Essential VMWare

Set Up VMWare Player

Download VMWare player for free at VMWare.com

Get an ISO that contains an OS that can be run as a virtual Machine. If you don't know how or where to get this refer to the simple steps at the bottom of this post for a Linux ISO 


Run VMWare Player.

Click Player in top menu, then File, then New Virtual Machine.

Click Installer disc image file (ISO):

Click browse to select your ISO.

Click next.

Select the correct OS and version.

Name your machine whatever you want.

I chose default for the rest of the options.

Your VM is now in the list of available VMs to "play" in VMWare.

Play Your VM

Click on your VM in the list. On the right side click "Play Virtual Machine"

Stop your VM

Click on Player at the top. Then Power. Then suspend to pick up where you left off later or shut down to completely stop the VM.

Get your mouse back after clicking in VM

Ctrl-Alt

Edit VM Settings 

Get to settings for a VM that is not running: click on VM in list and then "edit virtual machine settings"

Get settings for VM that is running: Ctrl-Alt to get your mouse. Click down arrow next to Player in top menu, then Manage, then Virtual Machine settings.

You can also use the Ctrl-D shortcut to get to settings for running VM (after Ctrl-Alt if you have clicked in the VM)

Error starting VM 

PXE-E53: Check virtual machine settings. Make sure it is using the correct OS and version for your ISO and the correct ISO file is selected. Double check all settings. For example you need to choose 32 bit OS from drop down for a 32 bit ISO.

Networking Adapters 

When you install VMWare on windows you will see two new network adapters. These support the different types on network access allowed for your VM.

Network Options 

Change these in your VM settings. Go to Settings. Then click Network Adapter on Hardware tab.

Bridged VM has full network access via host machine using host's Ethernet adapter 

https://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/ws_net_configurations_bridged.html

NAT uses tne network adapter named VMNet8.

https://www.vmware.com/support/ws3/doc/ws32_network21.html

Host Only No network access outside the host machine. Uses network adapter named VMNet1.

Custom Customized network setting 

VMWare Tools

Once you have your VM up and running install VMWare tools on it if you want to do things like copy from the VM terminal to the guest machine. 

Click on Player, Manage, then Install VMWare Tools

Follow the instructions. There is a link to more help.

Determine the IP address of your VM

Linux: ifconfig
Windows: ipconfig

Determining the IP of your Host

Use the same as above for the host but note the main adapter IP address.

Test connectivity

From your host, ping the VM IP and vice versa.

Ping [ip]

After pinging use arp to see the correct IP and MAC address for the VM got in your arp cache.

arp -a

Troubleshoot Bridged Mode

Go to VMNet8 adapter as described above.

Hard code an IP address.

Disable adapters you are not using if they are getting selected anywhere.

In VM network settings where you selected bridged mode click advanced and select the main network adapter for your host.

Troubleshoot Host Only

Make sure the VMNet01 adapter is set to DHCP or the VM won't be able to reach the network.



Setting up Domain Name on AWS Route 53

If you want to host a web site on AWS, the first thing you need to do is get your domain name set up. There are basically three steps to this process:
  1. Register a domain name (if you need a new one). 
  2. Setup DNS records in Route 53.
  3. Tell the registrar what DNS servers to use for your domain.  
DNS just tells computers on the Internet where to find your web site. If you want to know more read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domain_Name_System

Amazon's DNS service is called Route 53 It has 100% up time guarantee: 

There are two options for registering a new domain and setting up in route 53:

1. Register the domain name with Amazon

2 Register with a third party service and tell the other company to use Amazon servers for DNS.

Option 1: Register Domain Name with Amazon

1. Log into Amazon and click on Route 53



2.Click "Registered Domains" on left. Then click register domain



3. Follow the instructions to enter contact information and register the domain

4. At the end of this process the domain is under "pending registrations". It took less than 30 minutes for my domain registration to complete.

5. Once complete, the domain showed up under "Registered Domains" and  DNS servers were immediately associated with my domain.



6. Click "Manage DNS"



7. Click on the domain name you just registered in the list of  "Hosted Zones". Note that there is a comment that says this entry was created automatically by Route 53.



8. Follow the instructions below to set up DNS entries to point your domain name to your web server. See: Set up DNS records on Route 53

Option 2: Register your domain name with a third party

1. Register your domain with a third party registrar such as https://www.networksolutions.com/ and https://www.godaddy.com/

2. During or after registration, or for an existing domain name, you will need to tell the registrar which DNS servers to use for your domain (what was done automatically when the domain name was registered with Amazon in step 5 above).

3. To obtain AWS DNS server information - Click on Hosted Zones on Left and Create Hosted Zone:



3. On the right side of the screen enter the domain name and click "Create".




4. After you click "create" (or if you click the name of your hosted zone in the list of hosted zones you created) you'll get a screen which gives you four DNS server names. These are the server names you'll need to enter at the third party registrar to associate your domain name with AWS Route 53 DNS servers.



5. Follow the instructions in the next section to associate your domain name with your web server.

Set up DNS records on Route 53

At this point you have a domain name that belongs to you. You either registered at Amazon and the domain was automatically associated with DNS servers, or you associated your domain with the AWS Route 53 DNS servers by entering them at your third party registrar.

Now you need to edit your DNS records to tell the world what IP address to go to in order to see your web site.

1. Within Route 53 in the AWS console click on "Hosted Zones".

2. Click on your domain name and then "Go To Record Sets".



3. For a new domain you will see the associated name servers (NS record) and an SOA record:



4. Add an "A" record and specify which IP address someone on the Internet should go to in order to see your web site. Click "Create Record Set". Leave Type = A (default), enter an IP address (e.g. an elastic IP pointed to something hosted at Amazon or the IP address of a server not hosted by another company) and click "create".




5. In the example above I associated the domain nebulous.ventures with an IP address. I probably also want people to get to my web site if they type in www.nebulous.ventures so I will create an A record for that the same way except that I specify "www" in front of the domain name.



6. EMAIL: If you want to have email addresses associated with this domain you'll need to set up "MX" records. For example if you are using gmail you would get the MX records from them when you set up your service with Google and plug them in here to tell the world to send email from this domain name to the gmail mail servers.

7. SPAM: If you set up email you will want to set up an "SPF" record to tell the world which IP addresses are allowed to send email for this domain. This tells people who receive email from your domain if it is valid or not. If you do not have SPF records set up or they are incorrect your mail may go to spam folders. SPF records are beyond the scope of this blog post - your email provider should tell you how to set these up.

8. CNAME: For some Google services they ask you to enter a CNAME record to prove you own the domain you are trying to use with their services. This is where you would enter that CNAME record.
 

FYIs:

It will take some time for your web site to be visible at your domain, because the changes you put into Route 53 have to be propagated to all the DNS servers around the world.

You can transfer a domain you already registered to Amazon Route 53 but this is not required to use the service.

The instructions above also work with domains you already have registered.

For some registrars, when you change DNS records, they take your site offline for a period of time until the DNS entries update to the new DNS servers, so you may want to create the AWS records first, and get the DNS servers to enter while you are registering the domain.

I found some types of domains to be cheaper at my existing registrar, some cheaper on Amazon.

If you host your domain at Amazon and give someone access to Route 53, they could have the ability to transfer your domain away from you. Make sure you set up permissions appropriately in the console. Registering at a third party and not giving the people who manage things in the AWS console also prevents this.

Multi-factor authentication for your AWS account is, as always, recommended to protect assets accessible in the AWS console.

A domain name registered with Amazon initially has the status "client transfer prohibited". This will hopefully go away in 60 days.