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Webinar Setup

Here you will find videos and instructions that will help you with your required setup before you attend any of my webinars. I highly recommend using network address translation (NAT) mode for your virtual machines, and not bridged mode. In VirtualBox, you would select NAT Network. On other virtualization systems, simply select NAT. (Vagrant users - make sure the VirtualBox machines are set to "NAT Network" as Vagrant does not do this by default.)

Note

You might choose to spin up your servers on the cloud (AWS, Digital Ocean, Linode, etc...) It's quick and easy, but you will be charged a fee at some point. Be on the lookout for free or cheap tier pricing, and be sure to disable (and delete) your servers when you are done with them so that you don't continue to be charged.

Warning

As always, make sure that you have permission before using any systems that are not yours, and do not run any of the following virtual machines in a production environment.

List of Webinars and Requirements:


Linux Networking & Security Fundamentals

To follow along with my labs, I recommend that you run the following systems as virtual machines within the virtualization platform of your choice.

Note

For information about using VirtualBox, see this link.

For information about using KVM, see this link.

  • Debian Server (command line only) (Step-by-step installation)
  • Any Linux Client (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, just about anything with a desktop that runs NetworkManager will do. You can find installation videos for most of these in the OS Installations section of this website). I'll be running a Debian client among other systems.

I'll also be working with the following during the webinar:

and perhaps some additional fun distros!

The lab notes for Day 1 can be found here

The lab notes for Day 2 can be found here


Building Linux Servers: DHCP, DNS, and Directory Services

In this webinar I demonstrate some basic setups of Kea DHCP, BIND DNS, and FreeIPA directory services.
You will need the following virtual machines:

  • Debian Server (command line only) (Step-by-step installation)
  • Fedora Server (Step-by-step installation)
  • Any Linux Client (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, just about anything with a desktop will do. You can find installation videos for most of these in the OS Step-by-Step Installs section of this website)

Because we will be running a DHCP server during this webinar, it could cause a conflict with the DHCP server that is built-in to your virtualization platform. See this to for step-by-steps on how to turn off DHCP in your virtual platform .


Note

When working directly in the console of a server, the resolution and font size often need tweaking. See this link for procedures on how to modify those.


You'll want SSH!

You will need to have an SSH client in order to connect to your virtual machines. For most of you, SSH will be installed by default. If not, check the following:

  • Windows 10: Go to Settings > Apps. Then click the Optional features link. From here you can add the feature: OpenSSH Client. In some cases you might have to enable the OpenSSH service. Go to Run > services.msc, and then locate, enable and start the service there. You can also install OpenSSH with Chocolatey. (Install Chocolatey from this link. Then, type choco install openssh.)
  • Linux: You can install OpenSSH on any Linux client. For example, for Debian, type apt install openssh-client. For Fedora, use dnf. In some cases you might just need to enable and start the service as it may already be installed. To enable it type systemctl enable sshd. To start it, type systemctl start sshd.

But again, most client operating systems today will have SSH installed. If that is not the case, and the above options do not work, you can also consider other SSH client solutions: Putty, Kitty, Terminus, and so on.

Note

For more tutorials on SSH, see this link

GRUB Modification of Console Resolution and Font Changes with dpkg-reconfigure

When working with servers that have no GUI and are command line only (or console only) the resolution is usually not configured optimally by default. Also, the font is often small and hard to read. This video shows you how to change the resolution and font of the Debian console by working with GRUB and dpkg-reconfigure respectively. I also briefly describe how it works in Fedora Server.

Modifying the console resolution in Debian

  • First, we enter the GRUB area of Linux by pressing C when Debian Linux is first booting.

  • Then, run the command set pager=1 so that we can view results one page at a time.

  • Next, run the vbeinfo command to see the resolutions that our system can handle. Consider the best resolution for your setup. In the video I use 1280x720.

  • Enter the command normal to return to normal boot.

