Turtorial: CentOS 4.4 with VMware – virtual machine host in 5 steps 1

Ever wanted to put together a VMware virtual machine host without using windows, but were too intimidated? If you�re like me, you like the idea of using a low overhead OS on your host boxes to maximize the resources available for your virtual machines.
Unfortunately, up until now any *nix system install had a bit of a learning curve that required hours of using the Google.
Having spent the day yesterday trying to minimize time spent loading host machines so I could get to work with my virtual machines, I put together this how to / tutorial so that others could benefit from the ease of which this system is setup.

Read on to see how easy it really is!

1) Download the CentOS 4.4 ISO from centos.org and burn it to a cd. I chose the 1 cd minimal image and not the 4 cd/dvd ISO.
Install, configure the network, and the host OS is basically ready to go. The defaults for everything seem to work ok for me, and probably will work on your system as well. Now use yum to make sure all your OS base packages are up to dateyum update2) Use yum to get the lynx text browser so we can go out and grab the VMware tarball.
yum install lynx3) Install one of the VMware dependencies, gcc
yum install gcc4) Time to grab VMware server�
lynx http://download3.vmware.com/software/vmserver/VMware-server-1.0.2-39867.tar.gzOnce you download the VMware tarball you’re really down to business…
I created a temporary location in my home directory and worked from there, but obviously you can proceed however you wish.
gzip �d Vmware-server-1.0.2-39867.tar.gz
tar �xvf Vmware-server-1.0.2-39867.tar
The files get uncompressed to vmware-server-distrib/, so
cd vmware-server-distribNow its time to run through the VMware install script
./vmware-install.plAll the default options should be fine, just make sure to setup a default virtual machine folder location. I used /var/vMachines

5) VMware server is now installed and running. At this point if you�re like me you�ll probably do most of your virtual machine management remotely, so you�ll have to configure the CentOS firewall to allow remote console requests through.
The easiest way to configure the firewall is to use the gui in /etc/sysconfig
cd /etc/sysconfig
Hit the customize button, select the NIC you are working with (on a single NIC system this should be easy with the choice of 1), and select the list of common services you need open (make sure to keep ssh if you want to be able to remote in). In the “other ports” blank, type in 902 as this is the port the VMware Server listens on by default.

There you have it. Obviously there are further tweaks and such that can be done to boost performance and lock the machine down, but that’s outside the scope of what I was trying to put together here.

One comment on “Turtorial: CentOS 4.4 with VMware – virtual machine host in 5 steps

  1. Reply kfloyd Mar 23,2007 4:02 pm

    Nice man, this tutorial is awesome. Thanks for putting it up buddy. It works perfectly as described here and I have a centOS server now with Windows boxes running on it – as close as we can get to the pay version of VMWare! Thanks again.

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