Chapter 5. Installing the Virtualization Packages

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Before you can use virtualization, the virtualization packages must be installed on your computer. Virtualization packages can be installed either during the host installation sequence or after host installation using Subscription Manager.
The KVM hypervisor uses the default Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel with the kvm kernel module.

5.1. Configuring a Virtualization Host Installation

This section covers installing virtualization tools and virtualization packages as part of a fresh Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation.


The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation Guide covers installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux in detail.

Procedure 5.1. Installing the virtualization package group

  1. Launch the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 installation program

    Start an interactive Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 installation from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation CD-ROM, DVD or PXE.
  2. Continue installation up to package selection

    Complete the other steps up to the package selection step.
    The Red Hat Enterprise Linux package selection screen showing options to select a different set of software from regular installation. Virtualization Host is selected in the upper menu, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux is selected from the list of additional repositories. Customize now is selected at the bottom of the window, with Back and Next buttons shown at the bottom right corner of the window.

    Figure 5.1. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux package selection screen

    Select the Virtualization Host server role to install a platform for guest virtual machines. Alternatively, ensure that the Customize Now radio button is selected before proceeding, to specify individual packages.
  3. Select the Virtualization package group

    This selects the qemu-kvm emulator, virt-manager, libvirt and virt-viewer for installation.
    The Red Hat Enterprise Linux package selection screen with Virtualization selected in the left menu.

    Figure 5.2. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux package selection screen


    If you wish to create virtual machines in a graphical user interface (virt-manager) later, you should also select the General Purpose Desktop package group.
  4. Customize the packages (if required)

    Customize the Virtualization group if you require other virtualization packages.
    The Red Hat Enterprise Linux package selection screen with a pop-up Packages in Virtualization window showing the packages available to be installed.

    Figure 5.3. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux package selection screen

    Click on the Close button, then the Next button to continue the installation.
When the installation is complete, reboot the system.


You require a valid virtualization entitlement to receive updates for the virtualization packages.
Installing KVM Packages with Kickstart Files

Kickstart files allow for large, automated installations without a user manually installing each individual host system. This section describes how to create and use a Kickstart file to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the Virtualization packages.

In the %packages section of your Kickstart file, append the following package groups:
For more information about Kickstart files, refer to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation Guide.
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