This document demonstrates a general purpose RedHat 5.4 64-bit linux server build. In this build we will be using the rhel-server-5.4-x86_64-dvd.iso image downloaded from redhat.com.
Insert CD/DVD and power on system. At the splash screen press Enter key to begin install.
Select OK and press Enter to run a media test (optional).
Review License Agreement and press Close to continue
If you have an Installation Number enter it here. Otherwise select Skip.
If you are installing on a fresh disk you will receive a message indicating that no partition table was found. Press Yes to initialize disk.
Leave default selected (“Remove linux partitions on selected drives and create default layout”) but check the box “Review and Modify Partition Layout”
At warning Press Yes to continue creating new partitions (existing data will be deleted)
On the following screen you may review default partitions. By default there are only two partitions: swap and / (root). 1 GB of swap should be good for most systems. Some people use the rule of thumb: swap equals twice physical memory; however, nowadays systems typically have multiple gigs of memory in which case this much swap is overkill.
In this build we will modify the / partition and reallocate space to create additional partitions for /var and /opt. This step is optional, but it separates logs (mostly on /var) and applications (often in /opt) into their own partitions, providing some insurance to prevent them from filling up disk space on the root partition.
Click on the / partition and press the edit button.
On the popup screen, select / and press Edit. Reduce the size to allow for the creation of the /var and /opt partitions. In this case we will make the / partition 8992 MB (Use your judgment to decide how much to assign depending on how much space is available and what types of applications will be running).
Press the Add button to create new partitions for /var and /opt. In this case we will make /var 4000 MB and /opt 4288 MB.
Review partitions one more time and press Next
Leave defaults and press next (if you want to be super secure, you may configure a password for the grub loader, which requires a password to boot the system. This can be very annoying if you are doing remote administration).
Enter static IP address and network configuration
Select time zone
Enter root password
The software development option gives you all kinds of useful stuff like perl and java. These are a pain to install manually so it’s nice to let the installer do it for you here.
If this is going to be a web server you may choose to check the web server box, but I am not a fan of the default apache package so I prefer to build it manually post-install.
Select Software Development and press next
OS will be installed. May take about 10-15 minutes
When installation is complete press Reboot
After reboot there will be a few more configuration items. Press Forward to continue
Read License Agreement and press Forward
RedHat comes with a server-based firewall. Select services to be enabled and/or add any port exceptions. Since we don’t really know what this server will be used for at this point the only one we will worry about is ssh.
We will leave default setting for SELinux security settings.
We will enable kdump to capture information in the event of a crash and leave the default 128 memory allocation.
We will use NTP to keep the system clock in-sync. Click on the Network Time Protocol tab and enter NTP servers (if unsure skip and just leave default).
Setup software updates. If you have a subscription to red hat you may setup software updates here.
It’s a bad idea to log in as root all the time so you should create a user account. Enter your username and password.
We don’t have a sound card so we skip this.
At this point we are done the OS install. Press Finish.
Press OK to Reboot.
Please leave comments below if you have any questions or would like to add anything to this build.
I recommend you also review this article on Redhat 5.4 Security
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