Chapter 3. Creating virtual machines

To create a virtual machine (VM) in RHEL 9, use the command-line interface or the RHEL 9 web console.

3.1. Creating virtual machines by using the command-line interface

To create a virtual machine (VM) on your RHEL 9 host by using the virt-install utility, follow the instructions below.

Prerequisites

  • Virtualization is enabled on your host system.
  • You have a sufficient amount of system resources to allocate to your VMs, such as disk space, RAM, or CPUs. The recommended values may vary significantly depending on the intended tasks and workload of the VMs.
  • An operating system (OS) installation source is available locally or on a network. This can be one of the following:

    • An ISO image of an installation medium
    • A disk image of an existing VM installation

      Warning

      Installing from a host CD-ROM or DVD-ROM device is not possible in RHEL 9. If you select a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM as the installation source when using any VM installation method available in RHEL 9, the installation will fail. For more information, see the Red Hat Knowledgebase.

      Also note that Red Hat provides support only for a limited set of guest operating systems.

  • Optional: A Kickstart file can be provided for faster and easier configuration of the installation.

Procedure

To create a VM and start its OS installation, use the virt-install command, along with the following mandatory arguments:

  • --name: the name of the new machine
  • --memory: the amount of allocated memory
  • --vcpus: the number of allocated virtual CPUs
  • --disk: the type and size of the allocated storage
  • --cdrom or --location: the type and location of the OS installation source

Based on the chosen installation method, the necessary options and values can vary. See the commands below for examples:

  • The following command creates a VM named demo-guest1 that installs the Windows 10 OS from an ISO image locally stored in the /home/username/Downloads/Win10install.iso file. This VM is also allocated with 2048 MiB of RAM and 2 vCPUs, and an 80 GiB qcow2 virtual disk is automatically configured for the VM.

    # virt-install \
        --name demo-guest1 --memory 2048 \
        --vcpus 2 --disk size=80 --os-variant win10 \
        --cdrom /home/username/Downloads/Win10install.iso
  • The following command creates a VM named demo-guest2 that uses the /home/username/Downloads/rhel9.iso image to run a RHEL 9 OS from a live CD. No disk space is assigned to this VM, so changes made during the session will not be preserved. In addition, the VM is allocated with 4096 MiB of RAM and 4 vCPUs.

    # virt-install \
        --name demo-guest2 --memory 4096 --vcpus 4 \
        --disk none --livecd --os-variant rhel9.0 \
        --cdrom /home/username/Downloads/rhel9.iso
  • The following command creates a RHEL 9 VM named demo-guest3 that connects to an existing disk image, /home/username/backup/disk.qcow2. This is similar to physically moving a hard drive between machines, so the OS and data available to demo-guest3 are determined by how the image was handled previously. In addition, this VM is allocated with 2048 MiB of RAM and 2 vCPUs.

    # virt-install \
        --name demo-guest3 --memory 2048 --vcpus 2 \
        --os-variant rhel9.0 --import \
        --disk /home/username/backup/disk.qcow2

    Note that the --os-variant option is highly recommended when importing a disk image. If it is not provided, the performance of the created VM will be negatively affected.

  • The following command creates a VM named demo-guest4 that installs from the http://example.com/OS-install URL. For the installation to start successfully, the URL must contain a working OS installation tree. In addition, the OS is automatically configured by using the /home/username/ks.cfg kickstart file. This VM is also allocated with 2048 MiB of RAM, 2 vCPUs, and a 160 GiB qcow2 virtual disk.

    # virt-install \
        --name demo-guest4 --memory 2048 --vcpus 2 --disk size=160 \
        --os-variant rhel9.0 --location http://example.com/OS-install \
        --initrd-inject /home/username/ks.cfg --extra-args="inst.ks=file:/ks.cfg console=tty0 console=ttyS0,115200n8"

    In addition, if you want to host demo-guest4 on an RHEL 9 on an ARM 64 host, include the following lines to ensure that the kickstart file installs the kernel-64k package:

    %packages
    -kernel
    kernel-64k
    %end
  • The following command creates a VM named demo-guest5 that installs from a RHEL9.iso image file in text-only mode, without graphics. It connects the guest console to the serial console. The VM has 16384 MiB of memory, 16 vCPUs, and 280 GiB disk. This kind of installation is useful when connecting to a host over a slow network link.

