If your business has grown to the point of needing a data center, chances are you also need a Human Resource Management (HRM) tool. These two ideas come together brilliantly, thanks to the OrangeHRM virtual appliance, brought to us by the good people of TurnKey Linux. With this virtual machine, you can have an outstanding HRM solution up and running in less than five minutes–without even bothering with an OS installation. Let’s get to work.

What you’ll need

Download the VM (it will be an .ova file) to your machine and fire up VirtualBox.

SEE: Virtualization Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Importing the virtual machine

Instead of creating a new virtual machine, we’re going to simply import the pre-existing VM built by TurnKey Linux. To import an appliance, you open VirtualBox and then click File | Import Appliance. In the resulting window (Figure A), either type in the direct path to the .ova file or click the file manager button and locate the OrangeHRM file.

Figure A

Importing the OrangeHRM virtual appliance into VirtualBox.

Click the Next button, double check that everything looks good, and then Click Import.

Configuring the virtual appliance

Before you start up the appliance, you’ll want to do a couple of quick tweaks.

Select the TURNKEY ORANGEHRM appliance in the left pane and then click the Settings button. In the Settings window, click System and then up the RAM (it will default to 512 MB) to suit your needs. Make sure to give the appliance enough RAM to run sufficiently (I suggest no less than 1 GB) but still allow the host platform to continue performing. Once you’ve upped the RAM, click Network and switch the Attached to option to Bridged Adapter (if you don’t make this switch, you won’t be able to reach your virtual appliance from your network).

I also recommend disabling audio, as it’s not necessary and can cause problems with your host audio. To do that, click Audio and then uncheck the box for Enable Audio.

After making those tweaks, click OK, select TURNKEY ORANGEHRM, and then click Start. During the boot process, you’ll be asked to enter a password for the root account, the MySQL root account, and the OrangeHRM admin account. Enter and verify these passwords and then select Skip to bypass the initialization of the TurnKey Hub services, unless you’d prefer to make use of TurnKey Linux Backup and Migration. This service will assist in migrating data from appliance to appliance. I’ve yet to use it, but some might find it handy.

Whether you skip using the service or not, the last interactive screen you’ll see asks if you want to install the latest security updates (Figure B). Tab down to Install and hit the Enter key on your keyboard and the updates will run.

Figure B

Running the updates should be considered a must.

When the updates complete, they’ll most likely require a reboot. Tab to Reboot and hit the Enter key on your keyboard to reboot the appliance. When the reboot completes, you’ll be presented with a screen displaying the IP address necessary to reach OrangeHRM (Figure C).

Figure C

Point your browser to the https address, and you’re ready to go.

Log in with the user admin and the password you set up during initialization of the virtual appliance. You’re ready to start using OrangeHRM as your HRM solution.

How simple was that?