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Installing Guest Operating Systems

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Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 Installation Guidelines

Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 Installation Guidelines

Support

Support

This guest operating system is supported on the following VMware products:

  • VMware Workstation 4.0
  • VMware ESX Server 2.0
General Installation Notes

General Installation Notes

The easiest method of installing Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 in a virtual machine is to use the standard Red Hat distribution CD. The notes below describe an installation using the standard distribution CD; however, installing Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 via the boot floppy/network method is supported as well.

Before installing the operating system, be sure that you have already created and configured a new virtual machine.

Note: You should not run the X server that is installed when you set up Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1. Instead, to get an accelerated SVGA X server running inside the virtual machine, you should install the VMware Tools package immediately after installing Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1.

Installation Steps

Installation Steps

  1. Insert the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive and power on the virtual machine.

    You need to install Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 using the text mode installer, which you may choose when you first boot the installer. At the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 CD boot prompt, you are offered a number of choices, including the following:

    To install or upgrade Red Hat Linux ... in graphical mode ...
    To install or upgrade ... in text mode, type: text <ENTER>...
    ...
    Use the function keys listed below ...

    To choose the text mode installer, type text and press Enter.

  2. Follow the installation steps as you would for a physical machine. Be sure to make the choices outlined in the following steps.
  3. Choose the language and keyboard, then in the Installation Type screen, choose either Advanced Server or Custom for the installation type.
  4. In the Mouse Selection screen, choose Generic - 3 Button Mouse (PS/2) and select the Emulate 3 Buttons option for three-button mouse support in the virtual machine. If you have a wheel mouse, you may choose Generic Wheel Mouse (PS/2).
  5. VMware Workstation only: In the Package Group Selection screen, choose Software Development and Select individual packages. In the Individual Package Selection screen, use the arrow keys to move down to System Environment/Kernel and press Enter. Be sure that kernel-smp is deselected (no asterisk should appear between the brackets). The SMP kernel is not supported in a VMware Workstation virtual machine. You do not need to change any other selections.

    VMware ESX Server if virtual SMP is not installed: In the Individual Package Selection screen, use the arrow keys to move down to System Environment/Kernel and press Enter. Be sure that the following kernels are deselected (no asterisk should appear between the brackets):

    • kernel-enterprise
    • kernel-smp
    • kernel-summit

      Note: VMware has discovered a bug in the Linux kernel supplied with Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 (kernel version 2.4.9-e.3). If you try to boot a kernel configured with SMP support on hardware that does not include a local APIC, the kernel displays a message about dummy APIC emulation and the system hangs later in the boot sequence. This bug affects the kernel-enterprise and kernel-smp packages. The kernel-summit package is specialized for hardware that does not match a virtual machine. VMware does not support any of these kernel packages in a virtual machine without virtual SMP.

  6. Allow automatic partitioning of the disk to occur in the Automatic Partitioning screen or partition the virtual disk manually if you do not want to use the Red Hat defaults.
  7. You may see a warning that says:
    The partition table on device sda was unreadable. To create new partitions, it must be initialized, causing the loss of ALL DATA on the drive.
    Would you like to initialize this drive?
    This does not mean that anything is wrong with the hard drive on your physical computer. It simply means that the virtual hard drive in your virtual machine needs to be partitioned and formatted. Select the Yes button and press Enter. Also note that sda appears in the message as the device name if the virtual disk in question is a SCSI disk; if the virtual disk is an IDE drive, hda appears in the message as the device name instead.
  8. If your computer is connected to a LAN that provides DHCP support, then in the Network Configuration screen, you may select the option Use bootp/dhcp. If you prefer, you may also set the networking parameters manually.
  9. In the Video Card Configuration screen, choose Skip X Configuration.

This completes basic installation of the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 guest operating system.

VMware Tools

VMware Tools

Be sure to install VMware Tools in your guest operating system. Do not start the X server in the guest operating system until you install VMware Tools.

Known Issues

Known Issues

Guest Screen Saver

Guest Screen Saver

VMware Workstation: On a Linux host with an XFree86 3.x X server, it is best not to run a screen saver in the guest operating system. Guest screen savers that demand a lot of processing power can cause the X server on the host to freeze.

Migration to a Different Processor

Migration to a Different Processor

VMware Workstation: VMware recommends you do not migrate a Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 virtual machine between hosts when one host is running on an AMD processor and the other is running on an Intel processor.

During installation, Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 chooses a kernel that is optimized for the specific processor on which it is running. The kernel may contain instructions that are available only on that processor. These instructions can have adverse effects when run on a host with the wrong type of processor.

Thus, a Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 virtual machine created on a host with an AMD processor may not work if migrated to a host with an Intel processor. The reverse is also true: a Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 virtual machine created on a host with an Intel processor may not work if migrated to a host with an AMD processor.

This problem is not specific to virtual machines and would also occur on physical computers. For example, if you moved a hard drive with a Red Hat Linux Advanced Server 2.1 installation from an AMD machine to an Intel machine, you would experience problems trying to boot from that drive.

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