Building a virtual server.

The first thing you’ll want to have is a program to run all your virtual machines. I use a free program from Microsoft called “Virtual PC.” There is another popular program called VMware that you might like. I will use Virtual PC in my example as I am more familiar with it. Virtual PC started as a program for linux/Mac for running Windows and other virtual machines without having to restart your computer. It’s a neat tool for many reasons. You can run as many virtual machines as you want on your system, as long as your system can handle it.

Let’s get started. You’ve downloaded and installed the latest Virtual PC version. When you start Virtual PC for the first time, you’ll be looking at a screen similar to this, minus the VMCs I have currently set up:

Virtual PC Console Image

Clinking new will bring you to the “New Virtual Machine Wizard.” The following steps will show you how to set up a virtual machine.


  1. Click Next.
  2. Select “Create a Virtual Machine” and click Next.
  3. Create a name for you new virtual machine and click Next.
  4. In the “Operating System” drop down menu, select “Other” and click Next.
  5. Select “Adjust the RAM” and enter the desired amount of RAM into the RAM settings. (I recommend at least 512, but make sure you still have enough RAM for your system to run. Click Next.
  6. Select “A new virtual hard disk” and click Next.
  7. Select how big you want your virtual hard disk to be (I suggest about 10GB for an Ubuntu install, but you might need more depending on what you are wanting to do with Linux).  Pick a name and location for you virtual hard disk and click Next.
  8. Click Finish and you’ve just set up your virtual machine.
Now you need to set up a network adapter for your virtual machine to use. I suggest using the Microsoft Loopback Adapter. It is pretty easy to configure. 
There’s one thing I need to go over before you start using the loopback adapter. First off, the loopback adapter is defaulted to use the IP ’′. You need to set your router’s ip address to something like ’′.  This will still allow the Loopback adapter to assign ’′ and not interfere with your router.
  1. On the host computer, open “Control Panel
  2. Open “Add Hardware
  3. Click Next in the add hardware wizard.
  4. Select “Install the hardware manually selected from a list (advanced)
  5. Scroll down, select “Network adapters” and click Next.
  6. Scroll down, select “Microsoft” from the “Manufacturers” list, select “Microsoft Loopback Adapter” from the “Network Adapter” list and click Next.
  7. Click Finish and you’re down with the first part.
Now that you have your loopback adapter installed, you need to share your computer’s internet connection with the adapter.
  1. Open “Network Connections” (In XP, Network connections can be found in the control panel. In Vista, type ncpa.cpl into the start menu’s search box).
  2. Right click the connection you use to connect to the internet (not the loopback adapter) and click “Properties
  3. Click the “Advanced” tab
  4. Check the option “Allow other network users to connect through this computer’s Internet Connection
  5. If you have more than one network adapter, you’ll need to specify which adapter you want to share you connection with. Select the “Loopback Adapter
  6. Click Ok and your virtual server’s network adapter is set up.
Now that we have our network adapter setup, we have to tell our virtual server what network to use.
  1. Open “Virtual Server 2007“.
  2. Select your newly created virtual server and click “Settings“.
  3. Click “Networking” in the left pane.
  4. In the right pane, make sure “Microsoft Loopback Adapter” is selected as the adapter.
  5. Click “Ok
Once you have an OS installed on your virtual machine, you’ll need to set the virtual machine’s DNS address to whatever your router IP address is set up to. In my example, I used ’′.

Tomorrow, I will show you how to install the newest version of Ubuntu on your newly created virtual machine! Enjoy!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.