How to Install Rocky Linux on VMware


Rocky 9 is a server-oriented Linux OS compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Based on intense community development, Rocky is currently one of the best CentOS alternatives. The distribution is free, open source, and caters to production workloads.

Virtual machine software, such as VMware, enables test-driving Rocky Linux. By relying on hypervisors, a host machine can separate hardware resources and provision them to the virtual machine.

This guide offers a step-by-step tutorial on how to install Rocky Linux on VMware.

How To Install Rocky Linux On VMware


How to Install Rocky Linux on VMware

Installing Rocky Linux on a virtual machine requires some additional setup in VMware settings. The process consists of two simple steps:

1. Create the Rocky Linux virtual machine and configure hardware settings.

2. Install Rocky Linux on the VM.

Below is an in-depth explanation of each step to follow along.

Step 1: Create and Configure The Rocky Linux VM

To create the Rocky Linux virtual machine, run VMware Workstation and:

1. Go to File -> New Virtual Machine to create a new VM. Alternatively, use the shortcut CTRL+N.

VMware workstation new virtual machine

The New Virtual Machine wizard opens.

2. Leave the Typical (recommended) configuration option and click Next.

New Virtual Machine Wizard configuration page

3. Choose the I will install the operating system later option and click Next.

Choosing the option "I will install the operating system later" in the New Virtual Machine Wizard.

4. Set the Guest OS as Linux. Open the dropdown menu and choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 for the version. Click Next to proceed.

guest os and version

5. Provide the guest OS name (Rocky) and installation location. Click Next to continue.

Providing the guest OS name (Rocky) and installation location

6. Specify the disk capacity and click Next to proceed. The minimum requirement is 20GB.

Specify the disk capacity

7. The final creation page allows customizing the hardware options for the virtual machine. Click the Customize Hardware button.

Customize hardware button

The hardware customization window opens.

8. Set custom values for the following options:

  • Memory (at least 4GB).
  • New CD/DVD (SATA) (provide the ISO image file location).
  • Network Adapter (choose Custom VMnet0 (Bridged)).
Hardware settings for Rocky Linux

Click Close to exit the hardware setup window.

9. Review the changes and click Finish when ready.

Create virtual machine Rocky

The Rocky Linux OS is ready for installation on the virtual machine.

Note: We also recommend you learn how to install Rocky Linux on VirtualBox.

Step 2: Install Rocky Linux On The VM

To start the Rocky Linux OS installation, click Power on this virtual machine.

VMware Power on machine Rocky

The virtual machine window opens.

To install the OS, follow the steps below:

1. Use the arrow keys to select the Install Rocky Linux 9.0 option and press Enter.

Install Rocky Linux 9.0 option

Wait for the installer to load and start.

2. Choose the language and keyboard layout. Press Continue to confirm the choice and proceed.

Rocky Linux language and keyboard

3. Set up the minimum required installation options. In the System section, choose Installation Destination.

System installation destination

4. Select the installation disk and click Done.

System installation disk select

5. Next, set up the Root Password account in the User settings.

Root password setup

6. Choose a strong password for the root account and click Done.

Root password entry

The minimal requirements are set up.

7. Review the installation summary. When ready, click Begin Installation to start the installation.

Rocky Linux begin install

Wait for the installation to complete.

8. When the installation completes, press the Reboot System button.

Rocky Linux installation complete

9. Log into the root account (username root, password from step 6).

Rocky Linux 9 root login minimal install

The virtual machine with Rocky 9 is ready to use.

Note: Our Knowledge Base also features a step-by-step guide on how to install Rocky Linux on your machine.


After following the steps from this guide, you've successfully installed Rocky 9 on a virtual machine using VMware.

Next, see how you can set up phoenixNAP's BMC server with Rocky 9 using the Custom OS feature.

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Milica Dancuk
Milica Dancuk is a technical writer at phoenixNAP with a passion for programming. With a background in Electrical Engineering and Computing, coupled with her teaching experience, she excels at simplifying complex technical concepts in her writing.
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