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Chapter 5. Installing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisors

This chapter covers installing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) Hypervisors.
Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization requires a RHEV Manager and one or more RHEV Hypervisors or Red Hat Enterprise Linux hosts. Installing the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager and Red Hat Enterprise Linux hosts is covered by the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers Installation Guide. This chapter covers installing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisors.
RHEV Hypervisors can use Storage Area Networks (SANs) and other network storage for storing virtual machine images. RHEV Hypervisors can be installed on SANs, provided that the Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) can be configured as a boot device in BIOS.
RHEV Hypervisors can use multipath devices for installation. Multipath is often used for SANs or other networked storage. Multipath is enabled by default at install time. Any block device which responds to scsi_id can use multipath. This is most devices, except USB storage and some older ATA disks.


The RHEV Manager must be installed before RHEV Hypervisors are installed. Refer to the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Servers Installation Guide for instructions on installing the RHEV Manager.
There are two methods for installing RHEV Hypervisors:

5.1. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor interactive installation

RHEV Hypervisors must be installed on physical servers, not virtual machines.
The instructions in this section can be used for installing on multiple systems. Always remember to use unique hostnames and IP addresses to avoid networking conflicts.

5.1.1. Booting the Hypervisor for installation

There are several methods for booting Hypervisors, refer to Chapter 4, Preparing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor installation media for detailed instructions on preparing boot media for RHEV Hypervisor installation.

Procedure 5.1. Booting the Hypervisor

  1. Insert the RHEV Hypervisor installation media.
  2. Power on the system and ensure the system boots from the installation media.
  3. Once the RHEV Hypervisor has completed the boot phase, the kernel parameter prompt appears.
    ISOLINUX 3.11 2005-09-02  Copyright (C) 1994-2005 H. Peter Anvin
    This is the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor 5.7-2.2 (4.2)
    - to boot press the <ENTER> key
    or type linux and press the <ENTER> key.
    - Extra kernel command line parameters can be passed following the 
    linux keyword.
    - Boot parameters summary:
    BOOTIF=link|eth*|<MAC>(pxelinux format)
    ip=<client-ip> netmask=<netmask> gateway=<gw-ip>
    Enter any required kernel arguments. For example:
    :linux firstboot


For more information on the kernel parameters, refer to Section 5.2, “RHEV Hypervisor Kernel Parameters and Automated Installation”.


To upgrade an existing hypervisor, you must boot the kernel with the upgrade parameter. This will automatically upgrade and reboot the system, rather than taking you to the interactive configuration menu. For more information, refer to Section 5.2.6, “Other parameters”.


You can append the kernel boot arguments to the PXE configuration file (/pxelinux.cfg/default). This can be used to run an automated setup, covered in Section 5.2, “RHEV Hypervisor Kernel Parameters and Automated Installation”, and may be more useful depending on your environment.

5.1.2. The RHEV Hypervisor Configuration Menu

Once the RHEV Hypervisor boots you will see the Hypervisor Configuration Menu.
The Hypervisor Configuration Menu is an interactive tool for installing Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisors. The Hypervisor Configuration Menu resembles Example 5.1, “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor Configuration Menu”. Throughout this chapter it will be referred to as the main menu.

Example 5.1. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor Configuration Menu

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisor release 5.7-2.2

Hypervisor Configuration Menu

1) Configure storage partitions    6) Configure the host for RHEV
2) Configure authentication        7) View logs
3) Set the hostname                8) Install locally and reboot
4) Networking setup                9) Support Menu
5) Register Host to RHN
Choose an option to configure:

Configuration menu options

Configure storage partitions
Prepares the local storage device for installation. Refer to Section 5.1.4, “Partitioning the disk”.
Configure authentication
Sets the root password for administration and SSH access. Refer to Section 5.1.5, “Set the administrator password”.
Set the hostname
Sets the hostname manually instead of using DHCP. Refer to Section 5.1.6, “Set the hostname”.
Networking setup
Configures network settings and services including: DHCP, IPv4, NTP and DNS. Refer to Section 5.1.7, “Set up Networking”.
Register Host to RHN
Registers the host to the Red Hat Network (RHN). Refer to Section 5.1.8, “Register to RHN”.
Configure the host for RHEV
Enter IP address of the RHEV Manager server. Refer to Section 5.1.9, “Configure the host for RHEV”.
View logs
View log files to debug the installation procedure. Refer to Section 5.1.10, “View logs”.
Install locally and reboot
Install the Hypervisor to the storage device and reboot. Refer to Section 5.1.11, “Installation”.
Support Menu
Contains options for continuing stateless boot and exiting to a shell prompt. This menu is not supported except when working with Red Hat support.

