Provisioning Fedora CoreOS on VMware

This guide shows how to provision new Fedora CoreOS (FCOS) nodes on the VMware hypervisor.


Before provisioning a FCOS machine, you must have an Ignition configuration file containing your customizations. If you do not have one, see Producing an Ignition File.

You also need to have access to a working VMware infrastructure.

Downloading the OVA

Fedora CoreOS is designed to be updated automatically, with different schedules per stream. Once you have picked the relevant stream, you can download the latest OVA:

export STREAM="stable"
mkdir ova-templates
coreos-installer download -s "${STREAM}" -p vmware -f ova -C ./ova-templates/

Alternatively, OVA images can be manually downloaded from the download page.

Encoding Ignition configuration

For the vmware provider, Ignition requires two "guestinfo" fields to be present when the VM is first booted:

  • the encoding of the Ignition configuration.

  • the content of the Ignition configuration, encoded according to the format above.

For maximum compatibility, it is recommended to use base64 encoding and to prepare the Ignition configuration as such:

export CONFIG_B64=`cat example.ign | base64 -w0 -`

Booting a new VM on vSphere

This section shows how to use vSphere facilities to configure and run VMs, via the govc utility.

Importing the OVA

The downloaded OVA has to be first imported into vSphere library:

export FCOS_OVA='./ova-templates/fedora-coreos-31.20200210.3.0-vmware.x86_64.ova'
export LIBRARY='fcos-stable'
export TEMPLATE_NAME='fcos-31.20200210.3.0'
govc session.login -u 'user:password@host'
govc library.create "${LIBRARY}"
govc library.import -n "${TEMPLATE_NAME}" "${LIBRARY}" "${FCOS_OVA}"

Setting up a new VM

You can now deploy a new VM, starting from the template in the library and the encoded Ignition configuration:

export VM_NAME='fcos-stable-node01'
govc library.deploy "${LIBRARY}/${TEMPLATE_NAME}" "${VM_NAME}"
govc vm.change -vm "${VM_NAME}" -e ""
govc vm.change -vm "${VM_NAME}" -e "${CONFIG_B64}"

A new fcos-stable-node01 VM is now available for booting. Its hardware configuration can be further customized at this point, and then powered-up:

govc -e "${VM_NAME}"
govc vm.power -on "${VM_NAME}"