Playing with Alpine VM
Let’s say you need to play/learn virtualization on linux but you are system has pretty low specs then what would you do ? we would use a low foot print linux distro, I choosed Alpine
Before we start, we need to download the alpine iso, Alpine offers wide variety of iso. you can download the iso from
- https://alpinelinux.org/downloads/ I choose virtual(x86_64) and it is only 50MB (Mind Blown).
Okay let’s boot up Virtual Box and Create a new VM Type : Linux Version: Other Linux(64 Bit) no other special option, just go with default option.
Before booting the server, let’s set the networking.
- We need to forward the SSH port to Host so that we can connect to SSH using NAT.
- Right click the VM and choose the settigs.
- Navigate to the Network tab.
- Click the Advanced and Tap the Port Forwarding button
- Add new Rule
- Name: SSH
- Protocol: TCP
- Host Protocol: 2200
- Guest Protocol: 22
- Add another Rule
- Name: Test
- Protocol: TCP
- Host Protocol: 4444
- Guest Protocol: 4444
- Just leave the host and guest IP address as blank.
- Start the VM
- When asked for username enter root
Setting up network
- By default all the network interface are down
- You can check the network interface using
- To up the network interface
ifconfig lo up ifconfig eth0 up
- Get IP address automatically
vi /etc/network/interfaces iface eth0 inet dhcp
- up the eth0
- Now check if you have ip address in eth0.
Checking network connection
- To check Host and Guest network connection works properly.
- We will use a tool called
- In Alpine enter
nc -l -p 4444
- In Host system enter
nc localhost 4444
- if you type in guest/host, the text will appear in other system.
- If that happens then network connection is configured properly.
Setting up SSH Server
- Install openssh server in alpine
apk add openssh
- Enable the sshd service so that its starts at boot
rc-update add sshd
- List services using
- To check the sshd is enabled or not.
- Before we start let us disable the password authentication for SSH.
- Search for the following string and remove # before and set yes to no.
- Start sshd service
SSH Connection between Guest and Host
- In Host system we need to run
- Will use default file name and no passpharse
- This will create a id_rsa and id_rsa.pub file
- We need to copy the file id_rsa.pub to the Alpine VM
- We can use the nc.
nc -l -p 4444 > ~/.ssh/authorized_keys # On VM nc localhost 4444 < ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub # On Host
- After few seconds we can cut the connection using Ctrl+c.
- Ensure the permission of the ssh related files and folder
chmod 700 ~/.ssh chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
- Restart the SSH server
- Connect from Host
ssh -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub root@localhost -p 2200
- Voila you logged into Alpine VM from Host system.
The VM is created for demo purpose if you are using it for real projects, read below heading
Do’s and Don’t
- Use passpharse when generating ssh-keygen.
- Use ssh-copy-id instead of nc
ssh-copy-id -i path/to/certificate -p port username@remote_host
In next article we can look into how to communicate between two Alpine VM.