Linux distributions are an excellent alternative to run a myriad of server applications. Ubuntu makes no exception and is among the most widely used distributions for multiple purposes. The great thing is lots of Linux distros can also be customized to the bone and reduce the resources footprint for CPU and memory. In this article a quick sample on how to deploy Ubuntu 20.04 Server edition. Although at the time of writing there are upcoming releases, this one still provides the “LTS” or Long Term Support included until April 2025. All maintenance updates and upgrades to latest version included. As per usual with other operating systems as well, Ubuntu comes in different flavors and architectures. This article covers the steps to deploy Ubuntu 20.04 Server on VMware homelab. The resources consumption is so low to make it the perfect companion for several applications. In this case the idea is to deploy Ubuntu 20.04 Server and use it as a Veeam Backup Proxy protecting VMware vSphere environments.
How to deploy Ubuntu 20.04 Server
As per usual the steps to deploy Ubuntu 20.04 Server on a VMware vSphere environment is to create the virtual machine to host the Ubuntu operating system install. First step is to create a new virtual machine.
In the next screen it is just a matter of choosing the desired name for the VM and the location in the vSphere virtual infrastructure.
Next step is to associate the VMware ESXi host for the Compute and Memory resources. In this case the VMware ESXi hosts are running on Intel NUC hardware.
An important part of the install of course is the storage where the Ubuntu virtual machine will allocate the files.
The compatibility section provides the option for the version of the virtual hardware. Unless there are older ESXi hosts in the same Data Center, the recommendation is to go with the latest one and benefit from the latest features available. It is worth noting some features might not be backward compatible on older host versions. This might prevent vMotion capabilities across separate ESXi hosts.
In the next screen the wizard shows the Guest OS Family and Guest OS version. Typically the most popular version to download is the 64-bit release.
One last screen before reviewing settings is the important step about selecting the number of virtual CPUs, Memory and Disk storage. The rule of thumb is to not over commit the host. So ideally virtual CPUs should be always less than the physical ones. With just 2 CPUs and 4 GB RAM Memory the Ubuntu server is doing great. Next step is about the Hard Disk. A minimum of 20 GB is enough to run the setup and host a large number of server applications at a later stage. Thin provisioning over Thick provisioning is absolutely fine. For the network the suggestion is to use the VMXNET3. This ones provides better performances over the Intel based and the drivers are already included in the main setup. Of course, last but not least, also pointing the wizard to the location on the Ubuntu server ISO file. Ideally copied on a datastore where the ESXi host has at least read access. Everything else can be pretty much on default settings.
At this point everything is ready to review and commit the changes as desired. Next is to power on the VM and start the Ubuntu Server install.