Minimum requirements

Minimum requirements are:

  • 64 bit CPU (x86_64)

  • 1 GB of RAM

  • 10 GB of disk space


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 the hardware vendor website or at Red Hat Customer Portal.

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


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

Media creation

Download the latest ISO file from official site 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:


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 installation

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


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:


If you need to select installation hard drives, use:


To enable file system encryption, use:


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.


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

  • netmask

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.


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.

Known issues

  • When installing on machines with UEFI firmware, Anaconda could fail on automatic partitioning. To work around the problem, switch to Manual installation, or Standard CentOS installation then follow Install on CentOS. In case of installation with software RAID, make sure to manually create UEFI partitions on all boot disks.

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. 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 install -y

To install the base system, run:


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.