SLAC ESD Software Engineering Group
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center

Kickstart VM under VMware

SLAC Computing
Software Engineering




This document describes how to create a VM running RHEL via Kickstart on a Windows machine.

Kickstart Virtual Machine Under VMware


Requirements –

Laptop (With 8 GB memory, 50GB free disk space, Wireless and Ethernet Connectivity).

Local Account on Laptop

Administrative Access on the Laptop using Local Account

Installed VMware Player on Laptop

Availability and access to RHEL kickstart repository over Ethernet.


Step # 1) Install VMware Player on Windows machine.

Download and Install Free version of VMware Player from following website. Read the agreement carefully before installing it.



Step # 2) Copy boot.iso on your laptop which will be used for installing Virtual Machine.

Note – These are SLAC specific steps. Though generic kickstart mechanism applies for any other site/location.

Copy boot.iso on your laptop. This step is SLAC specific step for kickstarting VM under VMware Player.

For RHEL-5 machine, you can get boot.iso from following location –

divekar@mcclogin $ ls -la /afs/slac.stanford.edu/package/RedHat/RHEL5/5u7/i386/DVD/images/boot.iso

-r--r--r-- 1 ksa sf 12877824 Jul 11  2011 /afs/slac.stanford.edu/package/RedHat/RHEL5/5u7/i386/DVD/images/boot.iso


Note: make sure 5u7 in the path for boot.iso matches with the entry in ks-vmw.cfg:

nfs --server= --dir=/vol/vol1/g.scs.redhat/RedHat/RHEL5/5u7/i386

Step # 3) Re-IP your Laptop for accessing RedHat Repository.

Note – These are SLAC specific steps. Though generic kickstart mechanism applies for any other site/location.

Configure your laptop’s IP Address for getting connected to SLAC’s DMZ network.

Connect your laptop’s Ethernet connection to DMZ network.

Check that you can ping any other DMZ host.

Note: this step is not needed. One can install the OS on any public network, as long as it knows how to access ks-vmw.cfg. For instance, I can install the OS on my desktop on LAVC network if I make ks-vmw.cfg avaiable on mccfs0

The VM will use the default and private IP, made available by local DHCP on VM, to communicate with outside via NAT through eth0.


Step # 4) Prepare VM space under VMware.

Start VMware Player and build Virtual Machine.

After starting VMware Player, select “Player” -> “FILE”  -> “New Virtual Machine”.

Select the boot.iso location and click on “Next”.

Select Linux and “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5” as your operating system.

Select 40 GB as Disk Capacity.

Click on Finish.








Step # 5 ) Build VM

From VMware Window, select VM and click on “Green Arrow” to power it on.

VM will boot from Red Hat boot.iso file.

At “boot:” prompt hit Enter to start Linux Installation and then follow normal server build procedures.


There is a special kickstart file created for RHEL-5 VM which can be also used.


[root@mccfs5 kickstart]# ls -la /usr/local/admin/kickstart/ks-vmw.cfg

-rwxr-xr-x  1 root root 3072 Jun 18  2013 /usr/local/admin/kickstart/ks-vmw.cfg




Command to start kickstarting a VM –

boot:  linux install ks=nfs:

or if on lavc network

boot:  linux install ks=nfs:




[SLAC ESD Software Engineering Group][ SLAC Home Page]

Author: Shashi Divekar

Modified: 03-Feb-2014

Update: Jingchen Zhou, 02/03/14