Making a django development image for VMWare

I’ve completely a nice django development image, and when I compressed the whole kit down into a zip file, it still rolls out at 1.2Gb. I’m working with Jacob to get it hosted via BitTorrent. You know, it’s actually a little scary thinking about putting a 1.2Gb file up somewhere for folks to download – I can just imagine this terrible bandwidth bill from it… made even worse if your hosting provider is actually connected as good as they all say they are.

So in the interest of sharing, I figured I’d post the “recipe” I used.

First thing I started with: VMWare Server. (It is free, but requires registration). Then I snagged the ISO images for Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake). TO get them yourselves, head to the download page, pick a mirror, and grab an ISO (I snagged ubuntu-6.06-desktop-i386.iso.torrent).

Fire up VMWare server, make a new machine, and set the “CD” to the ISO image. From there, it’s really darned easy to get yourself a quick desktop (turns out the install ISO is actually a liveCD too, so you can get a quick feel for the desktop…).

Once you’ve got a machine made, the work starts. First thing I did was get the updates. You can do it through the UI, but I just went straight to the shell for most of this:

sudo bash

apt-get updates

apt-get dist-upgrade

apt-get install ssh subversion

To install the VMware Tools, you need a compiler and the linux headers. From the updated system (after a reboot), I ran “uname -r” to see what version I had, and then I went and installed those headers…

apt-get gcc make linux-headers-2.6.15-26-386

From there, you can choose to install the VMWare tools from a menu in VMWare server, which drops a virtual DVD onto the desktop. I copied the file VMWareTools-1.0.0-28343.tar.gz to the desktop.

cd ~/Desktop

tar xvzf VMWareTools-1.0.0-28343.tar.gz

cd vmware-tools-distrib


cd ~

rm -rf vmware-tools

Onto the infrastructure bits:

apt-get install apache2 sqlite3 sqlite3-doc python-pysqlite1.1 python-mysqldb mysql-server mysql-client python-docutils py-mysql python-psycopg postgresql-doc-8.1 postgresql-8.1

And finally – the Django bits themselves…

Download the tarball: Django-0.95.tar.gz

cd ~/Desktop

tar xvzf Django-0.95.tar.gz

cd Django-0.95

python install

The last bit – I did with the UI. I like Stani’s Python Editor fairly well, so I installed it too. With Ubuntu, it was pretty darn easy:

Choose Applications… -> Add/Remove…

A dialog box opens and loads up everything it knows about. I check the “Show unsupported applications” checkbox, and select the subject “Programming”. Scroll down the list until I find SPE (version 0.8.2a+repack-0.1 as of this writing), hit the checkbox, and click OK. Away it goes. And year – it takes a while.
That’s it – the recipe. Nothing’s configured, but all the components are in place.

Published by heckj

Joe has broad software engineering development and management experience, from startups to large companies. Joe works on projects ranging from mobile to multi-cloud distributed systems, has set up and led engineering teams and processes, as well as managing and running services. Joe also contributes and collaborates with a wide variety of open source projects, and writes online at

2 thoughts on “Making a django development image for VMWare

  1. No, I’m sorry – I never did. At this point, following the basic recipe above is probably far more efficient. The image was nearly 1GB, and I didn’t have a place where I could afford a bandwidth hit for that.


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