CentOS As A VirtualBox Guest

A person with whom I work occasionally uses CentOS 6 in almost all of his servers. With a new laptop running Windows 7 Professional he decided to start dabbling with the desktop side of Linux. Being familiar with CentOS 6, he leaned toward CentOS on his laptop. He wanted to then run Windows 7 in a virtual machine using raw disk access.

I recommended CentOS 7 because CentOS 6 is now on the “elderly side” with respect to software selections. Unlike servers, he is unfamiliar with the Linux desktop. He is a traditional desktop user. He is not fond of Unity, which one of his employees uses. I presumed then he would not be fond of GNOME 3. I recommended installing Xfce and MATE as well GNOME 3. That way he could tinker and decide on his own.

I wanted to get familiar with what needs to be installed to get his laptop usable according to his work flow habits. While I had CentOS 7 installed on my laptop until early spring 2016, I decided to spend some time reacquainting myself. I last installed CentOS 7 more than two years ago.

My typical approach is first getting familiar inside a VirtualBox virtual machine (VM).

I tried the 4.1 GB DVD ISO. This is not the 7.2 GB “Everything” DVD.

I was disappointed the DVD did not support MATE or Xfce.

After about 45 minutes the installation had yet to complete. I shut down the VM and reconfigured some VirtualBox options. Another half hour or so and I had yet to complete the installation.

Next I tried the 1.2 GB Live ISO. Same slow results. Click and wait. I mean really wait.

I have a CentOS 6 server VM. The system has always been sluggish. Once upon a time I tried running CentOS 6 as a desktop in VirtualBox. I remember the system being horribly slow.

I have no idea whether the problem is CentOS design, an anomaly between CentOS and VirtualBox, PEBKAC, or some combination thereof. I would like to know. Occasionally I perform some contract work on CentOS 6 and 7 systems. Using a VM is convenient for testing.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: CentOS, Virtual Machines

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