Install Ubuntu in VMWare
How To

Installing Ubuntu Server in VMware

Pranav Krishna
Pranav Krishna

Table of Contents

One of the most popular distributions in the Linux server world is undoubtedly the Ubuntu server. This is because its installation process is quite simple and straightforward, compared to other distributions in this realm.

I will uncover the wonderful process of installing an Ubuntu server as a virtual machine in VMware Workstation Player.

Here are the prerequisites:

  • Any computer that supports virtualization with at least 4 GB of RAM
  • Minimum 10 GB of disk space
  • VMWare player
  • Ubuntu Server ISO (prefer LTS version rather than normal releases)
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You must have VMWare Player installed on your operating system. Get it from their official webpage.

And you can visit the official download page of canonical to download the latest ISO of the Ubuntu server.

Configuring VMware player

So let's start with creating a new VM. To do so, you can use the shortcut Ctrl + n or by clicking on the File and selecting Create a New Virtual Machine:

Create a new VM in VMWare

Next, click on the Browse button and select the ISO from the file manager:

Now, the next step will be taken care of by VMWare itself as it will select the type Linux and version Ubuntu:

VMWare selects Ubuntu and the version itself while creating VM in VMWare player

Next, it will ask you to select the disk size and how you want to store the disk. Allocate the disk space as per your needs (you can always increase the size after the installation).

choose disk size while creating VM in VMWare

In the next step, it will ask you to name this VM. So make sure to give this relevant name. I went with Ubuntu-Server:

Name the VM in VMWare

And it will show the summary of configurations you went with to create this VM.

Sure, many options were selected automatically such as processor count, RAM, networking configuration, etc. To do so, click on the Customize Hardware:

summery of configured VM in VMWare player

For instance, you'd have to enable the Bridged connection from the Network Adapter options:

Enable bridged connection in VMWare to use SSH

Once done save the configuration and start the VM.

Installing Ubuntu Server edition

The virtual machine starts up like this with a GRUB screen, and you are greeted with a terminal-based installation wizard.

Click on the Try or Install Ubuntu Server to start the installation process:

Initial GRUB screen while installing Ubuntun server in VMWare
GRUB screen of Ubuntu server

Initial steps (language and keyboard layout)

Select your language and keyboard layout on the following pages.

Select language
Select Keyboard layout

Choosing the right edition

There will be two editions of the Ubuntu server that you can install:

  • The normal version (equipped with utilities for an average server)
  • Minimal version (a stripped-down version that includes only the basic utilities)
Choose between minimal and normal edition while installing Ubuntu server in VM
Editions of the Ubuntu server

If you don't know what to choose, just select the normal version and continue.

Network configuration

For the network configuration, the installer will automatically set up a few things for you (such as IP address, gateway, etc) according to the network, to which your host system is connected.

Network connections in Ubuntu server installation

But if you want a static IP address for SSH and other stuff, select the interface (here, it's an ethernet - ens33), followed by Edit IPv4, and then finally, the Manual option in the resulting dropdown.

If you are unsure what to configure, you can follow something similar:

  • Subnet - The address followed by the port that defines the entire network (usually 192.168.1.0 followed by port 24)
  • Address - The IP address is allocated for this machine (your preference)
  • Gateway - The address for the gateway of the router (usually 192.168.1.1)
  • Name servers - the DNS addresses that the server can access
  • Domains - Domain names that can be allocated for this server (optional)
Configure network while installing Ubuntu server
Network configuration (the manual way)

Proxies and mirrors

If your network is configured with a proxy, it can be entered here. If none, it can be left unattended.

Configure proxy while installing Ubuntu server
Proxy configuration

You can also configure the mirror(s) from which you will be getting packages and updates. Check with the official site for the availability of mirrors in your region, and modify the address if necessary.

Or you can opt for the default mirror address.

Configure mirror while installing Ubuntu server

Disk configurations

Here, the available disks are listed below. Configure the disks and partitions according to your convenience, and continue.

If you're new to this installation process, continuing with the automatically configured storage layout is recommended.

Use guided disk partitions while installing Ubunt server
Using the entire disk for installation
Configure partitions while installing Ubuntu server
Using the default partitions 

Once done, you'll be asked for confirmation twice in order to continue the installation wizard. It will start from the moment you select continue.

User configurations

The administrator user account will be configured on this screen along with the hostname. More accounts can be added only after the installation. Here is an example.

Create a user account while installing Ubuntu server
Configure the user account

There's an option to install OpenSSH in the installation wizard itself, which is actually a great thing.

Provided that you have the necessary set-ups, SSH access (aka Remote login) will come in handy. You can also choose to import already configured profiles here.

Install OpenSSH server while installing Ubuntu server in VM
Install OpenSSH server 

Miscellaneous software

Here are a few different utilities that you can choose to install here. It includes docker, next cloud, AWS, etc. Select the required ones and continue.

Install additional packages while installing Ubuntu server in VM

Note that the above-selected software will be installed as snap packages; you can skip this step if you will configure these packages differently.

Reboot!

The installation process is continuing in the background from the moment you confirmed. Once these steps are complete, the installer will check for and install the latest updates and hence you are good to go.

The installer should be manually rebooted at the same installation screen.

First boot and SSH

Upon reboot, the installation media (ISO file) is ejected automatically and you will be greeted with a TTY screen, where you can log in.

First login

To connect via SSH, first, you'd have to know the IP address of the Ubuntu server:

ip addr show

Once done, you can use the ssh command in the following manner:

ssh username@IP_address
SSH syntax

Here is an example of mine:

SSH into server
A neofetch output (from the server)

That's all about the installation of the Ubuntu Server in VMware. Now with the bridged network configuration, you can access it via SSH, which requires the VM just to be running in the background without the output screen.  

Want to enable live patching on the Ubuntu server?

Live patching means you can apply security patches even without rebooting your system.

Sounds super cool. Isn't it?

To enable live patching, you can refer to our detailed guide:

How to Enable Livepatching on Ubuntu Server
Tired of rebooting your Ubuntu server after every security upgrade? You may enable live kernel patching and forget about reboots altogether.

Have any doubts? Feel free to drop a comment.



Pranav Krishna

Pranav Krishna

This is Pranav Krishna, a Proud Linux user in twelfth grade.