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Installing CentOS on VMware – Step by Step

Posted by Kamran Agayev A. on January 5th, 2009

Today, I’m going to show you, installation of CentOS on a virtual machine

First of all, we’ve to download CentOS. CentOS is a freely-available operating system that is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.  You can download the latest release (5) from its website. To download, please refer to download page of CentOS web site


Select nearest location and begin downloading *.iso files.

After you finish downloading *.iso files, you have to mount it and let your VMware recognize it as a virtual “cd” or “dvd”. For this purpose, I prefer to download one DVD *.iso installation file. Please open VMware, double click on CD-ROM (IDE 1-0) item, select Use ISO image option and click Browse button to select your recently downloaded *.iso installation file of CentOS as shown below



Now you virtually inserted you installation DVD into DVD-ROM. And you’re ready to install your OS virtually.  


You should change your Memory to 1024 MB for your further Oracle installation. Double click on Memory item and set it to 1024

Then click Power button to start your virtual pc


When your virtual pc starts, you’ll see welcome screen of installation CentOS



If you’ll not be able to see this screen, then restart your virtual pc and click Esc button for Boot menu. And from this menu, select CD-ROM Drive

Click enter. The installation will tell you to begin testing of your installation cd or dvd. Select Skip button. It will skip testing your cd media and save your time


Then you’ll get another welcome screen, you only have to click next button on this screen


Select your language of installation and click Next


Then, select your keyboard configuration to use it for the system you’re installing and click Next


Then, you’ll be warned to create new partitions by erasing ALL DATA on your newly created hard drive. As there’s no information in this drive, you’ll select Yes



In this step, just let it remain selected and click next



Then there’ll be warning “You have chosen to remove all Linux partitions (and ALL DATA on them) on the following drives: /dev/sda   Are you sure you want to do this?” Click Yes

Then, you’ll see Network Configurations screen, as it is your test virtual pc, don’t change anything and click next. You can change whatever you want after installation, for now, let it continue in this way and click Next



From this screen, select your region and click Next



Then, you’ll be prompted to enter password for root user, enter it and click Next



To install packages, especially for working with Oracle Server, select all options except Clustering and Storage Clustering. Then select Customize now option and click Next



Then, from Base System menu, select Legacy Software Support, System Tools and click Next



Now, you’re ready for installation. Click next on this screen, the installation will begin



You’ll see how all packages are installing. After a while, your OS will be ready for use



After the installation is completed, click Reboot button to reboot your OS



After reboot, you’ll face with another Welcome screen. There’re some steps need to be completed

Click Forward button on the screen.



Here, just disable your Firewall. Its only for test purpose, don’t disable your Firewall on real system! And click forward button



For testing purpose, it would be good to disable SELinux too



Then keeping Kdump disabled, click Forward



If you need, make your Date and Time configuration and click Forward



If you want to create a new user, you can fill these blanks. You can pass this step too by clicking Forward button




Then Click Finish and the system will reboot




After reboot, CentOS will be opened and you’ll be prompted to enter username (root) and password (root’s password)




Your Centos is ready to use! Congratulations.




In the next article, I’m going to show installation of Oracle 10g Release 2 on our Centos OS


Additionally, while using an operating system inside VMware, you recognize that every time you have to enter to its area and then press Ctrl+Alt buttons to leave this area and to return to your system.

To solve this issue, you should install VMware Tools.

As the VMware Tools will be installed from CD-Rom device, you should disconnect your connected CD-Rom device as shown below



Next, Select VM menu on VMware application and select Install VMware Tools menu item.




Then click Install button on this message box to Install VMware Tools




Then enter to My Computer and double click on CD-ROM Drive. You’ll see there two packages.




Now, double click on *.rpm file to setup   

After installation complete, copy another *.gz file to anywhere in hard drive. In our example we are coping it to tmp directory inside FileSystem, paste the file into this folder, right click on it and select Extract Here menu item




Then enter to the folder vmware-tools-distrib and double click on vmware-install.pl file and click Run in Terminal button




Then, whenever you’re asked to enter the value, just click enter

But when you’re prompted to enter value for the display size of your X, be careful to enter default value. If you want your Virtual Machine to be little size, enter 2 (800-600)

That’s all! Your VMware Tools installed. Now you can enter to VMware’s area and exit it without clicking Ctrl+Alt

P.S. If you’ll face with “VMware hgfs: HGFS is disabled in the host” error, just reboot your system

47 Responses to “Installing CentOS on VMware – Step by Step”

  1. Mustafa Aydinalp Says:

    Kamran Teşekkürler,
    devamını bekliyoruz.


