Create a Linux-Based Virtual Machine Template

This scenario helps you create a Linux-based virtual machine template by using Virtual Machine Manager in System Center 2012 SP1.


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Scenario description

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This scenario provides the high-level steps and links for additional information that is necessary to create a virtual machine template that you can use to deploy a virtual machine on which the guest operating system is Linux.

There are two methods to create a Linux-based virtual machine template:

  • From an existing virtual machine template
  • From a virtual hard disk (VHD)

The option to create a Linux-based virtual template from an existing virtual machine – is not supported.

This scenario describes how to create a Linux-based virtual machine template using these methods.

System Center 2012 components and other requirements

This scenario uses the following System Center component in addition to Windows Server 2012 operating system. The scenario assumes that this component is already installed and configured, and working correctly. It is beyond the scope of this scenario to provide basic deployment and configuration information for this component. For this information, you can refer to the individual documentation for each component.

  •  System Center 2012 SP1 - VMM


How to accomplish this scenario

The high level steps to accomplish this scenario are as follows:

  1. Read the Linux-specific requirements for a virtual machine, and then create a virtual machine and ensure that it meets these requirements.
  2. Create and store the VHD of the virtual machine in a VMM library share.
  3. Create a Linux-based virtual machine template.
  4. Use that template to deploy Linux-based virtual machines.

The details of these high level steps, and links to resources that provide additional information, are described as follows:

  1. Requirements for Linux-based virtual machines

    The Linux-based virtual machine that you use to create a Linux-based virtual machine template must meet the following two requirements:
    • Linux Integration Services (LIS) must be installed on the virtual machine
    • The VMM guest agent for Linux must be installed on the virtual machine

    To learn about the details of these requirements and about how to meet them, refer to the following topics:

  2. Create and store the VHD of the virtual machine in a VMM library share

    To use the Linux-based virtual machine for the template, you have to prepare the VHD as follows:
    1. Shut down the virtual machine.
    2. Copy the VHD to a VMM library share.
    3. Refresh the VMM library.

  3. Create a Linux-based template

    Create a new template with settings for a Linux-based virtual machine. Use the operating system specialization process to configure Linux-specific settings.
    For background information and for detailed steps, refer to the following topics:

    When creating the template, in the Create VM Template Wizard ensure you make the following choices:

    • On the Select Source page, select the Use an existing VM template or a virtual hard disk stored in the library option.
    • On the Configure Operating System page, select the Create new Linux operating system customization settings option in the Guest OS profile list. This option displays the appropriate Linux-related operating system settings for the template.
    • Skip the Configure Applications and Configure SQL Server pages because they do not apply to Linux-based virtual machine templates.

  4. Create and deploy the Linux-based virtual machine

    Use the Linux-based virtual machine template to deploy virtual machines that are Linux-based and that are preconfigured according to the settings in the template. Or, you can add the Linux-based virtual machine template as a machine tier in a service template. You can use service templates to define multi-tier configurations with any combination of Windows-based and Linux-based virtual machines.


Links to TechNet Library topics, Tech Center pages, blogs, forums, etc.