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Red Hat Tips on VMware Guest

This page will provide a few tips on installing, configuring and maintaining Red Hat Enterprise Linux guest on vSphere. These settings are for now especially for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 on vSphere 5.1 GA, but I foresee an upgrade to vSphere 5.5 in the near future. The storage platform is Fiber Channel.

There are a few steps that are part of installing vSphere guests. You create a Virtual Machine and configure the required hardware. Then the OS installation takes place, after which the Red Hat configuration can take place. Also, there are a few considerations that can be taken account that can also apply to Red Hat installations on physical hardware.


  • Only 64 bits RHEL supports 'Hot Add Memory' and 'Hot Add vCPU' operations.
  • Be aware that RHEL 6 will use the MAC address and UUID of a NIC in de config files. If a MAC address changes of an adapter the interface cannot be brought back online. MORE INFORMATION AND SOLUTION NEEDED!!!
  • Make sure the disk alignment is aligned. Use fdisk with -cu flags to make sure this is also the case for new partitions.


RHEL Installation

  • Use a minimal installation to prevent unnecessary packages to be available. This will keep a small footprint and will prevent unnecessary patching.

RHEL Configuration

  • VMware prefers to disable or set SELinux to permissive mode while working with VMware Tools. If the SELinux policy package is 3.7.19-55 or higher this should no longer be a problem. When in doubt, keep to Permissive Mode
  • Use a NTP server
    • Add tinker panic 0 to the top of the ntp configuration file /etc/ntp.conf to prevent the NTP daemon to stop due to big time lapses caused by suspending VMs
    • If a NTP servers is used, do not use time synchronization between ESXi and the the guest
      • See for more information
      • tools.syncTime = “FALSE” in the configuration file ( .vmx file)
      • Deselect Time synchronization between the virtual machine and the host operating system in the VMware Tools toolbox GUI of the guest operating system
  • Use the 'noop' I/O scheduler ('elevator=noop' kernel parameter) since vSphere also does IO optimalization/queueing, so there's no need to also do this on the guest level
  • Use the relatime option (preferred over the noatime) option
  • Since kernel 2.6.32-358.6.2.el6.x86_64 cloning and snapshots may hang:
nableSyncDriver = false
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redhatvmware.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/23 22:25 (external edit)