6.4. Installing Operating Systems onto Blank Virtual Machines

A virtual machine that is newly created from the "Blank" template requires an operating system and applications to be installed on it. Use the Run Once function to install an operating system and relevant applications onto the new virtual machine.
The Run Once function allows the administrator to run the virtual machine in a number of special modes, such as ACPI support, disable/enable acceleration, and others. Note that running a virtual machine in these special modes can cause performance degradation.
The Virtual Machines tab displays the existing virtual machines.
Virtual Machine List

Figure 6.6. Virtual Machine List


To install an operating system onto a virtual machine:

  1. Select the newly created virtual machine. It should have a status of Down.
  2. Click the Run Once button on the Virtual Machines toolbar.
    Run Virtual Machine Dialog Box

    Figure 6.7. Run Virtual Machine Dialog Box


  3. The Run Virtual Machine dialog box displays. The Run Virtual Machine dialog box consists of three sections — Boot Options to define how the virtual machine is to boot; Boot Sequence to determine which boot device is used first; and Display Protocol to select how the virtual machine is to connect to the system.
    Run Virtual Machine Dialog Box

    Figure 6.8. Run Virtual Machine Dialog Box


  4. Define the Boot Options

    • Attach Floppy – Use this option typically to install Windows drivers. It is mandatory to attach the floppy before attempting installation. The floppy must be attached, and the Boot from CD option selected to install drivers for the virtual machine.
    • Attach CD – Select this option to install the operating system and applications from the CD onto the newly created virtual machine. In this case, select an ISO file from the drop-down list.
    • Boot Sequence – After installing a new virtual machine, the new virtual machine must go into Boot mode before powering up. The Boot sequence can be altered from the previously selected one by moving the options up or down using the list buttons: Hard Disk to boot from the hard disk (though if this is a blank virtual machine, it will obviously not boot from the hard disk), CD-ROM to boot from the CD, or Network (PXE) to boot from the network.
    • Run Stateless – Select this option if the virtual machine is to run in stateless mode. The stateless mode is mostly used for virtual desktops. A stateless desktop or server is always created from the base template, and deleted on shutdown. Every time the virtual machine is run, a new instance of the virtual machine is created from the base template. This type of virtual machine is very useful when creating virtual machines that need to be used for a short time, or by temporary staff.
    • Start in Pause Mode – Select this option to run the virtual machine in Pause mode. In some instances, the virtual machine needs to be started and then paused to allow the administrator to connect to the display before the virtual machine goes into timeout. Connection to a virtual machine in a remote location may take longer than usual; consequently, the SPICE session may open after a timeout in an executed program has passed. To avoid such an occurrence, use the Pause mode. After the remote connection is made, resume the virtual machine session, either by selecting the virtual machine in the Administration Portal and clicking the Play button; or by right-clicking the virtual machine's SPICE console window and selecting Play.
    • Linux Boot Option – If the virtual machine is a Linux machine, you can enter customized option for the kernel path, initrd path, kernel params (parameters).
    • Custom Properties – Enter any custom properties for the virtual machine to use while booting.
    • Reinitialize Sysprep – For Windows virtual machines only. When a virtual machine runs for the first time, the system automatically attaches a virtual floppy drive containing the Sysprep configuration file to be used during Sysprep (relevant only if the virtual machine was sealed with Sysprep). The Reinitialize Sysprep option allows the administrator to restart the virtual machine with the attached floppy and configuration file. (For Windows virtual machines only). This option will not display for virtual machines that have never been initialized.

    Define the Display Protocol

    • Select SPICE for Windows or Linux virtual machines. This is the recommended protocol.
    • Select VNC for Linux virtual machines if desired.
  5. Click OK.
The virtual machine runs with the selected settings. The status changes to Powering Up, followed by Up.

Note

When you use the Run Once option, the defined parameters only apply to the current run, and do not hold for subsequent runs.