How to Install Ubuntu Server 16.04.1 LTS and VMware Tools in VMware Workstation 12 Pro and access using SSH client – Putty



This is step by step instructions on how to install Ubuntu Server 16.04 and VMware tools in VMware Workstation 12 pro. At the end of the post, I will show you how to access your server using SSH client Putty instead of Ubuntu Server Console.

Lets get started:

I have created a video that shows you all the steps. Rest of the blog is the step by step instructions. Watching the video is a good starting point.

Step 1 – Download Ubuntu Server ISO image

This is straight forward. Download Ubuntu server from here. You will see a link for Alternate Downloads and torrents. You can use this link to download previous versions and also torrent files. You can use torrent files instead of direct link because it is fast and also much more flexible. Since the file size is large, around 700 MB, it might take a while if you are on a slow connection.

Step 2 – Locate the downloaded file

You can find the downloaded image file in the downloads folder, if you have not changed the default settings. The filename would be something like ubuntu-16.04.1-server-amd64.iso

Step 3 – Open VMware Workstation 12

Lets start the installation process. Open VMware Workstation. If you dont have it installed already, please visit my page.

Step 4 – Launch VMware Workstation New Virtual Machine installation wizard.

You can launch this by clicking Create New Virtual Machine button on the home screen or go to menu File -> New Virtual Machine. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + N on Windows. VMware workstation supports tab view, which is, all the virtual machines running or stopped will show up in its own tab until you close them by clicking X on the tab itself. It’s the same as you see in the browsers where webpages open in separate tabs rather then separate windows. In software development terms, this is commonly referred to as the tabbed interface.

Vmware Workstation 12 home tab screenshot.

Vmware Workstation 12 home tab screenshot.

Step 5- Welcome to the new Virtual Machine Wizard dialog box appears

This is where you get a chance to select the way virtual machine will be created. Typical is predefined or mostly the defaults. Custom is where you get to set advanced options such as compatibility with older Virtual Machines, SCSI controller type, etc. We will go with the default options. Select Typical and click Next.

Vmware workstation 12 new virtual machine setup wizard screenshot

Vmware workstation 12 new virtual machine setup wizard screenshot

Step 6- Select installation media or source

In this dialog box you will have to browse to the downloaded ISO file and click next.

VMware Workstation 12 Pro- Install Ubuntu Desktop 16.04 - Installer disk image file dialog box screenshot.

VMware Workstation 12 Pro – Install Ubuntu Server 16.04 – Installer disk image file dialog box screenshot.

Step 7- Enter details in Personalize Linux dialog box

In this dialog box you have to enter your Name, Username and Password. This will your Ubuntu Login credentials.

VMware Workstation 12 install ubuntu desktop personalize linux dialog box

VMware Workstation 12 install ubuntu Server – personalize linux dialog box

Step 8- Enter Virtual Machine Name and Location

In this dialog box you please specify the name for your virtual machine. It could be anything meaningful. Alternatively you can accept the default. For the location, you can accept the default location or change it to your desired location. Default location is Virtual Machines folder in your Documents folder. A new folder is created in the Virtual Machines folder for each virtual machine you install through VMware workstation. The name of the folder is the same as the name of the virtual machine you enter here.

VMware Workstation name of the Virtual Machine dialog box screenshot

VMware Workstation name of the Virtual Machine dialog box screenshot

Step 9- Specify disk capacity

This dialog box asks you to specify the disk capacity. This is the maximum amount of disk space it will utilize once the Virtual Machine is created. You can leave it to the default but if you are running low on disk space, you can reduce it to 20 GB. This is generally sufficient if you are not planning to install heavy disk using software’s such as Photoshop. Such software’s reduce the performance of your Virtual Machine if your Computer is not powerful enough.

Check Split Virtual Disk into multiple files. This is the default option. Say if you specify 60 GB, all of 60 GB will not be utilized or say 60 GB will not be blocked at once. These Virtual Disks expand according to the usage with a Maximum size you specifed as the disk capacity. On a fresh install normally it takes 10 GB of space which will grow according to the software’s you install in the VM.

