CentOS Minimal Build

Installing CentOS Minimal Build Server

Installing Centos 6.4

CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is a free Linux operating system that has 100% binary comparability with RHEL (Red hat Enterprise Linux). Because of this compatibility, many organisations choose CentOS as their choice of Linux. In the example that follows, we will show you how to install a minimal system without a graphical desktop. We will then go through the process of adding the graphical desktop and other components from the command line. To install CentOS 6.4 simply follow the instructions below:

To download your iso image of CentOS 6.4, simply follow this Link: CentOS 6.4 Download

For newer versions of CentOS6.x: Download CentOS 6.x

Once you have downloaded your CentOS iso image for the relevant architecture (32 bit or 64 bit), you will need to burn this to a blank DVD. For software that can do this, search for "dvd iso burning software" in the search box located at the top of this page. Your system may already have CD/DVD burning software installed such as "Brasero, K3B, Nero, CDBurnerXP or Roxio". Once you have burned your "iso" image of CentOS 6.4 to your DVD, you will need to leave the DVD in the DVD drive and reboot your system. (This example assumes you are using a i386 32bit version of the software). As your computer reboots, you will need to press the appropriate key to access your system's BIOS settings. On many systems this key will be "F8", "F11" or "F12". Most systems will display the a message indicating which key needs to be pressed. Once you have access to your BIOS settings, you will need to modify the boot sequence order of your system to boot from CD/DVD first. Once you have made this change, you can reboot your system and follow the instructions below.

Welcome to CentOS 6.4 Installer Menu

To start your installation of Centos 6.4, simply highlight the "Install or upgrade an existing system" and press enter. Your installation will now start.

CentOS 6.4 Installer menu

Test Media

It is always recommended that you test your media before carrying out an installation. If you are happy that your media is OK, then select "skip" to continue.

Test Media

CentOS Logo

To continue with your installation, click "Next".

Test Media

Select Installation Language

At this screen you will need to select the language to be used during your installation.

Select Language

Select Keyboard

From this screen you need to select the keyboard type to be used with your installation. I have selected "united Kingdom" in the example.

Select Keyboard type

Select Installation Device

From this menu, select "Basic Storage Devices" (assuming you will be using a standard hard drive).

basic Storage Devices

Storage Device Warning

From this screen you must confirm that any data on the specified disk can be discarded. Choose the option "Yes, discard any data" if you ar happy to continue.

Storage Device Warning

Select a hostname for your system

Select the name you want to use for your system on your network. This name should be a unique name on your network. It is good practice to use a naming convention that perhaps describes the server type and number if you have numerous servers. For this example I have gone with " centos64".

Select hostname Centos 6.4

Select Time Zone Location

Choose the location that you are located in. In the example, I have chosen "Europe/London" as this is my location.

Time Zone

Root Password

You must now specify a root password to be used for administering your system.

openSUSE 12.3 installation overview

Installation Type?

From this screen you must select one of the options. In the example I have chosen "Use All Space" as this is a virtual disk and no other operating systems are present.

Installation type

Write Configuration to Disk

If you are happy with your selections, you need to choose the ""Write changes to disk" to continue with the installation.

Write changes to disk

Choose OS Installation Type

Various choices are available to choose from depending on your planned use for your system. In this example I have chosen the default installation option. This will provide a basic system without a graphical interface. A Graphical interface (desktop) can be added after your installation. This will be covered later. To complete your installation, click "Next".

OS Installation type

Installation complete

Congratulations, your minimal CentOS 6.4 installation is now complete. You must remove any media from your CD/DVD drive and reboot your system.

Installation Complete

CentOS Loading Screen

If all goes well, you should see the following loading screen while your system is booting.

Automatic Configuration

Login Screen

From the login screen, you will need to login with the "root" user account and password.

Login Screen

Configuring the Network

Before we continue with creating any additional accounts, we need to define our network connection "eth0".

The command ip a s is used to display our current interfaces . The one we are interested in is "eth0". Currently their is no IP address assigned and the interface is indicating that it is in a DOWN state.

To configure "eth0" to obtain an IP address automatically, we need to check that it is using "dhcp" and that the interface should be started automatically at boot". We can check the current configuration by navigating to "/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts". Our interface configuration is stored in a file called "ifcfg-eth0".

LXDE Login Screen

Configuring interface eth0

Using an editor of your choice, you will need to edit the file "ifcfg-eth0" file an change its settings to match the ones below. You must not change the "HWADDR" or "UUID" options as these will be correct for your system. The only change should be to ensure that the "ONBOOT" option is set to "yes".:


Once you have made your changes and saved these. You will need to restart your network services with the command:

service network restart

Now if we issue the command ip a s we should see that our interface has now been assigned an IP address.

network Config Centos 6.4

Adding a new user account

At some point you will need to create a local account on your installation. The easiest way to achieve this is to issue the "useradd" command. In the example below the following commands were issued to create a user called "john". (amend accordingly)

useradd -m -c "John Local Account" john

The above will create the user "john" with a home area of "/home/john". Before you can use the account, you will need to set a password.

The command for assigning a password is passwd

passwd john

You will be asked to verify your password.

Create a new user

Reboot your system

To test out our new account and our network interface, we are going to reboot our server. The command to reboot is:

shutdown -r now

Our server should now shut down and restart. Once the server is backup we can use our new account:

Create a new user

Installing a Graphical Desktop (GNOME or KDE)

To install the GNOME desktop simply issue the command:

yum -y groupinstall "Desktop" "Desktop Platform" "X Window System" "Fonts"

You may also install the KDE desktop if you prefer with the command:

yum -y groupinstall kde-desktop

Change Current runlevel

As we have decided to add the GNOME desktop, we will need to change our default runlevel from "3" to "5" for the graphical environment to load. To do this we need to edit the following line in the file "/etc/inittab"


Currently this line specifies to start in a none graphical mode (runlevel 3). We need to change this to specify runlevel "5". Amend the line to read:


After installing the above, you will need to reboot your system by issuing the command:

shutdown -r now

Other Popular packages

You may also wish to install some of the following packages:

yum -y groupinstall "Internet Browser"

yum -y groupinstall "General Purpose Desktop"

yum -y groupinstall "Office Suite and Productivity"

Login Screen

After your reboot, your screen should be similar to the one in the example. Here you need to click on your local account and login with the password you created earlier.

GUI Login Screen Centos 6.4

GNOME Desktop

After you have logged in, you should now see your GNOME desktop and any of the additional software that you have installed.

GUI Login Screen Centos 6.4

KDE Login Screen

If you installed both desktop options GNOME and KDE, then you you will offered a choice of desktop to use. You can switch between either KDE or GNOME from the menu located at the bottom of the screen.

GUI Login Screen Centos 6.4

KDE Desktop

After you have logged in, you should now see your KDE desktop and any of the additional software that you have installed.

GUI Login Screen Centos 6.4