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OS Install

In this page, I quickly rush through many of my conventions for setting up a VM in my development environment with some standard settings. If we're running on a dedicated machine, we'd likely run through many of these settings for the bare metal host, but then install a VM anyway due to a virtual machine's portability and ease with which we can backup and restore.

OS Install

  1. For this manual, we're using Ubuntu 22.04.3. Download Ubuntu 22.04.3.

  2. Regardless of current version, I always attempt to stay within LTS release versions for both hosts and guest operating systems. (The exception is when there is an explicit reason for a specific version, for example testing.) This ensures that we won't have to worry about baselines changing beneath us for as long as possible. Ubuntu LTS Releases

  3. Within the Linux environment, I typically use VirtualBox because of its cost and simplicity. Absent of VirtualBox, I prefer to use qemu or libvirt/virsh/virtmanager with KVM. You can of course use whatever hypervisor works for you. I always name my VMs after their primary hostname; mine is called

  4. Whether you are using a VM or physical host, add a second hard disk as "external storage". In general, plan for failed disks, so when using VMs, have your external virtual disk live on another physical disk for redundency. In this case, we're merely providing ourselves with a disk to scale and a location to demonstrate the process to perform backups.

  5. Start up the VM with an Ubuntu ISO to install the operating system.

  6. Run through the various dialogs to setup the OS as desired.

    • Caution: When creating this documentation, I created a 4GB RAM VM. A fresh install of Ubuntu 22.04.3 Desktop (minimal install) crashed due to not enough memory. Bah! I haven't investigated this in depth yet, but it is clearly a bug. To work around the issue (without doing a recovery repair), I explicitly added a 1.5GB swap partition in the disk partitioning section of the install. (Ideally the system would be able to use /swapfile, but in my case it failed to do so.) This is likely not an issue if you bump the memory up to 8GB before attempting an install of Ubuntu 22.04.3 Desktop.
  7. After the first boot, ensure that all packages are upgraded. This may or may not automatically popup as a dialog. In the terminal, you can always run something like the following:

sudo su -c "apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade"
  1. An absolute must for every system is SSH. Install OpenSSH on Ubuntu with apt-get install openssh-server openssh-client.

  2. Setup user SSH keys: ssh-keygen (Accept defaults). Note: I generally use a passphrase for keys used by humans and no passphrase for keys used for automation.

  3. My preference is to always have the terminal multiplexer application tmux (v3+) available in my terminals to allow me to manage multiple terminals in a single window. To install tmux, run apt-get install tmux and add the following config ~/.tmux.conf for some handy (dark mode) visualizations and mouse support:

    set -g mouse on
    set -g default-terminal "screen-256color"
    set-option -g default-command bash

    set -g window-style 'fg=colour230,bg=colour235'
    set -g window-active-style 'fg=colour230,bg=colour233'

    set -g pane-active-border-style 'fg=colour237,bg=colour234'
    set -g pane-border-style 'fg=colour232,bg=colour234'
    set -g pane-border-format '###{pane_index} [ #{pane_tty} ] S:#{session_name} M:#{pane_marked} #{pane_width}x#{pane_height}'
    set -g pane-border-status 'bottom' # off|top|bottom

    bind-key x kill-pane
  1. For disk management, I prefer to use LVM partitions. You can choose to use btrfs or zfs, but I find that LVM's separation from the OS affords me the right amount of flexibility in most situations.

    Note: I create a number of LVM partitions so that theoretically I have the flexibility to shrink and reclaim some low level partition table space if needed. This isn't a common situation in well funded production environments, but remains tactically prudent when working on a shoe string budget where you may not have the ability to purchase additional storage on a whim.

    sudo parted
    (parted) select /dev/sdb
    (parted) print
    (parted) mkpart primary 0% 25%
    (parted) mkpart primary 0% 25%
    (parted) mkpart primary 0% 25%
    (parted) mkpart primary 0% 25%
    (parted) set 1 lvm on
    (parted) set 2 lvm on
    (parted) set 3 lvm on
    (parted) set 4 lvm on
  2. Setup LVM configuration. For this, I used:

    • Standard Store (8GB) - for service state.
    • Secure Store (4G) - for security service state.
    • Manuals Store (4G) - for human readable documentation.
    • Artifact Store (32G) - for repository
    • swing space (16G)
    sudo apt-get install lvm2
    sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb1
    sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb2
    sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb3
    sudo pvcreate /dev/sdb4
    sudo vgcreate external_vg /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdb2 /dev/sdb3 /dev/sdb4
    sudo lvcreate -n state_lv -L 8G external_vg
    sudo lvcreate -n secure_lv -L 4G external_vg
    sudo lvcreate -n manuals_lv -L 4G external_vg
    sudo lvcreate -n artifacts_lv -L 32G external_vg
    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/external_vg-state_lv
    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/external_vg-secure_lv
    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/external_vg-manuals_lv
    sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/mapper/external_vg-artifacts_lv
    • To have the LVM partitions auto-mount when the system boots, run the following shell script to output fstab entries to the console. You can then copy and paste that output as entries in /etc/fstab:

      for p in state secure manuals artifacts
      echo $(sudo blkid ${pfx}${p}_lv | cut -d ' ' -f2) /opt/${p} ext4
    • LVM should now be setup.

