Quick installation

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This document briefly describes the steps needed to install OpenVZ on your RHEL 6 (CentOS 6, Scientific Linux 6) machine.

For Debian based systems, please see Installation on Debian.

A commercial version of OpenVZ is available, which simplifies installation with a single disk as well as supports networked installation using PXE boot. To learn more about Virtuozzo and request a free trial, please see http://www.odin.com/products/virtuozzo/
If you want to try a new development version of Virtuozzo 7, check Quick installation of Virtuozzo 7.


This guide assumes you are running RHEL (CentOS, Scientific Linux) 6 on your system. Currently, this is a recommended platform to run OpenVZ on.

/vz file system[edit]

It is recommended to use a separate partition for containers (by default /vz) and format it to ext4.

yum pre-setup[edit]

Download openvz.repo file and put it to your /etc/yum.repos.d/ repository:

wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d/ http://ftp.openvz.org/openvz.repo

Import OpenVZ GPG key used for signing RPM packages:

rpm --import http://ftp.openvz.org/RPM-GPG-Key-OpenVZ

Kernel installation[edit]

Limited OpenVZ functionality is supported when you run a recent 3.x kernel (check vzctl for upstream kernel, so OpenVZ kernel installation is optional but still recommended.

# yum install vzkernel

System configuration[edit]

Yellowpin.svg Note: With vzctl 4.4 or newer there is no need to do manual configuration. Skip to #Tools_installation.

Please make sure the following steps are performed before rebooting into OpenVZ kernel.


There are a number of kernel parameters that should be set for OpenVZ to work correctly. These parameters are stored in /etc/sysctl.conf file. Here are the relevant portions of the file; please edit accordingly.

# On Hardware Node we generally need
# packet forwarding enabled and proxy arp disabled
net.ipv4.ip_forward = 1
net.ipv6.conf.default.forwarding = 1
net.ipv6.conf.all.forwarding = 1
net.ipv4.conf.default.proxy_arp = 0

# Enables source route verification
net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 1

# Enables the magic-sysrq key
kernel.sysrq = 1

# We do not want all our interfaces to send redirects
net.ipv4.conf.default.send_redirects = 1
net.ipv4.conf.all.send_redirects = 0


SELinux should be disabled. Put SELINUX=disabled to /etc/sysconfig/selinux:

echo "SELINUX=disabled" > /etc/sysconfig/selinux

Tools installation[edit]

Before installing tools, please read about vzstats and opt-out if you don't want to help the project.

OpenVZ needs some user-level tools installed:

# yum install vzctl vzquota ploop

Reboot into OpenVZ[edit]

Now reboot the machine and choose "OpenVZ" on the boot loader menu (it should be default choice).

Download OS templates[edit]

An OS template is a Linux distribution installed into a container and then packed into a gzipped tarball. Using such a cache, a new container can be created in a minute.

Download precreated template caches from Downloads » Templates » Precreated, or directly from download.openvz.org/template/precreated, or from one of the mirrors. Put those tarballs as-is (no unpacking needed) to the /vz/template/cache/ directory.

Next steps[edit]

OpenVZ is now set up on your machine. Follow on to basic operations in OpenVZ environment document.