Building the DEC LH AD Workshop VMs

I've had dozens of people ask me for the DEC LH AD workshop virtual machine images, so they could do the workshop labs themselves. There are two problems: first, the images are VMWare ESX images, not Virtual PC or Virtual Server. Why? We needed 64-bit guest support for the lab, and the Microsoft products don't support 64-bit guests. Second, I don't have the rights to distribute the software in the images. I can't distribute VMs containining proprietary (even if free) software, like Windows, or joeware, or bginfo, etc.

Building the images is pretty automated (thanks, Jorge!), so I can help you build the images yourself. And you can build them on Virtual PC or Virtual Server if you want (except you won't be able to use the x64 version of LH). I'll provide a link to a zip file that contains the stuff that you need (and that I can provide).

Overview of the Setup Process

  1. First, you'll build four virtual machines images. The first image is Windows Server 2003 R2, and it will be come the first domain controller in the forest. The next image will be a full x86 install of LH server, the third image will be a full install of x64 LH (unless you are using Microsoft virtualization products), and the fourth image will be a Server Core install of x86 LH. All the images have to be able to communicate with each other on a virtual network.
  2. Second, you'll set up a share that will be accesible to the virtual machines. It doesn't much matter where this share is so long as you can copy files from the share to the running VMs. You'll set up a directory structure on the share that contains the software that goes into the images. All the additional software is freely available.
  3. Third, you'll have to do some manual configuration of the VMs. This includes copying files from the share to the VMs.
  4. Finally, you'll run some scripts on the Windows Server 2003 R2 machine that will promote the server to be the first DC in the forest. After the promo completes, you'll run some other scripts to configure the DC and Active Directory.

At that point, you should be ready to start doing the labs from the book.

The next installment will walk you through creating the 4 virtual machine images on Virtual Server 2005 R2.