Build a Linux based Dev Machine in Azure

My goal in this post is to stand up a Linux VM in Azure with Eclipse connected to VSO that I can RDP into from Windows.  To begin we will need to spin up the VM in Azure.  You can use either the current or preview portal with either classic or resource manager deployment model. If you decide to use the resource manager deployment model be sure and refer to this post on how to enable a FQDN for your VM.  I am going to use an Ubuntu Server 15.04 machine for this post.  During the creation I will open port 3389 which we will need for RDP.

Once the VM is running we are first going to connect to it using Putty to install the required software.  By default your image should already have git installed so we can begin with xrdp and a desktop manager.  To install xrdp so we can RDP into the machine copy and paste these commands into your Putty session. Note whenever prompted type Y and press Enter to continue with the installation.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xrdp

Now we have to install a desktop manager so we have a UI to rdp into.  We are going to install xfce because it works well with xrdp.  To install xfce and start the xrdp session copy and paste these commands into your Putty session.

sudo apt-get install xfce4
sudo service xrdp start

At this point you could start a Remote Desktop Connection and rdp into your machine.  But before we do we are going to install Eclipse and Firefox. Copy and paste the following commands into your Putty session.

sudo apt-get install eclipse
sudo apt-get install libwebkitgtk-1.0-0

The first command will install Eclipse and all the required Java components.  The second command makes sure we can open work items in Eclipse. Finally let’s add Firefox.

sudo apt-get install firefox

Now we can rdp into our new Java development machine using Remote Desktop Connection. 


When prompted by xrdp enter the username and password you used when you created the VM.

You can start all the applications from the terminal but it is much more convenient to use the Panel.

  1. Right click the Panel and select Panel/Add New Items…

  2. Select Launcher and click Add then Close

  3. Right click the newly added area and select Properties

  4. Click the Plus button and search for Eclipse

  5. Select Eclipse and click the Add button then click Close

You can now use the Panel to start Eclipse.  To start Firefox simply click the earth button in the center of the Panel.

Click the Eclipse button on the Panel to start Eclipse. Be patient. The first time you click the button it might take a while before the splash screen is shown.


Select a workspace to start Eclipse.  We are now going to install Team Explorer Everywhere so we can connect to Visual Studio Online.

  1. From the help menu select Install New Software…

  2. Click Add…

    1. Name: TFS Plugin for Eclipse

    2. Location: http://dl.microsoft.com/eclipse/tfs

    3. Click OK

  3. Select Team Explorer Everywhere

  4. Click Next >

  5. Click Next >

  6. Accept the Microsoft Software License Terms

    1. Click Finish

  7. Restart Eclipse when prompted

  8. Close the Welcome page

  9. Select Window / Open Perspective / Other…

  10. Select Team Foundation Server Exploring 

  11. Click OK

  12. Click Connect to Team Foundation Server and follow the instructions to connect

Comments (2) -

  • Hey, Donovan, this is great. Wanna work with me to convert this into formal documentation on azure.com? We'd love to have it.

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