I’ve just started testing the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta, and I was really happy to see that the Minimal installation option is back at last. I know it’s always been possible to achieve something similar with RHEL5 and kickstart, or even something close enough by choosing to not install anything except the Base group in the interactive installer, but it was no longer as easy as just selecting a “Minimal” option and be done with it.
With the current trends, where virtualization is omnipresent, and automatic provisioning getting more accessible every day thanks to tools like puppet, it makes perfect sense to avoid as much complexity as possible in the OS installation step and have all changes applied once the minimal system is up and running, as those can easily be applied to both new and existing systems. Uniformity and reproducibility are both key when dealing with servers on a large scale.
So here’s a quick overview of what you get right after the system gets installed :
- Only 665MB disk space used (tested for the x86_64 architecture).
- Only one service listening on all network interfaces : sshd.
- Postfix as the local MTA listening on the loopback interface only, replacing sendmail at last.
- Rsyslogd as the syslog daemon, replacing the basic syslogd/klogd at last.
- A few basic daemons running : udevd, auditd, dbus, hald, crond.
All this is pretty neat, and many of the other changes look very interesting too. You can read all about them in the RHEL6 Beta documentation.
The output of
df -h :
The output of
ps ax (with 4 cores) :
If you decide to try this Beta release, here are a few tips :
- With the minimal installation, there is no ssh client installed, but yum is available, so just run
yum install openssh-clientsto get ssh and sftp installed.
- There is a currently known limitation where network interfaces aren’t configured at install time (unless performing a network-based installation). If you have DHCP working for the system, you can temporarily run
dhclient eth0to get eth0 up. Don’t forget to edit
/etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0to make changes persistent.
Happy beta testing!