How to install CentOS 8 (with screenshots)

The CentOS project provides the community with a free enterprise operating system by recompiling Red Hat Enterprise Linux resources, which is popular among many Linux professional users. With the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 on May 7, 2019, CentOS users will naturally have to wait for the new version of CentOs 8 that will finally be released on 2019-09-24.

The new CentOS 8 has many new features, such as BaseOS provides packages for setting up a minimal operating system, AppStream for other user-space applications you may need, and Podman instead of Docker’s new Container Tool.

In this tutorial, we will introduce the whole process which will help you install the latest version of CentOS 8 by manually installing and fully understanding the partitioning scheme it provides.

Step 1: Download Centos 8

The latest version of Centos 8 can be downloaded from the centos official website, which provides direct download or torrent download. The new version is about 7 GiB in size.

Centos 8 requires 2 GB of RAM for installation, but 4 GB is recommended. It supports the following architectures:

  • AMD and Intel 64-bit architecture
  • 64-bit ARM architecture
  • IBM Power Systems, Little Endian

Step 2: Make a bootable device

In this example, to perform the installation, we will use a USB device to make it bootable. We will need a USB of at least 8 GiB. To create a bootable device, if your USB device is, we will use the dd command sdbUsing the following command

dd if=CentOS-8-x86_64-1905-dvd1.iso of=/dev/sdb

Make sure to replace the sdb that matches your USB device.

Step 3: Start with the installation process

We will need to plug in the USB device first and then boot on it. In my case, the computer supports EFI installation, which means I will perform the EFI installation process. It is not really different from the Bios installation, and we will see it in the next steps of this guide.

When booting for an EFI installation, you will boot below

EFI boot installation on Centos 8

For Bios installation you will launch below

BIOS boot installation for Centros 8

In our case, the first option will be used to launch the installation directly without the need to test the media

Step 4: Select the language of the installation process

You will have to choose the language that will be used during this process

Select language for centos 8 installation

After selecting your language, you will see a summary page showing what to do next

centos 8 installation summary page

It shows the different steps that will need to be completed to install a new system

Step 6: Select the keyboard language for the installation process

Now that you have selected the installation language, you should also select the language of the keyboard. In my case, this is a French keyboard

Select keyboard language

Step 7: Configure the network and host name

You must ensure that you are connected to the Internet so that we can install some features later in the process. We will need to activate the work interface and it is also a good idea to change the hostname during the installation process.

Configure centos 8 hostname and activate network interface

Step 8: Configure location and time zone

It is important to configure your location and time zone well so that in future updates and package installations, centos will look for the nearest repository

Configure location and time zone

Step 9: Select the installation target

Choose installation target

Select your hard drive now and ensure manual partitioning with custom configuration

Select hard drive and custom configuration

After confirming your selection, you will be asked to choose a partition scheme

Step 10: Select a partition scheme

In this step, you will need to choose the type of installation you want to perform

Select the type of partition you want to create

Centos provides 3 partitioning schemes for manual partitioning:

  • Standard partition It can contain file systems or swap space, and it can provide containers for software RAID or LVM physical volumes.
  • Logical Volume (LVM) Partitioning LVM logical volumes is useful because it improves performance when using physical disks. It is useful because when you use it, you can easily resize the partition by adding a new hard drive.
  • LVM thin provisioning This helps manage the free space storage pool, often referred to as a thin pool. Thin pooling is very useful because it can be dynamically expanded when needed to allocate storage space cost-effectively

In our case we will use Standard partition Create a solution for the different mount points we need

Step 11: Create a mount point

For new installations, it is recommended to create 4 installation points, namely

  • /boot: This partition contains the kernel that allows our centos 8 to boot.
  • /: This is the root partition, which contains all the file systems needed to run Centos
  • /home: This is the partition that contains your personal data
  • swap: This partition is useful as compensation when there is not enough memory. You can place 4 GB of swap space

As an example, we will add a partition, but you can skip the creation of that partition

  • /var: Contains variable data such as system log files, mail, printer spool directories, temporary files, etc.

