Internet of everything
Internet of everything

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Internet of everything

2.2.18 Lab: install a Linux virtual machine (optional)

Virtualisation is a critical factor in cloud computing and data centres. You can experience virtualisation on your own PC by installing a virtual computer.

Virtual computers that run within a physical computer system are called virtual machines. Today, entire computer networks are virtualised. Anyone with a modern computer and operating system has the ability to run virtual machines from the desktop.

Watch a demonstration of installing a Linux virtual machine.

Download this video clip.Video player: ioe_1_video_2_2_18_lab_install_a_linux_virtual_machine.mp4
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This is an introductory tutorial on virtualisation. In this tutorial, I'm going to use VMware player to create a virtual machine or virtual computer. The VMware player is free to download. All you need to do is go to the website, register the free user account, and then you can download the VMware player software.
Once installed on your computer, you're ready to create a virtual machine. However, before you do that, you will need an operating system to instal on your virtual machine. This will need to be either a CD or DVD image of an operating system that you can instal or you could download a bootable image or dot ISO file that you could use to instal onto your virtual machine.
In this tutorial, I'm going to use a free distribution of Linux that I can download an ISO file of and instal in the virtual machine. Now, there are many different flavours or distributions of Linux. So the first thing you want to do is decide which version of Linux you'd like to instal.
There is Linux Mint. Here's the page for Linux Mint, You can download different version of Linux Mint. There you see there's 32-bit and 64-bit versions here that you can download. Ubuntu is also a very popular Linux distribution. You can download either cloud server or desktop editions here. Fedora, which is Red Hat sponsored community project and a free download. CentOS, which is a server edition of Linux based on Red Hat Enterprise.
Or there's even smaller distributions of Linux like SliTaz, which is very interesting. SliTaz is a very small distribution, requires only 256 megabytes of RAM and can be installed on as little as 100 megabyte hard drive. This happens to be a live CD that all you need to do is download and then run in the virtual machine. And you don't even need to instal it on your virtual computer hardware.
So now we're ready to create our virtual machine. I'll click Create a New Virtual Machine. So now you have three choices-- instal from an installer disc, a CD or DVD drive installation disc, instal from a disc image file-- this is a dot ISO file-- or do I want to instal the operating system later? In other words, create the virtual computer hardware and then instal the operating system later. This is the choice that I usually use. So I'll just press Next.
You can see I've chosen Linux here already, but we could be installing Windows, Novell, Unix, Solaris, anything. Let's choose the version of Linux. As you can see, many of the popular distributions of Linux are listed here. Mint happens to not be on this list. So I'll choose a close neighbour. So I'll scroll down here to ubuntu 64-bit and use that as the version that I'll base this off of. I'll press Next, and I'll give it a title here. Mint New.
The location of where your virtual machine will be stored-- you can see that it's defaulting to My Documents folder in a folder called Virtual Machines. And it's created a new folder called Mint New. I'll press Next.
The maximum disc size that you'll need, it's recommending I use 20 gigabytes, and that's fine. I'll make that a little bit smaller. I'll change it, let's say, down to 12. I'll accept the default, which is to split the virtual disc into multiple files. All right. I'll press Next. And I can press Finish or I can customise the hardware. Let's go ahead and customise the hardware.
Now let's look at the settings that we have so far. For memory, it's allocating so far a gigabyte. Processors, one. If you have a multiple core system, in this case, the computer I'm using is a quad core computer, I could change this and maybe up it to, let's say, two processors. New CD DVD. This is my CD DVD drive.
What I'm going to do here is I'm going to change it from my physical CD DVD drive and point it to my ISO image file so that when I boot up this virtual machine, it boots right to the ISO image and starts the installation. So I'll browse for it. You can see I have a bunch of versions here, and I happen to have Linus Mint 16 Cinnamon 64-bit right here. So I'll select that. Click Open, and now that's ready to go.
Now, for network adapter, I have a few choices. I could leave it in network address translation mode, which is the easiest mode to use, or maybe I should choose Bridged mode. In Bridged mode, my virtual machine will pick up an IP address off of the network just like the computer that it's hosted on. I prefer this. That way, I can use my virtual machine and let it talk to other computers on the network, just as if it was an actual physical machine on the network.
