CentOS Virtual Image

This CentOS 6.3 Virtual Image is created for the benefit of those attending HPC Training by HPC@LSU User Services. If you have questions regarding this image, please email lsuhpchelp_at_gmail.com. Please do not email the HPC Help Desk.

CentOS is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) which is OS used on the supercomputers that we administer. By downloading and installing this image, you acknowledge that

  1. You have accepted the EULA for CentOS.
  2. HPC@LSU is not responsible for adminstering this computer,
  3. You will treat this image as any computer you own i.e. you are the administrator for this system and it is your responsibility to keep this system secure,
  4. All software installed on our clusters are not installed on this image,
  5. Softwares are not installed in the same location on the clusters as they are in this image,
  6. Just because a software can be installed on this image does not imply that it is or will be installed on the cluster.
  7. This image is for you to play around with and for learning to work on a Linux OS and is not a subsitute for a LONI or LSU HPC account.
  8. If you decide to install Linux on your laptop or desktop, HPC@LSU will not provide support with the installation, you are on your own and will acquire necessary knowledge to do so.

As provided, there are two accounts on the system:

  1. user account with no password
  2. root account with no password

The account user is in the wheel group and has sudo permission.

As soon as you install this image, please do the following:

  1. Create a password for user
       [user@localhost ~]$ sudo su -
       [root@localhost ~]# passwd user

    You will be prompted for entering a password, you need to add the password two times.

  2. Create a password for root
       [root@localhost ~]# passwd root

    You will be prompted for entering a password, you need to add the password two times.

By default, the runlevel is set to text mode. If you want to change to a graphical or X-Windows mode,

  1. login as root
       [user@localhost ~]$ sudo su -
  2. edit the file /etc/inittab
       [root@localhost ~]# vi /etc/inittab
  3. Change the last line
       from id:3:initdefault:
       to id:5:initdefault:

    You will need to do this for the Training courses on Octave, GNUPLOT and LaTeX

This image was first created in Spring 2013 with only trainings provided in that semester as a reference. In future, as we develop new trainings, this image will be updated.

CentOS uses yum for managing the software database.

  1. To update the OS: sudo yum update
  2. To search for software called program: sudo yum search program
  3. To install a software called program: sudo yum install program
  4. To delete a software called program: sudo yum erase program

As we add more software to the image to suite future training courses, you will need to install software using the yum package manager. Instructions to do this will be provided in the Change Log section below. This is done so that you do not have to download and install an image for every minor changes that we make to image.

Change Log

  1. 12/02/2013: Upgrade to CentOS 6.5, run following commands on your downloaded image or download the image again
    • yum remove google-chrome-stable (Chrome gives a dependency error)
    • yum update
    • yum install kernel-devel kernel-headers gcc (Install Files for VBoxAdditions)

Download and Install

Download and Install Oracle VM Virtual Box, you will be leaving HPC@LSU website

Download Virtual Box Image

Install Virtual Image

Virtual Box

  1. Open Oracle VM Virtual Box
  2. From the Menu Bar, Select File>Import Applicance
  3. Click the Choose Button and browse and select the virtual images that you have just downloaded and click the Next button
  4. Click the Import Button
  5. Virtual Box will now import the Image, this may take a few minutes
  6. In the main Virtual Box window, you should see a virtual machine by the name "CentOS6.3", double click it or select it and then click the Start button
  7. When you get the login prompt, enter "user" for the login field and hit "Enter".


A detailed description is provided at an external website.

Sharing Folders between Host and Guest on VirtualBox

VirtualBox permits sharing of folders between the Host and Guest (in this case CentOS) OS. To enable this feature, you need to carry out the following steps:

As of Dec 2013, steps 1 through 7 are included in the image. These instructions are here for those who downloaded an earlier image of CentOS 6.3.

  1. Update system
  2.   [user@localhost ~]$ sudo yum update
  3. Install the following software packages:kernel-devel, kernel-headers, gcc
  4.   [user@localhost ~]$ sudo yum install kernel-devel kernel-headers gcc
  5. Reboot system into GUI mode
  6. Once the system has rebooted, from the menu bar, select Devices>Install Guest Additions
  7. Open a terminal and login as root using the command su - or sudo su -
  8. Execute the following commands:
     [root@localhost ~]# cd /media/VBOXADDITIONS_4.2.6_82870
    If you are using a different version of Guest Additions, use the command cd /media/{hit the tab key} and then enter
  9. Build and Install the Guest Additions kernel modules:
  10.    [root@localhost ~]#  ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
  11. If the build is successful, shutdown the Guest OS. If it is not successful, check if the above packages are installed or check the log file mentioned on the screen output
  12. Select the Guest OS from the main VirtualBox window, and then click the Settings tab.
  13. In the window that pops up, select the Shared Folders tab
  14. Add the Folder on the Host OS that you want to share with the Guest OS. If you want to write to this folder, make sure that the Read-only radio button is unchecked. I'm assuming the folder name is share.
  15. Start the Guest OS, preferably in GUI mode.
  16. Create a folder on the Guest where you want to mount the Shared Folder, e.g. mkdir -p ~/Shared
  17. Mount the Host Folder using the command
  18.   [user@localhost ~]$ sudo mount -t vboxsf share ~/Shared
  19. To auto-mount the Host folder at boot time, add the following line to /etc/fstab (you need to do this as root)
  20. 	share	/home/user/Shared	vboxsf	defaults 0 0
  21. Mount the Shared folder by entering the command mount -a as root or reboot system
  22. Your Shared Host Folder is now in /home/user/Shared