RHCSA Exam Study — Pt. 1 Setting Up Your Virtual Machine

Get your RHEL Virtual Machine Up and Running

In independent pursuance of an RHCSA cert, I’ll be documenting the journey in hopes that by trying to explain things I’m learning on my own, a higher level of competence will be achieved. I hope to pass the RHCSA on my first attempt and go on to be successful in preparing for the RHCE RedHat Certified Engineer exam as well.

First off, if you’re going to move in this same direction, you’ll need a virtual machine running either RHEL RedHat Enterprise Linux or CentOS. A while back, RedHat made RHEL freely available to developers minus the paid support service. How it generally works and how it has worked in the past is RedHat would sell enterprise customers a stable build of Linux to run on their servers that RedHat would then provide paid support for. Since full RHEL is now freely available to developers, I recommend downloading it from https://developers.redhat.com/downloads/

You’ll have to register an account with developers.redhat.com before you can download, but it’s monetarily free to do so. After that, you’ll be cleared for download of full-on RHEL.

The first time I went through this process, I was running Fedora 25. I’ve also installed virtualized RHEL on Antergos and Manjaro (both Arch based). On a Linux desktop system, I like to use Virtual Machine Manager (virt-manager) which works through libvirt and primarily targets KVM Kernel-based Virtual Machines.

I’m not going to walk through the process of getting this going today, because if you’re already running a Linux desktop system and you’re thinking about pursuing your RHCSA, chances are you won’t have any trouble figuring this out. Just follow the “KVM” instructions after downloading RHEL from developers.redhat.com

The rest of the instructions are available at https://developers.redhat.com/products/rhel/hello-world after downloading RHEL

If You Need to Install Your RHEL Virtual Machine on a Windows Desktop System, head over to virtualbox.org to download VirtualBox the “general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware” from Oracle, for zero cost.

This is what VirtualBox looks like right after it is installed

Flip back over to developers.redhat.com and follow the instructions to Install RHEL on VirtualBox.

This is a screenshot from https://developers.redhat.com/products/rhel/hello-world after selecting the VirtualBox tab. The rest of the instructions are available after downloading RHEL

Your other options of virtualization platforms include Hyper-V for Windows 8 and above or VMware. As mentioned above, KVM on Linux is option I prefer.

Continue to follow the developer.redhat.com instructions to get your virtualization environment and virtual manager built so you can install RHEL into it. The second part where you’re actually installing RHEL into the VM can take quite a bit of time, but after you’re done, you should have something that looks like the below image:

At this point, you should have a working version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux running as a virtual machine on the host operating system of your choice. From here forward, we’re just going to be dealing with RHEL itself and of course focusing on what we can do to get ready to take the RHCSA exam.

Best,
Tim Beach
@TimothyBeach