Bringing Linux to Windows – part 2

Part 2 of 3

(For part 1, click here)

…at this stage, you should have VMWare all up and running and the install in operation. Near the beginning of the process you should get a popup reminder to download VMWare Tools for Linux – go ahead and select to download and install.

VMWare Tools reminder
Download and Install the Tools

Now it’s time to let things happen; you may need to click “OK” once or twice (or “Close”; message depends on version and OS) to dismiss popups. There will be a number of bar-graph status windows appearing and disappearing during the installation.

Eventually Ubuntu will finish the first part of the installation, and reboot the VM, and then you’ll get a white-on-black screen filled with messages:

Ubuntu boot sequence
VMware Ubuntu boot.

This stage may take a minute or so, but eventually you’ll come up to a login prompt.

Now how do you navigate between your VM and your usual desktop? For the VM to get keystrokes and mouse moves, click inside the VM (or press Ctrl-G on the keyboard). To ‘release’ the keyboard and mouse, use Ctrl-Alt on the keyboard – and you’re back in Windows!

When the login prompt appears, sign in (using that username and password you filled in earlier)… and from the command prompt:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

(see below) – to install the openssh-server. OpenSSH allows for an encrypted channel between your desktop and the VM, and once this is established, you can use PuTTY to handle the VM – in the same way you would with a remote-hosted account.

install openssh-server
install openssh-server

When this is finished (under a minute), the next command to issue is


which will reveal the local network address for your VM – it’s usually on the ‘eth0’ line up top. This will be an IP address in the form 192.168.xx.128, where ‘xx’ is a number assigned randomly. It won’t interfere with any other local addresses. This is the address you’ll use with PuTTY and your web browser(s).

IP address for VM
Find the IP address

at this point, you can switch away from your VM (Ctrl-Alt releases the keyboard/mouse) and use PuTTY to handle additional administrative chores.

Why use PuTTY when the VM allows you to log in to a command line? Convenience. PuTTY has features not available at the command line.. most useful is the scrollback buffer, where you can see the last several hundred (!) lines of output; followed by copy-and-paste operations. I also prefer using PuTTY in a black-text-on-light-background, and being able to set the font size.

(The next several steps may be completed from the command line within the VM or via PuTTY secure-shell connection.)

From the command line, do this:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Enter your password (if requested, after a time or two Ubuntu remembers that you’re the Super User), and let the install proceed. You should be asked for a password; give it the MySQL root password you picked earlier:

MySQL root password
Enter the password here

Next in line, let’s install PHP:

sudo apt-get install php5

and let that go through.

When all that’s complete, it’s time to install phpMyAdmin – which is located in the next part!

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