Linux Setup: Installation

Installing Red Hat Linux 9, Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1/3.0 and UnitedLinux is very similar. They each involve eight principal areas for planning and consideration. The areas are noted below.

 Hardware Compatibility
Review of Linux hardware compatibility issues.

 Network Setup
Verify & update network settings.

 Disk Partitions
Quick course on UNIX disk partitions.

 Firewall Selection
Overview of firewall options.

 Installation Steps
Step-by-step installation guide.

 Account Management
Overview on account management.

 Boot Loader
Quick course on Linux boot loaders.

 Package Selection
Quick course on package selection.


Red Hat Linux UnitedLinux 1.0
AS 2.1 AS 3.0
 Install Step-by-step  Install Step-by-step  Install Step-by-step
 Post-install Oracle9i  Post-install Oracle9i  Post-install Oracle9i
 Post-install Apps 11i  Post-install Apps 11i  Post-install Apps 11i


  • Installation Steps: Red Hat Linux AS 2.1
There are 25 steps to install the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server from the production CDs. They are listed below.

  1. Select Installation.
Choose to install the software. Red Hat's installation program will than complete a pre-check and attempt to start the Anaconda installation tool in GUI mode. If it fails at this point, there are several things that may be wrong. A brief list of the most likely causes is below.

Issue The Video card is not supported.
Solution Anaconda will run in text mode.

Issue The Motherboard is not supported.
Solution Replace the motherboard.

Issue The plug-and-play feature of the system BIOS is disabled and Anaconda cannot probe devices.
Solution Edit the BIOS configuration and reboot the system.

Issue The Network Interface Card (NIC) may not be supported by the plug-and-play installation.
Solution Two alternatives exist. One is to continue with the installation, then attempt to install a driver for the NIC card after installing the operating system. Another is to replace the NIC card.

Issue The memory, while recognized in the BIOS, may not be recognized by Red Hat.
Solution Verify that the memory is supported by the motherboard. Sometimes the BIOS registers memory that it cannot address. If the motherboard supports the amount of memory, replace the memory.

  1. Language Selection.
Choose English and then click the Next button.
  1. Keyboard Configuration.
Accept the probe results unless they look wrong. Then, click the Next button.

The values are generally these:

  • Generic 105-key (Intl) PC
  • U.S. English
  • Enable dead keys
  1. Mouse Configuration.
Accept the probed result unless it is wrong and click the Next button.

  1. Welcome to the Red Hat Linux Advanced Server.
Click the Next button.

  1. Install Options.
Click the Custom radio button. Then, click the Next button.

  1. Choosing Your Partitioning Strategy.
There are three choices, as noted below. It is recommended that Disk Druid be used to configure partitions. If partition strategies are new, please refer to the partition section.

  • Have the installer automatically partition for you.
  • Manually partition with Disk Druid.
  • Manually partition with fdisk [experts only].
  1. Partitions.
If partitions exist and this is not a recovery of a file system, delete all existing partitions. This is done by selecting a partition by clicking on it and then clicking the Delete button. Disk Druid also requires deletion of the extended partition.

The Reset button undos changes. The Make RAID should be left to expert users.

Use the New button to build a partition or Edit button to modify a newly created partition as noted below. When all partitions have been made, click the Next button.

Category Selection Criteria
Mount Point Select from the list where possible. If partition strategies are new, please refer to the partition section.
Filesystem Type ext3
Allowable Drives If using multiple disks, deselect the disks that are not the target disk.
Size (MB) Enter the desired size in megabytes.
Additional Size Options For all but the last partition, fixed size should be selected. The last partition should check the Fill to maximum allowable size radio button.

Radio Buttons Context Fields
Fixed size  
Fill all space up to (MB) Enter value if selected.
Fill to maximum allowable size  

Checkboxes Force to be a primary partition Do not check this box.
Check for bad blocks Suggested if disks are old or transferred from another system.

  1. Boot Loader Installation.
Use the probed settings. Click Next button to continue.

If changes are required, the following should be clearly understood.

Category Selection Criteria
Boot Loader Configuration Use GRUB as the boot loader. This is the default for all Red Hat installations.
Install Boot Loader record on It is recommended to accept the /dev/ Master Boot Record (MBR).
Kernel Parameters Are populated by default. DO NOT alter this value.
Force use of LBA32 DO NOT check the Force use of LBA32 checkbox.
Partition
Category Selection Criteria
Default boot image This checkbox should be checked.
Boot label This should read "Read Hat Linux Advanced Server".
Summary table Table will display the results of the choices above.

  1. GRUB Password.
DO NOT USE a GRUB password. Click Next button to continue.

  1. Network Configuration.
If the server will host an Oracle database or webserver, uncheck the Configure using DCHP checkbox and enter the following values.

