Installing VMware Server on CentOS (in text mode)

Filed under Open Source, Server

VMware, Microsoft and Sun all provide free hosted virtualisation products. “Hosted” require virtualization software to be installed onto an underlying operating system like Windows or Linux.

This post demonstrates the basic concepts of virtualization, we have chosen to install VMware server on minimum installation of Linux (CentOS). This solution provides a reduced host O/S overhead, this will allow more disk and memory resources to be allocated for our virtual machines.

VMware recommends that Server should only host between two and four virtual servers. This provides a more than adequate solution for small and medium business looking to consolidate their server infrastructure.
CentOS is a Linux distribution that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Before contining, you will need to download CentOS ISOs, which is available as a free down from:

To install CentOS 5 in text mode, type linux text at the command line and press enter.

linux text

Use the tab and enter keys to navigate around the wizard.
Install the following packages:

  • Base
  • Developement Libraries
  • Developement Tools
  • Server Configuration Tools

Remember to make a note of root’s password.

After the installation is complete and the server has rebooted, log on as root and update the server using the following commands:

yum list updates
yum update

Install the xinetd package using the following command:

yum install xinetd

Check the kernel version, type the following command and make a note of the version:

uname –r

The output will look similar to this

Check that the installed kernel –devel package corresponds to your current kernel version.

yum list installed kernel-devel*

Using a computer with an Internet connection, download the Linux version of VMware server 2 from:

Burn downloaded .tar.gz file to CD.

Create a CD mount point:

cd mnt
mkdir cdrom

Insert the CD and mount it using the following command

mount /dev/hdc /mnt/cdrom

Unzip the file on server the CD to the tmp directory. Then un-mount the CD.

cd /tmp
tar zxf /mnt/cdrom/VMware-console-<version>.tar.gz
umount /mnt/cdrom

Run the installation script.

cd vmware-console-distrib

Accept the defaults.

Enable the firewall and disable SELinux.


Add exceptions for the following ports by using the Customize button:

  • 902:tcp
  • 8222:tcp
  • 8333:tcp

Choose OK, and OK again.

Restart the server:

Shutdown –r now

You can now connect to your VMware server using a web browser, replace <server> with the hostname or IP address of your server.



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