After the latest problems with Debian based systems, I figured it was finally time to move my home server over to an RPM based system. It was time to make a move anyway as I was running the server version of Edgy Eft and support was about to disappear for that release. In all fairness, my stint with the Edgy server was great, with no problems and quick upgrades. It’s an old beast, a Gateway 500 Mhz PIII with 384 MB of ram. Not much under the hood, but it works and without a GUI or DE it’s just fine.

So, onward to CentOS 5.1! I was already familiar with CentOS as I use 5.1 as my main OS at work and love it for it’s stability. The only problem I had was that I really didn’t want to download an entire DVD for a base install (4.7 GB for <1 GB install), so I decided to try the network install instead. This was a fairly painless procedure, with the only difference that I had to point the installer to a stage 2 image. I used the image at http://mirrors.cat.pdx.edu/centos/5.1/os/i386/. After the regular install steps I was up and running.

The first thing that I did was to add a user and get the right permissions on the home directory. I kept the same partitioning scheme as before, and formatted everything except for my /home partition. Once I got that settled I then did a

chown -R /home/username

to get my home directory permissions set as the Ubuntu server had used a different UID/GID. Everything seemed peachy, but then the network speed bump hit.

I want a static IP address for the server so that I can SSH in from the road to bounce into my work computer. As per usual, I began by refreshing myself with the usually excellent How-To Forge guide on CentOS 5.1. The main problem that I had was that my /etc/resolv.conf was blank and that the guide didn’t add in a space for the default gateway (here my router). Small fixes, but a small hitch until I added in the router as the gateway and the nameserver. At this point I could SSH in from the outside and yum-date! but first, the yum plugins.

I immediately installed two yum plugins, yum-protectbase and yum-fastestmirror.

1. yum install yum-protectbase

Then follow the instructions to set up the plug in. What this does is to protect the repos you designate as “base” from third party repos. I added the protect=1 to all sections of the CentOS-Base.repo file.

I also set up the Yum fastestmirror plugin as described in the CentOS wiki. This chooses, you guessed it, the fastest mirror. After these were configured I did a yum update and continued with the guide to get http, MySQL, PHP and PHPMyAdmin up and running.

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