Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.1 Released – A Quick Review and Installation Instructions

Red Hat Enterprise Linux commonly but not officially abbreviated as RHEL is a Linux distribution developed from commercial point of view. Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides their source code for free but keep check on free re-distribution of their officially supported version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. All the third party derivatives and community supported distributions be it CentOS, Oracle Linux and Scientific Linux build and redistribute their distribution by removing non-free components and Trade mark of Red Hat.

Red Hat releases its distribution under various editions viz., Server, Desktop, Academic, Entry-level server (ES), Advanced Server (AS), Work Station (WS), etc. Since the product is commercial-centric it is free as in speech but not free as in beer.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, codename “Maipo” was released on June 10, 2014. It is based on Fedora core 19, upstream Linux Kernel 3.10, Gnome 3.8 and Systemd 108. The life cycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is 10 years.

The first point update of latest stable release was released on march 06, 2015. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 has enhanced interoperability, improved development and deployment tools as well as security and performance of next level, stability, Red Hat Support, functionality improvement for Active directory environment and access to Microsoft windows file and print server adds to the list.

Features of RHEL 7.1

The world’s leading enterprise operating system gets several improvement and enhancement. Here is the list of most important improvements that is useful for industry use case:

  1. Available for architectures x86_64 AMD, x86_64 Intel, IBM Power 7, Power 8 and System z. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 installation is supported only on x86_64 box though it can run on x86 processor as virtual machines.
  2. Network boot and Installation media is powered with GRUB2 boot loader.
  3. Turbostat tool which is a part of kernel is updated to support new processors.
  4. Installer Anaconda has been updated to improve installation.
  5. Kdump which is used for kernel crash dumping is now configurable from the installation screen. Previously it could be configured on first boot and not before that. Also kdump will have large memory upto 6TB in Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
  6. Manual Partitioning has been improved with a little change in the location of controls.
  7. Network bridge is now configurable from the Network and Hostname interface.
  8. Get help for Anaconda in command line by using # anaconda -h option.
  9. Secure Encrypted Partitions and logical volumes with 256 bits of random data.
  10. Get help in Graphical installation screen.
  11. LVM cache supported – use small fast device to create Logical volume that act as cache for larger, slower devices.
  12. Btrfs file system supported as technical preview thus offering advanced, reliable, manageable and scalable feature.
  13. Kpatch introduced. A dynamic kernel patching utility introduced as technology preview.
  14. Booting crashkernel enabled with more than 1 CPU, supported as technology preview.
  15. dm-era, Device Mapper target is introduced as technology preview. It keep track of which block were written within user defined period, ‘era’.
  16. Scheduler Load-Balancing Performance Improvement.
  17. Deterministic random bit generator, updated to work on x86 based machine.
  18. Increased number of virtual CPUs (vCPUs) in KVM uptop 240.
  19. USB 3.0 support enabled in KVM as Technology Preview.
  20. FreeOTP supported for two-factor authentication applicationfor one time password authentication.
  21. Red Hat High Availability improved to next stage.
  22. Open JDK 8 supported in parallel of existing java-1.7.0-openjdk.
  23. Trusted Network Connect feature has been added as Technology Preview.
  24. Updated Network Manager
  25. Virtual Tunnel Interface (VTI) support included.
  26. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is shipped with Docker Project Version 1.4.1– Deploy Application within Linux Container.
  27. SSSD is integrated for Common Internet File System (CISF).
  28. Restricted domain access for unauthorized users.
  29. SELinux policy has been updated.
  30. OpenSSH updated and improved systemd suppor.
  31. Mozilla Thunderbird – an alternative to Evolution has been added.
  32. Next Level security implementation by use of AD sudo provider along with LDAP provider.

Download RHEL 7.1 DVD ISO Images

Red Hat Enterprise Linux being a commercial distribution is not free to download and use. You have to pay for the subscription. Different editions have different subscription charge. If you have an active subscription you may login to the official website and download your distribution from there.

Here is the link to login and download from official site.

  1. https://idp.redhat.com/idp/

If you don’t have a subscription and want to buy one, you may refer to the below link.

  1. https://www.redhat.com/wapps/store/catalog.html

Alternatively, you may download and test a 30 day evaluation edition for free from the link below.

  1. https://access.redhat.com/products/red-hat-enterprise-linux/evaluation

Installation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1

1. After downloading RHEL 7.1 DVD Binary ISO image, then burn it to a CD/DVD media or create a bootable USB media using Unetbootin LiveUSB Creator.

