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Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Essentials Book now available.

Purchase a copy of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 (RHEL 9) Essentials

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Essentials Print and eBook (PDF) editions contain 34 chapters and 298 pages

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Chapter 5. Installing the virtualization packages

Before you can use virtualization, the virtualization packages must be installed on your computer. Virtualization packages can be installed either during the installation sequence or after installation using the yum command and the Red Hat Network (RHN).
The KVM hypervisor uses the default Red Hat Enterprise Linux kernel with the kvm kernel module.

5.1. Installing KVM with a new Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation

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

Need help installing?

The Installation Guide (available from covers installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux in detail.
  1. Start an interactive Red Hat Enterprise Linux installation from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Installation CD-ROM, DVD or PXE.
  2. You must enter a valid installation number when prompted to receive access to the virtualization and other Advanced Platform packages.
  3. Complete the other steps up to the package selection step.
    Select the Virtual Host server role to install a platform for virtualized guests. Alternatively, select the Customize Now radio button to specify individual packages.
  4. Select the Virtualization package group. This selects the KVM hypervisor, virt-manager, libvirt and virt-viewer for installation.
  5. Customize the packages (if required)

    Customize the Virtualization group if you require other virtualization packages.
    Press the Close button then the Next button to continue the installation.


You require a valid RHN virtualization entitlement to receive updates for the virtualization packages.
Installing KVM packages with Kickstart files
This section describes how to use a Kickstart file to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux with the KVM hypervisor packages. Kickstart files allow for large, automated installations without a user manually installing each individual system. The steps in this section will assist you in creating and using 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 group:
More information on Kickstart files can be found on Red Hat's website,, in the Installation Guide.

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