  • Open the /etc/default/grub file. To modify the resolution change this line:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="quiet"

    to this:

    GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="nomodeset"

    and add this line:

    GRUB_GFXPAYLOAD_LINUX=1280x720

  • Update the GRUB bootloader. Run the following command:

    update-grub

    Make sure that it takes effect. You may have to run it twice.

  • Reboot the system with the reboot command.

Note

You can also modify the splash screen in the grub file with the following command: GRUB_GFXMODE=1280x720

Modifying the font type and size in Debian

  • Change the font type and size by running:

    dpkg-reconfigure console-setup

    In the video I selected TerminusBold and 11x22. Try some different settings and see what works best for you.

It's all about getting the right resolution and font for your configuration. That will vary depending on the type of system you are working on.

Fedora Server console resolution and font modifications

  • Although there are different ways of doing this, the method shown for modifying the resolution in Debian will work in Fedora as well. The only difference is the update command. Instead of update-grub type

    grub2-mkconfig

  • Font modification is slightly different on Fedora Server. First, install the console-setup package if it is not already:

    dnf install console-setup

    Then, access the console-setup file:

    vim /etc/default/console-setup

    Add or modify the following to your liking. For example: the TerminusBold font with an 11x22 font size.

FONTFACE=TerminusBold
FONTSIZE="11x22"

How to shut off DHCP in the Virtualization Platform

Covers VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, and KVM.

In some of my webinars we set up a Linux-based DHCP server. If you have a DHCP server already running (and you most likely do) then there can be a conflict. So the pre-existing DHCP server should be temporarily shut off. If you are running a virtualization platform using NAT, then the program has a built-in DHCP server. This video shows how to disable that DHCP server in VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, and KVM. If you are working in bridged mode (not recommended for our training purposes), then you would need to disable the DHCP server on your LAN.

Warning

Important! Do not attempt to disable a DHCP server in a work or production environment. You will most likely be tracked down and roasted alive.

Duration: 10:30

The video starts with VirtualBox.

VMware Workstation is at 2:15.

KVM is at 4:45.

VirtualBox

Shut down any running virtual machines.

Go to File > Preferences > Network.

Double-click your NAT Network.

Deselect the checkbox for "Network Options: Supports DHCP

Click OK for both Windows.

Close and restart VirtualBox.

VMware Workstation

Shut down any running virtual machines.

Go to Edit > Virtual Network Editor.

Click Change Settings. Be ready to supply an administrator password.

Click the NAT network at the top.

Deselect the checkbox that says: "Use local DHCP service to distribute IP addresses to VMs.

Click Apply and OK.

KVM

Here you have two options: modify the KVM network with virsh, or modify the configuration file directly. As root, do one of the following:

  • Option 1: Type:
virsh net-edit default

Default is the name of the first KVM network that is made automatically for you. Replace "default" with the name of your network if you created another one.

  • Option 2: Type:
vim /etc/libvirt/qemu/networks/default.xml

Note

I prefer to make a backup of the file in case any modifications have unforeseen errors. Do this by typing:

cp default.xml default-backup.xml

For either of these, you need to remove the DHCP section:

    <dhcp>
      <range start='192.168.122.2' end='192.168.122.254'/>
    </dhcp>

Then, restart the Virtual Machine Manager.

Depending on your version of KVM you might need to either restart the KVM network or restart your Linux system. To restart the KVM network type the following in the command line:

sudo virsh net-destroy <network-name>
sudo virsh net-start <network-name>

network-name is the name of your KVM virtual network. The one that is created for you automatically is called default.

Note

Newer versions of the Virtual Machine Manager may have a simple checkbox to disable DHCP instead of having to modify default.xml, or using the command virsh net-edit default.

Note

I don't support VMware Fusion, but click here for an article that might help you with Fusion DHCP and Fusion networking in general. Another good link that might help is here.

That's all folks! I'll see you on the Internet!