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Install CentOS Linux on VMWare Workstation

Let’s start with the acronym. CentOS stands for Community ENTerprise Linux Operating System, a well-known open-source Linux distribution managed by the RedHat Community. CentOS was first released back in May 2004 as CentOS v2. Later in January 2014, it was officially joined RedHat while staying independent from RHEL. However, now CentOS is recognized as an RHEL without official product support. You can use CentOS as an alternative to RHEL as both CentOS and RHEL share the same source code. Those who want to try RHEL can try CentOS. Before giving it a try, you should install it on your local machine. Instead of directly installing CentOS on your machine, we recommend installing CentOS Linux on VMWare Workstation.

CentOS Stream vs. CentOS Linux

In February 2021, RedHat made a big announcement on CentOS. Which led to some confusion within the Linux community for some time. RedHat announced that it would discontinue CentOS Linux as downstream to RHEL. Instead of that, it would continue the CentOS stream which is the upstream version of RHEL. This made some people presume that CentOS will no longer be available.

Both CentOS Linux and CentOS Streem are open-source Linux distros and part of the overall enterprise Linux ecosystem. CentOS is going to be the open-source development platform for upcoming releases of RHEL. Where CentOS Linux is the same open-source development platform derived from the source code of RHEL.

According to RedHat, the open-source development cycle of RHEL is:

  1. Fedora: The upstream project on which future Red Hat Enterprise Linux major releases are based.
  2. CentOS Stream: A preview of upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux minor versions.
  3. Red Hat Enterprise Linux: The official, hardened, and fully supported enterprise operating system product.
  4. CentOS Linux: A community-supported and -produced Linux distro derived from source code released by Red Hat.

Prerequisites To Install CentOS Linux On VMWare Workstation:

To install CentOs Linux on VMWare Workstation you just need a physical machine, VMWare Workstation Pro or Player, and CentOS ISO image.

  1. A host system with minimum:
    • 8 GB of memory
    • A quad core CPU
    • 500 GB of Hard Drive
  2. VMWare Workstation Pro or Player application:0
  3. CentOS Operating System ISO image to install on VMWare Workstation.

How To Install CentOS Linux On VMWare Workstation?

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Anyway, from the user front, if you just want to deploy CentOS, you really need to worry about either CentOS Linux or CentOS Stream. It’s just a matter of release time frame. Considering that we have created this post for those who want to try CentOS by installing it on VMWare Workstation. Let’s get started.

  1. Fier up VMWare Workstation

    Download the VMWare Workstation application for your host operating system and install it on your machine. The installation procedure is pretty simple and straight. Read the documentation for more details. Open the app after installation. Create a new Virtual Machine.


  2. Select Custom Configuration Wizard

    You can choose either Typical or Custom Wizard. We recommend selecting Custom if you want to install with all the configurations. If you are okay with default configurations then go ahead with Typical configurations.

    What Type of Configuration Do you Want

  3. Select Virtual Machine Hardware Compatibilityrkstation

    Go with the default option if you don’t have the choice.

    Virtual Mechine Hardware Compatibility

  4. Select the Operating System Media

    Select ‘I will install the operating system later’ for an interactive installation.

    Install Operating System From

  5. Select Guest Operating System

    Guest Operating Sustem

  6. Name the Virtual Machine Name and location

    Type a name and give the location details.

    What Name Would You Like To Use For This Virtual Machine

  7. Allocate the Processors

    Assign the processors, Calculate the processor required to run the host machine. Assign the leftover resources to the virtual machine.

    Processor Configuration

  8. Allocate the Memory for Virtual Machine

    Memory allocation calculation is the same as the processor allocation. Leave sufficient memory for the host system and allocate the remaining memory for the virtual machine.

    Memory For The Virtual Machine

  9. Choose the Network Configuration

    Select any one of the network configurations as per your requirement.

    Network Conection

  10. Select the I/O Controller Type

    Which SCSI Would You Like To Use For SCSI Virtual Disk?

  11. Select Disk Type

    Select A Disk Type

  12. Select Virtual Disk

    Select the Virtual Disk if you have or create one.

    Select A Disk

  13. Select Disk Capacity

    Select the disk size. Selecting a single disk will increase the performance. However, selecting a split disk will help in the disk transfer scenario.

    Specify Disk Capacity

  14. Specify Virtual Disk File

    Where Would You Like To Store The Disk file?

  15. Create Virtual Machine

    Ready To Create Virtual Machie

  16. Supply centOS ISO Image to Virtual Machine

    Download CentOS image. Edit the CD/DVD settings and import the downloaded Ubuntu image.