2. Insert the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 boot-able DVD or USB to your system and choose to boot from DVD or USB from BIOS. You will be greeted with welcome screen.

RHEL 7.1 Boot Menu

Fig.01: RHEL 7.1 Boot Menu

3. Checking the installation media by default. You may cancel this by pressing ‘ESC‘ key.

Check RHEL 7.1 Installation-Media

Fig.02: Checking Installation Media

4. After Interrupted/Successful installation media checking, Installer will be started.

RHEL 7.1 Starting Installer

Fig.03: Starting Installer

5. Time to choose language of Installation. Choose any language you are comfortable with. Though it is always a good idea to stick to English. Click Continue

Language Selection

Fig.04: Language Selection

6. Installation Summary Interface. Here you can modify Date and Time, Keyboard, Language Support, Installation Support, Software Selection, Installation Destination, Kdump, Network and Hostname.

Installation Summary

Fig.05: Installation Summary

7. Set Date and Time, as per you Geographical Location and click Done.

Date Time Selection

Fig.06: Date and Time Selection

8. Select Additional language to be installed and click Done.

Install Additional Language

Fig.07: Install Additional Language

9. Time to modify (not necessary) installation source. Add additional repositories here, and other repositories over http. If you are not sure about these better stick to ‘Auto-detected installation Media‘ and Click Done.

Select Installation Source

Fig.08: Select Installation Source

10. Software Selection Interface. In production you should always select ‘Minimal Install‘ which installs your system with basic installation. This way you may choose which software to install and nothing extra thus higher level of customization.

Here in the example, I choose to install with GUI because I don’t wanted to give my time on GUI installation later moreover I am not going to use this installation in production. It is just a test drive. To proceed Click Done.

Software Selection

Fig.09: Software Selection

11. choose the device to install the OS. You have the option to encrypt your data from this interface. Also option to automatic configure partitioning as well as manual partitioning.

Automatic partitioning will do everything for you, but it won’t give you that level of customization as manual partitioning would. I chose “I will Configure Partitioning” aka Manual Partitioning. Select device and click done.

Manual Partitioning

Fig.10: Manual Partitioning

12. You may add multiple partitioning, RAID and SAN Devices. If not required, you may click done.

Installation Destination

Fig.11: Installation Destination

13. Time to partition disk manually.

Disk Partitioning

Fig.12: Disk Partitioning

14. Add a new mount point (/boot) by clicking on + symbol. Input desired capacity and click to Add mount point.

Create Boot Partition

Fig.13: Create Boot Partition

15. Next is the /boot partition settings window. Change file system from xfs to ext4.

Set File System Type

Fig.14: Select ext4 as File System

16. Add another mount point (/) by clicking + symbol and add Desired Capacity to it. Finally Click Add mount Point.

Create Root Partition

Fig.015: Create (/) Root Partition

17. Change file system to ext4 again and update settings.

Set ext4 as Filesystem Type

Fig.16: Set ext4 as Filesystem Type

18. Time to create Swap mount point. Click on + icon to add swap as mount point and input desired Capacity. Finally click Desired Capacity.

