Installing an Ubuntu virtual machine onto a HP Hyper-V server

We have a beast of a new Hyper-V server hosting our W-Server 2008 AD controller, mail and DNS, a W-Server 2003 file and SQL server, as well as a pair of XP and W7 testbeds. We also host a standalone Ubuntu intranet server running Joomla on LAMP andit seemed appropriate to think about replacing that ageing standalone, with a brand spanking new Ubuntu VM.

I went looking for some hints and tips, warnings and pratfalls. The general consensus seemed to be that Ubuntu was happy to run on Hyper-V. This seemed to be the best advice available, and highlighted the tricky points, although not the solution that worked for me. I made a number of false starts and deleted any number of poorly configured VMs before finally getting a setup I was happy with. This in itself is a sign that actually it is very easy to do.

So,  in order to install a Ubuntu virtual machine onto a Hyper-V server, follow this sequence:

  1. Download a Ubuntu distribution iso image for the OS you want, I used ubuntu-9.10-server-amd64.iso
  2. Place it in c:\iso on the Hyper-V server
  3. In Hyper-V Manager, click New|Virtual Machine
  4. In the wizard, give the new VM a unique identifiable name – i’m boring and chose UbuntuVM
  5. Set the memory allocation ( I used 1Gb for Ubuntu9.10Server)
  6. Very Important – Set the Configure Networking option to “Not Connected”
  7. Give the new machine an identifiable harddisk name (say UbuntuVM.vhd)
  8. Choose the “Install an Operating System from a Boot CD/DVD” option
  9. Click the “Image file (.iso)” option and browse to c:\iso to find the previously download iso image
  10. Make sure the “Start the Virtual Machine after it is created” checkbox is NOT ticked and click Finish.
  11. In the Virtual Machines list, right-click on the new VM and choose Settings
  12. Very Important – Click on “Add Hardware”, and then choose “Legacy Network Adaptor” from the list and click the Add button. If you don’t do this part then networking wont work properly.
  13. Its all plain sailing now. In the Network dropdown, choose HP Virtual Lan. Click Apply and OK
  14. Start the new VM
  15. Choose the “English” options in the install menus
  16. In the network config options, I choose to configure manually
  17. Complete the Ubuntu installation process – it is very straight-forward
  18. When asked for server options, I choose LAMP, OPenSSH and SAMBA
  19. Once installed, don’t forget to manually add to the Active Directory DNS

You are done. You should have a working Ubuntu VM now. The key difficulty with the install is the network configuration. For some reason, MS have decided not to offer the “Legacy Network Adaptor” option within the “New Virtual Machine” wizard. Get that part right and its a piece of ……

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