  2. John Says:

    Kamran good job!!!
    Thanx a lot,

  3. israelagnouhyattara Says:

    Nice post! This might be interesting for people attempting to install various practice environments for learning network administration: http://israelany.wordpress.com/tag/vmware/

  4. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Thank you all guys!

  5. shahid ahmed Says:

    Thanks you so much dear its nice and great..

    even simple to use.

  6. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    You’re welcome Shahid Ahmed :) Thank you for your comment

  7. Bratek Says:

    Thank you so much!

  8. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    You’re welcome Bratek :)

  9. shakeel mahmood Says:

    thank you so much for writing such an article.
    i have a little problem on which i need your opinion.
    i have installed Oracle enterprise linux on VMware and it installed successfully.
    now when i tried to reboot it whole system crashes giving this error
    “Panic on CPU 0
    General protection fault
    [error_code 0000] :”
    i have followed all those steps as you have described.
    ill be thankful to you for your help :)

  10. Paul Chester Says:

    Very nice flow .. but unfortunately there is nothing which tells the user what to do when something does NOT go according to the flow … and why it is happening! I get an error “no valid devices were found on which to create new file systems … ” This is clearly because no virtual disk was created … but how to fix!!
    The point is if things go well the screenshots are generally not necessary. Troubleshooting/known errors add immense value to such a procedure!

  11. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Dear Paul. I totally agree with you. I show only the steps which 95% should be successfully finished by anyone. In case someone gots an error, he just came to this link and post the comment. There should be dozen errors, thus I’ve decided to not show them (or explain), however I’m ready to answer and clarify the problem which you got

    Thanks again for your comment and suggestion

  12. karthi Says:

    this article is very useful for beginners……..Thanks you so much KAMRAN

  13. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    You’re welcome Karthi. I’m so happy that my articles are “sometimes” useful for someone :)

  14. Rene Says:

    I have the same problem as Paul. So what is the solution? How do I fix the error: “no valid devices were found on which to create new file systems … ”

    Thanks in advance.


  15. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Dear Rene

    There’re tons of answers regarding this quesion over the web. One of them:

    When you created the virtual disk, did you create a disk image file or point it at an unused partition on the physical HD?
    If a file, try making it an IDE drive instead of SCSI.

    Taken from : http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/Q_23283221.html

    Moreover, you can do a simple google search as well :)

    Good Luck!

  16. Rakesh Says:

    Thanks a lot ..Kamran


  17. mady Says:

    Very good article..! I followed all the steps u described..!
    It is useful for beginners..!


  18. Sharad Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    I have installed CentOS first time and your article was very useful for me.

    Thanks a lot for such a wonderful article.


  19. Amin Says:

    Dear Raj
    When I tried to click Power button to start my virtual pc, I receive the message that said to me:
    A valid license key is required to power on virtual machine.
    Do I need to buy VMware? I thought that it is free.
    I downloaded these software to run virtual machine:
    Let me know what is my problem.
    My windows is windows 7 and 64x.

  20. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Dear AMin. VMware is not free, you can try VirtualBox, it’s free. And I hope vmware should be free for one month period

  21. Dax Mickelson Says:

    Is it really necessary to install ALL of the software you’ve suggested during the CentOS install? Do we really need the “Virtualization” group and both KDE and Gnome?

    I understand this is a “newbie” howto but I think the install could be trimmed down some. (Though I don’t know what to remove/not-install.)

  22. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Hi Max

    Sure we don’t need Virtualization and KDE. And I didn’t show them on “Step by step installating Oracle on CentOS” and “Video tutorial installing Oracle on OEL”

    Thanks for feedback

  23. Murthy Says:

    thanks a lot kamran, i am a java architect. now i am going move into solution architect. for that i am preparing vmware, linux and oracle. i struggled a lot for one week due to installation procedure. finally i got your web site. thanks for helping others. keep it up like this. cheers.

