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How to Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL 8) on an Apple Mac

Did you know that you can run Linux on your Mac without needing extra hardware?

VMware Fusion* is a desktop virtualization program for Mac that lets you run Linux and hundreds of other operating systems alongside macOS without the need to reboot your Mac.

Virtualization is great because you don’t need to pay for extra hardware to set up your home labs, demos and staging environments. You can even take your demos on the road when using VMware Fusion* on your MacBook Pro.

Run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Mac

The following steps will show you how to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux on your Mac using VMware Fusion.

Step 1: Install VMware Fusion

  1. Download the Fusion installer file to your Mac. You can obtain the Fusion installer file from the VMware website*.
  2. Double-click the Fusion .dmg file to open it. The contents of the disk image appear in the Fusion Finder window.
  3. In the Finder window, drag the VMware Fusion icon to the Applications folder icon then type your administrator user name and password when prompted.

Fusion is now installed in the Applications folder on your Mac.

Step 2: Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

If you’re a Red Hat customer, login to the customer portal and download the RHEL 8.4.0 boot iso image.

If you’re not a Red Hat customer, you can get Red Hat Enterprise Linux for free by getting a Red Hat developer subscription.

A Red Hat developer subscription allows individuals to use Red Hat Enterprise Linux at no cost for personal servers, home labs, demos, prototyping, QA, small production uses and open source communities.

Click here to get a Red Hat developer subscription.

Login to your Red Hat developer account then download the RHEL 8.4.0 boot iso from here.Advertisements

Step 3: Create Virtual Machine

Open VMware Fusion, click + then New…

Select Create a custom virtual machine then click Continue

Select Linux > Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 64-bit then click Continue

Choose Legacy BIOS then click Continue


Click Connect CD/DVD Drive to make the Red Hat installation disk mount when the virtual machine is powered on.

Configure any other virtual hardware settings like CPU, Memory etc then close the Settings window.

The Red Hat Enterprise Linux virtual machine is now created and we are ready to install the operating system.

Step 4: Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Power on the virtual machine by clicking the play button.

Select Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 then press Enter

Wait for the graphical user interface installation wizard to load.

Select your language then click Continue

Now you will see the installation summary screen where we can’t click the Begin Installation yet because there are some things we need to configure first.

The first thing we need to do is enable the network adapter so the virtual machine can connect to the internet.

Click Network

Change the Ethernet switch to On, change the host name, click Apply then Done

You will be taken back to the installation summary screen. Click Connect to Red Hat.

Enter the user name and password of your Red Hat developer subscription then click Register.

Wait for the subscription to be applied.

Once applied, click Done

Assign a password to the root user account.

Select the hard disk you want to install RHEL on.

Click Software Selection

Select Minimal Install then click DoneStep 23

After the installation finishes, click Reboot and wait for the virtual machine to start.


VMware Fusion* is a desktop virtualization program that lets you run Linux and hundreds of other operating systems on your Mac. In this tutorial, you used VMware Fusion to create a Red Hat Enterprise 8.4 virtual machine.