KVM virt-manager: Install CentOS As Guest Operating System

Now, you have installed the KVM software and required drivers on the host operating systems. You also configured bridged based networking which will provide direct access to the Internet. It is time to create your first guest operating systems. For demonstration purpose you will install CentOS Linux v5.5 using the Internet using virt-manager GUI tool.

The virt-manager is the easiest way to install guest operating system using CDROM or Internet. It is a a desktop tool for managing virtual machines. It provides the ability to control the lifecycle of existing machines (bootup/shutdown,pause/resume,suspend/restore), provision new virtual machines, manage virtual networks, access the graphical console of virtual machines, and view performance statistics. You need to use this tool locally or remotely over the ssh session.

Step # 1: Download CentOS Linux Network Installation CD

Visit the official website and grab CentOS network installation disk and store it in /opt or /tmp directory. The wget command can be used to download an ISO file quickly:
# cd /tmp
# wget http://mirrors.hns.net.in/centos/5.5/isos/x86_64/CentOS-5.5-x86_64-netinstall.iso

Step #2: Creating CentOS Linux Guests With virt-manager

Type the following command at local server
# virt-manager
OR run virt-manager remotely over the ssh session, enter:
# ssh -X -C [email protected]
# virt-manager

Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Creating A Virtualized Guest With virt-manager GUI Tool

Next, click the New button to create a new guest and just follow on screen instructions. The following is the wizard based installation procedure:

Fig.02: New guest wizard to install CentOS Linux
Fig.03: Name the KVM virtual machine
Fig.04: Define virtualization method (full virtualization due to Intel VT)
Fig.05: Define installation method (CDROM/Network/HTTP/NFS etc)
Fig.06: Local media installation via CDROM or ISO image
Fig.07: KVM Storage setup (network iscsi/nfs must be mounted or local or block disk)
Fig.08: KVM Set Virtual network (NAT) or Shared physical device (bridge br0 or br1)
Fig.09: KVM Guest VM Memory and CPU Allocation Setup
Fig.10: KVM VM setup done and you can start guest installation

Within minutes you will see a vnc window and with guest operating system installation process as follows:

Fig.11: KVM – guest operating system installation procedures started using vnc

Now, just follow on screen installation instructions and install CentOS as per your requirements. The above procedure can be repeated for MS-Windows, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and all other supported guest operating systems.

This entry is 3 of 14 in the CentOS / Redhat (RHEL) KVM Virtulization series. Keep reading the rest of the series:

  1. CentOS / Redhat: Install KVM Virtualization Software
  2. CentOS / Redhat: KVM Bridged Network Configuration
  3. KVM virt-manager: Install CentOS As Guest Operating System
  4. KVM virt-install: Install FreeBSD / CentOS As Guest Operating System
  5. KVM: Install CentOS / RHEL Using Kickstart File (Automated Installation)
  6. Troubleshooting KVM Virtualization Problem With Log Files
  7. KVM Virsh: Redirect FreeBSD Console To A Serial Port
  8. KVM: Starting / Stopping Guest Operating Systems With virsh Command
  9. Linux KVM: Disable virbr0 NAT Interface
  10. FreeBSD / OpeBSD Running in KVM Does Not Accept FTP Traffic
  11. KVM: Start a Virtual Machine / Guest At Boot Time
  12. KVM virt-install: Install OpenBSD As Guest Operating System
  13. Linux KVM: OpenBSD Guest Hangs At Starting tty Flags
  14. KVM Virtualization: Start VNC Remote Access For Guest Operating Systems

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.