How To's & Guides Installing and the Basic Configuration of CentOS

Installing and the Basic Configuration of CentOS

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Within the last year in working my current job my employer has started to make a shift on our project being more focused on our primary Operating Systems of Microsoft Windows and Solaris UNIX to Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Linux. One of the major problems is the two main system administrators (Myself the Certified Windows Admin and my partner Ed, the Solaris UNIX Admin) working on this project were NOT Linux literate, myself more so than my partner. The other problem we had was obtaining the Red Hat Linux Software; the main problem with this was not really getting the software as it was to having to buy the mandatory “Support” in order to legally use the software. Believe it or not Red Hat has found a way to basically charge for the use of what is supposed to be a free Operating System.

So my partner Ed did some asking around and found CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) which is essentially a exact Clone of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, right down to the version numbering system. The only real difference between CentOS and Red Hat is the operating system is labeled with CentOS and not Red Hat; the other is there is no “mandatory support” that has to be brought in order for it to be used.

So with choice of Linux OS in hand our Lead wanted us to start loading around a dozen or so PC’s with the CentOS but we still had the problem of not knowing whole lot about this OS. So I went to my best friend in the whole wide world Google and found a gentlemen from the UK by the name of Andrew Mallet (Not of any relation to Andrew Edney of Connected Digital World) who has posted over 30 plus videos on the CentOS 6 operating system alone on his you tube channel theurbanpenguin. I immediately started within the next few days watching his videos which helped me immensely in doing my job.

So I have now decided to pass on what I have learned on to our readers here at Connected Digital World, I hope you enjoy.

 

John Keller
John has been in the IT profession for over 20 years along with being certified in both Comptia Security + (2008 edition) and a MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) on Both Windows XP & Server 2003 Administration, He currently works as an Windows System Administrator for Northrop Grumman in the Greater Los Angeles Area and manages 3 Windows Active Directory Private Networks (Two 2008 R2 and One 2012 R2) along With 2 VMware EXSI 5.5 Servers in the US. He has been an avid fan and follower of Windows Home Server (Now the Essentials Role of Windows Server) and Visualization Since 2009. He is currently trying to exploit the full potential of Microsoft's Windows Server Operating System to the Home & Small to Medium Business Community along with the power of Visualization. When not being a Nerd and a Geek he likes to watch Movies, Read Comic Books, and most importantly spend time with his family.

22 COMMENTS

  1. “Believe it or not Red Hat has found a way to basically charge for the use of what is supposed to be a free Operating System.”

    Wow. You do realize that Red Hat is the #1 contributor to the Linux kernel, to the C libraries, the development environment, and numerous Open Source projects which rely on Linux like OpenStack, Gluster, oVirt, GNOME, and countless others, right?

    You understand that the CentOS distro you are using is the result of the work of literally thousands of developers paid BY RED HAT, right?

    Do you think that all of that work is paid for by good will and positive thoughts? Or that the software fairy sprinkles magic dust on the computers and suddenly code pops out at no cost?

    Sorry to be harsh, but Red Hat charges a fair rate for the work it does. Your indignation that you don’t get the bits for free is a little childish.

    You can get Red Hat Enterprise Linux for as little as $349. For development, it’s $99. How much is Windows Server?

    If you derive value from the software, doesn’t it make sense to support its development?

    • LW,

      1st off, thanks for your post and feedback on my article.

      2nd of all, I take no offense what so ever on your stance concerning your views or interpretations of Rad Hat’s Business Model.and appreciate your feedback, everyone is welcomed to their own opinion.

      However while you do make some good valid points I do believe Red Hat does go against the founding principals of what Linux was originally created for in the 1st place 20 years ago and that it should be FREE and used without the fear of having to pay a charge to run it on your PC as it was originally intended for. While there “support” is cheaper than a licensed copy of Windows Server as far as I am concerned Red Hat is as bad or worse than Microsoft because they at least from the get go let it be known that they were going to be paid for their time on develop and selling their OS.

      Now that being said I do believe that if you are using CentOS you should donate either money or hardware for their time, effort, and resources as stressed in my video because I do feel they put out a superior business end product.

      Thanks for your post and hope to hear back from you soon.

      • You seem to have a basic misunderstanding of the freedom implied by the Free Software Foundation’s definition of free software. It is *NOT* about software being gratis (free of cost) it is about software being free as in speech… as in access to the source code and being able to use it and make modifications to it. Red Hat in no way restricts that.

        Red Hat charges a support fee and that extends to use of the binaries that they build. As you have acknowledged, releasing the sources for everything they distribute (in an easy to digest form via source rpm packages) has made it possible for other projects (such as CentOS, Scientific Linux, and Oracle) to make a clone of their work. There is nothing wrong with clones.