Name Value
IP Address Enter the IP address, which is four numbers separated by periods. The numbering sequence is called dotted quad format. Each number has a valid range between 1 and 254. When the IP address is entered, it will automatically populate the Netmask value with a default value of 255.255.0.0. This is an incorrect value that will change as qualified below.
Netmask The default netmask is used for a Class B Internet addressing schema. If installing in a contained test network, use a value of 255.255.255.0. If installing on the Oracle network use a value of 255.255.252.0, which is a four-bit network value.
Network The Network value is the lowest point for addresses within the network's bit range. The value is calculated by using the zero node of the gateway. Gateways are determined from the first three values of the dotted quad. If the gateway is 144.1.154.1, then the network value is 144.1.154.0.
Broadcast The Broadcast value is the highest point for addresses within the bit range. The value is calculated by using the maximum or 255 node of the gateway. If the gateway is 144.1.154.1 and the netmask is 255.255.252.0, then the network value is 144.1.157.255. A four bit network provides 1,022 hosts within a subnet.
Hostname The hostname should be registered with the DNS servers.
Gateway The gateway is the bridge point for the subnet network to the wide area network.
Primary DNS The primary Domain Name Server. When the user clicks on the Hostname field, the installation automatically populates the Primary DNS value as the Network value plus 1, or the value of 144.1.154.1 based on the example above.
Secondary DNS The secondary Domain Name Server, which is accessed when the primary DNS server is unavailable.
Ternary DNS The ternary Domain Name Server, which is accessed when the primary and secondary DNS servers are unavailable.

  1. Firewall Configuration.
Inexperienced users and those protected within a firewall should click the No firewall radio button. Do not attempt to configure firewall rules, they do not work when done during the installation. Click the Next button to continue.

  1. Language Support Selection.
Check all languages that should be supported. English is recommended as the default language. Click the Next button to continue.

  1. Time Zone Selection.
Use the map to click a major metropolitan area. Confirm the time zone and click the Next button to continue.

  1. Account Configuration.
Enter a root password twice. DO NOT CREATE USERS at this point. The default creation at this point is to build a group for each user. This is not desired behavior in most systems. Click the Next button to continue.

  1. Authentication Configuration.
Verify the following by clicking the respective tab. When completed, click the Next button to continue.

  • Check the Enable MD5 passwords checkbox (default).
  • Check the Enable shadow passwords checkbox (default).
The following are accessible by the tabs.

Tab Label Verification
NIS Do not enable NIS if building the environment internal to Oracle Corporation.
LDAP Do not enable LDAP if planning to install Oracle9iAS.
Kerberos 5 Do not enable Kerberos 5.
SMB Do not enable Server Message Block (SMB). SSH protocol can use passwords or certificate keys for authentication but SMB only uses passwords.

  1. Selecting Package Groups.
Verify selection of the following packages groups. Care should be taken at package group selection because detecting which packages belong to the installation package groups is significant.

If an error is made in selecting the correct packages during installation, the RPM command-line or GUI RPM (grorpm) tool may be used to install individual packages. Please refer here for instructions.

Select Package Description
Yes Printing Support
Yes Classic X Windows System
Yes X Window System
Yes GNOME
Yes KDE
No Sound and Multimedia Support
Yes Network Support
No Dialup Support
Yes Messaging and Web Tools
Yes Graphics and Image Manipulation
No News Server
No NFS File Server
No Windows File Server
Yes Anonymous FTP Server
No SQL Database Server
Yes Web Server
No Router / Firewall
No DNS Name Server
No Network Managed Workstation
Yes Authoring and Publishing
Yes Emacs
Yes Utilities
No Legacy Application Support
Yes Software Development
Yes Kernel Development
Yes Windows Compatibility / Interoperability
Yes Advanced Server
No Everything

  1. Video Configuration.
Verify the video card. Red Hat often defaults to generic cards. If the specific video card is known, select it. Otherwise, accept the probed generic card selected and click the Next button.

  1. About to Install.
Click the Next button to continue.

  1. Make a boot disk.
Consider making a boot disk for recovery. It is the recommended course of action. If the machine is a crash-and-burn testing instance, it may be skipped because it is expensive to recover by a full re-installation of the operating system. Then, click Next button to continue.

  1. Monitor Selection.
Accept the probed result and click Next button to continue.

  1. Custom X Configuration.
Here the color depth and screen resolution may be set for the console. If color depth or screen resolution is changed, DO NOT forget to test the settings.

Choose the default desktop environment. If both GNOME and KDE were installed, it is recommended that KDE be choosen. KDE's login enables the console to choose whether to use GNOME or KDE at login, whereas GNOME does not do so.

A true command-line bigot may select a login type of text, but it is strongly discouraged. Click the Next button to continue.

  1. Kernel Selection.
Click the kernel that fits your architecture.

  1. Congratulations.
Click the Exit button to complete installation.

  1. Post-Installation.
After rebooting the system, configure the /etc/resolv.conf file and add the domain to the file. If this is not added, outgoing telnet and ftp will fail notwithstanding their configuration. If networking concepts are new, please go here to the short course. Below is an example for an Oracle internal installation.

 domain        us.oracle.com


  • Post-installation Oracle9i Steps: Red Hat Linux AS 2.1
Under development .....


  • Post-installation Applications 11i Steps: Red Hat Linux AS 2.1
Under development .....