1.13. How to Create a Virtual Machine

1.13.1. Why create a VM? Advantages

  • Can test software installations in a sandbox before use, can revert changes if it doesn’t work

  • Can give the virtual machine with the software to the client (so they don’t have to install anything to run the program) Disadvantages

  • Need enough RAM: need twice the amount of memory of the VMs

  • Have to have enough disk space

  • Have to have 64-bit CPU with virtualisation extensions

1.13.2. Process of Creating a VM

Process of Creating the VM for CentOS Download Disk Image

  • Download the .iso file (64 bit) e.g. xubuntu-14.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso

Xubuntu Desktop

  • Why Xubuntu:

  • It’s very lightweight (maybe not as lightweight as I thought… as it has package manager)

  • Why not CentOS?

  • It doesn’t have package manager

  • Download CentOS (minimal - if you know what you are doing… this will not install any software, even if you select it in the installation):

Minimal CentOS

I used version 7 (although others use 6.6). The mirror I used to download it was this (the iso is called: CentOS-7-x86_64-Minimal-1503-01.iso)

Minimal Centos Mirror

  • Download CentOS DVD:

DVD Centos

I used version 7 (although others use 6.6). The mirror I used to download it was this (the iso is called: CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1503-01.iso )

DVD Centos Mirror Create a New VirtualBox

  • Download and Install Oracle VirtualBox:

Oracle VirtualBox

  • Startup VirtualBox and create a new VM e.g.

  • Name: Xubuntu 14.04.2 LTS 20GB

  • Type: Linux

  • Version: Xubuntu 64 bit

  • Or:

  • CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1503-01

  • Type: Linux

  • Version: Red Hat (64-bit) Create Virtual Hard Drive

  • Memory size (half of what is installed): 6GB

  • Select option: Create a virtual harddrive now

  • Select option: VirtualBox Disk Image (experience is that the other options don’t work any better)

  • Select option: Fixed size 20GB (so that we have enough space for Xubuntu and other updates) … Actually I think 50GB is better for having space to do things.

  • Hit “Create” (might take about 10 minutes or so… will take 30min if it’s 50GB)

You now have a virtual harddrive Install Operating System - Ubuntu

  • In VirtualBox > Settings > Storage > IDE (Empty)

    • Controller: IDE

    • Choose ISO Image

  • In VirtualBox > Start

  • Select: Install Ubuntu

  • Don’t Select: Download updates while installing

  • Gave username and password

  • Select: Continue

  • Select: Install Now

  • Where are you? UK

  • Detect Keyboard

  • Continue

  • Yes to password protect login

  • When installation is complete:

    • Select: Restart Now (it restarts and removes the CD automatically)

    • It asks whether the CD is removed - ensure CD is removed: Press Enter

    • It should restart

Snapshot taken at this point Install Operating System - CentOS

  • In VirtualBox > Settings > Storage > IDE (Empty)

    • Controller: IDE

    • Choose ISO Image

  • In VirtualBox > Start

  • Select: Install CentOS 7

  • Select: English (United Kingdom) - Continue

  • Select the Partitioning

  • I will configure partitioning

  • Done

  • New CentOS mount points (there won’t be any existing ones). Create:

  • Swap partition (double the RAM we allocated for the VM - i.e. 12GB)

  • Root partition - 20GB (I think this is where software goes)

  • Home partition - the rest of the space i.e. 18GB (for files)

  • For some reason when I entered these numbers, I got 11.18GB, 18.63GB and 16.76GB for swap, root and home respectively. Although the centos volume said 4096kB free. They are all standard partitions.

  • Press Done

  • Accept changes

  • Software installation

  • GNOME Applications

  • Internet Applications

  • Legacy X Window System Compatibility

  • Office Suite and Productivity

  • Compatibility Libraries

  • Development Tools

  • Security Tools

  • Kdump:

  • Un-enable kdump

  • Done

  • Network and hostname:

  • I don’t think I have a static IP, so I just turned the ethernet on

  • Done

  • Begin installation

  • Root Password is set to something

  • User is an administrator and has the same password

  • Finish configuration

  • Reboot the system

  • When it rebooted, I selected English and English(UK)

Snapshot taken at this point Change the Settings of the Virtual Machine

  • In VirtualBox > Settings > Display

    • 128MB Video Memory for increased speed

    • 3D acceleration

  • In VirtualBox > Settings > System

    • Processor: change to 4 (needs virtualisation extensions)

    • Execution Cap: 100% Run Updates for Xubuntu

  • In VirtualBox > Start

  • Run updates for Ubuntu

$ sudo apt-get update Install DKMS

  • Install Dynamic Kernel Module Support – otherwise everytime you update the kernel, you’ll have to update Guest Additions

$ sudo apt-get install dkms Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

  • Install Guest Additions, which gives enhanced mouse pointer and video control and installs Vbox Service.

