Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 on VirtualBox

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 on VirtualBox

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8 has been a much-anticipated release, and is trying to catch mind share with the tagline – The intelligent OS for hybrid cloud. Teams managing traditional data centers today have to be rethinking their design decisions and trying to find ways to move to a hybrid model.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8

Before we start, I’ve always been a Linux enthusiast but have never had the opportunity to manage a Linux server farm. I have worked closely with Linux teams, but my initial interest was with Novell, Windows and virtualization. I should pause here and ask; if you remember Novell, please ping me on Twitter and say ‘hi’, I’d love to hear your admin stories and which version you started with.

In this post, we will install RHEL 8 in VirtualBox, so you can up and running very quickly, kick the tires and maybe even get started with some Red Hat certification training.

How do I get RHEL 8

To get a copy of RHEL 8 and earlier versions of RHEL, you can take advantage of the no-cost Red Hat Developer subscription. When you register and download through, a subscription will be added to your account. It’s FREE and an excellent resource for those interested in all things Red Hat.

Once you download the RHEL 8 Binary DVD ISO, let’s get started installing it in VirtualBox. Why VirtualBox? Because it is also the only professional solution that is freely available as Open Source Software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

I won’t be listing every screenshot, but I hope to give you enough of the more important ones that will help guide you along.

Creating the virtual machine

Launch VirtualBox and select new to create a new virtual machine. Give it a name and location where you would like to keep your files. I’ve given my virtual machine the name RHEL 8. Give it something descriptive so you can locate it on your list of VMs.

I then usually give my virtual machines 4GB of RAM, you can go with the minimun of 2GB if you don’t have much to spare.

Create the hard drive now, I usually select he VirtualBox Disk Image, have it dynamically allocated and go with a size of 40GB. You will see the options in the next following screens.

At this point you have created the virtual machine.  Now we can install RHEL.

Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux

At this point you we are going to install RHEL on to the VM. Locate and attach your RHEL 8 DVD ISO to your optical virtual drive and start the VM. The VM will boot into the RHEL install page.

Hit enter to start installing RHEL.

Once you get past the leyboard language screen, there are a few item you need to do on the installation summary page. First select software selection under the software category and select your type of installation.

I’m going with the miniaml install to get the server up and running quickly, click done when ready.

When you click done, it will take you back to the installation summary page, and select installation destination. The local virtual drive you made should be selected, click done.

Then when you are back at the installation summary, select network and host name. Click the Ethernet switch to the on position and give the server a host name, I named my host RHEL001, click done when you are ready.

With those items selected click the begin installation, and you are on your way to your first RHEL server up and running.

While the installation is happening, be sure to set a password for root and create a user for the system. This user is local to the system.

At this point the installation is finished and you will need to reboot the VM. Also remember to disconnect the RHEL 8 DVD ISO from the optical drive otherwise when the VM boots up it will start the installation process again.

Once restarted there you have it, in my case the minimal installation of RHEL 8

Your system needs to be registered to download software and updates from Red Hat. When you joined Red Hat Developers, a no-cost developer subscription was added to your account. Registering your system attaches it to your subscription. There are a few ways to register the system and we will do it from the command line.

To register your system with Red Hat Subscription Management, use the following command. You will be prompted for your Red Hat subscription credentials, and not your local login credentials that you may have created earlier. Also be sure your machine can connect to the internet.

# subscription-manager register –auto-attach

Once registered you will see the following message:

Installed Product Current Status:
Product Name: Red Hat Enterprise Linux for x86_64
Status:       Subscribed

I hope this has encouraged you to try out RHEL 8 and VirtualBox. This could be the start of something new for you. It’s a great time to get started with Linux and add that to your skillset.

Let me know what you think about this post on Twitter and be sure to say ‘hi’.