Welcome! Want to follow along with me during my live streams? Great!
In just about all of my live events I perform hands-on demonstrations. To follow along with these, set up your systems according to the suggestions listed below.
Use Virtual Machines
As a best practice, use locally installed virtual machines (VMs). I say "best practice" because it is preferable to test new software in a separate, safe environment and not on your main system. Good virtualization options include:
... and the list goes on. VirtualBox is a good choice to begin with because it's free, easy to use, and available on many platforms. However, as you progress you might want to look into other virtualization tools.
I recommend installing a Linux operating system to your VM. Good options include Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora (though there are plenty more great Linux distros). For demos, I usually work with Debian because it is lightweight but functional.
Debian 10 Server (video and written step-by-step procedure)
Debian 11 Client (video and written step-by-step)
Debian 12 Client (video only, no written step-by-step)
For all of my OS walkthroughs see this link.
*Note that if you use VirtualBox, it can automate the installation of Debian for you, but it will install as a client by default. If you want a proper server, you will have to disable automated installations in VirtualBox.
I highly recommend using network address translation (NAT) mode for your virtual machines, and not bridged mode. This provides a layer of separation between your VMs and your LAN. In this type of setup, the VMs will be able to communicate with each other and the main host, but not with other systems on the LAN (by default). However, in VirtualBox, you will need to select "NAT Network", as opposed to the default "NAT". (This is also important if you are using Vagrant over VirtualBox.) Also, if you will be using VirtualBox, be sure to use the port forwarding technique for SSH.
You'll Want SSH!
You will want to have an SSH client in order to connect to your virtual machines from your main host. For most of you, SSH will be installed by default. If not, check the following:
- Windows: 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.
- macOS: Install OpenSSH by opening a terminal (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and then typing
sudo port install openssh. You can also install OpenSSH with Homebrew. (Install Homebrew from this link. Then, type
brew install openssh.)
But again, most client operating systems today will have OpenSSH installed. If that is not the case, and the above options do not work, you can also consider other SSH client solutions: Putty (and derivatives), Kitty, MobaXterm, SecureCRT, and so on.