Create Swap Partition

Fig.17: Create Swap Partition

19. Update swap partition settings, if required from this window.

Update Swap Partition Settings

Fig.18: Update Swap Partition Settings

20. Time to Accept changes you have made to the disk.

Summary of Partition Changes

Fig.19: Summary of Partition Changes

21. Enable Network and Host name from this window. You may configure the connection if required.

Configure Network and Hostname

Fig.20: Configure Network and Hostname

22. Back to Installation Summary windows. Everything looks Okay. Time to begin installation.

Begin RHEL 7.1 Installation

Fig.21: Begin RHEL 7.1 Installation

23. Packages are being installed. The windows points at ROOT PASSWORD is not set and no user is created as of now.

Installation Process

Fig.22: Installation Process

24. You may always get help (yelp browser) at any point of installation which is very well documented.

Set Root Password

Fig.23: Set Root Password

25. Create Root Password.

Create Root Password

Fig.24: Create Root Password

26. Create User account and password.

Create User Account

Fig.25: Create User Account

27. Back to configuration window. Now no issue is visible.

Installation Process Continuous

Fig.26: Installation Process Continuous

28. Installation successfully completed! Reboot.

Installation Finished

Fig.27: RHEL 7.1 Installation Finished

29. After Successful Installation, boot screen.

RHEL 7.1 Boot Screen

Fig.28: RHEL 7.1 Boot Screen

30. At first boot – License not accepted. You need to accept the License.

Accept License

Fig.29: Accept License

31. Click “I Accept the License Agreement” and then done.

License Agreement

Fig.30: License Agreement

32. Back to License Information window and now it says License accepted. We can move forward from here.

License Accepted

Fig.31: License Accepted

33. If you have subscription, you can register here or click no, I prefer to register at a later time.

Subscription Registration

Fig.32: Red Hat Subscription Registration

34. The login window of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1.

RHEL 7.1 Login Screen

Fig.33: RHEL 7.1 Login Screen

35. After successful log-in, you are greeted by a very small setup screen to set up language of your choice.

Setup Language

Fig.34: Setup Language

Input Sources

Fig.35: Input Sources

And finally “Thank You” Message. Click – Start using Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server.

RHEL 7.1 Ready to Use

Fig.36: RHEL 7.1 Ready to Use

36. The Desktop – Clean and Effective..check Red Hat Release and OS release.

RHEL 7.1 Desktop

Fig.37: RHEL 7.1 Desktop

Check RedHat Release

Fig.38: Check RedHat Release

Check OS Release

Fig.39: Check OS Release

37. Connected to Network (Pinging).

Network Status

Fig.40: Network Status

Some Bugs Faced During Testing

  1. While installing from DVD or ISO image, not all IP addresses are shown in network spoke once network connectivity is configured and enabled, under certain conditions.
  2. Network devices are not enabled automatically unless network method requires connectivity.
  3. IPv6 only configuration does not bring up network interface after manual graphical installation from IPv6 source.
  4. An installation system having multiple iSCSI storage targets connected over physical network interfaces, the installation hangs.
  5. In manual installation having a screen resolution less than 1024×768, certain controls become unaccessible.
  6. Non-memory Access Feature of kernel do not work correctly, under certain circumstances.
  7. Changing certain parameters when NIC is down makes the system unresponsive.
  8. Setting only full name or no user name in text install requires no root password to be set. As a result neither user nor root is able to log-in.
  9. Back button control on first boot don’t work as it should be.
  10. Nesting more than 7 PCI bridges is known to cause segmentation fault error.
  11. Systemct1 don’t output if the service has been started, stopped or restarted successfully.
  12. Spice-server sometimes fail to recognize video stream.
  13. A bug makes X.Org and X server crashes on certain model of Lenevo laptop.
  14. Icedtea-web java plugin does not load in Firefox.

Conclusion

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 presents several features that work out-of-the-box. The next level of security implementation, fine configuration, stability, reliability and performance improvement along with reliable Red Hat Support. Developers, Administrators and System architects is able to manage their resource more efficiently in innovative way.

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11 Responses

  1. Man says:

    Redhat seem to difficult with repository and package installation

  2. Rajanna says:

    Hello,

    I have windows 7 Laptop and I had installed Redhat 7 without using any Virualbox.

    I am facing problems selection of boot options & unable to do LVM partition due to less space available as per the system. But I have 1TB hard disk, please suggest

  3. Pradeep says:

    Hello,
    I am using ‘RHEL-7.1x86_64’ iso to install on windows 7 (AMD PRO A10), using VMware workstation pro 12.
    I followed all the steps and installation got successful, but after ‘Subscription Management’ window, it shows a error as ‘Oh no! something has gone wrong, System cant recover’

    Can you guide what is going wrong here? Is it compatible to use rhel on my windows(amd) with vmware workstation 12?

  4. rapelly varun says:

    Hi,

    What is qemu version on RHEL7.1? Is it qemu-2.1+?

    Please let me know.

  5. Osten Einarsson says:

    Have problem installing CentOS 7.1 from DVD.
    Won’t accept my root password despite I follow the requirements and recommendation for creating a strong password. I am stuck in the mud here. Have tried different variants but no one will work. How to go on?
    Thanks in foreward. OE.

  6. x says:

    can i update rhel 7 without subscription?

    • Avishek Kumar says:

      No u can’t.
      Without Subscription you can not update rhel 7. You may like to use CentOS 7 which is a clone of RHEL 7 and don’t requires subscription.

  7. Prabhjot Singh says:

    Nice Info…

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