CentOS 6.0 Review

As you all know, I had installed CentOS 6 inside VirtualBox. I was initially thinking about installing it natively on my system, but then, the thought of reinstalling the OS & configuring the settings again came to my mind and I decided to go virtual. So, here’s the hardware on which I installed CentOS 6 (32-bit) :-

  • 2 virtual cores
  • 1024 MB RAM
  • 64 MB of VRAM
  • 10 GB VBOX HDD
  • Bridged network connection (so that I can manage it as a network computer)

Installation :-

I made an ISO of the DVD which I got from Linux for You. Although I had also downloaded a 64-bit image earlier, but I felt that 32-bit should suffice for the needs of the virtual machine. The installer greets you with the ultra-stable and famous Anaconda Installer from Red Hat & Fedora stables. This installer, as you know is very versatile. It asks you to check the install media. It is a good idea to do so. Once, the check is finished, it moves on to the patition management. Now, here it will provide you with a lot of options like RAID, LVM etc. If you want to setup a LVM (which I think you should if you’re doing a native one-OS-per-system install), then it will guide you through the entire process. RAID is essential for the system admins & servers. But, if you don’t want any of these options, then select ‘Basic Storage Devices’  and move on. Now, here you can carry out standard Linux partition management. 

Once, you’ve finished the partition & root-password, then it will ask you which packages to install. If you’ve a fast internet connection then you can download & install the packages later, if you haven’t got your hands on high bandwidth then click on ‘Customize now’  and start selecting your packages. These are the packages that I selected :-

  • GNOME 2.32
  • OpenOffice.Org (it doesn’t ships LIbreOffice for now)
  • Firefox
  • Thunderbird
  • Development libraries
  • Development tools

It will automatically choose which packages you need for your hardware. Just hit install now & relax. It should install in 20-30 minutes.


The Desktop :-

The desktop of CentOS 6 depends on which desktop environment you selected. I’m a huge fan of GNOME desktop environment so I selected this. Here’s the screenshot of my desktop environment :-

Package management :-

The package management is taken care by YUM. It is the default package manager of Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS & Scientific Linux now. Yum is very, very powerful tool. It can perform almost any task that you can think from a package manager. Some of it’s commands are listed below :-

  • yum install package (to install package)
  • yum remove package (to remove package)
  • yum search package (to search)
  • yum update
  • package-cleanup –old-kernels (to remove old kernels)

Tip :-

Run yum install yum-presto after running your system for the first time in the terminal. It will install DeltaRPMs & Presto package that will reduce the update size by almost 90%. It is a very useful and handy tool for everybody. Conserve bandwidth people.

Additional repos for yum – You can try out some extra repositories for CentOS from here :- http://wiki.centos.org/AdditionalResources/Repositories/RPMForge

Verdict :-

CentOS 6.0 is highly recommended to anybody who is serious about the stability & security of his workstation. Although it is also good for home users, but I think that one should first have some experience with LInux before using CentOS. My rating :- 4.5/5.


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