Installation

Minimum requirements

Minimum requirements are:

  • 64 bit CPU (x86_64)
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 10 GB of disk space

Hint

We recommend to use at least 2 disks to setup a RAID 1. The RAID software will ensure data integrity in case of a disk failure.

Hardware compatibility

NethServer is compatible with any hardware certified by Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL®), listed on hardware.redhat.com

Installation types

NethServer supports two installation modes. In short:

Installing from ISO

  • Download the ISO image
  • Prepare a DVD or USB stick
  • Follow the wizard

Installing from YUM

  • Install CentOS Minimal
  • Configure the network
  • Install from network

Installing from ISO

Warning

The ISO installation will erase all existing data on hard drives!

Media creation

Download the ISO file from official site www.nethserver.org. The downloaded ISO file can be used to create a bootable media such as DVD or USB stick.

USB stick

On a Linux machine, open the shell and execute:

dd if=NethServer.iso of=/dev/sdc

Where NethServer.iso is the file name of the downloaded ISO and /dev/sdc is the destination device corresponding to the USB key and not a partition (such as /dev/sdc1).

On a Windows machine, make sure to format the USB drive then unmount it. Use one of the following tools to write the USB stick:

DVD

The creation of a bootable DVD is different from writing files into USB stick, and it requires the use of a dedicated function (e.g. write or burn ISO image). Instructions on how to create a bootable DVD from the ISO are easily available on the Internet or in the documentation of your operating system.

Install modes

Start the machine using the freshly backed media. If the machine will not start from the DVD or USB stick, please refer to the documentation of the motherboard BIOS. A typical problem is how boot device priority is configured. First boot device should be the DVD reader or USB stick.

On start a menu will display different types of installation:

NethServer interactive installation

Requires only keyboard and time zone settings. By default, tries to configure the network interfaces with DHCP and the first two available disks with RAID-1.

Other NethServer installation methods

  • Unattended installation – A set of default parameters is applied to the system with no human intervention.
  • Manual installation – This is the opposite of unattended. No defaults are applied: network, storage, time zone, keyboard... all settings must be provided explicitly.

Standard CentOS installations

Use the standard CentOS installation procedure. You can then configure NethServer by following the Install on CentOS section.

Tools

Start the system in rescue (recovery) mode, execute a memory test or start the hardware detection tool.

Boot from local drive

Attempts to boot a system that is already installed on the hard disk.

At the end of the installation process you will be asked to reboot the machine. Be sure to remove the installation media before restarting.

Optional boot parameters

At the boot menu, you can add extra parameters by pressing TAB and editing the kernel command line. This can be useful in unattended mode.

To disable raid, just add this option to the command line:

raid=none

If you need to select installation hard drives, use:

disks=sdx,sdy

To enable file system encryption, use:

fspassword=s3cr3t

When enabling this option, all data written to the disk will be encrypted using symmetric encryption. In case of theft, an attacker will not be able to read the data without the encryption key.

Note

You will need to enter the encryption password at every system boot!

Other available options (unattended mode only):

  • keyboard, keyboard layout, default is keyboard=us
  • timezone, default is timezone=UTC

Fallback IP configuration

If no IP is assigned by DHCP or by other means, during the first system boot the following IP configuration is applied to the first network interface

  • IP 192.168.1.1
  • netmask 255.255.255.0

System administrator password

You are strongly advised to choose a secure password for the root user. A good password:

  • is at least 8 characters long
  • contains uppercase and lowercase letters
  • contains symbols and numbers

The default password in unattended mode is Nethesis,1234.

System language

The system language of NethServer installations is English (United States). Additional languages can be installed later. See Next steps.

Interactive and Manual modes

The interactive mode allows you to make a few simple choices on the system configuration.

Required choices are:

  • Language
  • Keyboard layout
  • Root password

All other options are set to a reasonable default accordingly to current hardware (see the Unattended mode section for details), but you are free to edit any install configuration available.

On the other hand, the manual mode starts the installer with no default settings at all. Also the network and storage sections must be configured.

Warning

Under the Network > General section, only the interfaces marked as Automatically connect to this network when it is available are enabled at boot in the installed system. For more info, refer to RHEL 7 installation guide.

Unattended mode

The unattended mode requires no human intervention. After installation, the system is rebooted and the following configuration is applied:

  • Keyboard layout: us
  • Time zone: UTC
  • Default root password: Nethesis,1234
  • DHCP enabled on all network interfaces; if no DHCP lease is received the fallback IP configuration is applied
  • if there are two or more disks, a RAID 1 will be created on first two disks and LVM volumes are created on it
  • swap and root partitions are allocated automatically; 1GB is assigned to boot

Install on CentOS

It is possible to install NethServer on a fresh CentOS minimal installation using a couple of commands to download the additional software packages. This installation method is designed for virtual private servers (VPS) where CentOS comes already installed by the VPS provider.

Enable NethServer software repositories with this command:

yum localinstall -y http://mirror.nethserver.org/nethserver/nethserver-release-7.rpm

To install the base system, run:

nethserver-install

Alternatively, to install base system and additional modules, pass the name of the module as a parameter to the install script. Example:

nethserver-install nethserver-mail nethserver-nextcloud

Next steps

At the end of the installation procedure, access the server-manager to install additional software.