5.1.3. Remove existing RHEV Hypervisor installations

If the Hypervisor was previously installed on the local system, remove the existing installation by selecting the Support Menu option from the main menu, then selecting Uninstall an existing Hypervisor.


On systems that have a RHEV Hypervisor installed and some systems with LVM volumes, the firstboot parameter may be required to trigger the interactive installation. To use the firstboot parameter, append it to other kernel parameters. On a system with an existing RHEV Hypervisor, use the following kernel parameters to activate the interactive installation:
: linux firstboot
For more information on uninstalling previous versions of the RHEV Hypervisor refer to Appendix A, Uninstalling Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Hypervisors from local storage devices.

5.1.4. Partitioning the disk

The partitions used by the RHEV Hypervisor are configured from this menu. For most installations the default partition layout is optimal.


Running this procedure will destroy all data on the local storage device selected with the storage_init parameter.

Procedure 5.2. The Storage Configuration menu

  1. Select the Configure storage partitions option from the main menu to open the Configure storage partitions menu.

    Example 5.2. The Configure storage partitions menu

     Configure storage partitions
    1) Configure
    2) Review
    3) Commit configuration
    4) Return to the Hypervisor Configuration Menu
    Choose an option:
  2. Select storage device

    Select Configure.
    If you have more than one storage device available, you are prompted to select the storage device on which to install the RHEV Hypervisor. If there is only one storage device, skip to Step 3.

    Example 5.3. Select storage device

    /dev/mapper/SServeRA_venh_076A0444 (sda) (69889 MB)
    Disk Identifier: storage_serial_SServeRA_venh_076A0444
    /dev/sdb (15296 MB)
    Disk Identifier: storage_serial_UFD_USB_Flash_Drive_XFHO0KCK69T746WFHAUB
    1) /dev/mapper/SServeRA_venh_076A0444  3) Abort
    2) /dev/sdb                            4) Manual selection
    Select the appropriate storage device from the menu. If the device you wish to use is not shown, select Manual selection. You will then be prompted to enter0 the path to the storage device. The path must be entered exactly; wildcards are not permitted.
  3. Choose partition sizes

    You are prompted to set the size of the boot, swap, root, config, logging and data partitions. The value is accepted in megabytes (MB).
    Setting a size value of -1 sets the partition to take up all remaining disk space. Note that this can only be used with the Data partition.
    Pressing Enter without any value sets the partition to the default size.


    Do not append units onto the end of the partition size values. Using MB or similar unit on the end of a value may have adverse effects. For example, use the value 5 instead of 5MB.
    1. The boot partition contains the boot loader, kernel and initramfs.
      The default and only supported size for the boot partition is 50MB. The size of the boot partition cannot be configured.
    2. The swap partition is used for swapping underused memory to the hard drive to speed up memory performance. The default size of the swap partition is calculated based on the amount of RAM and the overcommit ratio (default is 0.5). RHEV Hypervisors must have a swap partition and the swap partition cannot be disabled by setting its size to 0. The minimum size for the swap partition is 5MB.
      Red Hat Knowledgebase has an article on determining an appropriate size for the swap partition.
      Use the formula from the Red Hat Knowledgebase and add storage for the overcommit ratio (RAM multiplied by the overcommit ratio).
      Recommended swap + (RAM * overcommit) = swap partition size
      Pressing Enter during the installation sequence sets a recommended value for the swap partition.
    3. The root partition contains the core files for the Hypervisor and the LiveOS directory from the installation media. The default total size of the root file system partition is 512MB. This value includes 256MB for one root partition and an additional 256MB for a backup root partition.
      The default and only supported size for the root partition is 256MB. The size of the root partition cannot be configured.
    4. The config partition stores configuration files for the Hypervisor.
      The default and minimum size for the configuration partition is 5MB.
    5. The logging partition stores all logs for the Hypervisor.
      The logging partition is required and the recommended size is 2048MB.
    6. The data partition stores core files and kdump files and acts as temporary storage for ISO files. The default size of the data partition is the remaining available disk space (labeled as -1).
      When ISO files are uploaded using the ISO Uploader tool, they are temporarily stored on the data partition of a RHEV Hypervisor host, before being moved to the shared ISO Library. The data partition must include sufficient space to store these ISO files, which can be over 4GB in size for modern operating systems.
      The data partition must be large enough to hold core files for KVM. Core files depend on the RAM size for the virtual machine. The data partition must also be large enough to store kernel dump files, also known as kdumps. A kdump file is usually the same size as the host's total system RAM. The data partition also stores the RHEV Hypervisor ISO file for RHEV Hypervisor upgrades.
      The data partition must be at least 1.5x as large as the RAM on the host system plus an additional 512MB in size. The minimum size is 256MB.
  4. Review

