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Installing Red Hat Linux 6.2

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ACS Documentation : ACS Installation Guide : Installing Red Hat Linux 6.2

Table of Contents

  1. Linux Requirements
  2. Getting the Red Hat Distribution
  3. Boot your computer
  4. Select Installation Type
  5. Partition your drives
  6. Configure boot device
  7. Select packages for installation
  8. Configure Users
  9. Configure networking
  10. Configure X
  11. Copy Files
  12. Acceptance Test
  13. Appendix A: Network Configuration

Linux Requirements

Red Hat Linux is our preferred Linux distribution. With Red Hat, we can get both Oracle and ACS to work out of the box with no trouble. However, you can install the ArsDigita Community System (ACS) to run on any recent version of Linux. Here are some of the key requirements that we have identified:

recent kernelA recent 2.2.x kernel is required.
bashBash is the standard Linux shell. We assume you are using bash for these instructions. If you're not using bash, then you will need to substitute your shell's conventions for setting environment variables when appropriate.
glib 2.1 (or greater)You need recent versions of these libraries for Oracle to work properly.
perlA few parts of the ACS require perl to work correctly. If you're doing serious web work, you'll want support for this language anyway. If not following these instructions, you should ensure that there is a symbolic link to your perl executable at /usr/local/bin/perl
egcs (recent version)Without egcs, you don't have gcc and will be unable to compile the necessary software.

This document is not intended to be a full set of information on the installation of Red Hat Linux. For full information, consult the Red Hat documentation.

Caution: Before you begin, keep in mind that your hard drive(s) will be formatted and all data will be erased. Be sure to have backups of all of the drives in your system (not just the ones you are formatting) before beginning.


Getting the Red Hat Distribution for the Installation

You have the following options:

  • Install from CDROM.

    You can order an installation CDROM from Red Hat or download an ISO image and burn one yourself. Once you have the CDROM, you need to boot the computer. If you have a recent BIOS and CDROM, you should be able to boot directly to the CDROM. Check your system's BIOS to see if this is an option and make sure the CDROM is set to boot before the primary hard drive. Then insert the CDROM, boot the computer and Red Hat should start. Otherwise, you will need a boot disk. If you bought a commercial Red Hat package, the boot disk is included. Otherwise, you can easily create one using one of the standard Red Hat images. Red Hat offers more information.

  • Install over the Network.

    You can run the Red Hat install over the network if you have a fast enough connection. You'll need to copy roughly 300-600 MB of data, so be prepared. You need to prepare a bootdisk with the network image. Instructions for downloading the image is here. Read this section of the Red Hat FAQ for further information on creating the bootdisk. Make sure you use the bootnet.img to create your boot disk.

During the install, you will need to configure your computer's network. Find out the following before you begin:

  • The brand and model number of your network card.
  • Whether or not your network supports DHCP. If it does not, determine your
    • Your IP Address.
    • Your subnet mask.
    • Your gateway address.
    • Your DNS Server IP address.
  • If you're doing the network install, also determine a server name and a Red Hat ftp directory path to do the install from. Make sure you can login to that server using ftp and verify that the path is correct.


Boot your computer

Before proceeding, ensure that you have either:

  • A bootdisk with the boot.img and a Red Hat CDROM.
  • A bootdisk with the bootnet.img.
To begin the installation process, insert your boot media and boot your computer. Red Hat should load and will present you with a LILO prompt. Read the instructions, but it should be safe to press enter. The Red Hat kernel will then load and the installation program will start. You will see a series of dialogs. Make your selection using the arrow keys on your keyboard and press <ENTER> to proceed.

  • What language should be used during the installation process?

    Select your preferred language, the default is English.

  • What type of keyboard do you have?

    Unless you know otherwise, you're probably typing at a us keyboard, the default selection.

  • What type of media contains the packages to be installed?

    If you are installing from the CDROM, then ensure that the CDROM is in your drive and select CDROM. If you are doing a net install, select FTP and skip ahead to Appendix A on network configuration

    Come back to the next section when you are done.


Select Installation Type

If you all has gone well, you should now see a Welcome screen. Press enter and move on the next dialog. You will be prompted to select an installation type. You need to specify a Custom installation type in order to ensure you get all of the necessary packages.


Partition your drives

You need to partition your system;s hard drives before you can install the operating system. Changing your partition table often entails wiping out all data on the disk, so be sure to have a backup before proceeding.

We specify a minimal partitioning scheme to simplify the installation. If you have a single drive, you should create these partitions on /dev/hda (if you have IDE) or /dev/sda (if you have SCSI). If you have multiple drives, you will need to configure your system more carefully. Production Linux servers require careful configuration of partitions in order to optimize performance. See this HOWTO for more information. Our simple configuration for a single large (> 3 Gb) drive follows.

Partition NameSizePartition Type Description
/boot15 MbLinux nativeStores the kernel and basic boot configuration.
/3000 Mb+Linux nativeStores the major part of the file system.
<swap>2x RAM or 400 Mb (whichever is greater) Linux swapVirtual memory

After specifying a partitioning scheme, press OK to continue. You will be asked to confirm writing the partition table to disk, again select OK. You will be asked to confirm the formatting of your disks. On this screen, do not enable a check for bad blocks. Although a bad block check can identify some defects in your hard drive, it will significantly increase the amount of time it takes to perform the format. Press OK to continue and wait while your drives are completely formatted.