  24. Abbas Says:

    Hi dear

    Thank you very much for this nice job, I do have problem with my dual boot, I have windows 7 64 bit am trying to install Centos 5.6 as dual boot beside Win 7, everything it seems fine, but when I reboot my pc there where no graphic only black screen. I do have NVIDIA Q96 FX 580.
    I do open this system in vmware where I can paste the nvidia driver installations, and it work but my hostname is changing all time. Do u have any idea, I did tried all methode but no chance. This affect my oracle db installtion. Please help me here.



  25. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Dear Abbas. I wouldn’t suggest you to use dual boot while you have an option to install CentOS on the virtual machine. So try to perform all your test on virtual machines and avoid dual boot installation

  26. Abbas Says:

    Dear Kamran

    Thanks for your advice, am attending to use a heavy mathmatical complex software. I understand that Vmware is stable in such mathmatical calculations.
    The idea is now to install oracle DB 10201 and make it stable.


  27. Nick Says:


    I’ve downloaded the CentOS 5.6 iso and when I tried to install it on VmWare, the vmware didn’t readily recognized it. However, I selected “CentOS” from next screen. Now instead of installing, the OS is live booting from the ISO image.

    I would greatly appreciate any help.

  28. Nick Says:

    Sorry, nvm my question. Its my fault I downloaded the live cd version. So stupid of me.

  29. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    It’s ok Nick :) I was going to let you know that it should be a live cd. Try the installation cd instead.

    Good Luck!

  30. Ashraf İslamsevər Says:

    Allah razı olsun,superdi

  31. Santosh Says:


  32. Lashonda Abina Says:

    Thank you very much!! This is what I’ve been looking for. Your method compared to others is the very simple and efficients. FYI, I use Notepad++ for replacing localhost with my web address. It is easier.

  33. harshal Says:

    Awesome :)

    I was trying form past 15 days .. but no luck so far..
    Fortunately, google crawled your site and I followed the steps..
    Its just WOW !!

    Could you please provide some article >> virtualistatin through vm>>lnux

  34. bharathi Says:

    Hi Kamran, i have one doubt , i am new to linux and oralce ,Without installing VM Ware is it possible to install centos? if “YES” means, is it possible to install “oracle 10g standard edition” on that centos? please assist me

  35. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    In this case you need to install CentOS on your local PC, and it’s possible

  36. bharathi Says:

    ohh really, can you send that article to my mail please, i follow your steps to install centos5 and then how to install oralce standard edition 10g on that centos? please send your article to my mail , my mail Id is cvbharathi89@gmail.com.

  37. Gaurav Kukar Says:

    Would appreciate if Could you please provide me link to download the VM Ware tool installer/file..

    Anyways, good job..


    Gaurav Kukar

  38. Heyat Afroz Says:

    Hi, I have started learning Oracle DBA on my own and I have installed VMware and Linux 4 into my system. Please advise how can I mount Oracle 11G onto the virtual machine.

  39. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Select VM->Removable Devices->CD-ROM-> Mount ISO file

  40. Sridhar Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    I’ve installed the CentOS inside vmware and while following ur steps to install the vmware tools, i found that the rpm file was missing. now how should i proceed forward with installing the tools?

  41. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    Do you mean that rpm files of the Vmware tools are missing? It should be missed as they’re built in rpms

  42. sridhar tempalle Says:

    as an alternate, i installed cent os on oracle virtualbox… and m not finding any issues as of now. Thank you..

  43. Gunawan Says:

    Hi Kamran,

    I also have some problem as Sridhar.. I dont have the .rpm extension.. I also cant update the “package updater” it says “unable to retrieve software information” what is the best solution?
    thanks in advance..!

  44. Kamran Agayev A. Says:

    You should mount installation CD and get any rpm from there

  45. Tomal Says:

    Many many thanks….

  46. santosh bhawal Says:

    Thanks kamran….your articles are very useful for beginners…

  47. Prabhakaran Says:

    Supper tks

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