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How do I install CentOS in VMware Workstation 7 on Windows?

Posted on 2015-01-27
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Last Modified: 2015-02-01
I am trying to install CentOS on VMware Workstation 7 on Windows 7.  First, Does CentOS 6 run on Workstation 7?

I have a CentOS 6.4 complete DVD I got off eBay.  When that didn't work, I downloaded the 7 iso files that (I think) make up the CentOS 5.3 installation (WS 7 advertises as being compatible with CentOS 5.3).  Both have the same problem.  Taking CentOS 5.3 as the example, it gets to "disk" 4 of 7 then presents the attached image and freezes.   A keystroke cursor is shown, but NO KEYSTROKES ARE ACCEPTED.  If I try to install VMware tools, it says "VMware Tools installation cannot be started manually while Easy Install is in progress."  I am afraid to force a power down because I STILL HAVE 3 INSTALLATION DISKS LEFT.  Can you help?

Thanks
NCM
Disk-4-of-7-terminus.png
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Question by:NonComposMentis
17 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 40574479
Build a newer VM.

Or install a small linux like puppy or damn small linux in it. These are very small iso files but can verify if the VM is corrupt or not.
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Assisted Solution

by:Seth Simmons
Seth Simmons earned 50 total points
ID: 40574559
First, Does CentOS 6 run on Workstation 7?

No.  5.5 is the latest supported version

VMware Compatibility Guide
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=software&testConfig=16

i would attempt 2 things...
1) download the dvd iso instead of all those cd iso images and try that (5.11 is the latest release)

http://isoredirect.centos.org/centos/5/isos/x86_64/

2) upgrade to vmware workstation 11; 7 has been totally out of support since 2011

VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix
http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/support/Product-Lifecycle-Matrix.pdf
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40574607
Thank you both for the replies.

Nagendra, the way I'm doing it, the VM is created and the OS installed in a single operation (Easy Install).

Seth, I will see about the dvd iso tomorrow.  I was running VMware 10 and got so disgusted with its sluggishness I went back to 7.  I even had a bunch of experts working on the problem right here on EE!
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40576133
Centos 7 includes open-vm-tools that obsoletes vmware tools install
It is not formally supported before workstation 9 (but it works at least in ESXi 4.1 vmx-07)
You need 2 vCPUs in machine.

Why dont you download full centos ISO (like with torrent)? Disks you bought may contain backdoors and all sorts of hell spawn.
 You can install it on absolutely free virtualbox, or vmware player, fully supported both ways since inception.
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40576624
There is an update to this comment (below) you might want to see first.

Seth,

I downloaded the CentOS 5.11 DVD and installed it.  I had the very same problem as before, but you may find the series of attachments useful.  They tell a story of a guest OS that was taking input at one time, then just stopped.  If you force a shutdown and restart, you come back to precisely the terminal point shown in the images, character for character on the screen.

gheist,

You said "You need 2 vCPUs in machine."  Now I assume you're taking about CentOS 7 not CentOS 5, but I've always wondered in general, when I create a VM, is there any difference between giving it more than one CPU and giving it one CPU with more than one core.  I usually do the latter, but really, does it matter?

It would really take a lot to get me to go back to the bad old days of Workstation 10.  I do regret putting so much money into one computer 5 years ago.  It still takes about everything I throw at it.  I can run 6 VMs simultaneously and serve them up like a blackjack dealer.  But I have discovered the false economy of "future proofing".  New specialized software like VMware is written to run on new hardware, and old hardware, no matter how good, will never be up to the task.  Next time, I'm getting a cheap computer and just counting on upgrading both in tandem.

So I am fully licensed right now to run Workstation 7 or Workstation 10.  I just choose to run Workstation 7.  Before thinking of a later version of Workstation as an solution, I would like to know why the versions of CentOS that are supposed to install on WS 7 do not fully do so on my system.
CentOS51-installation-A.png
CentOS51-installation-B.png
CentOS51-installation-C.png
CentOS51-installation-D.png
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40576688
Seth, gheist --

I created a new machine from the CentOS 5.1 DVD iso, only this time I took a hint from gheist and gave it 2 CPUs with 2 cores each.  It did make a difference, although my problem of actually installing CentOS is not yet solved.

So what happened this time is that it ran into an error that the installation software actually recognized as such.  As shown in the first attached image, I was given no "Exception details", but I was given the option of saving to floppy or debugging.  As I do not have a floppy drive and I did not want it picking a hard drive at random to reformat, I chose "Debug".  The result is the second attached screenshot.  It does take input from the keyboard (yay!) as I confirmed by entering a space.

As far as the "read only file system" is concerned, it may or may not be relevant that I gave the machine a 100 Gb hard disk, which is far above the recommendation.  Unless you ask for a fixed size disk, VMware disks don't actually take up their maximum capacity until you actually put that much data in them, so I tend to over-specify.  Is it perhaps the case that CentOS needs a fixed disk.

I will keep the machine in this state until I hear from you guys again.

Many thanks!
CentOS51-2-installation-1.png
CentOS51-2-installation-2.png
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40576847
2 CPUs with one core each would suffice for CentOS7

Why would one in sane mind to install CentOS 5.11 that goes EOL in a year?
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40578700
gheist,

"Why would one in sane mind to install CentOS 5.11 that goes EOL in a year?"

Well yes, non compos mentis means "insane" :)  In the present case, I started off with CentOS 6.4, and it evolved downward from there based on advice I got from Seth (see above).  As you advise, I will go back to the later versions, but see also my next comment.
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40578709
All,

All I want to do is get some version of CentOS operating on my desktop so that I may compete a web development course from Pluralsight I want to take.  I am not putting clients' websites on it or anything.  I've been spinning my wheels for three months on infrastructure issues, and am almost to the point of just using my web host as the web server for the class.

Along those lines, do you know of any file editor that transparently allows you to pretend an ftp site is just another disk drive?  I did a quick google check and saw SlickEdit might to what I want, but it costs $300.

A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE WOULD BE CONSIDERED AT LEAST A PARTIAL SOLUTION TO THIS QUESTION.

Thank you for all your help thus far,
NCM
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40578711
Install vmware player 10 and run what you want (or virtualbox)
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40578737
gheist,

"Install vmware player 10 and run what you want (or virtualbox)"

Can vmware player 10 be on the same computer as VMware Workstation 7 (simultaneously), or do I need to find another computer to run it on?
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Accepted Solution

by:
gheist earned 450 total points
ID: 40578776
I think the archaic product will not work after, but yes you can have them and hyper v and virtualbox all at the same time.
Easiest is to install virtualbox, that does not conflict with vmware files. Hyper V is not far from ease there.
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40579025
I have downloaded and installed virtualbox on an older computer (I was a little surprised it allowed the installation).  I will try a pre-build centos image on it tomorrow.  If it still doesn't work, I have newer computers I can use (including the one now running VMware).
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Author Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40581135
I tried it on the older computer (Q6600).  I think it will work (VMware 6 did), but it seems I need to get the 32 bit version - either of virtual box or the pre-built VM or both.  If I have time tomorrow, I'll try again.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40581142
You need to enable virtualisation technology in BIOS. Q6600 supports it.
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Author Closing Comment

by:NonComposMentis
ID: 40583330
gheist stayed with me to the end and deserves most of the credit, but Seth's VMware compatibility guide was also useful and much appreciated.  The key that solved the problem was to leave VMware behind and install virtualbox.  I am still having trouble with internet connectivity which may be the subject of another question, but *this* question has been resolved.
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Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40583377
Virtualbox can be configured to bridge to network interface, than act like a new computer next to "host"
Default is to NAT like vmware...
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