CentOS 6.x on VMware Player: Part 1

Note these documents are subject to update, this one was last edited 04/27/2014


In today’s data center virtualization is a must for the efficient use of server resources, manageability and advanced functions like high availability. In addition to a standard web server install, there are optional portions throughout this how to for virtualized hosts.

It’s a great working solution if you have even a spare windows system with as little as 2GB RAM. However 4GB is a little more comfortable starter amount of RAM to multi-OS with very little if any performance degradation. I would definitely recommend 8GB+ if your system or pocketbook allows it.

For me this makes a phenomenal backup and development server solution. You will see these VMs are easy to install, use very little disk space and are easy to switch in and out of production. I have CentOS, Fedora and Red Hat Linux VMs and most Linux distributions will run as well as Windows Server in VMs.

ESXi and VMware player are readily available for free at www.vmware.com. Installing VMware player is super simple, I won’t go into that. I would advise you to make a directory to store the VMs in; I use /vm, and within that I store each VM in a directory like /vm/linux01. VMware Player will work with Linux or Windows. VMware ESXi or any other Linux hypervisor such as KVM or Xen should be on bare metal.

Installing CentOS 6.x on VMware Player 6.01

The prerequisites to fully enact this whole series of installs are:

  • At least 1 dedicated static IP for the server – I would not recommend a static IP for your workstation but the CentOS VM itself must have a static IP.
  • At least 1 dedicated domain name like domain.com or hostname.domain.com
  • You will also need a wildcard DNS entry to create sites on demand without individually configuring DNS if you want to run WordPress Multisite https://codex.wordpress.org/Configuring_Wildcard_Subdomains
  • Your router must have inbound firewall exceptions for at least port 80 for web and possibly port 22 for ssh and port 21 for ftp if you want remote access to these.
  • You may also want an inbound firewall exception for port 25 for a mail server but even if you don’t, you definitely want your ISP to unblock outbound port 25 (many do to stop spammers) so your site can send emails for registration and other administrative notices.
  • We are going to enact many server based security measures but think seriously about your perimeter firewall. If you do not need an opening, then close it – multiple layers of security is a very good thing.

Part 1: Create a Virtual Machine

  • Start VMware Player, Select Create a New Virtual Machine.
  • Select radio button I will install the operating system later, then Next.
  • Select Guest operating system Linux and Version CentOS 64-bit, then Next.
  • Name your Virtual Machine. Browse to the location you would like your VMs to be stored in, make a folder in inside of it to be used only for this particular VM, then select OK. Example c:\vm\centos.01, select Next.
  • Crank up the disk size, I select 160GB; it’s not allocated until it’s used, so feel generous here. Select Split virtual disk into multiple files, select Next.
  • Select the Customize Hardware Button.
  • Adjust memory; 1024MB minimum is recommended for a web server in this configuration.
  • Set CD/DVD to Use ISO image file and browse to your CentOS ISO image.
  • Select the network adapter, then Device status select Connect at power on, Network connection change to Bridged and Replicate. Select Next.
  • Check your settings and then select Finish.

If you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Next: Part 2 – Installing the OS