Sometimes you want a throw away server or perhaps even a bunch of throw away servers. Instead of using an actual machine or spending money on machines at cloud providers, you will probably tinker with virtual machines. A perfectly free solution is VirtualBox, now an Oracle product. If I need to practice installs or even orchestrating an update of a full cluster, I will create new clones of my template Ubuntu 32-bit server and I’m ready to experiment.
My preference is not to bother others and avoid being bothered by them. Which is why I prefer to configure my boxes with two interfaces. One is only accessible from my laptop, the other uses NAT so I can update or download straight from LAN or the internet. The reason why I decided on two interfaces is that I can easily switch off the NAT one and have a static IP to communicate with the virtual machine. Continue reading