  • In the VirtualBox environment: Devices > Install Guest Additions (this opens a window, if not double click the CD mounted on the dekstop)

  • Double click autorun.sh and enter user’s password (this then installs Guest Additions)

  • Right click the CD on the desktop and eject the volume

  • Shut down the VM and restart it for Guest Additions to be installed

Snapshot taken at this point

1.13.3. Pass Through Folder

  • I haven’t tried this, but there are loads of tutorials on this, the best one is this:

Pass Through Folder

  • Obtain the name of the Ubuntu Box:

sudo nano /etc/hosts

(Could be VMUbuntu)

  • In Xubuntu Guest Machine

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get samba
  • In File Manager: Right click folder > Share Folder (will install Samba)

  • Restart session

  • In Ubuntu Guest Machine

$ sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf &
  • In that file add a line:


workgroup = WORKGROUP
force user = username (this is the username in Ubuntu VM)
  • Restart Samba:

$ sudo restart smbd
  • Right click folder > Share Folder (Allow others to create and delete files).

  • Create share

  • Create a file in Ubuntu to share

  • In Windows Search:

  • In Windows Explorer > Network (May need to turn on share and discovery)

1.13.4. How to Fix Host/Guest Copy Paste Issues

  • In Virtual Box:

    • Settings > General > Advanced

      • Shared Clipboard: Bidirectional

      • Drag n’ Drop: Bidirectional

  • If the version of Virtual Box is not up-to-date with respect to the Xubuntu version, this can sometimes not work, if not just update Virtual Box.

1.13.5. Snapshot Management

  • Useful for trial software installation. Remember: just running an operating system creates changes. We can’t restore while the machine is powered on.

  • In VirtualBox > Snapshots:

    • Right click > Take snapshop

    • Right click > Restore snapshot

    • Right click > Delete snapshot (to remove large files)

1.13.6. How to Clone VMs

  • How to give other people the VM? Clone it Can’t give just snapshot

  • Clone snapshot: Right click > Clone

If you are going to be using the clone on the same network as the virtual machine check reinitilise the MAC address of all network cards – otherwise you will have multiple machines with the same MAC address and this will confuse the network.

  • Select: Full clone – so other people can use it

  • Select: Clone everything

Can now give other people the .vdi file (the harddisk) and the .vbox. They can launch this directly in their copy of virtual box.

1.13.7. Adjust Network Adapter

  • Use: NAT (allows Guest to use Internet)

  • Adapter Type: PCnet-Fast III (Am79C973)

  • Can randomise MAC address. 08002731A607 (if other VMs are somehow using the same address)

1.13.8. Types of Storage

  • In VirtualBox: Settings > Storage

  • Ubuntu uses SATA, CD uses IDE.

1.13.9. How to Copy vdi files

  • File > Virtual Media Manager

  • Differencing files are roughly equivalent to snapshots

  • .vdi files have unique identifiers – can’t just copy and paste

  • If you want to copy a snapshot – you must use clone (as above)

  • If you want to copy a VM (that isn’t a snapshot), you can use: File > Virtual Media Manager > Copy > Next > Next > Next > Give it a name > Copy

  • To test the copy, you must add the .vdi file as a harddrive to a virtual machine (not just in the virtual machine manager)

1.13.10. Software and Customisation

  • This is a list of software I’ve installed so far on the VM, plus additional customisation.

# Guest Additions Installed

ran autorun.sh on Guest Additions CD

#OpenFOAM installed

VERS=$(lsb_release -cs)
sudo sh -c "echo deb http://www.openfoam.org/download/ubuntu $VERS main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/openfoam.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openfoam231

# paraview installed

sudo apt-get install paraviewopenfoam410

# gedit installed and edited .bashrc to run OpenFOAM

sudo apt-get install gedit

# edited .bashrc

gedit ~/.bashrc
Added: source /opt/openfoam231/etc/bashrc
export FOAM_RUN='/home/andrew/OpenFOAM/andrew-2.3.1/run'
export WORK='/home/andrew/OpenFOAM/andrew-2.3.1/run/tutorials/incompressible/icoFoam/cavity'
export DOWNLOADS='/home/andrew/Downloads'
export SPHINX='/home/andrew/Sphinx/thevisualroom'

# sphinx
sudo apt-get install python-sphinx

# removed Pictures, Documents, Videos, Music, Templates, Public

# git
sudo apt-get install git
sudo apt-get install gitk               # to view git history

# filezilla
sudo apt-get install filezilla