Abstract: This short howto explains how you can install a very basic Debian (jessie) installation on VMWare (e.g. Workstation, ESXi, ...).

Requirements (from the VMWare):

  • Without Sound, Floppy, USB, Printerport (BIOS), COM-Ports (BIOS). For more infos see.
  • RAM: we will use 512 MB in this howto, its up to you to decide what you need. (see min. requirements)
  • Disk: we will use 2 GB in this howto, its up to you to decide what you need. (see min. requirements)
  • Other: CD-ROM Drive, Internet Connection, Debian 8.x ISO

1.) At first download the Debian (AMD64) net install from https://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/ (e.g. debian-8.2.0-amd64-netinst.iso)

2.) build an new VMWare with details above and reboot it using the Debian ISO

3.) Install a plain Debian (without GUI)

4.) Select your language

5.) Select your location

 6.) Configure your locales

7.) Select your keyboard

8.) Enter the hostname

9.) Enter the domain from the host

10.) enter the full name from the 2nd user

11.) Enter the username from the 2nd account

12.) Enter the password for the 2nd user

13.) Re-enter the password

14.) Select your time zone

15.) Choose the partition methode. In this example we use the "Guided - use entire disk"

16.) Select the partition disk

 17.) select the partitioning scheme

18.) now write the changes to disk

19.) now write the changes to disk

20.) select the Debian mirror which is in your country

21.) select a archive mirror


22.) If you use a proxy for downloads you need to define it here, otherwise leave it empty.


23.) if you wish in the package usage survey select yes otherwise select no.

24.) un-select the software as we will install it later one if needed. After that select continue

25.) select yes to install the boot loader in the master boot record (MBR)

26.) Select "/dev/sda"

27.) Finish the installation now

28.) The system will auto reboot now.

29.) Once the reboot is done and once you can login, login and install SSH and login via SSH (e.g. putty)

apt-get install ssh openssh-server

30.) Now we will quickly install the VMWare tools

apt-get install binutils cpp gcc make psmisc linux-headers-$(uname -r)

31.) Once done we need to mound the ISO C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation\linux.iso to the VMWare

32.) Once done we can mount the CD ROM in Linux via:

mkdir /mnt/cdrom
mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

33.) After that switch to the temp folder and extract the VMWare tools there via

cd /tmp/
tar -C /tmp -zxvf /mnt/cdrom/VMwareTools-x.x.x-x.tar.gz

Keep noted that the "-C" is uppercase, also the filename!

34.) Now you can start the VMWare tools installation via:

cd /tmp/vmware-tools-distrib

Now respond to the configuration questions on the screen. Press Enter to accept the default value.

35.) Unmount the CD via

umount /mnt/cdrom

36.) Now restart the server:

shutdown -r now

36.) Re-login as root and perform a final update via

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

37.) Optional: We might now perform an optional step and remove content we do not need. However this depends on your own.

apt-get remove vi

38.) Optional: To make stuff easy for us we will can configure our small debian system to perform an auto update (see more infos here).

38a.) Install the needed component via:

apt-get install unattended-upgrades

38b.) Configure it via:

dpkg-reconfigure -plow unattended-upgrades

15c.) In the following menu select yes to download and install stable updates

38d.) Once done edit the config via:

nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/50unattended-upgrades

38e.) and un-comment following lines like seen below:

Unattended-Upgrade::MinimalSteps "true";
Unattended-Upgrade::InstallOnShutdown "true"

38f.) Next create the file /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic to enable unattended upgrades via:

nano /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/02periodic

38g.) now copy the following content into the file:

// Enable the update/upgrade script (0=disable)
APT::Periodic::Enable "1";

// Do "apt-get update" automatically every n-days (0=disable)
APT::Periodic::Update-Package-Lists "1";

// Do "apt-get upgrade --download-only" every n-days (0=disable)
APT::Periodic::Download-Upgradeable-Packages "1";

// Run the "unattended-upgrade" security upgrade script
// every n-days (0=disabled)
// Requires the package "unattended-upgrades" and will write
// a log in /var/log/unattended-upgrades
APT::Periodic::Unattended-Upgrade "1";

// Do "apt-get autoclean" every n-days (0=disable)
APT::Periodic::AutocleanInterval "7";

38h.) If you like you could control the update which are done via the "/var/log/unattended-upgrades/unattended-upgrades.log" logfile.

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