5.2. Installing Virtualization Packages on an Existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux System

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This section describes the steps for installing the KVM hypervisor on a working Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or newer system.
To install the packages, your machines must be registered. To register using Red Hat Subscription Manager, run the subscription-manager register command and follow the prompts.
If you do not have a valid Red Hat subscription, visit the Red Hat online store to obtain one.


Red Hat Network (RHN) has now been deprecated. Subscription Manager should now be used for registration tasks.
Installing the Virtualization Packages with yum

To use virtualization on Red Hat Enterprise Linux you require at least the qemu-kvm and qemu-img packages. These packages provide the user-level KVM emulator and disk image manager on the host Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

To install the qemu-kvm and qemu-img packages, run the following command:
# yum install qemu-kvm qemu-img
Several additional virtualization management packages are also available:
Install all of these recommended virtualization packages with the following command:
# yum install virt-manager libvirt libvirt-python python-virtinst libvirt-client
Installing Virtualization Package Groups

The virtualization packages can also be installed from package groups. The following table describes the virtualization package groups and what they provide.


Note that the qemu-img package is installed as a dependency of the Virtualization package group if it is not already installed on the system. It can also be installed manually with the yum install qemu-img command as described previously.
Table 5.1. Virtualization package groups
Package GroupDescriptionMandatory PackagesOptional Packages
VirtualizationProvides an environment for hosting virtual machinesqemu-kvmqemu-guest-agent, qemu-kvm-tools
Virtualization ClientClients for installing and managing virtualization instancespython-virtinst, virt-manager, virt-viewervirt-top
Virtualization PlatformProvides an interface for accessing and controlling virtual machines and containerslibvirt, libvirt-client, virt-who, virt-whatfence-virtd-libvirt, fence-virtd-multicast, fence-virtd-serial, libvirt-cim, libvirt-java, libvirt-qmf, libvirt-snmp, perl-Sys-Virt
Virtualization ToolsTools for offline virtual image managementlibguestfslibguestfs-java, libguestfs-tools, virt-v2v
To install a package group, run the yum groupinstall <groupname> command. For instance, to install the Virtualization Tools package group, run the yum groupinstall "Virtualization Tools" command.
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