How Easy Is It To Spin Up A Linux VM On Windows Azure?

After watching Mark Russinovich’s presentation about IaaS on Azure from TechEd NorthAmerica 2013 I figured I’d try it out to see if it really is as easy as he makes it seem.

After about an hour or so I can confidently report that it is very easy; I’ve got an OpenSuse 12.3 linux VM running with 28Gigs of space to play around with! This is a stock image from the gallery. I went with OpenSuse because I used to run that distro several years back. And because there wasn’t a debian image in the gallery :)

logged into vm

Setting up the VM itself is trivially easy in the new azure portal. It’s a wizard with 5 steps. Most of the time setting this up was spent creating an SSH certificate and configuring a client terminal program (PuTTY).

The portal wizard has a link to instructions for creating the cert and importing it though I deviated a bit when setting up PuTTY. Instead of using PuTTYgen to import the cert created via openssl.exe (windows build of openSSL) I just opened up an SSH session to the linux VM and instructed PuTTY to accept the site’s cert.

first vm being provisioned

BitLocker Turning Off the Startup PIN for Workstations

So your desktop/workstation is using BitLocker encryption. The machine itself has a TPM (this has to be built in, can’t be added later).

But it somehow keeps asking you to type a PIN every time you reboot the machine. This is extremely inconvenient if you frequently reboot and frequently access your machine remotely. To turn it off:

1. Open an admin command prompt and type the following:

manage-bde –status

Look under the “Key Protectors” list. It probably says TPMAndPin. You want that to just say TPM. To change it:

manage-bde –protectors –add c: –tpm

Replace c: with your system drive if it isn’t c:.

Internet Explorer 64-bit: What is it good for?

About the only use I get out of 64-bit mode Internet Explorer is opening and searching large documents. Like the 30 megs of spew emitted by static code analyzers. Searching in 64-bit mode is so much faster that it’s worth the WinKey + “ie 64” (without the quotes) key combo that it takes to start it.