CentOS 5.3 - Serious Linux for serious people

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by Mrkvonic, Aug 21, 2009.

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  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    May 9, 2005
    Hi all,

    I have something grand for you today: an extensive review of CentOS 5.3, a RedHat-based server distribution, with focus on desktop use, covering live CD test, Wireless, Bluetooth, Web camera, NTFS support, installation of 32-bit and 64-bit machines and their differences, package management, proxy support, Samba sharing, compilation, kernel upgrades, extra repositories, multimedia (Flash, Windows video, MP3), applications, themes, and more. If you've ever wondered if CentOS can be used as a desktop distro, then by all means, do read this article.

    Here's the agenda in detail, for those interested:

    * Live CD checks on two laptops (Wireless, Bluetooth, Web camera, NTFS support)
    * Installation of a 32-bit edition
    * Installation of a 64-bit edition
    * Solving screen resolution issues
    * Compilation
    * Installing VMware Tools (in VMware Server and ESXi)
    * Configuring startup programs in the session
    * Configuring proxy
    * Solving update problems via proxy
    * Samba sharing
    * Adding extra repositories
    * Flash Player 10 on 32-bit and 64-bit machines
    * MP3, Windows video playback
    * Installing cool software (VLC, Skype, others)
    * Applications
    * Making CentOS pretty (new themes, styles in KDE and Gnome)


  2. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    Nice tutorial.
    what im thinking of doing is waiting until CentOS 6.0 comes out which should be based on fedora 11. im hoping it will use at least kernel 2.6.31
    I like fedora but it can break sometimes and I cant seem to find an easy way to rollback. do you know if yum commandline has any rollback features?
  3. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

    May 6, 2006
    George, S.Africa
    Nice and very comprehensive review. Looks like you had a couple more annoyances than I had - looks like I was damn lucky being relatively new to Linux. However I had help from this forum and by reading the tips and faq's on the CentOS site. Pirut was a pain and after initially using it never used it again. Instead I now use yumex (yum extender - similar to Synaptic) but agree that a simple yum update is the best. Also ensure that 'plugins=1' is enabled in /etc/yum.conf - then 'yum install yum-plugin-fastestmirror'.
    For the resolution in VBox I added this line to xorg.conf under the section 'Screen'>SubSection 'Display':-
    Modes "1280x1024" "1024x768" etc. whatever is suitable.
    It is a bit of a pain to install everything but once done it's really great.
    Many thanks for this review/tutorial - I will refer to it often. :thumb:
  4. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

    Oct 2, 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    Woohoo: intense :thumb: Effort+
    Yes, perhaps not a straight forward oob ease of use set-up: Server distro as Desktop.
    Wireless seems like a big issue for some: not required here.
    i must have been a bit lucky with desktop installation; cant recall it being that problematic.

    Setting up networked printers is also a bit of an issue here.

    I was able to connect straight to NTFS NAS device: read and write. o_O
    Auto mounting of FAt32 external USb devices is all good.

    For any readers tempted, although there are many oob distros that offer more perhaps oob, have a run: educational; broaden the horizons: security. Long term support.
    Nice run through here:
    Tips and tricks here: http://wiki.centos.org/TipsAndTricks

    +1 for Yumex
    I was prolly lucky to get a working desktop :D

    I have been experimenting with another RHEL based distro: Scientific;
    don't be put off by the moniker and description: good working desktop options there, possibly faster app updates from third parties than CentOS.

    Hopefully as the recent team upsets at CentOS have settled, the Distro will move forward with more confidence.

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  5. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

    May 6, 2006
    George, S.Africa
  6. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    HI Mrk,

    Does CentOS 5.3 include PAE support in the kernel, i.e. it is a server version, and if a motherboard has up to 4GB of RAM installed, both the processor needs to support the PAE capability, and the capability needs to be turned on when the kernel is compiled in order for a user to be able to use all 4GB of RAM as opposed to 3GB if the PAE capability is not turned on when the kernel is compiled.

    -- Tom
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