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Daniel Hilgarth on software development

Setup a Virtual Machine With Ubuntu Server

Setting up a virtual machine with Ubuntu Server is very simple.

  1. Download VMware Player
  2. Download Ubuntu Server ISO. I downloaded Ubuntu Server 13.04.
  3. Create a new virtual machine using VMware Player:
    1. Select “Create A New Virtual Machine”
    2. Choose “Installer disc image file” and select the downloaded ISO. It should detect the Ubuntu version and offer “Easy Install”.
    3. Enter your name and the details of the initial user account
    4. Provide a name and location for the virtual machine
    5. Start installation

VMware’s Easy Install will automatically start the installation, configure Ubuntu with the user account and more. It even installs the VMware Tools. After the installation is finished, you can log in using the details of the user account you specified. After logging in, there are still a few things left to do:


If you are behind a proxy, you might want to configure APT to use it:
Edit or create the file /etc/apt/apt.conf and add this line:

Acquire::http::Proxy "http://yourproxyaddress:proxyport";

This method will work even if you use sudo to execute apt-get.
For other applications like wget you additionally need to set the environment variable http_proxy:

export http_proxy=http://yourproxyaddress:proxyport

I was unable to configure Ubuntu or APT to work with a proxy that requires authentication.
There is a lot of information available on the internet but it just wouldn’t want to work.
In the end I installed cntlm - which has no problem with this kind of proxy - and configured my Ubuntu machine to use cntlm as its proxy.

Update package data

It’s a good idea to update the package data used by APT:

sudo apt-get update

Change the keyboard language

If your native keyboard layout is not English, you might want to change the keyboard layout that is used by Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install console-data unicode-data language-pack-de-base

de is the language you want to, although you will be prompted to select the language anyway.



If you want to control the virtual machine via SSH - and believe me, you do want to, because you can’t copy and paste from the virtual machine even with VMware tools installed - you need to install an SSH server:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

That’s it, you now can connect using your favorite SSH client.


Creating a virtual machine with Ubuntu Server is as easy as it can get and it takes just a few minutes.