Nowadays things are even more easy; Docker provides an easy way to create software containers without you having to provision virtual machines or having to hunt for spare laptops.
Currently I'm running Fedora 20 on my laptop and in order to demonstrate stuff on RHEL7 all I need to do is to launch a RHEL7 in a container using Docker.
Couple of easy steps to test it out yourself:
On Fedora the RPM package is called "docker-io", let's install it first:
yum install docker-io
Add yourself to the Docker group so you don't need to use sudo later on:
sudo usermod -a -G docker $USER
Start Docker and enable it on boot time:
systemctl enable docker
systemctl start docker
Download RHEL7 base image
https://access.redhat.com/search/browse/docker-images#? -> "Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 base image container in Docker Format"
Load the image into Docker and verify it's listed:
docker load -i ~/Downloads/rhel-server-docker-7.0-21.4-x86_64.tar.gz
REPOSITORY TAG IMAGE ID CREATED VIRTUAL SIZE
redhat/rhel latest e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
rhel latest e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
redhat/rhel7 0 e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
redhat/rhel7 0-21 e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
redhat/rhel7 latest e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
rhel7 0 e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
rhel7 0-21 e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
rhel7 latest e1f5733f050b 10 weeks ago 140.2 MB
Start your RHEL7!
docker run -t -i rhel7 /bin/bash
bash-4.2# cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 7.0 (Maipo)
So what just happened? We told Docker to run "rhel7" image and start "/bin/bash". Option -t allocates a pseudo-tty (terminal) and -i is interactive mode. If you forget the flags your image is started in background.
You can use docker ps command to list running images, common use case is to open another terminal to do this while your image is running:
CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES
9469ec5c152b redhat/rhel7:0 /bin/bash 4 seconds ago Up 2 seconds distracted_ritchie
You'll probably want to learn about creating your own layered images, creating services within the image such as Apache or MySQL etc.
One good place to start learning is the Red Hat customer portal: https://access.redhat.com/articles/881893 "Get Started with Docker Containers in RHEL 7".