    # virt-install \
        --name demo-guest5 --memory 16384 --vcpus 16 --disk size=280 \
        --os-variant rhel9.0 --location RHEL9.iso \
        --graphics none --extra-args='console=ttyS0'
  • The following command creates a VM named demo-guest6, which has the same configuration as demo-guest5, but resides on the 192.0.2.1 remote host.

    # virt-install \
        --connect qemu+ssh://root@192.0.2.1/system --name demo-guest6 --memory 16384 \
        --vcpus 16 --disk size=280 --os-variant rhel9.0 --location RHEL9.iso \
        --graphics none --extra-args='console=ttyS0'
  • The following command creates a VM named demo-guest-7, which has the same configuration as demo-guest5, but for its storage, it uses a DASD mediated device mdev_30820a6f_b1a5_4503_91ca_0c10ba12345a_0_0_29a8, and assigns it device number 1111.

    # virt-install \
        --name demo-guest7 --memory 16384 --vcpus 16 --disk size=280 \
        --os-variant rhel9.0 --location RHEL9.iso --graphics none \
        --disk none --hostdev mdev_30820a6f_b1a5_4503_91ca_0c10ba12345a_0_0_29a8,address.type=ccw,address.cssid=0xfe,address.ssid=0x0,address.devno=0x1111,boot-order=1 \
        --extra-args 'rd.dasd=0.0.1111'

    Note that the name of the mediated device available for installation can be retrieved by using the virsh nodedev-list --cap mdev command.

Verification

  • If the VM is created successfully, a virt-viewer window opens with a graphical console of the VM and starts the guest OS installation.

Troubleshooting

  • If virt-install fails with a cannot find default network error:

    • Ensure that the libvirt-daemon-config-network package is installed:

      # {PackageManagerCommand} info libvirt-daemon-config-network
      Installed Packages
      Name         : libvirt-daemon-config-network
      [...]
    • Verify that the libvirt default network is active and configured to start automatically:

      # virsh net-list --all
       Name      State    Autostart   Persistent
      --------------------------------------------
       default   active   yes         yes
    • If it is not, activate the default network and set it to auto-start:

      # virsh net-autostart default
      Network default marked as autostarted
      
      # virsh net-start default
      Network default started
      • If activating the default network fails with the following error, the libvirt-daemon-config-network package has not been installed correctly.

        error: failed to get network 'default'
        error: Network not found: no network with matching name 'default'

        To fix this, re-install libvirt-daemon-config-network:

        # {PackageManagerCommand} reinstall libvirt-daemon-config-network
      • If activating the default network fails with an error similar to the following, a conflict has occurred between the default network’s subnet and an existing interface on the host.

        error: Failed to start network default
        error: internal error: Network is already in use by interface ens2

        To fix this, use the virsh net-edit default command and change the 192.0.2.* values in the configuration to a subnet not already in use on the host.

3.2. Creating virtual machines and installing guest operating systems by using the web console

To manage virtual machines (VMs) in a GUI on a RHEL 9 host, use the web console. The following sections provide information about how to use the RHEL 9 web console to create VMs and install guest operating systems on them.

3.2.1. Creating virtual machines by using the web console

To create a virtual machine (VM) on a host machine to which your RHEL 9 web console is connected, use the instructions below.

Prerequisites

Procedure

  1. In the Virtual Machines interface of the web console, click Create VM.

    The Create new virtual machine dialog appears.

    Image displaying the Create new virtual machine dialog box.
  2. Enter the basic configuration of the VM you want to create.

    • Name - The name of the VM.
    • Connection - The level of privileges granted to the session. For more details, expand the associated dialog box in the web console.
    • Installation type - The installation can use a local installation medium, a URL, a PXE network boot, a cloud base image, or download an operating system from a limited set of operating systems.
    • Operating system - The guest operating system running on the VM. Note that Red Hat provides support only for a limited set of guest operating systems.

