Setting up the VM's

I’m using VirtualBox since it’s free, stable and works well with OSX. If I’m deploying my lab from a linux machine, I will most likely use KVM since it is included in the EX200/300 directives. I will have to create a separate VM to practice KVM.

VirtualBox Installation

  • Install VirtualBox

  • Install VirtualBox Extension Pack

  • Create a “Host-Only Network”. This command will create the default “vboxnet0” host-only network.

    VBoxManage hostonlyif create

  • Disable VirtualBox dhcp server

    VBoxManage dhcpserver --disable

Now we are ready to create the VMs.

Creating the VM’s

I use this script to create VM’s from command line. This is for Centos 7.1 with 8GB disk and 512MB RAM. Networking is also configured with Host-Only nic.

# Copyright (c) 2015 Grace Thompson Rights Reserved.
# Create virtualbox VM's automatically
# Version: Centos 7.1
# Update $ISO path as needed

printUsage() {
  echo " (vmhostname)"
  echo "Ex: linux0101"


[[ -n "$1" ]] || printUsage

echo "Setting up VM $NAME"

for NAME in $1 ; do
  cd ~
  VBoxManage createvm --name $NAME --register --ostype RedHat_64
  VBoxManage createhd --filename $NAME.vdi --size 8000
  VBoxManage modifyvm $NAME --memory 512 --acpi on --boot1 dvd --boot2 disk \
             --nic1 hostonly --hostonlyadapter1 "vboxnet0"
  VBoxManage storagectl $NAME --name "SATA Controller" --add sata --portcount 1
  VBoxManage storageattach $NAME --storagectl "SATA Controller" \
             --port 0 --device 0 --type hdd --medium $NAME.vdi
  VBoxManage storageattach $NAME --storagectl "SATA Controller" \
             --port 1 --device 0 --type dvddrive \
             --medium $ISO

echo ""
echo "VM $NAME has been successfully created"


Proceed with Centos install after creating the VMs.

Enable ssh from Host (hypervisor) to Guest VM

By default, VirtualBox will not allow you to ssh into your VM’s from the Host machine when using NAT. We’ll have to setup Port Forwarding to open up ssh.

  • Find the name of your VM

    vboxmanage list vms

  • Redirect ssh traffic to port 2222

    VBoxManage modifyvm "LabX Server" --natpf1 "host2guest-ssh,tcp,,2222,,22"

  • Now you’re all set. To ssh to your VM:

    ssh -p 2222 root@localhost

Install Virtual Box Guest Additions

  • Install needed packages

    yum -y install gcc* epel-release dkms kernel-devel

  • On your VM top tabs, go to Devices -> Insert Guest Additions CD image to mount the installer

  • Create some directories

    mkdir /mnt/cdrom ; mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

  • Install Linux Additions

    /bin/sh /mnt/cdrom/

Next: Configure proxy server

Written on November 17, 2015