    Select the Review menu option. The review menu output is similar to the screenshot below:
    The local disk will be repartitioned as follows:
    Physical Hard Disk:           /dev/hdb (10000 MB)
    Disk Identifier:              storage_serial_QM00002
    Boot partition size:          50 MB
    Swap partition size:          2233 MB
    Installation partition size:  256 * 2 MB
    Configuration partition size: 5 MB
    Logging partition size:       2048 MB
    Data partition size:          5152 MB
  5. Select Commit configuration to accept the partitions. The following warning displays:
    !!WARNING!!                                                    !!WARNING!!
    !!WARNING!!                                                    !!WARNING!!
    !!WARNING!! If you proceed, all data on your selected storage  !!WARNING!!
    !!WARNING!! device will be destroyed and your hard disk        !!WARNING!!
    !!WARNING!! will be irreversibly reconfigured.                 !!WARNING!!
    !!WARNING!!                                                    !!WARNING!!
    !!WARNING!!                                                    !!WARNING!!
    Do you wish to proceed([Y]es or [N]o)?
  7. Press Y to proceed and format the partitions.
Partitions are created and file systems are formatted. Once complete, the main menu reappears.

5.1.5. Set the administrator password

Setting a strong and easy to remember administrator password is an essential part of securing your infrastructure.
Setting an administrator password is not required if you do not need SSH remote access. SSH remote access is not supported unless you are instructed to enable it by Red Hat support. In normal usage scenarios you should not need to set a root password.

Procedure 5.3. Set the administrator password

  1. Select Configure authentication from the main configuration menu.

    Example 5.4. The Configure authentication menu

    SSH remote access is currently disabled
    1) Set administrator password
    2) Toggle SSH password authentication
    3) Return to the Hypervisor Configuration Menu
    Choose an option to configure:
  2. Select Set the administrator password.
  3. The password prompt displays.
    Set the system administrator's (root) password:
    New UNIX password:
    Enter the preferred password. You will be prompted to retype the password.
  4. Changing password for user root.
    passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
    storing to /config :
    /etc/shadow File persisted
    This message indicates that the password has been set and saved to local storage.

Procedure 5.4. Optional: Configure SSH password authentication

SSH password authentication is required for accessing RHEV Hypervisors with the SSH protocol. By default, SSH password authentication is disabled. SSH remote access is not supported unless you are instructed to enable it by Red Hat support.
Follow these instructions only if instructed to do so by Red Hat support.
  1. Select Toggle SSH password authentication from the Configure authentication menu.
  2. Enable SSH password authentication ([Y]es or [N]o)?
    Press y to enable SSH password authentication.
  3. If successful, the following message is displayed:
    SSH remote access is currently enabled.
Select Return to the Hypervisor Configuration Menu to continue the installation.

5.1.6. Set the hostname

The Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager requires a fully resolvable hostname for each RHEV Hypervisor. If you are using DHCP and DNS, a hostname can be assigned to the Hypervisor at boot time.
If the DHCP server does not set hostnames, the hostname must be specified manually (with the process below). This hostname must resolve to the assigned IP address located with a DNS lookup request.
  1. Select the Set the hostname option from the main menu.
  2. Enter the hostname in the following format: Where anyname is the individual name for the host on the specified domain.
    What is this Hypervisor's hostname?
    Enter the hostname for the Hypervisor and press Enter.
  3. If the hostname setting procedure is successful, this message is displayed:
    The hostname is set.
You are returned to the Configuration menu.

