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How to Install CentOS on VirtualBox

CentOS is one of the most popular Linux distros because it’s the open-source version of the RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). Almost all the devs must have used CentOS before jumping deep into RHEL and enterprise category. CentOS is mostly the playground of young devs.

Today, let’s learn to install CentOS on VirtualBox – the most popular virtualization software available. It’s open-source, cross-platform and offers the easiest environment for running virtual machines.

Getting CentOS

Before installing, we need to grab the installation source. In this case, we’ll be grabbing the CentOS ISO. Get the latest CentOS ISO. Make sure that you grab the “DVD ISO” that comes up with a medium collection of packages. The “EVERYTHING ISO” is a whopping 9GB ISO that contains all the CentOS packages, so not recommended (unless you’re sure that it’s what you need).

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Don’t worry. Whatever you grab, the installation is going to be the same.

Setting VirtualBox

Fire up VirtualBox.

Click on “New”.

Enter the name and choose the version as “Red Hat (64-bit)”.

At the next step, enter the amount of RAM space you’re willing to assign for the virtual machine. Minimum is 2GB but recommended 4GB. If you can afford 8GB, it’s the best.

Now, it’s time to create a virtual hard disk.

Select “VDI” or “VHD”.

Choose “Dynamically allocated”. This way, the more you fill the virtual machine, the virtual hard disk will grow accordingly instead of grabbing all the spaces you’re about to assign.

Now, for installing CentOS, I recommend assigning 16GB of disk space.

The virtual machine is set.

Select the “CentOS” and press “Ctrl + S”.

From “System”, assign 2 processor cores (or threads). If your system has more cores, then you can easily assign more to the system.

From “Display”, assign the highest “Video Memory”.

From “Storage”, select the ISO you just downloaded.

Once the options are set, it’s time to fire up the virtual machine!

Installing CentOS

Start the virtual machine.


Select “Install CentOS 7”.

This is the first page of CentOS installation. Make sure to choose your preferred language.

Now, it’s time to set all the installation options.

After everyhing is set, begin the installation.

While the installation goes on, set “root” password and “user”.

Wait for the process to complete.

Reboot the system for completing the installation.

Accept license and connect to a network.

System is up! Login into your user account.

When starting the system, you’ll find out the initial GNOME setup window. Follow on-screen instructions.


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