Create a mount point

You will see a list of mount points you can create

Choose an installation point

We will first create /boot Divided. In our case we will choose the EFI partition

Create boot EFI partition

During the Bios installation you will only have /bootbios Instead of the one that mentioned EFI like below

Create a BIOS boot partition for the BIOS system

Now that it’s created, let’s look at the details of the EFI boot partition. We need to check if the correct file system is selected

Select file system for efi boot partition created

For BIOS systems, the results of booting partitions will be different

It is important to note that when selecting a mount point, you also need to choose the appropriate file system as needed. Regarding the file systems available during installation, you have:

  • BIOS Boot Required for booting the device on the BIOS system
  • EFI System Partition Required for booting a device on a UEFI system
  • vfat This is a Linux file system compatible with Microsoft Windows long file names on the FAT file system
  • xfs This file system supports metadata journaling to facilitate faster crash recovery. It supports file systems up to 16 EiB and offers the possibility to defrag and resize during installation and activation
  • ext4 This file system allows support for larger file systems and larger files. With faster file system checks and powerful journaling capabilities, it allocates disk space faster and more efficiently. This is the evolution of ext3
  • ext3 This provides the main advantages of a journaled file system. It reduces the time it takes to recover the file system after a crash
  • ext2 Supports standard Unix file types, including regular files, and provides the ability to assign long file names up to 255 characters.

We will follow the same process to create additional partitions. Create root partition now

Create root partition

After the creation is complete, check the information for the created partition. In this example, we will use the xfs file system

Select xfs file system for root partition

We will follow the same process to create /home Divide

Create primary partition

Now check if the file system information of the partition is also xfs

Allocate an xfs file system for the primary partition

Now we can create the swap partition

Create swap partition

For swap file system not xfs but swap. You can have a look

Check swap file system

Now you can create /var Divide

Create var partition

And make sure to also use xfs file system

Allocate xfs file system for var partition

When done, select Done. You will see a window outlining what has been done during the partitioning process

Summary of the applied partition

You will have to apply the changes.

Step 12: Select the server environment and features to install

Now you must configure the software selection

Configuration software selection

You will choose whether you want to use a GUI server, or if you need a minimal GUI server or another without a graphical environment. You can also keep the features you want to install directly

Install GUI environment using features

For example, you can install development tools, which will install all the tools needed for compilation, and so on.

Install the features of centos server

If you are running under a hypervisor, you can also install a guest agent. Choose everything that helps you, but remember that the more you choose, the more time it will take to install, because it will require downloading all packages.

Step 13: Start the installation

After choosing your environment and features, you can begin the installation process

Start installing centos 8

Download and installation of different packages will now begin

Step 14: Create your user account

During installation, you can create user accounts

Create user account

I recommend creating a user account with administrative privileges

Create an administrative user account

Step 15: Configure the root password

You will have to configure the root password. For security reasons, a stronger password is recommended, which should be different from the password of the user account

Set root password

The installation process can now continue. When the process is complete, it will ask you to restart

End of installation process-restart

Step 16: Restart and accept the license agreement

You can now restart. You will see the new

centos 8 grub

It will show you the license agreement for centos 8

Centos 8 license agreement review

You just need to accept the conditions

Accept the centos 8 license agreement

You can now complete the configuration

Complete centos 8 configuration

Step 17: Log in to the new system

You can now log in to the new CentOS 8

Sign in to your centos 8

You can see the welcome page. You will have to confirm some system configuration

Centos 8 welcome page

You must confirm the keyboard language

Confirm keyboard configuration

Confirm privacy settings

Verify privacy settings

Configure online accounts as needed

Configure online accounts as needed

Now you can start using centos 8

Get started with centos 8

Now you will see the gnome startup page

CentOS 8 gnome startup page

Now you can enjoy CentOS 8

Explore centos 8

in conclusion

Compared to centos 7, Centos 8 brings many new features. Some features have been deprecated and have been removed. You can check the official release notes for Centos for full details. Take a moment to browse the CentOS 8 documentation for more information.

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