Procedure 5.5. Resetting hostnames

To reset a hostname:
  1. Open the Set the hostname menu.
  2. The specify a hostname prompt appears:
    What is this Hypervisor's hostname?
    Press the Enter key without typing anything else to reset the hostname.
The hostname is now reset to use DHCP.

5.1.7. Set up Networking

Configure your system's network settings.


For installation purposes only a single network can be configured for access to the RHEV Manger. Once the RHEV Hypervisor is installed, additional network interfaces can be configured with the RHEV Manager user interface.
  1. Select the Networking setup option.
  2. The network devices attached to your system are listed.
  3. Choose an interface or a configuration option:
    Select the network interface which will be used to connect to the RHEV Manager. On systems with one network interface there is only eth0 to choose from.


    Wireless and logical network devices are presently unsupported.
  4. Identifying the interface

    Hypervisors include a tool to assist in physically identifying which network interface was selected.
    Help identify eth0 by blinking the lights 
    for 10 seconds ([Y]es or [N]o)?
    Press y to identify which socket eth0 is. This is useful for systems with multiple network interfaces.
    If assistance is not required, continue by pressing n.
    If the selected network interface does not support this feature, the system will display the following message:
    Blinking is not supported by your network interface.
  5. VLANs

    A prompt will be displayed asking whether to include VLAN support:
    Include VLAN support ([Y]es, [N]o or [A]bort)?
    • If VLAN support is not required, press n.
    • To enable VLAN support, enter y.
      1. What is the VLAN ID for this device (a=abort)
        Enter the VLAN ID number when prompted.
  6. IPv4

    The IPv4 prompt appears.
    Enable IPv4 support ([S]tatic IP, [D]HCP, [N]o or [A]bort)?
    Select DHCP or Static IP depending on your networking environment.
    • Press D to enable IPv4 support with DHCP. It is required to statically map all IP addresses for each RHEV Hypervisor on your DHCP server.
    • Alternatively, assign a static IP address by pressing S. You are then prompted for the IP address, Netmask and gateway.
    Confirm your settings.
    Is this correct ([Y]es, [N]o or [A]bort)?
    If the settings are correct, press Y to continue.
  7. DNS

    Configure DNS if using static network configuration or of your DHCP server is not assigning DNS servers.
    1. Enter the IP address of the first DNS gateway or press Enter to abort.
      Enter the first DNS server (or press the Enter key to exit):
    2. Enter the IP address of the second DNS gateway or press Enter to skip.
      Enter the second DNS server (or press the Enter key to exit):
    3. Confirm your settings.
      Is this correct ([Y]es, [N]o or [A]bort)?
      Press Y if correct to continue.
  8. Network Time Protocol (NTP)

    The Network Time Protocol (NTP) keeps system clocks in time with the rest of the world. NTP is crucial for some host systems with inconsistent clocks, as inaccurate timekeeping prevents Hypervisors from migrating virtual machines.
    1. Enter an NTP server:
      Enter the IP address or hostname of an NTP server, or press Enter to abort.
    2. You will be prompted to enter additional NTP servers. Enter as many as required and press Enter on a blank line to save your selection.
  9. Select Save And Return To Menu to save the configuration.
  10. If the network is configured correctly, the output should be similar to Figure 5.1, “Working network configuration”.
    Working network configuration

    Figure 5.1. Working network configuration

You are now returned to the main menu.

