30 Things to Do After Minimal RHEL/CentOS 7 Installation

CentOS is a Industry Standard Linux Distribution which is a derivative of RedHat Enterprise Linux. You may start using the OS as soon as you install it, but to make the most out of your system you need to perform a few updates, install a few packages, configure certain services and application.

This article aims at “30 Things to Do After Installing RHEL/CentOS 7”. The post is written keeping in mind you have installed RHEL/CentOS Minimal Install which is preferred in Enterprise and production environment, if not you can follow below guide that will show you minimal installations of both.

  1. Installation of CentOS 7 Minimal
  2. Installation of RHEL 7 Minimal

The following are the list of important things, which we’ve covered in this guide based on industry standard requirements. We hoping that, these things will be very helpful in setting up your server.

1. Register and Enable Red Hat Subscription

After minimal RHEL 7 installation, it’s time to register and enable your system to Red Hat Subscription repositories and perform a full system update. This is valid only if you have a valid RedHat Subscription. You need to register your in order to enable official RedHat System repositories and update the OS from time-to-time.

We have already covered a detailed instructions on how to register and active RedHat subscription at the below guide.

  1. Register and Enable Red Hat Subscription Repositories in RHEL 7

Note: This step is only for RedHat Enterprise Linux having a valid subscription. If you are running a CentOS server immediately move to further steps.

2. Configure Network with Static IP Address

The first thing you need to do is to configure Static IP address, Route and DNS to your CentOS Server. We will be using ip command the replacement of ifconfig command. However, ifconfig command is still available for most of the Linux distributions and can be installed from default repository.

# yum install net-tools             [Provides ifconfig utility]

Install ifconfig in Linux

But as I said we will be using ip command to configure static IP address. So, make sure you first check the current IP address.

# ip addr show

Check IP Address i n CentOS

Now open and edit file /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-enp0s3 using your choice of editor. Here, I’m using Vi editor and make sure you must be root user to make changes…

# vi /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-enp0s3

Now we will be editing four fields in the file. Note the below four fields and leave everything else untouched. Also leave double quotes as it is and enter your data in between.

IPADDR = “[Enter your static IP here]” 
GATEWAY = “[Enter your Default Gateway]”
DNS1 = “[Your Domain Name System 1]”
DNS2 = “[Your Domain Name System 2]”

After making the changes ‘ifcfg-enp0s3‘, looks something like the image below. Notice your IP, GATEWAY and DNS will vary, please confirm it with your ISP. Save and Exit.

Network Details
Network Details

Restart service network and check the IP is correct or not, that was assigned. If everything is ok, Ping to see network status…

# service network restart
Restart Network Service
Restart Network Service

After restarting network, make sure to check the IP address and network status…

# ip addr show
# ping -c4 google.com
Verify IP Address
Verify IP Address
Check Network Status
Check Network Status

3. Set Hostname of Server

The next thing to do is to change the HOSTNAME of the CentOS sever. Check the currently assigned HOSTNAME.

# echo $HOSTNAME
Check System Hostname
Check System Hostname

To set new HOSTNAME we need to edit ‘/etc/hostsname‘ and replace old hostname with the desired one.

# vi /etc/hostname
Set Hostname in CentOS
Set System Hostname

After setting hostname, make sure to confirm hostname by logout and login again. After login check new hostname.

$ echo $HOSTNAME
Confirm New Hostname
Confirm New Hostname

Alternatively you may use command ‘hostname‘ command to view your current hotsname.

$ hostname

4. Update or Upgrade CentOS Minimal Install

This will not install any new packages other than updating and installing the latest version of installed packages and security updates. Moreover Update and Upgrade are pretty same except the fact that Upgrade = Update + enable obsoletes processing during updates.

# yum update && yum upgrade
Update Minimal CentOS Server
Update Minimal CentOS Server

Important: You can also run the below command which will not prompt for the packages update and you do not need to type ‘y‘ for accepting the changes.

However it is always a good idea to review the changes which is going to take place on the sever specially in production. Hence using the below command may automate the update and upgrade for you but it is not recommended.

# yum -y update && yum -y upgrade

5. Install Command Line Web Browser

In most cases, specially in production environment, we usually install CentOS as command line with no GUI, in this situation we must have a commandline browsing tool to check websites via terminal. For this, we going to install a most famous tool called ‘links‘.

# yum install links
Install Commandline Browser
Links: Commandline Web Browsing

For usage and examples to browse web sites u links tool, read our article Command Line Web Browsing with Links Tool

6. Install Apache HTTP Server

No matter for what purpose you will be using the server, in most of the cases you need a HTTP server to run websites, multimedia, client side script and many other things.

# yum install httpd
Install Apache on CentOS
Install Apache Server

If you would like to change default port (80) of Apache HTTP Server to any other port. You need to edit the configuration file ‘/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf‘ and search for the line that starts typically like:

LISTEN 80 

Change port number ‘80‘ to any other port (say 3221), save and exit.

Change Apache Port on CentOS
Change Apache Port

Add the port you just opened for Apache through the firewall and then reload the firewall.

Allow service http through firewall (Permanent).

# firewall-cmd --add-service=http

Allow port 3221 through firewall (Permanent).

# firewall-cmd --permanent --add-port=3221/tcp

Reload firewall.

# firewall-cmd --reload

After making all above things, now it’s time to restart Apache HTTP server, so that the new port number is taken into effect.

# systemctl restart httpd.service

Now add the Apache service to system-wide to start automatically when system boots.

# systemctl start httpd.service
# systemctl enable httpd.service

Now verify the Apache HTTP Server by using links command line tool as shown in the below screen.

# links 127.0.0.1
Verify Apache Status
Verify Apache Status
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76 thoughts on “30 Things to Do After Minimal RHEL/CentOS 7 Installation”

  1. Thanks for the write up, I’m very new to this and it helps a bit. However, when I got to the firewall-cmd commands in step 6 I ran into some problems. Not sure if I did this correct or not but I had to run “yum install firewalld” then start it with “systemctl start firewalld”. Then I had to add a “-” before the arguments (replaced “firewall-cmd -add-service=http” with “firewall-cmd –add-service=http”.

    Reply
  2. as an experienced computer hobbyist, I was able to use this howto with minimal effort, only found some typo’s and all went well

    thank you for providing this information in such a well-written format

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    Your website was very helpful, thank you .

    In the Mariadb install section, think to change the following line :

    # firewall-cmd –add-service=mysql

    to

    # firewall-cmd –-add-service=mysql

    Regards

    Reply
      • It mustn’t be the best idea to add MySQL as public available service!

        For my point of view, the title of this article should be different, Noobies which install all this on their systems might end up with things, not ideally for everybody. Your site has built a huge reputation over time, and you just cannot recommend installing things like java or a compiler on a system, where it might not be explicitly needed!
        BUT: Positive to note: You explained mysql_secure_installation, firewalld, and selinux. There are still too may sites out there who forget, or disable this.

        Reply
  4. You have an mistake at Step 7:
    echo -e “” > /var/ww/html/phpinfo.php
    has to be
    echo -e “” > /var/www/html/phpinfo.php

    Reply

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