Thursday, January 3, 2013

[CentOS] Installing CentOS 6.3 Minimal Edition: Part 1

In this post I would list down the steps & tasks I performed after during and after successful installation of CentOS minimal edition.

During Installation
I install CentOS 6.3 in a VM via Oracle VirtualBox. The initial graphic RAM given was 12mb, that has caused CentOS setup fail to boot into a GUI installation. Installing from the old DOS-like environment is headache because somehow it does not show up any available drive for me to select to hold the CentOS.

After a few trials, I decided to re-configured and install in GUI environment. The installation went smooth and very quickly it is done and CentOS is up.

* One thing to take note during the installation is to setup the LAN connection otherwise you would not get connection once boot into CentOS. (Special thanks to Sharuzzaman Ahmat Raslan from Facebook General Linux Discussion M'sia for his advice and screenshot)

To setup the LAN, simply click on the "Configure Network" button on the bottom left.


After installation
Once CentOS boot up I'm required to login. Key in root and password (set during installation) then we can start to install everything.

****** This step only required if you forgot to setup LAN during installation ******
Before that I would need to bring up the network interface. I used NAT for the VM. The network interface is not up by default, I did ifconfig and only can see "lo". To bring up the network interface simply type:

# ifup eth0

Run ifconfig to check again and now eth0 has already up and running with DHCP.
****** End of network interface section ******

First thing to do is to perform update to overall system.

# yum update

It is easier and more straight forward to work under GUI than terminal mode. So I decided to install the Gnome Desktop Environment & KDE. The reason I install both because there are some KDE tools & programs are useful to me. Before we can install Gnome/KDE, we must first install the "X Windows System". Yum has an option to do groupinstall. It will help you resolve all dependencies, for novice users this come in very handy. Execute the following:

# yum groupinstall -y 'X Window System'

So what is mean by "-y" in the command line above? It means "answer yes to all", so the system will perform every resolved dependencies without getting further permission from me.

To install Gnome, execute:

# yum groupinstall -y 'Desktop'

* A reminder here: Restart is not required after install "X Window System". If one restarts the system, remember to bring up eth0 again.

Once the installation done, execute:

# startx

I'm now in the Gnome Desktop environment. To make sure it run every time we restart the system, simply go /etc/inittab and change the id:3:initdefault: to id:5:initdefault:.

* To change and save the inittab file, we can use:

# vi innittab

press "Insert" on keyboard to enter editing mode. Once done, press ESC and type ":wq".

Reboot with command init 6 and I can now work in desktop environment.

There are some issue with minimal edition of CentOS that is it comes with very limited tools we can use to configure the OS. The most critical stuff that are missing is text editor such as gEdit / Kedit / Leafpad. Personally I prefer Leafpad, but to install Leafpad it is not as straight forward.

Some other issue:

  1. the network interface is not configure to load automatically when OS starts
  2. Mozilla Firefox is not pre-install
I will cover in Part 2 how to install those missing stuff as well as configure the network interface so it loads with the system.

Until then, have fun with your newly installed CentOS!

Some useful links for reference:

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