5.1.8. Register to RHN

This procedure registers the host to RHN. Registering the host to RHN allows you to apply Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtualization or virtualization platform entitlements to the Hypervisor host. If you are not using these entitlements, you do not need to register the host to RHN.
  • Select Register Host to RHN from the main menu.
    • To register to the public RHN system, select 1) Register to public RHN
      1. Enter RHN account username:
        Enter your RHN account username.
      2. Enter password for RHN account:
        Enter your RHN account password.
      3. Enter profile name for this system (optional):
        Enter a profile name for this system. This parameter is optional. If a blank profile name is provided, the system hostname will be used by default.
      4. Enter HTTP proxy in host:port format, e.g. (leave blank if not required):
        Enter your HTTP proxy address. This parameter is optional. If a blank proxy address is provided, no proxy server will be used.
    • To register to an RHN Satellite, select 2) Register to RHN Satellite
      1. Enter URL of RHN Satellite (ie.
        Enter your the URL of your RHN Satellite.
      2. Enter location of satellite cert (
        Enter the URL of your satellite certificate, or press enter to select the default URL shown.
      3. Enter RHN account username:
        Enter your RHN account username.
      4. Enter password for RHN account:
        Enter your RHN account password.
      5. Enter profile name for this system (optional):
        Enter a profile name for this system. This parameter is optional. If a blank profile name is provided, the system hostname will be used by default.
      6. Enter HTTP proxy in host:port format, e.g. (leave blank if not required):
        Enter your HTTP proxy address. This parameter is optional. If a blank proxy address is provided, no proxy server will be used.

5.1.9. Configure the host for RHEV

This procedure connects the RHEV Hypervisor to a RHEV Manager.
When specifying the address of the RHEV Manager, use the following format for IP addresses or hostnames.


Ensure that you have configured the local storage and networking correctly before proceeding. If something is not correct change it now because you cannot change it after this point. To change a setting after this point you must repeat the procedure from the beginning.
Ensure that the IP address or host name specified is fully resolvable.

Table 5.1. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager addressing examples

Type Format Example
IP address IP[:port]
Host Name[:port]
  1. Select Configure the host for RHEV from the main menu.
  2. Connecting RHEV Manager

    Once the Configure the host for RHEV menu item is selected the following output displays:
    Enter the RHEV Manager's hostname or IP address.
    Optionally: append a port after the hostname or IP address
    For example, or
    1. Enter the RHEV Manager's hostname or IP address in the specified format.
      If the RHEV Manager port is skipped the setup will use the default port, port 443. However, if a port has previously been assigned, the RHEV Hypervisor uses that port as the default instead. For example, if port 12345 was specified during a previous installation then the default port for future installations is port 12345.


      RHEV Managers use port 443 by default. If you configured another port when installing the RHEV Manager, use it instead. Once another port is specified for the RHEV Hypervisor, that port will be recorded as the new default port.
    2. If the RHEV Manager is successfully located, the following output is displayed:
      The RHEV Manager's address is set.
      The RHEV Manager's port is set.
  3. NetConsole access

    Enter the NetConsole manager's hostname or IP address.
    Optionally: append a port after the hostname or IP address
    For example, or
    If you are unsure, use the RHEV Manager's address, without a port.
    1. Enter the NetConsole server and port. In most cases, this server is the RHEV Manager. The NetConsole port is the NetConsole port number specified during the installation of the RHEV Manager.
    2. If the NetConsole server is successfully found, the following output is displayed before being returned to the configuration menu:
      The NetConsole manager address is set.
      The NetConsole manager port is set.

5.1.10. View logs

Various log files can viewed to assist in debugging the installation procedure. Once a file is selected by its menu option number, it is displayed in full on the screen. You can scroll through the file contents by pressing Shift+Page Up to scroll up and Shift+Page Down to scroll down. The log files available are:
Contains detailed information about the hypervisor installation and configuration procedure.
Contains general messages from the system and core services.
Contains authentication and security messages, including failed login attempts.

5.1.11. Installation

Once all the previous steps are complete, the RHEV Hypervisor can be installed to the local storage device.
Storage, networking and the RHEV Manager must be configured before continuing.
  1. Select Install locally and reboot from the Hypervisor Configuration Menu.
  2. This option exits the menu and requires a reboot.
    Ensure local storage and networking is configured
    correctly on the previous menu before continuing.
    The current kernel boot parameters are
    crashkernel=128M@16M elevator=deadline processor.max_cstate=1
    Enter additional kernel boot parameters (press Enter to use the present arguments):
    Press Enter to continue.
  3. Do you wish to proceed ([Y]es or [N]o)?
    Press Y to continue.
The final installation sequence begins. Once the installation is complete the RHEV Hypervisor will reboot.
After rebooting, the RHEV Hypervisor is installed and integrated with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager for Servers. You should have a new host available in the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Manager interface.


You may need to remove the boot media and change the boot device order to prevent the installation sequence restarting after the system reboots.