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Apple – Create an OS X 10.9 Mavericks bootable USB flash drive or ISO

This week Apple released OS X 10.9 Mavericks for free through the App Store. Even though downloading from the App Store works great for updating, I also want to be able to perform a clean install and create VMs running OS X 10.9 Mavericks. I also don’t want to download the 5+GB update file every time I upgrade a system.

Unfortunately Apple doesn’t provide an ISO download or a tool to create an ISO or bootable USB drive. There are however many people with similar needs that provide information on how to create both. The downside of these methods though, is that you need to have a working OS X system to be able to use them.

Create an OS X 10.9 Mavericks bootable USB flash drive

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Posted by on October 25, 2013 in Apple, ICT, OS X, Tools, Tutorials

 

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Home LAB Setup guide – 04 Configuring Server 2012 VM as DC with DNS and DHCP using PowerShell

In the first part of this LAB setup guide, I described the hardware selection process.
In the second part, I described the hypervisor selection and installation.
In the third part, I described VM guest considerations and preparations.

In this post I cover quickly configuring a Server 2012 VM as DC with DNS and DHCP by using PowerShell.

The steps I do take less than 10 minutes in my test lab now. Here’s a short description:

  1. Create a VM that uses your previously made parent disk.
  2. Configure the server name and IP addressing and reboot the computer.
  3. Install AD DS (domain controller) including DNS forward lookup zone and reboot the computer.
  4. Configure AD and DNS : Enable AD Recycle Bin, Add DNS forwarder, add DNS reverse lookup zone, create DNS PTR record for DC.
  5. Install + configure DHCP : Install DHCP, Add scope, configure scope, authorize DHCP server in AD.

The scripts I’ve created for steps 2 to 5 can be found here and are based on the great work Stefan Stranger already did in his blog post Installing a new OpsMgr 2012 (SP1) environment the fast way. I added some stuff of my own so it would meet my needs and I tried to keep it as generic as possible so other people can re-use my code as well.

PS: In step 2, IP addressing is not in place yet. To get scripts tot the system, consider:

  • Putting the scripts in an ISO file that you can mount.
  • Opening Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection to VM and using “Clipboard”, “Type Clipboard Text”.
 

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Home LAB Setup guide – 02 Hypervisor selection and installation

In the first part of this LAB setup guide, I described the hardware selection process. In this second part I will be describing the hypervisor selection and installation.

Hypervisor selection

First of all, you have to decide on which bare metal hypervisor(s) you wish to use. Personally I prefer Microsoft Hyper-V and VMWare ESXi. Alternatives include but are not limited to Citrix XenServer, Xen, KVM, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. I don’t have much experience with these hypervisors though.

Characteristics that could influence your choice of hypervisor:

  • Supported hardware.
  • Performance of the hypervisor.
  • Features of the hypervisor. By example when using Transparent Memory Page Sharing, it requires less memory when you run many highly identical systems on a host.
  • Footprint / attack surface.
  • Supported methods for running the OS. By example run from USB stick.
  • Price (many hypervisors have free versions available, compare features).
  • Support (for a home lab probably not that important).
  • Available documentation / study resources.
  • How active the community behind it is.
  • Supported VM / guest operating systems.
  • Ease-of-use.
  • Availabilty of downloadable virtual appliances (VMWare) or pre-prepped environments (Microsoft) without having to (try and) convert them.

Everyone needs to determine which hypervisor best meets their needs. Personally I mainly work with Microsoft software and decided to use Hyper-V 3.0 in Windows Server 2012. It’s convenient for me to be able to easily load pre-prepped environments that are provided by Microsoft (in Hyper-V format). I also run Client Hyper-V on my Windows 8 laptop, which makes it easier for me to take my VM’s with me. I do plan to keep up with VMWare developments as well though, so I will create a bootable USB flash drive to boot in VMWare from time to time.

Hypervisor installation

  • Before installing the hypervisor, make sure that virtualization related settings are enabled. The names of these settings may differ. Examples are Intel VT (Virtualization Technology), AMD-V and Hardware DEP (Data Execution Prevention), EM64T, Execute Disable Bit. During installation you will get prompted normally though if you have forgotten to enable these.
  • There are often many options with regards to the installation. By example do a GUI install or a scripted/CLI install. Or install/run from normal harddisk or flash drive. With Server 2012 Hyper-V you can choose to run it in Windows Server 2012 core or in the GUI version. I chose to use the Server 2012 GUI Hyper-V installation because I’m not sure if my raid management software will work from within the core version.
  • Installation of the hypervisor is normally pretty straight forward. But before you install, read the documentation.
  • After you’re done installing, you still need to configure the settings to meet your requirements. Preferrably you’ve already created and documented your own design.
  • Don’t forget to configure hardware monitoring if possible. In my case I’ve configured my raid controller management software to send e-mails when storage related issues are detected.
  • Think about and implement a strategy for backing up and recovering your hypervisor. There are numerous programs for backing up and most are free for personal use. I have no personal experience with specific products, but VeeAm has a good reputation and I’ll be trying if for my lab. Also if you’re a Microsoft Certified Professional, you can get a free NFR license for Veeam Backup & Replication v6.5 for Hyper-V. The same is true if you’re a VMWare Certified Professional (VCP).

In the next post I will describe the VM guest preparations, installations and storage strategy.

 

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