Chapter 2. Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux Virtual Machines

Installing a Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtual machine involves the following key steps:

  1. Create a virtual machine. You must add a virtual disk for storage, and a network interface to connect the virtual machine to the network.
  2. Start the virtual machine and install an operating system. See your operating system’s documentation for instructions.

  3. Enable the required repositories for your operating system.
  4. Install guest agents and drivers for additional virtual machine functionality.

2.1. Creating a virtual machine

When creating a new virtual machine, you specify its settings. You can edit some of these settings later, including the chipset and BIOS type. For more information, see UEFI and the Q35 chipset in the Administration Guide. .Prerequisites


Before you can use this virtual machine, you must:

  • Install an operating system

  • Register with the Content Delivery Network


  1. Click ComputeVirtual Machines.
  2. Click New. This opens the New Virtual Machine window.
  3. Select an Operating System from the drop-down list.


    If you selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS as the operating system, you may need to set the initialization method by configuring Ignition settings in the Advanced Options Initial Run tab. See Configuring Ignition.

  4. Enter a Name for the virtual machine.
  5. Add storage to the virtual machine: under Instance Images, click Attach or Create to select or create a virtual disk .

  6. Connect the virtual machine to the network. Add a network interface by selecting a vNIC profile from the nic1 drop-down list at the bottom of the General tab.
  7. Specify the virtual machine’s Memory Size on the System tab.
  8. In the Boot Options tab, choose the First Device that the virtual machine will use to boot.
  9. You can accept the default settings for all other fields, or change them if required. For more details on all fields in the New Virtual Machine window, see Explanation of settings in the New Virtual Machine and Edit Virtual Machine Windows.
  10. Click OK.

The new virtual machine is created and displays in the list of virtual machines with a status of Down.

Configuring Ignition

Ignition is the utility that is used by Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS to manipulate disks during initial configuration. It completes common disk tasks, including partitioning disks, formatting partitions, writing files, and configuring users. On first boot, Ignition reads its configuration from the installation media or the location that you specify and applies the configuration to the machines.


Once Ignition has been configured as the initialization method, it cannot be reversed or re-configured.

  1. In the Add Virtual Machine or Edit Virtual Machine screen, click Show Advanced Options.
  2. In the Initial Run tab, select the Ignition 2.3.0 option and enter the VM Hostname.
  3. Expand the Authorization option, enter a hashed (SHA-512) password, and enter the password again to verify.
  4. If you are using SSH keys for authorization, enter them in the space provided.
  5. You can also enter a custom Ignition script in JSON format in the Ignition Script field. This script will run on the virtual machine when it starts. The scripts you enter in this field are custom JSON sections that are added to those produced by the Manager, and allow you to use custom Ignition instructions.


    If the Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS image you are using contains an Ignition version different than 2.3.0, you need to use a script in the Ignition Script field to enforce the Ignition version included in your Red Hat Enterprise Linux CoreOS image.

    When you use an Ignition script, the script instructions take precedence over and override any conflicting Ignition settings you configured in the UI.