Quick installation (legacy)

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Warning.svg Warning: This article describes legacy version of OpenVZ. For current version, see Quick installation.

This document briefly describes the steps needed to install legacy 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 https://virtuozzo.com/openvz/


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/ https://download.openvz.org/openvz.repo

Import OpenVZ GPG key used for signing RPM packages:

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

To make sure that you are downloading tamper free versions of the signed packages you should verify the fingerprint of the key you imported into the rpm key database as described on the Package signatures page.

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.

  1. 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:

  1. 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.