Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Setup A Virtual BigIP Instance Using VirtualBox

I am currently working on setting up the configuration of our BigIP pool from source control.  I needed a way to test against the device without ruining our current systems.  F5 has a downloadable virtual image you can use for this purpose.  Below are the steps I stumbled through to get to the point where I could "start" my actual work.

  1. Go grab a copy of the Virtual BigIP image.  The website is horrible, and the emails it sends out takes a while.  It took me about 3 days of waiting before I could download the image.
  2. Since I run VirtualBox, I converted the image from VMWare using the qemu utility.  A few quick commands:
    sudo apt-get install qemu
    qemu-img convert BIGIP- BIGIP-
    VBoxManage convertdd BIGIP- BIGIP-
  3. Now it was easy to setup a new VirtualBox Machine.  For the type, I used Other, and version Other/Unknown.  1gb of ram, and pointed the disk to the above .vdi.
  4. I booted the machine up and logged in as "root" and used the password "default".
  5. Run ifconfig and find the ipaddress for the eth0:mgmt device.
  6. Go to your favorite web browser, and connect to the ipaddress using https.
  7. Logon using "admin" with the password "admin", and you are in!
I hope this helps someone, the documentation out there is pretty sparse, especially for developer types like me.  I'll probably be using the icontrol ruby gem so that both Windows and Linux machines can interface with it.  There are some handy PowerShell cmdlets that should work under Windows only.

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