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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Essentials eBook now available in PDF and ePub formats for only $9.99
RHEL 6 Essentials contains 40 chapters and over 250 pages.

6.3. Creating guests with virt-manager

virt-manager, also known as Virtual Machine Manager, is a graphical tool for creating and managing virtualized guests.
Procedure 6.1. Creating a virtualized guest with virt-manager
  1. Open virt-manager

    Start virt-manager. Launch the Virtual Machine Manager application from the Applications menu and System Tools submenu. Alternatively, run the virt-manager command as root.
  2. Optional: Open a remote hypervisor

    Select the hypervisor and press the Connect button to connect to the remote hypervisor.
  3. Create a new guest

    The virt-manager window allows you to create a new virtual machine. Click the New button (Figure 6.1, “Virtual Machine Manager window”) to open the New VM wizard.
    Virtual Machine Manager window
    Figure 6.1. Virtual Machine Manager window

  4. New VM wizard

    The New VM wizard breaks down the guest creation process into five steps:
    1. Naming the guest and choosing the installation type
    2. Locating and configuring the installation media
    3. Configuring memory and CPU options
    4. Configuring the guest's storage
    5. Configuring networking, hypervisor type, architecture, and other hardware settings
    Ensure that virt-manager can access the installation media (whether locally or over the network).
  5. Specify name and installation type

    The guest creation process starts with the selection of a name and installation type. Virtual machine names can have underscores (_), periods (.), and hyphens (-).
    Step 1
    Figure 6.2. Step 1

    Type in a virtual machine name and choose an installation type:
    Local install media (ISO image or CDROM)
    This method uses a CD-ROM, DVD, or image of an installation disk (e.g. .iso).
    Network Install (HTTP, FTP, or NFS)
    Network installing involves the use of a mirrored Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora installation tree to install a guest. The installation tree must be accessible through either HTTP, FTP, or NFS.
    Network Boot (PXE)
    This method uses a Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) server to install the guest. Setting up a PXE server is covered in the Deployment Guide. To install via network boot, the guest must have a routable IP address or shared network device. For information on the required networking configuration for PXE installation, refer to Chapter 10, Network Configuration.
    Import existing disk image
    This method allows you to create a new guest and import a disk image (containing a pre-installed, bootable operating system) to it.
    Click Forward to continue.
  6. Configure installation

    Next, configure the OS type and Version of the installation. Except for network booting, this step also requires further configuration (depending on your chosen installation method). When using local install media or importing an existing disk image, you need to specify the location of the installation media or disk image.
    Local install media (configuration)
    Figure 6.3. Local install media (configuration)

    Import existing disk image (configuration)
    Figure 6.4. Import existing disk image (configuration)

    Important

    It is recommend that you use the default directory for virtual machine images, /var/lib/libvirt/images/. If you are using a different location, make sure it is added to your SELinux policy and relabeled before you continue with the installation. Refer to Section 16.2, “SELinux and virtualization” for details on how to do this.
    When performing a network install, you need to specify the URL of the installation tree. You can also specify the URL of any kickstart files you want to use, along with any kernel options you want to pass during installation.
    Network Install (configuration)
    Figure 6.5. Network Install (configuration)

    Click Forward to continue.
  7. Configure CPU and memory

    The next step involves configuring the number of CPUs and amount of memory to allocate to the virtual machine. The wizard shows the number of CPUs and amount of memory you can allocate; configure these settings and click Forward.
    Configuring CPU and Memory
    Figure 6.6. Configuring CPU and Memory

  8. Configure storage

    Assign a physical storage device (Block device) or a file-based image (File). File-based images should be stored in /var/lib/libvirt/images/ to satisfy default SELinux permissions.
    Configuring virtual storage
    Figure 6.7. Configuring virtual storage

    If you chose to import an existing disk image during the first step, virt-manager will skip this step.
    Assign sufficient space for your virtualized guest and any applications the guest requires, then click Forward to continue.
  9. Final configuration

    Verify the settings of the virtual machine and click Finish when you are satisfied; doing so will create the guest with default networking settings, virtualization type, and architecture.
    Verifying the configuration
    Figure 6.8. Verifying the configuration

    If you prefer to further configure the virtual machine's hardware first, check the Customize configuration before install box first before clicking Finish. Doing so will open another wizard Figure 6.9, “Virtual hardware configuration” that will allow you to add, remove, and configure the virtual machine's hardware settings.
    Virtual hardware configuration
    Figure 6.9. Virtual hardware configuration

    After configuring the virtual machine's hardware, click Apply. virt-manager will then create the guest with your specified hardware settings.
This concludes the general process for creating guests with virt-manager. Chapter 6, Virtualized guest installation overview contains step-by-step instructions to installing a variety of common operating systems.

 
 
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