Ubuntu Server on HyperV
As my Linux distro of choice for a set of lightweight virtualized Servers, Ubuntu Sever provides several advantages that made me go for it:
* Driver support for HyperV
* Active Community, number of HowTo’s available considered superior to Debian
* Packages available are cutting edge
* Well documented
* Good experience with Ubuntu Desktop
At the time of writing this, there are two choices of Ubuntu Server: Ubuntu 10 with LTS or cutting edge Ubuntu 11. LTS stands for LongTermSupport and Cannonical guarantees there will be updates for at least 3 years. It’s a matter of preference, but I chose Ubuntu 11.
To install it in HyperV, I recommend you follow this guide: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/how-to-install-ubuntu-server-10-04-in-hyper-v.aspx
Of course, you should adapt your network configuration to your requirements. Before templating this machine, I installed openssh because I consider it a core part of my server administration toolkit.
By this point, we should have a core installation of Ubuntu Server template that is ready to be cloned. Depending on your virtualization solution of choice, different steps apply here. (In HyperV it is as simple as exporting and re-importing the machine.) Make sure you create a unique copy of the machine, so that its network adapter gets assigned a new MAC Adress (everything else is calling for trouble).
After instantiating your template, we now need to customize that template:
1. Change hostname sudo hostname "NewHostName"
2. Configure Networking (it is likely your adapter will now show up as eth1 instead of eth0, rember that instantiating a VM tempate involves changing the MAC adress of the server)
sudo vi /etc/network/interfaces
3. Change user name/password
sudo shutdown -r now