Ubuntu Server as Virtual Machine


VirtualBox (https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads) or you can also use VMWare Player or VMWare Workstation or Fusion if you have one of those.

Download the latest LTS Ubuntu Server (20.04): https://releases.ubuntu.com/20.04.1/ubuntu-20.04.1-live-server-amd64.iso


Option 1: VMware Player

  1. Download the Ubuntu Server ISO (listed at top of this page).
  2. Select Create a new virtual machine
  3. Select Use ISO image and browse and select the .iso you downloaded. Press ‘Next’.
  4. Enter your name, username, and password. Select ‘Next’.
  5. Choose a location to save your VM files. Select ‘Next’.
  6. Leave storage size at least 20GB. Choose option to store as single file. Select ‘Next’.
  7. Choose ‘Customize Hardware’.
    1. Select ‘Memory’ and set to 2048mb (2GB).
    2. Select ‘Network Adapter’ and select radial ‘Bridged’.
    3. Select ‘Close’.
  8. Select ‘Finish’.

You can now skip to the Ubuntu Installation section.

Option 2: VirtualBox

  1. Install VirtualBox and Download the Ubuntu Server ISO.
  2. In VirtualBox, select Machine > New from the top menu to build a new Virtual Machine:
    1. Screenshot from 2020-03-30 09-42-18
    2. On the next screen, designate either 1024mb or 2048mb of RAM for the server. (Preferably 2GB but if your computer has low RAM, use 1GB)
    3. On the next screen, select to ‘Create a virtual hard disk now’ and then ‘Virtualbox Disk Image’
    4. On the next screen, select ‘Dynamically allocated’
    5. On the next screen, set the disk size to 15GB.  You can set more if you would like, but it is very lean.
  3. We have the container for our virtual machine made. Now we need to put the installation media into our VM so we can boot from it and install.
    1. In the VirtualBox Manager window, select your newly created VM and select the Settings button (or you can right click it and select Settings)
    2. In the resulting screen, select the Storage tab on the left.
    3. Select the optical drive under Controller: IDE
    4. In the Attributes section, click the CD image next to the drop down menu, and use the option to Choose a file to browse to the downloaded Ubuntu Server ISO file.
    5. Check the box for ‘Live CD/DVD’
    6. The result should look like the following:
      1. Screenshot from 2020-03-30 10-11-25
  4. We also want to set up the Virtual Machine’s network so we can see it from our host computer. While still in the Settings window:
    1. Select the Network tab on the left.
    2. On the Adapter 1 tab, change the ‘Attached to: ‘ from NAT to Bridged Adapter
  5. Select the OK button to save our changes.


Installing Ubuntu Server

  1. In the VM Manager window, select the Server VM we created, and select Start.
  2. Install Ubuntu Server using the installation guide *Note that the terminal is text-only input. You cannot use a mouse and will use the arrow keys to navigate. Press enter to select. *
    1. Select your language
    2. Select ‘Update to the new installer’
    3. Select your keyboard configuration
    4. On the Network Connections page, select Done to accept defaults
    5. On the Configure Proxy page, select Done to skip
    6. On the Configure Ubuntu Archive Mirror page, select Done to accept defaults
    7. On the Guided Storage Configuration page, ensure Use an entire disk is select, then arrow down and select Done
    8. On the Storage Configuration, select Done to confirm and then select Continue to confirm again.
    9. On the Profile setup screen, enter your information and select Done:
      1. Screenshot from 2020-03-30 10-36-10
    10. On the SSH Setup page, check the box for Install OpenSSH server and select Done.
    11. On the Featured Server Snaps, select Done to skip.
    12. At this point, the operating system will install and update. Wait until it finishes and the option will say ‘Reboot’.
  3. After selecting ‘Reboot’, it will begin to reboot but will show ‘Please remove the installation medium’.
    1. In the VirtualBox Manager window (the one that lists all your virtual machines) Right click the VM and select Close > Power off. Confirm to Power off.
    2. Select the Settings button.
    3. Select Storage in the left panel.
    4. Under the Controller: IDE select the ubuntu-18.04 cd.
    5. Select the cd image next to the drop down menu and select ‘Remove disk…’
    6. Select OK
  4. Start the Virtual Machine again.
    1. It will do some initial setup, press the return key once it pauses to access the login prompt
      1. Screenshot from 2020-03-30 10-47-02
    2. Enter your username
    3. Enter your password * Note it will not show any indication of typing for security purposes. Type the password and hit enter. *
    4. Once your logged in, you should see a screen like the following:
      1. Screenshot from 2020-03-30 10-49-03


Congratulations! You have a Ubuntu Server virtual machine running!

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