        What I (and I’m guessing others) are complaining about is that you seem to fault Red Hat with wanting to turn their work in Free Software into a business plan and make money. Red Hat isn’t holding a gun to anyone’s head. If you don’t want to use RHEL, you don’t have to. You historically have used Windows and Solaris both of which are not free software and have a cost requirement.

        Along with their binaries and support Red Hat also provides rather extensive documentation as well as an online Knowledge Base. The documentation is still freely available but some time ago they closed up access to their Knowledge Base to registered accounts. Their documentation is a great value that they don’t have to give away but they choose to.

        Red Hat caters mostly to those with deep pockets like Wall Street… or anyone else who needs access to developers to fix bugs and make changes in a timely fashion. While most hobbyists and small businesses will be perfectly fine with clones, if and when they need more support they can purchase Red Hat. So in essence, all of the EL clones are potential feeders to Red Hat and it is a thriving ecosystem with Red Hat being one of the most successful FOSS software companies around.

        To paraphrase your sentiment, it’s… wow, it is terrible that some companies are able to take free software and make money from it… well, that’s what the Free Software Foundation had in mind the entire time. Even in their earliest documents the FSF provided a handful of business models for making money with free software.

        The fact that Red Hat’s work spreads out to the greater Linux community both directly via the developers they employ and indirectly via the projects that they sponsor… shows that it is working. The Linux ecosystem is doing better today because of Red Hat (and others) who have been able to make a profit doing free software and feeding back in funds into R&D for 20 years now.

        You say your article / video isn’t for experienced / knowledgeable Linux / EL users… that it is meant for newbies… well if that is the case… get it right and teach them correctly. Rather than misinforming them with your misunderstanding that free software is about cost… because it isn’t.

        For the record, I use CentOS, Scientific Linux, and RHEL… as well as a few other Linux distributions… depending on the use case. It is great stuff. I don’t mean to be overly critical of your article / video… but I did want to correct you on that one point. Other than that, incredible job.

        • HI Scott while do not entirely agree on what you may interpret as free software or the Licensing practice of the Red Hat Business model I want to thank you for a honest and mature evaluation of my articlevideo. I am open to criticism and suggestions on what I put out in my articles and appreciate your input on this subject.

  2. “Free” as in Free Software Foundation, not as in “free” of charge. The MS Windows “expert” needs to educate himself before preaching.

    Where does Centos software come from? It downloads it for free from Red Hat before being repackaged. Anyone with sufficient IT skills can do the same. Oracle also produce a RH clone distribution, and sell support in direct competition with RH.

    • Hi vb,

      Yes I know Oracle has it’s own RH clone, but at least in Oracle’s case you have the option to purchase the “support” and not a gun to your head to buy it like in the case of Red Hat.

      Again, as I said with LW (or I could be speaking to LW) everyone is allowed their own opinion or interpretation of what they view concerning the facts that has been given. Me being a MS Windows “expert” as you put it has nothing to do with the research and my own conclusion based on the research done. Anybody can feel free to read and watch this article and come to their own conclusion as well. Bottom Line, If you do not like what is said or heard in the article than move on.

      Anyways this article was not really aimed at someone who obviously has a higher understanding of Red Hat Linux and their clones like yourself. This is meant for the average person to just show them basics on making their own Red Hat Linux Box in order to practice on along with giving them the resources to learn more if they choose to do so.

      V/R
      The MS Windows Expert

  3. One additional comment. In the video you say that EL6 is basically for servers and that if you want to use Linux at home you should use Ubuntu or something derived from it. I just wanted to add that Fedora Linux (http://www.fedoraproject.org/) should also be considered especially if you want to use a home desktop-friendly distro from which future RHEL releases will be derived. EL (Enterprise Linux = RHEL and clones) and Fedora compliment each other nicely. Fedora is sponsored by Red Hat and as a result they avoid any software that could potentially be a legal risk to them such as mp3 playback, patent-encumbered video codecs, etc. As a result, many Fedora users enable the RPMFusion repository which offers all of the legally questionable packages that Fedora won’t ship. There are a few Fedora-based remixes that include a good selection of rpmfusion packages in addition to Adobe’s Flash plugin and possibly the Google Chrome browser pre-installed. One such distro is Korora Lilnux.

    For more advanced users, Fedora has actually made it fairly easy to respin and/or remix your own flavor of Fedora with the software you want pre-installed. They do this by providing the kickstart files they used to build the various live media they provide. The kickstart files can be used in conjunction with their livecd-creator tool (part of the livecd-tools package). CentOS and Scientific Linux have borrowed the Fedora tools to make their own live media… so you can even respin / remix EL if desired.

    • Thanks for that information on Fedora Scott, while I had heard of that particular Linux Distribution I did not know all the fine points on it including its roots to RHEL. Ubuntu and Linux Mint are the only Linux Home versions I have used thus far.

