Virtualization and emulation software is big these days. With cheaper RAM memory comes the possibility to ditch dual-booting and install several operating systems in QEMU or VMWare and use them alternatively whenever you feel like it. Since Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 is fresh you might want to test it in VMWare before installing it on its own partition. So here is a guide to do just that.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to configure a virtual machine in VMWare Workstation 15
  • How to prepare the partition for Red Hat Linux 8.0
  • How to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 in VMWare Workstation 15
Running RHEL 8.0 in a virtual machine allows you to test the distribution before installing it
Running RHEL 8.0 in a virtual machine allows you to test the distribution before installing it.

Software Requirements and Conventions Used

Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0
Software VMWare Workstation 15
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Preparing the Virtual Machine

First you have to download the Red hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 iso image file from redhat.com. You will need an account for that. After you have the iso image saved to your drive you can fire up VMWare. Pick File > New Virtual Machine and in the first window select the second option - Custom.

Pick a Custom installation at first to be able to fine-tune your hardware requirements.
Pick a Custom installation at first to be able to fine-tune your hardware requirements.

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Hit Next and from the third screen you can specify the path to your downloaded iso image as the second option.

Browse to the location of your ISO image file.
Browse to the location of your ISO image file.

The next screen will ask you what type of an operating system you wish to install. Pick the second option - Linux - and in the Version dropdown list choose "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 64-bit"

if it's not already selected for you. Give this OS a proper name: "RHEL 8" for example. In the following screens you can choose how many processors you want VMWare to emulate and how many cores per processor should you use. In the final screens pick a decent amount of RAM memory for your virtual machine. 8GB should suffice for testing purposes and you can increase this amount later on if you wish to.

Pick NAT as a connection type if you want to be able to use the Internet in the virtual machine. Use an IDE virtual drive (not a SCSI one) and assign at least 20GB disck space to the disk image file about to be created. This image file will host the operating system and everything in it. The larger you make it, the more work space you'll have in your RHEL 8 guest.

Pick something light for starters - two or four processors with a single core each.
Pick something light for starters - two or four processors with a single core each.


8 gigs of RAM memory should be enough but you can assign more if you like to.
8 gigs of RAM memory should be enough but you can assign more if you like to.
Red Hat Linux 8.0 will require hard drive space, depending on the packages you will wish to install. Make sure you give it at least 20 gigs.
Red Hat Linux 8.0 will require hard drive space, depending on the packages you will wish to install. Make sure you give it at least 20 gigs.

Installing Red Hat Linux 8.0 in VMWare

Finish the guest environment setup and you can now install Red Hat Linux 8 in VMWare Workstation. The ISO should boot automatically just as a regular DVD medium and all you have to do is click somewhere in the middle of the VMWare screen to make the guest appliance grab focus of your mouse and keyboard. You can switch back to your regular desktop with Ctrl+Alt at any time.

The installation media will present you with the Red Hat Linux Anaconda Sumarry Screen and from here you can change the language, keyboard you wish to use, pick a time and date. Leave the Installation Source set to "Local media" as the OS thinks it's running on a DVD.

If you picked an IDE drive when you set up the virtual guest in VMWare the RHEL 8.0 installation should have picked it up by now. Leave the settings in the partition window as they are or you can tinker with them and create a SWAP partition or an additional partition for your /home directory if you wish. After you have selected all the options you just need to enable the Internet connection by flipping the button to "On", as the NAT connection will allow the guest operating system to use your main OS's Internet connection.



Press Ctrl+Alt to free the mouse and keyboard from the guest OS in VMWare Workstation 15.
Press Ctrl+Alt to free the mouse and keyboard from the guest OS in VMWare Workstation 15.
Pick a Custom storage configuration if you want to create additional partitions.
Pick a Custom storage configuration if you want to create additional partitions.
Flip the Ethernet button to On if you want to use NAT.
Flip the Ethernet button to On if you want to use NAT.

As the installation starts you are left with only picking a root password and creating a user for the Red Hat 8.0 system. Wait until the setup finishes, reboot the VMWare virtual machine and you can now use the guest operating system.


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Wait patiently until the setup finishes.
Wait patiently until the setup finishes.

Conclusion

Using VMWare Workstation 15 in conjuction with RHEL 8.0 is easy. Depending on how much RAM you assigned to the virtual guest and how much RAM you have on your system the installation will finish in about ten minutes. After that you will have a virtual Red Hat Enterprise Edition 8.0 for you to play with, ready to be launched, put on pause and resumed at a later date. It sure beats rebooting your PC.
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