VMware Workstation specify disk capacity dialog box Screenshot

VMware Workstation specify disk capacity dialog box Screenshot

Step 10- Ready to create Virtual Machine Dialog Box

This is the final dialog box and what you see is all the options you have selected in previous dialog boxes. You will also see Memory, Network Adapter and Other Devices. They are the defaults. If you wish to change them, click on Customize Hardware. You can leave them as defaults for now, they can be changed later on also once the Virtual Machine is created. Please check the box Power on the virtual machine after creation

VMware Workstation ready to create virtual machine hardware settings dialog box screenshot.

VMware Workstation ready to create virtual machine hardware settings dialog box screenshot.

Step 11 – Power on Virtual Machine

If you had checked the box – Power on the virtual machine after creation, the VM should restart automatically. Else you have to virtual machine manually. You can see the option to power on the VM on top left hand side.

VMware Workstation Power on Virtual machine dialog box screenshot

VMware Workstation Power on Virtual machine dialog box screenshot

Step 12 – Ubuntu Server installation starts

After this you will see that the installation process starts. Please wait till the process completes. After an automatic restart you will be asked to enter your username and password to login.

VMware Workstation 12 install Ubuntu Server - Installation begins screenshot

VMware Workstation 12 install Ubuntu Server – Installation begins screenshot

Now you will have to enter your username and password to login to Ubuntu Server. This is the same username and password you had set earlier. This is your Ubuntu Server, Installed.

VMware Workstation 12 install Ubuntu Server login screenshot

VMware Workstation 12 install Ubuntu Server login screenshot

Step 13 – Install VMware tools

In this version of Ubuntu, I VMware tools gets installed automatically. If you see VM-> Reinstall VMware tools, It means that the VMware tools has got installed. To check the version, open terminal and type the command

vmware-toolbox-cmd -v

If you see the version number number, VMware tools is installed.

VMware Workstation 12 install Ubuntu Server VMware tools version check terminal screenshot

VMware Workstation 12 install Ubuntu Server VMware tools version check terminal screenshot

Step 14 – Switching to full screen mode

Ubuntu Server has a command line interface. By default console window is set to 800×600 resoultion which is the standard in linux world. If you try to switch to full screen mode, still you wont be able to see the console window in full resolution, even if VMware tools is installed. I tried to find ways to get this to the full screen mode, but I realized it’s a waste of time when other better alternatives are available.

Step 15 – Install openssh

To be able to use SSH client like putty.exe, we will have to install ssh server in Ubuntu. To do this enter the following command and wait for it to complete.

 sudo apt-get install openssh-server

You will have asked to confirm the installation. Type Y and press Enter to continue with the installation

Step 16 – Access Ubuntu server using SSH client Putty

To avoid having to use the console in Ubuntu Server which is not very soothing to the eye, I use the SSH client called Putty to access the Server. The steps are:

    1. Download Putty client from the Putty official website. For windows the file you should be preferably downloading is putty.exe.
    2. Find out the IP of Ubuntu Server: In the Console type:
      ifconfig

      The output that you see has the IP address. Look for the IP address against the value “inet addr”. This is the IP set by VMware for the Ubuntu Server. We will be using this IP to connect to Ubuntu Server.

    3. Run putty.exe
    4. In the host name enter the IP address you got from the above step. Port will be 22, which is the default SSH port. Click Open.
      Putty Client - Home screenshot
    5. You will see a warning. Don’t worry about it. Click Yes to continue
      Putty Security Warning Screenshot
    6. You will be asked to enter your Username and Password in the terminal window. Enter your username and Password you had set for Ubuntu Server.
    7. You will be logged into Ubuntu terminal.

Putty Console Screenshot

That’s It.

You can continue to work on Ubunty Server from Putty console just as if you were in Ubuntu Server Console.

If you want to visually see the steps, please checkout the below screencast

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Underneath a boring IT professional lies a passionate student of computer science. I love computers and this blog is about everyday computer issues that a common man faces. Through this blog I try to reconnect with my long forgotten self.

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