    Virtual Machine Details

  17. Install CentOS on VMWare Workstation

    Hadrware - Divice Status - Connect At Power On

  18. Power On the Virtual Machine

    Press the Play button to power on the Virtual Machine.

    CentOS Linux 8

  19. Welcome CentOS Virtual Machine

    After initiating the installation. You will be treated with a welcome screen on which you will see the option to select the language. Select your language and click Continue.

    Welcom To CentOS Linux 8

  20. Configure the required installation settings

    Set the Keyboard, Language supports, Time and Date settings, Software package selections for installation, root password, Installation media, and disk partition information to proceed with installation of CentOS.

    Installation Summary

  21. Partition the Disk

    Select Erase the Disk for auto partition. Or Select the Advance option to create the custom partition.

    Istallation Destination

  22. Set root account password

    Root Password

  23. Begin Installation after setting up all the required settings

    Istallation Summary Two

  24. Installation of CentOS is in Progress

    Istallation Progress

  25. Reboot Virtual Machine

    Reboot the machine after installation.

    Istallation Progress One

  26. Remove the installation media

    Remove the installation media before reboot.


  27. Read and accept the License Information and create a user account if needed.

    Initial Setup

  28. Create a user account.

    Create User

  29. This will finish the configuration wizard

    Click Finish Configuration to continue.

    Initial Setup Two

  30. Sign In with user account

    CentOS One

  31. Select Language

    You will be treated with a screen to select the language. Select your language then click Next.


  32. Select your keyboard then click Next.


  33. Toggle Location Services either to ON or OFF as per your requirement.


  34. You can connect this VM to your online accounts. However, this is an optional step. We have skipped this in the demonstration.

    Online Accounts

  35. That’s all. Now, we are ready to go!!!

    Ready To Go

  36. Installation of CentOS is done on VMWare Workstation.

    Main Screen

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This is how you should install CentOS Linux on VMWare Workstation. We hope this tutorial post will help you in installing CentOS on VMWare Workstation. Thanks for reading this post. Please share this post and help to secure the digital world. Visit our social media page on FacebookLinkedInTwitterTelegramTumblrMedium & Instagram, and subscribe to receive updates like this.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is CentOS Linux?

CentOS Linux is a free, open-source, enterprise-class Linux distribution derived from the sources of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It is designed to provide a stable, secure, and high-performance platform for running various applications and services.

2. What is VMware Workstation?

VMware Workstation is a virtualization software developed by VMware that allows users to create and run multiple virtual machines on a single host computer. It supports various operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS, enabling users to test, develop, and run applications in different environments without the need for multiple physical machines.

3. Can I install CentOS Linux on VMware Workstation?

Yes, you can install CentOS Linux on VMware Workstation by following the step-by-step procedure provided in the guide. This will allow you to run CentOS Linux as a virtual machine on your host computer, enabling you to use its features and applications alongside your existing operating system.

4. What are the system requirements for installing CentOS Linux on VMware Workstation?

To install CentOS Linux on VMware Workstation, you will need:

1. A compatible host computer running Windows or Linux
2. VMware Workstation 15 or later
3. At least 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended) for the CentOS virtual machine
4. At least 20 GB of free disk space for the CentOS virtual machine
5. A CentOS Linux ISO file or installation media

5. Can I install CentOS Linux alongside my existing operating system using VMware Workstation?

Yes, you can install CentOS Linux alongside your existing operating system using VMware Workstation. By creating a virtual machine for CentOS Linux, you can run both operating systems simultaneously without the need for partitioning or dual-booting.

6. Can I access the internet from my CentOS Linux virtual machine on VMware Workstation?

Yes, you can access the internet from your CentOS Linux virtual machine on VMware Workstation. By default, VMware Workstation configures your virtual machine to use NAT (Network Address Translation), which allows your virtual machine to share your host computer’s internet connection.

8. Can I use USB devices with my CentOS Linux virtual machine on VMware Workstation?

Yes, you can use USB devices with your CentOS Linux virtual machine on VMware Workstation. When you connect a USB device to your host computer, VMware Workstation will prompt you to choose whether to connect the device to your host computer or the CentOS Linux virtual machine.

9. How do I update CentOS Linux on my VMware Workstation virtual machine?

To update CentOS Linux on your VMware Workstation virtual machine, open a terminal window and run the following commands:

sudo yum update sudo yum upgrade

This will update the packages and system components of your CentOS Linux virtual machine to the latest versions.