    • I actually disagree with the recommendation for Fedora. It is, in many ways, a cutting edge test bed for the enterprise distribution. There are two projects which do a good job at turning CentOS or Scientific Linux into a good desktop operating system. One is Stella, a desktop oriented respin available at: http://li.nux.ro/stella/ The other, Fuduntu Enterprise Linux, is a set of packages and tweaks you can add on top of an existing 64-bit installation. available at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/fuduntu-el/

      • If you want your desktop to be just like EL with only a handful of added packages mostly for multimedia plaayback, then yeah, Stella or Scientific Linux’s live media are for you. Fuduntu died some time ago and so far as I know the subset of their packages they provided for EL is dead as well. But who wants a mostly-server OS on their desktop? And as I mentioned, if you want to get a taste for future EL releases, a clone of the current version can’t give you that but Fedora (being what RHEL releases are based on) can.

        While Fedora IS a test-bed for RHEL, Fedora is really much more than that. The main example I give is that Fedora has a gigantic package library when compared to EL. The vast majority of those additional packages will never be considered for EL. For example on my Fedora 20 64-bit prerelease setup I’m typing this from, yum repoinfo tells me there are 37,954 packages in the main repository. Compare that to an EL system and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

        Yes, Fedora is much more bleeding / cutting edge and that is what I like about it… on a desktop system… not a server of course.

        • Fuduntu EL is very much alive.

          Additional desktop packages are available in Stella’s repos and in EPEL, which are mutually compatible.

          Finally, and this is the big point, RHEL is NOT a server-only or mostly server distro. They specifically market desktop and workstation versions. In addition,
          In his review of Scientific Linux and CentOS for DistroWatch Weekly, Jesse Smith came to the conclusion that while CentOS is focused on servers, Scientific Linux is more desktop oriented. I agree.

          Fedora, IME, is often buggy and broken, or becomes so after an update. The enterprise distros are rock solid stable. They are indeed my first choice for a desktop. Some of us use our desktops/laptops/netbook for work and don’t want to be on the bleeding edge with all the breakage that implies.

          • Aren’t you glad we can have it both (or many different) ways? I like the bleeding edge. I don’t mind some occational breakage although it is fairly rare in Fedora although it seems to be played up alot. I just remember (reading it a few years later) when Linus Torvalds asked for the aid of a few good people who were tired of their computers “working” and who wanted a challenge. 🙂

            • You utterly, completely missed my point. I am all for a variety of distros serving a variety of needs. I am not anti-Fedora. However, when making recommendations you need to understand who you are recommending the distro to.

              This is a blog written by a Windows professional. That means two things: tech savvy, but only in the Windows way of doing things, and enterprise-centric. He says he isn’t terribly Linux literate. Fedora is good for an experienced Linux user who wants to be on the cutting edge as you do. It is a horrible choice for a newcomer. Second, you want to offer a Linux distribution that offers the kind of stability and reliability businesses need on the desktop. Rapid upgrade cycles, cutting edge, and some breakage is exactly the opposite of that.

              Your recommendation was a poor one not because of the quality of the distro, but because you didn’t consider the intended audience.

              • I wasn’t really recommending something to a particular person. So you would have been happy if I had just tacked on, “for Linux literate users”. Ok, whatever. 🙂 Some people think the amount of breakage in Fedora is probably better than your average Windows system and yet others that Fedora is fine for some new users. It’s all about personal preference and people’s vary… as do the experience levels of “new to Linux” users.

                I absolutely loathe the ancient versions of desktop applications that are on Enterprise Linux. When a new release comes out, it isn’t to bad, but as time goes by they get long in the tooth. Luckily Red Hat has been reving those some in the past few releases. The difference here is I’m not trying to say my recommendation would work for everyone. YMMV.

  4. No offense but you misunderstood the intent of free software. The freedom implied has to do with software that respects your freedoms, not software that is free of purchase.

  5. Following up on Scott Dowdle’s comments about what the “Free” in FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) means: it has always been free as in freedom not free as in no cost. There is NOTHING wrong with Red Hat’s business model.

    The code/software is free in both respects in any case. You can go to http://www.redhat.com/products/enterprise-linux/server/download.html and download the source code for the entire Red Hat Enterprise Linux release at absolutely no cost to you. Compiling it into convenient to install extras is another matter.

    CentOS simply takes the free code from Red Hat, removed the branding and trademarked logos and replaces them with its own. It then does the compilation and makes the code available in a convenient form. Scientific Linux and Springdale Linux essentially do the same. If Red Hat was really “holding a gun to [your] head” to buy a software subscription you wouldn’t be able to freely download the source or a clone.

    FWIW, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has no CentOS equivalent. For years Novell did everything in their power to successfully discourage such a project without explicitly violating the various and sundry FOSS licenses in their distribution.

    • Thanks Jim, Glad to know that you got past the intro slides and viewed the video for what it was meant for and that is to guide Beginners starting out to install there own test box.

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