You may need to configure which physical network adapters you're going to have this virtual machine bridge to. If you click Configure Adapters, you can see that VMware recognises all of my network adapters, my wireless NIC, Centrino Advanced-N A, G, and N, my gigabit ethernet NIC, gigabit network connection, and even my TAP win32 tunnel interface, which is a virtual NIC for VPN connections.
What I like to do here is specify which NIC I want this virtual computer to go out of or to bridge to. Right now, both are checkmarked, both my wireless network card and my physical gigabit ethernet network card. Sometimes if both are selected, VMware will be confused as to which NIC it's supposed to bridge to.
So in this case, I'm going to uncheck my wireless network interface card and leave just the gigabit ethernet port selected. And I'll click OK and click Close and Finish. And there is my new virtual computer, and it's ready to be booted up and Mint to be installed.
OK so I'll press Play Virtual Machine. You can see I get a message here about installing software updates. I'll click Remind Me Later and Removable Devices, I'll just click OK. And you can see that Linux Mint, the ISO file has been read, and it's about to boot up.
OK. Linux Mint has successfully booted. I can click into the window now and as soon as I do that, my cursor is captured by the virtual machine, and now the cursor is in the virtual machine. If I want to drag out, you can see sometimes you can just drag right out, and the cursor will be returned to the Windows Desktop.
Sometimes if the cursor is captured, and it doesn't drag out, what you can do is to release the cursor and get your cursor back into Windows, press Control-Alt on your keyboard. And I'm usually pressing the Control-Alt keys to the right of my spacebar to recapture the cursor in Windows.
So there it is Mint. You can see it's a working version of Mint. There is my NIC up here. The network adapter is in Bridge mode. Let's see if we have an internet connection by default. I'll click on Firefox browser. And looks like we do. I'll see if I can go to Google, hit Enter, and there's Google. So everything is working nicely.
Now, if I want to instal Mint to the virtual hard drive, all I need to do is click Instal Linux Mint, and it will actually instal Mint operating system onto the virtual disc hard drive that I created for this virtual machine. Right now, Linux Mint is operating as a live CD. In other words, it's a working operating system that you boot up to, and you can use right from the CD. So it hasn't actually been installed to the virtual disc. I'll show you what I mean.
If I double click here, you can see I get an Installation screen, and I can walk through the installation process. Press Continue. I'll press Continue. Erase disc and Instal Linux Mint. Now, some students get afraid of this. They think they might be installing and erasing their hard drive in Windows, but that's not the case. This is the virtual disc drive that we created for this virtual machine.
So I'll just click Instal Now. Choose my location. Keyboard layout. Give it a name, a username, and a password. I'm just going to choose Student, Student, Student since this is just a test instal. I can even choose login automatically or require my password to login. I'll leave it on Require My Password, even though it's just Student, Student. I can encrypt my Home folder if I want to. I'm not going to do that.
And as you can see, the installation process is proceeding. At the bottom of the screen, you may notice the prompt to Instal Tools. This is for VMware tools. And I recommend installing VMware tools, as it will help you to get your virtual machine to use Full Screen mode and also improves the ability to mount external drives like USB thumb drives.
Let's revisit our installation procedure. You can see that Mint is still installing. Its retrieving files, and it's about 2/3 of the way finished. I'll check back with it when it's finished. OK. And as you can see, the installation is complete. I can continue testing or restart Linux, and when it reboots, it will boot to the virtual hard drive where Mint has successfully been installed.
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The video demonstration shows how to complete this activity. After viewing the video, you can download the Lab – Install a Linux Virtual Machine (Optional) [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  document to investigate the activity on your own.

Please be aware that virtualisation and running a Linux Virtual Machine will not work on all computers and devices being used to read this course. This optional activity is designed for desktop virtualisation using a personal computer. Another challenge you must be aware of before you commence is that virtualisation requires extra computer system memory which your own system may not have. If you have at least 2Gb (gigabytes) of memory (RAM) available this activity will work.

An alternative solution, if you have sufficient bandwidth on your internet connection, is to use SuseStudio. While this is advanced, it does allow you to run a remote Linux desktop system.

Another alternative is to use the web browser friendly demo version of Linux Unhatched from NDG who also work in partnership with Cisco Systems. You will need to sign in and you will be able to use Linux on any HTML5 compatible browser. This is unique as it is running on cloud based virtualisation.


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