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We have a Hyper-V Windows Server 2k3, and we're hosting multiple VMs on it. However, right now, we always start the VM creation right on the server, i.e. when preparing a new Ubuntu image, I just install it into a new VM and set it up and when I'm happy we store the disk image. I wonder if there is a way to prepare a hyper-v image locally on my desktop machine instead? I'm running Windows 7, and I would love to be able to set up a VM so that we can copy the image over to the server and be done with it. This is for linux images only, and we definitely need the hyperv network integration. Is there a recommended way how to prepare hyperv images without running a hyperv instance somewhere?

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Use a config management system. Then you can easily bootstrap and configure nodes in whatever virtualization environment you want. Or on bare metal if you will. –  EEAA Apr 6 '12 at 21:19
    
What config management system do you have in mind? And how would you migrate an image between for instance VirtualBox and hyper-v and KVM? –  Anteru Apr 6 '12 at 21:23
    
Isn't what you're trying to accomplish really just moving the work from the server to a workstation, which leads me to ask: What's the difference? –  joeqwerty Apr 7 '12 at 0:32

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If you actually need to run the Ubuntu guest VM to configure it, you'd have to install Windows Server on your workstation. (Or wait for Windows 8, which includes Hyper-V in client installations.)

If you have a Windows guest, you could use imageex.exe and dism.exe to prep the image off-line without running it. Perhaps there are similar tools for manipulating Ubuntu.

Or you could use some other client virtualization package and then attempt to migrate it to Hyper-V after running it in some other environment. Virtual PC is probably the closest environment to Hyper-V that's intended to run on top of Windows 7, though it only supports a single 32-bit virtual processor. You might have success with Virtual Box or VMware, too.

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