Monday, March 17, 2008

Creating a Virtual Machine for Fedora 8

This tutorial may seem a bit rudimentary, but I don't want to overlook Virtual PC novices. This is a detailed walkthrough of how to create a new virtual machine ready for an installation of Fedora 8 Linux (though it can just as easily be applied to nearly any operating system). Before you start, there are two assumptions:
  1. You have downloaded and installed Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. Microsoft offers Virtual PC 2007 as a free download, available at http://www.microsoft.com/virtualpc/. You will need to install the appropriate version for your operating system. My main machine runs Windows Vista Ultimate x64, so I had to download and install the 64-bit version of Virtual PC. If you don't know whether you run a 32- or 64-bit version of Windows, you might not have the technical acumen to install Linux. The good news is that as long as you are installing on a virtual machine, your actual machine can't really be compromised.
  2. You have successfully downloaded installation media for Fedora 8. To download, visit http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora and click the link for "i386 - Install DVD" under "Direct Download". It's important that you download the i386 version regardless of your host machine operating system. At this point, Virtual PC only supports 32-bit client operating systems - even on a 64-bit system. Once the download completes, you should double check the MD5 checksum of the ISO file to make sure it was successful. If you are using another operating system, just make sure you either have the physical installation media or an ISO of the installation media ready to go.
Now we can create a new virtual machine:
Step 1
Open Virtual PC and click "New..." to open the New Virtual Machine Wizard New Machine 01
fedora_8_new_machine_01.gif
Step 2
Click the "Next" button. New Machine 02
fedora_8_new_machine_02.gif
Step 3
Select the "Create a virtual machine" option and click the "Next" button. New Machine 03
fedora_8_new_machine_03.gif
Step 4
Enter the name of your virtual machine (I called mine "Foo.Bar Fedora Client", since it's going to be a client on my "foobar.local" domain) and click the "Next" button. New Machine 04
fedora_8_new_machine_04.gif
Step 5
Select "Other" as your operating system and click the "Next" button. New Machine 05
fedora_8_new_machine_05.gif
Step 6
Select the "Adjusting the RAM" option, enter 512 MB (you can run it with 256 if you're hurting for memory) and click the "Next" button. New Machine 06
fedora_8_new_machine_06.gif
Step 7
Select the "A new virtual disk" option and click the "Next" button. New Machine 07
fedora_8_new_machine_07.gif
Step 8
Enter 20480 MB for your disk size (depending on how much you install, Fedora can take from 90 MB for a minimal install up to 9 GB for all packages) and click the "Next" button. New Machine 08
fedora_8_new_machine_08.gif
Step 9
Click the "Finish" button to exit the New Virtual Machine Wizard. New Machine 09
fedora_8_new_machine_09.gif
Step 10
Select your new virtual machine then click the "Settings" button. New Machine 10
fedora_8_new_machine_10.gif
Step 11
Select "Networking" on the left and choose "Local only" next to "Adapter 1:" on the right. If your machine supports hardware-assisted virtualization, you may want to disable this under "Hardware Virtualization" on the left. I have experienced boot issues with Linux machines when hardware-assisted virtualization is enabled. However, my main PC does not support this, so I don't really know if there is an issue with Fedora 8. Click the "OK" button to close the settings window. New Machine 11
fedora_8_new_machine_11.gif
At this point, we're ready to start up the new machine. This part is pretty easy, but if you struggle, here are the instructions:
Step 1
Select your new virtual machine then click the "Start" button. New Machine 12
fedora_8_new_machine_12.gif
Step 2
Choose "Capture ISO Image" from the "CD" menu. If you are booting from actual media, select "Use Physical Drive D" (where "D" is your CD or DVD drive) and skip the next step. New Machine 13
fedora_8_new_machine_13.gif
Step 3
Browse to the Fedora 8 ISO image and click "Open". New Machine 14
fedora_8_new_machine_14.gif
Step 11
Wait for the virtual machine to boot. If you were too slow mounting the ISO image (or physical drive), you can reset the machine by choosing "Reset" from the "Action" menu. New Machine 12
fedora_8_new_machine_12.gif
That's it. Now you're ready to install.

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