The Tiny Internet Project, Part III

The installer will set up the system, which takes a few minutes. If you've ever installed an operating system onto hardware from a DVD, this is the same thing.

When you're prompted for HTTP proxy information, leave it blank and continue unless your school or situation requires a proxy to access the public internet.

Once the installer configures apt, it'll set up all the base software and prompt you about how to manage upgrades. Select "Install security updates automatically" and continue. On the Software selection page, select only "OpenSSH server" for now. Doing so will give this base VM template direct shell access and won't load up the machine with packages you don't need.

Figure 5. Software Selection—Selecting Only OpenSSH Server

When prompted to install the GRUB bootloader to the master boot record, choose "Yes", and reboot when prompted. The VM will launch into the GRUB menu quickly, boot and drop you at the login prompt.

Figure 6. Login Prompt

Log in using the user name and password you set up during the installation and check the system's IP address. It was dynamically configured with DHCP during the installation, and it will be handy to know so you can ssh into your new VM:


$ ifconfig

Figure 7. Logging in and ifconfig Output

You'll see two entries, one for eth0 and one for lo (local). In my example, the automatically assigned address is 10.128.1.26. If your administration PC is a Linux box or Mac, open a terminal and ssh in to your new VM by typing:


$ ssh username@10.128.1.26

If you're on Windows, ssh in using PuTTY or a similar tool. If you get a login prompt, you're good to go. You always can use the Proxmox console to connect to your VMs, but being able to ssh in directly is handy.

Customize the VM

With your Ubuntu VM up and accessible, it's time to make some customizations that will save time for all future deployments. Start by adding any other administrative users you want. That way, when you make a template out of this VM, all those users already will be set up. You're already an administrative (sudo) user yourself, but it might be handy to have someone else with admin rights:


$ sudo adduser msmith

Follow the prompts and enter the user's full name and any of the rest you care to add. Next, add your new user to the sudoers group:


$ sudo adduser msmith sudo

These steps can be combined, but I think it's useful to see the output so you better understand what's happening under the covers.

Set a Static IP Address

All your servers will have static IP addresses so they can be mapped to DNS later, so this is a good time to change them by editing the network configuration file:


$ sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces

Change the eth0 entry from this:


auto eth0
iface eth0 inet dhcp

to this:


auto eth0
iface eth0 inet static
    address 10.128.1.200   # .200 is out of range of anything
                           # I might be adding soon
    netmask 255.255.255.0
    dns-nameservers 10.128.1.3
    dns-search tiny.lab

Save the file and reboot.

______________________

John S. Tonello is Director of IT for NYSERNet, Inc., in Syracuse, New York. He's been a Linux user and enthusiast since he installed his first Slackware system from diskette 20 years ago. You can follow him @johntonello.