      Note

      To download and install Red Hat Enterprise Linux directly from web console, you must add an offline token in the Offline token field.

    • Storage - The type of storage.
    • Storage Limit - The amount of storage space.
    • Memory - The amount of memory.
  3. Create the VM:

    • If you want the VM to automatically install the operating system, click Create and run.
    • If you want to edit the VM before the operating system is installed, click Create and edit.

3.2.2. Creating virtual machines by importing disk images by using the web console

You can create a virtual machine (VM) by importing a disk image of an existing VM installation in the RHEL 9 web console.

Prerequisites

  • The web console VM plug-in is installed on your system.
  • You have a sufficient amount of system resources to allocate to your VMs, such as disk space, RAM, or CPUs. The recommended values can vary significantly depending on the intended tasks and workload of the VMs.
  • You have downloaded a disk image of an existing VM installation.

Procedure

  1. In the Virtual Machines interface of the web console, click Import VM.

    The Import a virtual machine dialog appears.

    Image displaying the Import a virtual machine dialog box.
  2. Enter the basic configuration of the VM you want to create:

    • Name - The name of the VM.
    • Disk image - The path to the existing disk image of a VM on the host system.
    • Operating system - The operating system running on a VM disk. Note that Red Hat provides support only for a limited set of guest operating systems.
    • Memory - The amount of memory to allocate for use by the VM.
  3. Import the VM:

    • To install the operating system on the VM without additional edits to the VM settings, click Import and run.
    • To edit the VM settings before the installation of the operating system, click Import and edit.

3.2.3. Installing guest operating systems by using the web console

When a virtual machine (VM) boots for the first time, you must install an operating system on the VM.

Note

If you click Create and run or Import and run while creating a new VM, the installation routine for the operating system starts automatically when the VM is created.

Procedure

  1. In the Virtual Machines interface, click the VM on which you want to install a guest OS.

    A new page opens with basic information about the selected VM and controls for managing various aspects of the VM.

    Page displaying detailed information about the virtual machine.
  2. Optional: Change the firmware.

    Note

    You can change the firmware only if you selected Create and edit or Import and edit while creating a new VM and if the OS is not already installed on the VM.

    + .. Click the firmware.

    1. In the Change Firmware window, select the required firmware.
    2. Click Save.
  3. Click Install.

    The installation routine of the operating system runs in the VM console.

Troubleshooting

  • If the installation routine fails, delete and recreate the VM before starting the installation again.

3.2.4. Creating virtual machines with cloud image authentication by using the web console

By default, distro cloud images have no login accounts. However, by using the RHEL web console, you can now create a virtual machine (VM) and specify the root and user account login credentials, which are then passed to cloud-init.

Prerequisites

  • The web console VM plug-in is installed on your system.
  • Virtualization is enabled on your host system.
  • You have a sufficient amount of system resources to allocate to your VMs, such as disk space, RAM, or CPUs. The recommended values may vary significantly depending on the intended tasks and workload of the VMs.

Procedure

  1. In the Virtual Machines interface of the web console, click Create VM.

    The Create new virtual machine dialog appears.

    Image displaying the Create new virtual machine dialog box.
  2. In the Name field, enter a name for the VM.
  3. On the Details tab, in the Installation type field, select Cloud base image.

    Image displaying the Create new virtual machine by using cloud-init dialog box.
  4. In the Installation source field, set the path to the image file on your host system.
  5. Enter the configuration for the VM that you want to create.

    • Operating system - The VM’s operating system. Note that Red Hat provides support only for a limited set of guest operating systems.
    • Storage - The type of storage with which to configure the VM.
    • Storage Limit - The amount of storage space with which to configure the VM.
    • Memory - The amount of memory with which to configure the VM.
  6. Click on the Automation tab.

    Set your cloud authentication credentials.

    • Root password - Enter a root password for your VM. Leave the field blank if you do not wish to set a root password.
    • User login - Enter a cloud-init user login. Leave this field blank if you do not wish to create a user account.
    • User password - Enter a password. Leave this field blank if you do not wish to create a user account.

      Image displaying the Automation tab of the Create new virtual machine dialog box.
  7. Click Create and run.

    The VM is created.