OpenVZ installation


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

It is recommended to use a separate partition for containers (by default /vz) and format it to ext4.

yum pre-setup

Download openvz.repo file and put it to your /etc/yum.repos.d/ repository:

wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d/

Import OpenVZ GPG key used for signing RPM packages:

rpm --import

Kernel installation

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.

# yum install vzkernel

System configuration

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

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:

# yum install vzctl vzquota ploop

Reboot into OpenVZ

Now reboot the machine and choose “OpenVZ” on the boot loader menu (it should be default choice).

Download OS templates

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 directly from, or from one of the mirrors. Put those tarballs as-is (no unpacking needed) to the /vz/template/cache/ directory.


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