Configure boot device

In order to boot your workstation, you either need to install LILO or have a bootdisk. The LILO option is recommended. LILO (LInuxLOader) writes some data to your hard drive's master boot record (MBR) which allows the computer to find the operating system. It is possible to configure LILO to boot multiple OSes. Check the LILO documentation for more information. We recommend creating an emergency boot disk and installing LILO on the master boot record (MBR) of the first hard drive (usually /dev/hda).

Select it and press enter. TOP

Select packages for installation

The following packages, at a minimum, should be installed. Feel free to install above and beyond this. Also, you may choose to individually select packages. It is not necessary to do this, but you may do this to add files to the distribution. You should not remove any of these packages. You can also install RPMs post installation, so don't feel too concerned about this phase.

PackageDescriptionWhy You Need This
Printer SupportAllows you to printIf you ever want to print anything.
X WindowsGraphical system for UNIXNeeded for Oracle installation.
GNOMEX Window Manager and GUINeeded to run X properly
Mail/WWW/ToolsTools for checking mail, accessing the web.Basic user programs.
Networked WorkstationBasic tools for configuring networking. Necessary for server programs.
Anonymous FTPA FTP serverUseful for serving files to the world.
EmacsThe Ultimate Text Editor.Necessary for anything.
DevelopmentBasic compilers and scripting languages. Needed to compile AOLServer and various other programs.
Kernel DevelopmentSource for the Linux kernel.Necessary for recompiling.
UtilitiesBasic utilities for Linux.Necessary for accessing the system.


Configure users

Set a password for root. You do not need to add any more users at this time.

When asked to configure authentication information, enable Shadow Passwords and MD5 Passwords. This will increase the security of your system.


Configure Networking

You may be asked to configure networking. If your network uses DHCP, simply select that. Otherwise, see Appendix 1.


X Configuration

Red Hat should automatically detect your graphics card. You can configure your system to use a graphical login, but this is not necessary for a production system. If your monitor is not listed, select a "Generic" or "Generic Multisync monitor."

We recommend not enabling GUI startup automatically. X requires an enormous amount of RAM and this will reduce the amount of memory available to Oracle. You will need to install X in order to install Oracle and to use some of its tools, but you will not need it to run the ArsDigita Community System.


Copy Files

At this point, sit back while Red Hat copies itself over. This usually takes from between 10 to 30 minutes. Following this you will be asked to reboot your computer. Take out the boot disk and eject the CDROM and then do so. You should see a LILO: prompt. Press enter and Red Hat Linux should start to boot!


Acceptance Test

After bootup, you should see a screen like this:
Red Hat Linux release 6.2 (Zoot)
Kernel 2.2.14-5.0 on an i586

localhost login:
If you don't see a screen that offers a login, then something has gone wrong. Consult the Red Hat support documentation for further information.

Make sure you can do the following.

  • Switch Virtual Consoles

    Press CTRL-ALT-F2 to switch to virtual console number 2. Each virtual console allows you to login and enter commands to the Linux system. There should be 6 virtual consoles, accessible with F1-F6. After you start X, you can switch to it using CRTL-ALT-F7.

  • Login as root.

    Type root, press enter, and then enter the password, followed by enter.

  • Add a user that you would like to use to logon.
    # useradd <username>
    # passwd <username>
    # exit	                          ; this will log you out.
    Login as the new user you created.

  • Start X.

    Type startx and a graphical environment should start. If you get some errors and X dies, login as root and type

    # /usr/X11R6/bin/Xconfigurator
    Follow the instructions to configure your X server.

    Remember, you can switch between virtual consoles using CTRL-ALT-F[1-6].

  • Open a terminal in X.

    If you installed GNOME, try right-clicking on the desktop to get a pop-up menu. Then left click "New Terminal."

    You should see an additional terminal. Click on its title bar and you should be able to type in it.

  • Verify that you can launch X programs.

    At the prompt, type the following.

    $ emacs    ; This will load the emacs editor, our favorite program for just about anything.
    ; Quit emacs by doing CTRL-X CTRL-C
    If emacs does not start, try the following commands. In general, if any X program does not start, please try this procedure.
    ; Open a new terminal window:
    $ xhost +localhost
    ; Switch back to the original terminal window:
    $ export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0
    $ emacs
If all of this worked, congratulations, you now have a Red Hat Linux server at your disposal. On to Oracle 8.1.6.

Appendix A: Network Configuration

At some point during the install process, depending on whether you are installing from the CDROM or from the network, you will need to configure your network.

This screen is identified as TCP/IP Configuration. If your network is configured to use DHCP, simply enable DHCP and proceed. Contact your network administrator or ISP provider to determine if DHCP is available. Otherwise, you will need to configure your network manually. Enter the following information:
IP AddressThe primary address for your computer. If your network uses static IPs, you must contact your network administrator to determine your IP address.
Netmask Usually, this is However, only your network administrator can confirm this.
Default gateway (IP) The gateway address is the address of the network hardware that enables your computer to leave its local network and access the Internet.
Primary Nameserver The domain name server (DNS) is used to map between human readable names (such as to IP addresses (such as

Be absolutely certain these values are correct before proceeding with the installation. When you are ready, select OK and press enter to continue. The install program will inform you if there is an error in the configuration and allow you to fix it.

If you are doing a net install, you will be presented with a new screen, FTP Setup. Enter the ftp site name and the path to the Red Hat directory on that server and press OK to continue. You should see a message:

Loading second stage ramdisk
If you don't see this message, either you have an incorrect ftp site name and/or Red Hat path, or the server is unreachable. Make sure that you have the correct path or consult the official Red Hat mirror list.

Previous: Requirements Installing Red Hat Linux 6.2
part of the ACS Installation Guide
Next: Installing Oracle 8.1.6