  3. Install Text Editor

    • apt-get install vim (because Vim is the dominant terminal text editor.) ;-)

    • Naturally, emacs and nano are also options. What's important here is that you have an editor that works in the terminal window that you are comfortable with.

  4. Install Docker

    • Caution: Do not install from Ubuntu repo and do not install docker-compose from PyPi. These are deprecated or out-of-date versions. See the Docker Ubuntu Install Documentation for more information.

    • Add the docker apt repository and install from it:

      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install ca-certificates curl
      sudo install -m 0755 -d /etc/apt/keyrings
      sudo curl -fsSL -o /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc
      sudo chmod a+r /etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc

      # Add the repository to Apt sources:
      echo \
      "deb [arch=$(dpkg --print-architecture) signed-by=/etc/apt/keyrings/docker.asc] \
      $(. /etc/os-release && echo "$VERSION_CODENAME") stable" | \
      sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list > /dev/null
      sudo apt-get update
      sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli \
      docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin
  5. Add yourself (whoami) to docker group and reset your terminal (e.g. logout and login.)

    • Note: VSCode has an existing bug that prevents groups updates in Remote-SSH without restarting the server. User's have reported this issue, but due to the aggresive ticket pruning employed by the upstream VSCode team, the issue has gone unresolved. As the comments elude to, you can restart the VSCode server with: ps uxa | grep .vscode-server | awk '{print $2}' | xargs kill -9. If that doesn't work, restarting the entire kernel (i.e the system) should work. IMHO, VSCode is overly aggresive with a number of cached areas and this is yet another.
  6. Ensure git and python3 are installed: sudo apt-get install git python3

  7. There are a number of standard configurations that I use for my terminal configuration. This includes a lightweight script that will configure terminal colors and provide information about: date-time, path, user, host, git branch, and git branch state. It also sets history to append mode to capture all commands from all (bash) terminals. You can optionally add settings to have it output docker container and docker image information in the prompt.

  8. Create a file in your home directory:

    # Configure aliases fpr the terminal colors.
    COLOR_LIGHT_BROWN="$(tput setaf 178)"
    COLOR_LIGHT_PURPLE="$(tput setaf 135)"
    COLOR_LIGHT_BLUE="$(tput setaf 87)"
    COLOR_LIGHT_GREEN="$(tput setaf 78)"
    COLOR_LIGHT_YELLOW="$(tput setaf 229)"
    COLOR_YELLOW="$(tput setaf 184)"
    COLOR_RESET="$(tput sgr0)"
    COLOR_GREEN="$(tput setaf 83)"
    COLOR_ORANGE="$(tput setaf 208)"
    COLOR_RED="$(tput setaf 167)"
    COLOR_GRAY="$(tput setaf 243)"

    # Helper for showing colors in user specific terminal window+profile.
    # Inspired by:
    function show_colors {
    python3 <<PYTHON_SCRIPT
    import sys
    for i in range(0, 16):
    for j in range(0, 16):
    code = str(i * 16 + j)
    sys.stdout.write(u"\u001b[38;5;" + code + "m " + code.ljust(4))

    # Define colors for git branch/checkout depending on state.
    # Inspired by:
    function git_branch {
    git rev-parse --is-inside-work-tree &> /dev/null
    if [ "$?" -eq "0" ]; then
    local git_status="$(git status 2> /dev/null)"
    local on_branch="On branch ([^${IFS}]*)"
    local on_commit="HEAD detached at ([^${IFS}]*)"

    if [[ ! $git_status =~ "working tree clean" ]]; then
    elif [[ $git_status =~ "Your branch is ahead of" ]]; then
    elif [[ $git_status =~ "nothing to commit" ]]; then

    if [[ $git_status =~ $on_branch ]]; then
    local branch=${BASH_REMATCH[1]}
    echo -e "$COLOR($branch) "
    elif [[ $git_status =~ $on_commit ]]; then
    local commit=${BASH_REMATCH[1]}
    echo -e "$COLOR($commit) "
    export -f git_branch

    # Fetch the date in a canonical format.
    function get_prompt_date {
    echo -e "$COLOR_GRAY$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H:%M:%S)"
    export -f get_prompt_date

    # Get docker identity. Useful for doing `docker exec`, `docker stop`, etc.
    # Note: This used to rely on /proc/1/cpuset, but with newer dockers we
    # now rely on volume mounting the output of --cidfile from `docker run`.
    # Inspired by:
    function get_docker_ident {
    echo ""
    export -f get_docker_ident

    # Note: Without \[ \] properly placed, wrapping will not work correctly.
    # More info found at:

    # All terminals append to a single history.
    export PROMPT_COMMAND='history -a'
  9. To activate the user settings file, you'll want to source ~/ To have the settings applied to all new terminals, run: echo source ~/ >> ~/.bashrc.

  10. OS Install Complete