Installing Red Hat Linux 6.2 in VMware Fusion

Howdy, fellow readers! Here’s yet another tech-related blog post of mine, in which I’ll be documenting how I installed Red Hat Linux 6.2 in VMware Fusion, though it should work with any VMware product.

For some reason, getting older operating systems to run at least somewhat nicely under newer virtualization software feels kinda pleasurable to me. If you feel the same way, this post’s for you! Feel free to read on.


First of all, obviously you’re going to need a copy of VMware. I believe you can use the free VMware Player as well, but since I’m on a Mac (and therefore have to use VMware Fusion) I haven’t tested it there.

Third, you’re obviously going to need the Red Hat Linux 6.2 install media. You could use an actual CD, if you have one, or you could grab an ISO image from the Internet.[1]

When you’ve got everything, let’s get started.


First, I fired up VMware and created a new virtual machine.

For the installation method, I chose to create a custom VM, because I’ll have to modify the settings later anyway. When asked to pick an operating system that’ll be used, I picked Other Linux 2.2.x.

I left most of the other settings at their defaults. However, I had to modify some more settings instead of outright launching the VM, otherwise it wouldn’t work correctly.

First, I removed the virtual camera. It wouldn’t work in such an old OS anyway, and VMware needs it removed before I can downgrade the version. Then, I changed the VM’s compatibility settings to version 6.[2] Finally, I inserted my Red Hat installation disc into my optical drive and fired up the VM.

When the CD boot screen appeared, I just used the default settings by hitting ENTER.

Once the installer loaded, I just followed the on-screen instructions. When asked about XFree86 configuration, I used the generic VGA settings, the VMware Tools installer will reconfigure the server later anyway.

When booting up the freshly installed system, make sure to boot using the linux-up kernel (i.e. enter linux-up at the boot: prompt); otherwise the system’ll get into an infinite loop and spit out nasty errors looking for a BusLogic controller:

“Successfully”? I don’t believe you…

I logged in as root and mounted the VMware Tools 3.2 ISO image (that you can download above). Then, I copied out the .tar archive from it and launched the install script:

# mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
mount: block device /dev/cdrom is write-protected, mounting read-only
# tar xzf /mnt/cdrom/vmware-linux-tools.tar.gz
# cd vmware-linux-tools
# ./

Once finished, I launched XFree86 and KDE appeared in glorious 1024×768!

I then modified /etc/lilo.conf so that I wouldn’t have to keep entering linux-up every time I wanted to start the system up:

After that, I opened up a terminal and ran lilo to update the boot loader’s settings:

[root@redhat62 /root]# lilo
Added linux
Added linux-up *

After rebooting, LILO happily booted the linux-up kernel by default.


Installing a vintage Linux distribution isn’t as simple as just creating a new VM, inserting the ISO and installing. To run under later versions of VMware, some modifications have to be done to get it to run.

If you try it and run into any trouble, don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments below, I may be able to help you.


  1. Red Hat hosts various old releases, including 6.2, here:
  2. You can also do it manually by adding the following in your .vmx file:

    config.version = "8"
    virtualHW.version = "6"



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