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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Part 1 – CentOS basic install.


As i have already said I am a Windows Guy and this is my first serious foray into Linux. I make no apology for the basic nature of this walkthrough or the inaccuracies in it. I just hope it allows someone to easily get started with Linux, while explaining what is going on (to the best of my knowledge), without having to go searching the net for various information.

So after having to have setup a Linux (CentOS) machines for my employer and failing to find a decent all in one tutorial from a windows perspective, (not to say I haven’t found any good articles, I have and I list these in the last section of this series of posts). I thought I would try and provide a simple walkthrough of how to setup CentOS. This install is a completely fresh install and will wipe anything on the disk, no dual booting etc…

Linux (CentOS) – Basic Install

Setting the scene: The machines I am using for this are old Compaq DL380 G1s, with 3 x 9GB drives in a Raid 5 config. I had create one logical drive.

OK lets get started, I am assuming you have got yourself either the CentOS 6 CD installation set or the DVD.

Boot the machine from the CentOS Disc.

image Press Enter to install in graphical mode.

imageHere you can test the CD media or skip the Test. (I had done installs already from this media so I skipped this, plus I had old hardware and this can take a while).

image Click Next.

image Select your language.

image Select your keyboard layout.

image  Ok this screen I got because the disk I had was completely blank as I had just created the raid area and logical drive. This is only a warning message that data is going to be overwritten, I had nothing on the drive so I clicked Yes.

image I was performing a complete fresh install so I left everything on this screen as is. Click Next.

image Another warning message about overwriting data, Click Yes.

imageOk in my situation I needed to manually setup my IP addresses. Click Edit button to manually change IP configuration.

image Here, after manually editing the network device eth0, I have added the gateway and DNS settings. A point to mentioned here is that I sit behind a proxy server, we will come back to this later as the gnome (desktop manager), yum (software repositiory) and web browser will all need to be configured to work with the proxy. So if you sit behind a proxy don’t expect by setting up your IP info here that the Linux install will connect to the tinterweb.


Select your location, either from the drop down or you can select it on the map.

image OK, the root user in Linux is equivalent to the Administrator account in windows. Now I know the practice in Windows is to rename your Administrator account to a less obvious name. I don’t know if the same can be said for the root account in Linux? Anyway just be aware this user is GOD and can do everything, so should be treated with care, and the password complexity should be equivalent to  its status.


Ok here you can select what you want to be installed, grouped together into categories, during the initial installation, you can always install features later, after CentOS is installed. I choose to install the Desktop – Gnome, Server components and the Server – GUI (adds GUI interfaces to the server components) components (being a windows guy ;o) ).
I did not choose the Packages from CentOS, the reason being that this will not update until the proxy is configured and I could not do this during the install wizard. I did try this on the first install I did and it took ages to time out, so if you have a proxy don’t select this option.image OK, we are ready to install, click Next.


This screen is a warning insuring you have all of your CDs prepared, there are actually 6 CDs in the complete set and I believe it just tells you here what exactly you need, depending on the installation selections you have made ( I only need the first 4 CDs).


The installation begins, with the setup of the hard disk and then software installation.

Go to part 2

Other parts in this series


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