CentOS 4 Installation & Configuration
By Joshua Erdman
Referring to my previous article, FC3 Installation & Configuration, I figured building a new Linux box with CentOS 4 would be just as easy with a few new differences.
You may wonder from my last 3 Linux installation articles why I have switched from RedHat to Fedora Core to CentOS. If you remember, RedHat stopped directly providing a free OS and spun off to a non-profit free build called Fedora Core. Fedora Core is bleeding edge, with the newest code and Linux technologies but it also has more risk because it is so new. When looking for something more Enterprise you can buy RedHat Enterprise or you can go with Cent OS which is pretty much a free version of RedHat Enterprise.
I went to the CentOS website, centos.org, to download the latest version from a mirror. I chose CentOS 3 as the version I wanted to download since it is currently the newest. CentOS 4 is 4 CD images, about 2.3GB of total data to download!
The install is a breeze, just make sure you have an idea of what you want your new machine to do and then pick the tools to accomplish this with. Below I have a table that lists some common services you might have for a server and the different packages
Boot from the CD. It will automatically load the graphical user installation interface.
Once when you are in the install program, the first thing you must decide is if your Linux box is going to be used as a server a workstation, or both. Then you must consider space requirements. For a typical Linux Installation to be of any use, it should be on a drive with at least 4GB of space. If you plan on making it a server I recommend at least 12GB. Linux is a hungry animal so the more space the better.
As you go through the Install Program the pre-built packages are usually fine, so if you plan on using this box as a server or both choose the server installation, if you just want to use office-type software and browse the Internet, the workstation install will be fine (and will require less space).
When you get to the partition section I recommend that you use the install program's suggested partition settings (unless of course you want to punish yourself).
From here, if you chose the workstation install you should go through the list of productivity packages to make sure you have all you need, a few are listed below:
Complete the install. Now that you have a clue you can easily continue the rest of the install prompts by completely reading each window.
-- The Server Install --
Do not be alarmed when the install program selects packages that you did not want. Linux is full of a web of dependencies; to force an installation without a recommended package is to curse yourself to some future server doom.
From here you can just continue through the install program and enjoy the simplicities that have finally been integrated. Keep in mind that installing your server was the easy part. Configuring each service is where the headaches begin. Luckily you can always get a clue here.
Article last reviewed: 09/27/2006