Virtualization (Xen) with RHEL Workstation subscription

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I have a RHEL Workstation subscription, currently running RHEL5.10. I have been using Parallels Workstation Extreme to run a Win7 Virtual Machine, but since Parallels has stopped offering/supporting it, have been looking into other VM options. It looks like Xen might be a good option to replace Parallels, but I have been having trouble figuring out whether I can use Xen that RHEL provides with my Workstation subscription. Can anyone help? If it is available with the Workstation subscription, what do I need to do? I've checked yum and can't find the Xen packages. Thanks!


Hi Lee,

Try the free version of virtualization called "KVM", aka "kernel virtualization machine"
- KVM comes with your RHEL Operating System, but you must add some rpms through 'yum'
- I believe KVM is 64-bit and XEN is 32-bit.
- I've seen on some systems where virtualization must be enabled within a system's BIOS. Typically not hard to find.
- I leave SELinux on with KVM (and as much as possible). See this source for general install (more sources next paragraph) and SElinux relabling if you use a separate drive for the images.

Here's some initial documentation
- Red Hat documentation on kvm, pdf format.
- (this is a pdf from Dell) on using KVM virtualization on an existing system.
- Also see this source

I've loaded many current operating systems, Linux, UNIX and including m-soft under KVM.

Try this set of rpms (from the guide above).

yum groupinstall "Virtualization*"

or if needed... (the bit below is long, scroll to right)

yum install kvm python-virtinst libvirt libvirt-pyton virt-manager virt-viewer libguestfs-tools qemu qemu-kvm qemu-img

I use KVM (not in production), but on a couple of workstations and I place the kvm images on a separate drive so the primary OS drive is not nagged by the running virtualized images.

Kind Regards,

I tried 'yum install kvm' but get 'Error: No matching Packages to list' (same thing for 'yum install xen'). Maybe I don't have the right subscription or entitlements setup? Are KVM and/or Xen included with a 'base' RHEL Workstation subscription or do I need a RHEL Server or a separate Virtualization subscription? Or do I need RHEL 6?

Hi Lee, yes those rpms come with standard RHEL.
- have you registered your system to Red Hat?
- Also verify your network connection works (pings work, or you can reach google with a web browser).
- If for some reason you really can't have a network, you can create a local yum repository, however, it would be better to register the system to Red Hat and then your yum repositories should be available for the rpms you need.
- Try this Red Hat article on registering your system


I posted instructions for rhel 6 and kvm. Sorry, I thought you were using rhel 6 and I should have addressed your initial description...

You can use KVM with rhel 5, see this link.

The Red Hat repos should be available after you register your system...

Lee, after you register and you have your yum repositories available, do a 'yum update' to update your system.

Lee, check in the middle of the replies above for the rhel 5 kvm instructions also here. Sorry, I missed that you are using rhel 5.10. kvm works fine under rhel 5.10. Check the registration info link I posted

The system is registered and network connected, I am able to install other packages with yum. I am using RHN Classic rather than the newer Subscription Management system, does that matter?

BTW, thanks for all your suggestions on this, Remmele!

Hi Lee,

Glad to help - I'd ignore the bit about "RHN Classic".

Good luck with KVM - if you need help - post back here in the discussion area and I believe someone will help

RHN Classic should be fine - make sure you're subscribed to the correct channels and yum install the appropriate KVM packages. You're running Windows VM so you'll also want the latest virtio-win package with all the paravirtualized drivers for NIC and storage. Don't mess around with Xen. Xen went away after RHEL 5. For what it's worth, I have more than one site running production Windows servers in a RHEL/KVM environment. So the stuff works.

Also, if feasible, go to the latest RHEL 6 if you can.

  • Greg

Lee, Greg makes great points above, and I'd certainly agree about going to RHEL 6 if you can

Issue resolved - stupid miss on my part. I found that the system wasn't subscribed to the channel 'RHEL Desktop Multi OS' which is where the Xen / KVM packages are. I looked at least 3 times and missed it in the list of channel options...

Pobody's Nerfect