. The swap file is just a disk space which is used as memory space.

After specifying these two, click done. The partititons created are formatted and then created. I think everything else is pretty straight forward. Just follow the instructions and you are good to go. Dual booting is not that straightforward and we would cover it next.

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