I’m running my Nutanix CE lab on dedicated hardware, but you can also install it virtual in VMware Workstation (for example). In this blog I will explain how to do this. Before we continue there are some requirements:

  • Make clear if you want a 1 node or 3 node cluster;
  • Make sure you have a list of IP-Addresses available on your own lan which are not in use;
    • For each node 2 ips (AHV and CVM);
    • 1 ip for the cluster virtual ip;
    • 1 ip for each Prism Central virtual machine;
    • 1 ip for Prism Central virtual ip;
  • Have enough memory available on the machine where VMWare Workstation is running.

The requirements for Nutanix CE are: (Link)

  • 20GB memory minimum (32GB if dedupe and compression are used);
    • I recommend 32GB a
  • 4 CPU Cores minimum;
  • 64GB Boot Disk;
  • 200GB Hot Tier Disk;
  • 500GB Cold Tier Disk.

So if we want a 3 node Nutanix CE cluster we need 96GB ram for the virtual machines (the nodes). In this blog I will create a 1 node “cluster” and give pointers to create a 3 node cluster.

First make sure you have the latest Nutanix CE installer (ISO) downloaded. It can be found in this blog post van Angelo: (Link)

Make a sheet with the IP-Addresses you are going to use  :

  • Node 1:
    • AHV
    • CVM
  • Cluster Virtual IP:
  • Netmask
  • Gateway:

Note: these are ip-addresses for my lan. Again, use ip addresses for your own lan. 

These addresses should be on the same network as where you machine is attached to. We are going to use the bridge network functionality from VMWare workstation so that AHV, CVM and Cluster IP is available on your network.

In VMware workstation create a new Virtual Machine:


Click: Next.

Select the CE installer iso file.

For the guest OS select: CentOS 7.

Virtual Machine name: <Pick your own name>

Processor: 1 Processor and 4 cores.

Memory: 32GB.

Network Type: Use Bridge networking.

Select for the controller: LSI Logic.

Select for the disk type: SCSI.

Create a new disk.

This will be the boot disk. Create a 64GB disk.

Name the disk.

Click: Finish.

Edit the virtual machine and remove the sound card and the printer.


Select: Processors.

Check: Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT.
Add a new 200GB disk, this will be the hot tier disk. 

Add a new 500GB disk, this will be the cold tier disk.

Your virtual machine should like like this:

Start the virtual machine.

The installer will boot and after a while the configuration screen is displayed. Fill in the correct configuration. For this tutorial I’m skipping the “Create single-node cluster” part.

When the installer is ready reboot the virtual machine.

If you need a three node cluster repeat the above steps 2 more times for the 2 others nodes (with their own ip-addresses). And then continue below.

When all (1 or 3) nodes are booted login to the console with the default credentials root nutanix/4u and ssh into the cvm running on the node: ssh nutanix@<cvm_ip>

the default password is nutanix/4u

When you are in the cvm run: watch -d genesis status


If genesis is running (there are pids behind the service name) you can continue to create the cluster. (Press CTRL+C to quit watch)

For a single node cluster the command is: cluster -s <cvm_ip> –redundancy_factor=1 –cluster_external_ip=<cluster_virtual_ip> create

For a three node cluster the command is (when genesis is running on all three nodes): cluster -s <cvm_ip_1>,<cvm_ip_2>,<cvm_ip_3> create

This will take a while as the cluster is created and alle servicers are started on the CVM(s).
As we didnt specify dns servers during cluster creation, Community Edition will configure 2 google dns servers.

The cluster is accessible via https://<cvm_ip>:9440. Login with admin nutanix/4u

After login you need to login with your Nutanix Community account. Make sure you are registered.

Now you are ready to configure the cluster to your needs (ntp, dns, containers, prism central, password, files, etc etc etc)



Jeroen Tielen

Experienced Consultant/Architect with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Citrix, Microsoft, VMware, Ivanti, etc.


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