10. Can I install other Linux distributions on VMware Workstation?

Yes, you can install various Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian, on VMware Workstation. You can create multiple virtual machines, each running a different Linux distribution, and switch between them as needed.

About the author

Arun KL

Arun KL is a cybersecurity professional with 15+ years of experience spanning IT infrastructure, cloud security, vulnerability management, Penetration Testing, security operations, and incident response. He is adept at designing and implementing robust security solutions to safeguard systems and data. Arun holds multiple industry certifications including CCNA, CCNA Security, RHCE, CEH, and AWS Security.

To know more about him, you can visit his profile on LinkedIn.

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  1. Installing CentOS Linux on VMware Workstation is a straightforward process. Here's a step-by-step guide:

    **Step 1: Download CentOS ISO Image**

    1. Visit the official CentOS website (https://www.centos.org/download/) and download the CentOS ISO image that corresponds to your desired version (e.g., CentOS 7 or CentOS 8).

    **Step 2: Create a New Virtual Machine**

    1. Open VMware Workstation.
    2. Click on "Create a New Virtual Machine" or go to File > New > Virtual Machine.

    **Step 3: Virtual Machine Configuration**

    1. Choose "Custom (advanced)" configuration and click "Next."
    2. Select the "Installer disc image file (iso)" option.
    3. Browse and locate the CentOS ISO image you downloaded earlier.
    4. Click "Next."

    **Step 4: Guest Operating System**

    1. Select "Linux" as the guest operating system.
    2. Choose the appropriate version for CentOS (e.g., "CentOS 7" or "CentOS 8").
    3. Click "Next."

    **Step 5: Virtual Machine Name**

    1. Enter a name for your virtual machine.
    2. Choose a location to store the virtual machine files.
    3. Click "Next."

    **Step 6: Processor Configuration**

    1. Set the number of processors and cores per processor for your virtual machine.
    2. Click "Next."

    **Step 7: Memory Configuration**

    1. Set the amount of memory (RAM) for your virtual machine.
    2. It's recommended to allocate at least 1 GB for CentOS.
    3. Click "Next."

    **Step 8: Network Type**

    1. Choose the appropriate network type for your needs (e.g., Bridged, NAT, etc.).
    2. Click "Next."

    **Step 9: I/O Controller Types**

    1. Accept the default SCSI controller type.
    2. Click "Next."

    **Step 10: Disk Configuration**

    1. Choose "Create a new virtual disk" and click "Next."
    2. Specify the disk size (GB) and choose whether to store it as a single file or split into multiple files.
    3. Click "Next."

    **Step 11: Disk File**

    1. Choose a location to store the virtual disk file.
    2. Enter a name for the disk file.
    3. Click "Next."

    **Step 12: Ready to Create Virtual Machine**

    1. Review your virtual machine configuration settings.
    2. Click "Finish" to create the virtual machine.

    **Step 13: Start and Install CentOS**

    1. In VMware Workstation, select your newly created virtual machine.
    2. Click "Power on this virtual machine" to start it.
    3. The CentOS installation process should begin. Follow the on-screen prompts to install CentOS.

    **Step 14: Complete CentOS Installation**

    1. Set the language, time zone, and keyboard layout.
    2. Configure the installation destination (you can use the default settings).
    3. Create a root password and set up user accounts.
    4. Complete the installation process.

    **Step 15: Install VMware Tools (Optional but Recommended)**

    After CentOS is installed, it's a good idea to install VMware Tools for better integration and performance:

    1. In the VMware Workstation menu, go to VM > Install VMware Tools.
    2. Follow the on-screen instructions to mount the VMware Tools ISO and install it within the virtual machine.
    3. Reboot the virtual machine after installing VMware Tools.

    That's it! You've successfully installed CentOS Linux on VMware Workstation. Make sure to keep your CentOS installation updated and secure by applying regular updates and configuring necessary services as needed.

  2. Network boot from VMware VMXNET3
    Copyright (C) 2003 2012 VMware. Inc.
    Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Intel Corporation

    CLIENT MAC ADDR: 00 0C 29 AA E2 FD GUID: 564D0042-49BC-7488-4DDD-28465EAAE2FD
    PXE-E53: No boot filename received

    PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel PXE ROM.
    Operating System not found

    1. Select your Virtual Machine. Click on “Edit Virtual Machine Settings” > Click “CD/DVD”. Under the Device Status make sure “connected” and “connect at power on” options are checked.

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