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How to configure ClearOS on VMware ESXi

A quick tutorial on how to run first time ClearOS configuration. Includes network setup and additional apps from the Marketplace

Now that the basics of the installation have been covered next is to run the wizard which will help us to configure ClearOS. This includes setup for additional Network cards, OS install registration which is preparatory for registering on the Marketplace and also to download available updates for the latest packages.

Everything is accomplished through a Web page. Let’s take a look at these simple steps.

How to easily configure ClearOS on VMware

domalab.com Configure ClearOS install wizardSince the OS installation has been completed let’s login to the shell terminal to reboot the VM. Before doing so let’s disconnect the installation ISO.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS root password

In this occasion if we need to add new Network cards we can take advantage of this phase when powering down the VM rather than rebooting.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS system reboot

A few moments later and we are back to the wizard. One of the first options to configure ClearOS is about the Network so that it can automatically configure the basic IPtables rules for the built-in firewall. From here it is possible to choose between Public Server, Gateway and Standalone mode.

More info can be found on the documentation page. For our setup we’ll be using the Gateway Mode benefiting from a Firewall as well protecting our internal VM Network.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS network mode

At this point we can also see the additional Network cards being the “ens160” the first one we used during ClearOS installation. From this wizard we can now configure ClearOS for the additional ones by setting the IP addresses along with Roles: External, LAN, Hot LAN and DMZ.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS netwok interfaces

In my case I will have 1 external (connected to the external router) and 3 LANs to accommodate the internal VM Network traffic plus vMotion and Provisioning.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS networks

Let’s provide an IP Address for external DNS queries (Note: it is also possible to configure ClearOS as a DNS/DHCP/SSH server with built-in Network package).

domalab.com Configure ClearOS dns config

At this point we need to specify the subscription type: Let’s use Community Edition.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS community edition

If not done already now it is time to create a login to ClearCenter and fill the required information.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS system registration

The system registration provides a summary of the basic information. Once the account is created it is also possible to manage the installation of ClearOS from the Portal.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS system registered

At this point we are ready to check and install updates.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS system updates

the process is very quick and fully automated.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS updates

Let’s specify the domain we’ll be using. If any or leave it blank.

domalab.com Configure ClearOS domain settings

ClearOS offers the ability to have a separate hostname for internal and external access. I prefer to use a single one in this case.

Let’s specify the time zone.

At this point we can setup how the packages from the Marketplace will be available. Personally I find interesting to use the “Category” view.

From here let’s take a look at the various packages can be installed and organised by categories.

The initial packages I intend to install are a Content Filter Engine which will cache all files that will be downloaded from VMs on the internal Network. Very useful when downloading same files multiple times or why not even with files downloaded during Windows Updates. When it comes down to firewall rules it is possible to use “IPtables” from the command line or as alternative the Web GUI to manage the Firewall rules in an easier way.

For this reason I would suggest to install other 3 apps: Custom Firewall, Egress Firewall and Port Forwarding. Custom Firewall makes interaction with IPtables a lot easier and avoids connecting directly to the shell terminal on the VM.

Next is to configure a custom Dashboard or use a default one. Literally we can choose from a big variety of installed apps and commands operated directly from the Dashboard.

Since we have added the Content Filter Engine app it is now time to configure the cache will be used to store downloaded files including the max file size. According to different needs larger drives might be needed and attached as additional storage.

This pretty much concludes the ClearOS configuration part. As announced at the beginning it’s a very quick and easy process. The virtual machine is very responsive and considering ClearOS is based on Linux CentOS distribution why not install Open-VM-Tools to improve performances even more? That’s what we’ll cover in the next article.

About the author

Michele Domanico

Passionate about Virtualization, Storage, Data Availability and Software Defined Data Center technologies. The aim of Domalab.com is sharing with the Community the knowledge and experience gained with customers, industry leaders and like minded peers. Always open to constructive feedback and new challenges.


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  • Hi, thank you for your tutorials. They are really helpful. I have however one problem. I have a HP Proliant Gen8 with 4 network ports on the backside. In your tutorial it is not shown how you added the others ports. I could install only one network, following another one of your tutorials, but I cannot install anymore. Could you help me out?

    • Hi Dariusz,
      Thanks for you comment! Glad you find them useful.
      I’m assuming all network cards are installed and visible to ClearOS web interface in Network > Settings > IP Settings.
      In the Network Interfaces section for each physical NIC (ens###) there is an edit button to provide the necessary details based on your chosen installation mode.
      If this NICs are not visible make sure they are supported by ClearOS. Alternatively it might be a matter of finding the proper NIC drivers for ClearOS. You might be able to find them in the pertinent YUM Repositories.

      Hope this helps.


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