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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta (RHEL 6) in Workstation

The RHEL 6 Beta is now available from RedHat ( ftp://ftp.redhat.com/redhat/rhel/beta/6.0/ ) of course we immediately downloaded it to give it a try!   It works reasonably well in the Workstation 7.1 beta but we would appreciate your help in thoroughly testing this.  (See the previous post below if you aren't running the beta already!)

Here a few tips to help you get up and running quickly:

1.  Create a new Virtual Machine using Easy Install.  Point to the .iso file that you have downloaded – you will  see a warning that this operating system could not be detected (we will fix this shortly).  Press next and select Guest Operating System: Linux - Version: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 64-bit (assuming that you are installing the x86_64 version of RHEL).

2.  You can press next repeatedly in the new VM wizard and take the rest of the defaults, although you may want to increase the size of the Virtual Disk you are using, depending on your application plans.

3.  When the VM boots it display the following Welcome Screen.   Choose to Install or Upgrade an existing system.


The next set of screens prompt you to choose your language, keyboard type and installation method (Choose "Local CD/DVD").  

4.  The fourth installation screen offers to test the media.   YOU MUST SKIP THIS STEP! After testing the media, I was unable to continue, so I recommend that you skip this and if it fails to install, download another copy and manually compare the MD5.


Disc Found 
5.  The next set of screens help you configure your preferences and include a warning about running pre-released software that is not intended for production use!  No problemo…. What better environment to test a new OS than in a virtual machine?  Go ahead and "Install Anyway".

6. Choose Basic Storage Devices, and press Next and you will see another warning.   Go ahead and select "Re-initialize all".   Once again, you're glad to be running this OS in a VM aren't you!

7. Pick your locale, set your root password, when prompted to choose the kind of installation you would like, select "Use All Space" and press "Write changes to disk".


8.  IMPORTANT!!!  The default installation of RHEL does not include GCC, Make or the header files necessary to compile and  install VMware Tools.  Therefore you must choose to install the Software Development Workstation software set.    You could choose the desktop and manually install the neccessary components or attempt to install via the Add/Remove Software UI in the OS, but the Red Hat servers have been very busy and sometimes overloaded.  Therefore, I strongly recommend using the Software Development Workstation option.


9.  Press next, watch the progress bar zip by………………… and you are almost done!!!


10.  Install VMware Tools.    After the installation is complete and you have logged into the guest, I had difficulty mounting the VMware Tools .iso and using "Install VMware Tools" from the Workstation menu didn't quite work.   I had to first unmount the existing disk (containing the RHEL installation .iso).   Manually change VM settings to map the CD/DVD to the Linux.iso (provided with Workstation) and remount the disk.   After this step, I was able to untar the VMware Tools file and run the vmware-install.pl script and finish with a reboot.


We have found a couple of issues including resizing the screen resulted in the background image being tiled (instead of scaled)  – which was easy to fix by changing the background image.   I also dragged a file from the guest to the host and then back to the guest and ultimately needed to reboot the guest…..


We will work on fixing these issues and others that we uncover.  If you find other issues please post your feedback in the Beta forums   http://communities.vmware.com/community/beta/ws?view=discussions.

Thank you!