More old virtual machines

After my adventures with RedHat 7.2 in VMWare, I decided to make a redistributable VM that was more or less compatible. The main reason is that VMWare Player is not available out-of-the-box on Ubuntu Gutsy (that’s what you get for messing with proprietary freebies!). Instead, I’ve been playing with the open source rather excellent VirtualBox virtualization software.

Actually, the first thing I did was convert my RH7.2 VMWare image into a VirtualBox image. Through the magic of qemu-img I first converted it to a raw disk image: (In fact, you can use a VMWare .vmdk file directly in VirtualBox, but you won’t get some of the fancier features like snapshots.)
qemu-img convert redhat72.vmdk redhat72.bin

Then I used a VirtualBox tool to convert the raw image into the “vdi” VirtualBox format (you might need a lot of disk space for this step):

vboxmanage convertdd redhat72.bin redhat72.vdi

That image worked fine in VirtualBox (noticably slower than VMWare though, even with the vboxdrv kernel module loaded.) When it first loaded, the RedHat hardware utility kudzu discovered the changes in virtual hardware and set everything up with no problems.

I also created a CentOS 2 virtual machine for VirtualBox. CentOS 2 is a clone of RedHat Advanced Server 2.1, built from source with the RedHat trademarks removed and therefore it is permissible to redistribute it. This OS is very similar in vintage to RedHat 7.2, and most statically compiled programs will work on both platforms (which is what I need it for)

As per my VMWare image, I have installed subversion (3.4.2 from source, works with svn+ssh:// protocol but probably not for https://); GCC v3.4.6; Boost v3.4.1; and GSL v1.9. The source directories are in /root/temp/installation.tar.bz2. I also updated the OS using yum to get the final version of all the packages. I don’t think that CentOS 2 is still being updated though, so this is really not a safe OS to have on your network.

After installing I ran vboxmanage modifyvdi centos2.vdi compact which doesn’t do anything at all on it’s own. Apparently it only shrinks zeroed sectors, so first you need to run
dd if=/dev/zero of=filler
rm filler
then the modifydvi command again. This got it down to 2GB.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a virtual machine that’s 100% compatible with RedHat AS 2.1 and 95% compatible with RedHat Linux 7.x, you can download the VDI image for VirtualBox here. The root password is ‘centos2’ and the file weighs in at 560MB.

7 replies on “More old virtual machines”

Thanks for the image.

Althoug, it could be fine if you explain how did you install redhat 7.2 on virtualbox.

I’d install it, but I don’t know which graphic card and monitor select in redhat install procedure in order to get Xwindow working.

i also only need to know how to get the graphics card up and running, install went fine just no gui… :(


I too need a redhat 7.2 system for compiling to an old hardware platform.. It would be very nice with a v-box image – unfortunately it seems that the link above for your centOS v-box image is broken or the file is missing…
It would really help me if I could get a hold on the image… do you have it somewhere else?

Best regards,

Sorry! That link was to a university server and my account has been shut down. I’m afraid you’ll just have to follow the instructions here and make your own.


Just to share some experience.
It is possible to use the two iso’s for redhat 7.2 in virtual box directly and install from scratch. You just need to ensure that the the harddrive mounted by virtual box (the .vdi file) is mounted as an IDE interface instead as an SATA.
I was however not able to start x server but that could be because I specified my video card incorrectly.

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