Installing CentOS 6

Please note: This instruction was created for my personal use. Feel free to follow it, but I am not responsible for any problems or data loss!

Download the network install CD, which can be found at: Check the MD5 sum by running md5sum on CentOS-6.5-x86_64-netinstall.iso and compare the result to the MD5 sums at:

Boot from the network install CD. Make sure you have at least 768MB of memory available, or you will not be able to create a custom harddisk layout.

Skip the disk checking after booting the install CD. Set the installation language to English. Select URL for the Installation Method and enter the following URL:, after configuring the network. Use auto configuration, if possible.

  • Select the U.S. English keyboard layout.
  • Select Basic Storate Devices (unless you are installing to a SAN).
  • Enter the hostname you would like to use (do not add the domain name).
  • Select the correct timezone and make sure System uses UTC is enabled.
  • Enter the root password.
  • Select Create Custom Layout and create a primary partition for the OS and one for swap (create a swap partition as large as the amount of memory you have).
  • Use the provided boot loader configuration.
  • Select the Minimal installation option.
  • Wait for the installation to finish.
  • Reboot the system.

  • Add the EPEL repository by running: rpm -Uvh
  • Add the noatime option to all ext3/ext4 filesystem options in /etc/fstab
  • Edit /boot/grub/menu.lst and remove the rhgb and quiet options
  • Edit /etc/rc.local and add the following line: /usr/bin/setterm -blank 0 This will prevent the screen from going black, which may be helpful in case of a kernel problem.
  • Update the system: yum upgrade
  • Add a normal user, to log in as: useradd -m username
  • Set a password: passwd username
  • Edit the sudoers file by running: visudo
    • Comment out the line: Defaults    requiretty
    • Comment out the line: Defaults   visiblepw
    • Enable users in the group wheel to use sudo, by uncommenting: %wheel  ALL=(ALL)       ALL
  • Add the normal user to the wheel group: usermod -a -G wheel username
  • Make sure root cannot log in via ssh by changing /etc/ssh/sshd_config:
    • PermitRootLogin without-password
    • This will disable logging in as root, via ssh, but it is still possible to log in as root using SSH public key authentication.
  • Disable the firewall (when in a secure network), by running: chkconfig iptables off; chkconfig ip6tables off
  • Add the following line to /etc/sysconfig/network:
    • NOZEROCONF=yes
  • Install the following packages:
yum install -y irqbalance sysstat iotop strace tcpdump lsof ntp man man-pages man-pages-overrides mlocate wget openssh-clients perl iptraf-ng bind-utils vim-enhanced atop
  • Enable irqbalance: chkconfig irqbalance on (only useful on an SMP system)
  • Set up /etc/ntp.conf:
driftfile /var/lib/ntp/drift
restrict default kod nomodify notrap nopeer noquery
restrict -6 default kod nomodify notrap nopeer noquery
restrict -6 ::1
  • Change /etc/ntp/step-tickers:
  • Enable ntpdate and ntpd: chkconfig ntpdate on; chkconfig ntpd on
  • Reboot the system to activate all changes

-- Ivo van Geel - 17 Oct 2012

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Topic revision: r11 - 09 Aug 2021 - IvoVanGeel
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