The very first release of well know Linux operating system CentOS 7 is out now. CentOS Linux 7.1, this release is tagged as 1503. Inherited from RHEL 7.1, this release has many new features and bug fixes. CentOS is a stable, manageable Linux operating system which is considered a best fit for production servers and home based computers. We will be reviewing the most prominent features and installation process of this new release in the article. Lets review its noteworthy features first.
FreeIPA is a well known security solution which is implementable on Linux/Unix based operating systems. It stores data about users, groups, hosts and provides centralized authentication, authorization and account information. FreeIPA supports two factor authentications. For this first time, FreeIPA release is available in the CentOS docker index.
docker pull centos/freeipa
[root@localhost ~]# docker pull centos/freeipa
Trying to pull repository docker.io/centos/freeipa ...
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Status: Downloaded newer image for docker.io/centos/freeipa:latest
Logical Volume Manager (LVM) Cache
Logical Volume Manager provides system administrators the ability to manage and allocate disk space effectively. Recently, LVM has added caching support to improve the performance and security of the disks. This feature allows one or more faster speed disks to act as a cache for one or more slower hard disks. This new LVM caching feature has been added to CentOS 7.1.x release.
You can install LVM on your Centos by running the following command:
yum install lvm2
Once LVM installation is complete, “lvmcache” command should let you perform disk caching. Run “man lvmcache” to learn more about this utility.
[root@localhost ~]# man lvmcache
lvmcache — LVM caching
The cache logical volume type uses a small and fast LV to improve the performance of a large and slow LV. It does this by storing the frequently used blocks on the faster LV. LVM refers to the small fast LV as a cache pool LV. The large slow LV is called the origin LV. Due to requirements from dm-cache (the kernel driver), LVM further splits the cache pool LV into two devices - the cache data LV and cache metadata LV. The cache data LV is where copies of data blocks are kept from the origin LV to increase speed. The cache metadata LV holds the accounting information that specifies where data blocks are stored (e.g. on the origin LV or on the cache data LV). Users should be familiar with these LVs if they wish to create the best and most robust cached logical volumes.
origin LV OriginLV large slow LV
cache data LV CacheDataLV small fast LV for cache pool data
cache metadata LV CacheMetaLV small fast LV for cache pool metadata
cache pool LV CachePoolLV CacheDataLV + CacheMetaLV
cache LV CacheLV OriginLV + CachePoolLV
Automatic Bug Reporting Tool
Automatic Bug Reporting tool (ABRT) has been added to CentOS new release. The bug reporting process is handled by “abrtd” daemon. It keeps running in the background as soon as any system error or application error is detected, the error info is collected and this tool has capability to report these errors details to remote bug trackers. Run following command to see this service status:
service abrtd status
[root@localhost ~]# service abrtd status
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl status abrtd.service
abrtd.service - ABRT Automated Bug Reporting Tool
Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/abrtd.service; enabled)
Active: active (running) since Fri 2015-04-03 00:04:45 UTC; 15s ago
Main PID: 7351 (abrtd)
└─7351 /usr/sbin/abrtd -d -s
Apr 03 00:04:45 localhost.localdomain systemd: Starting ABRT Automated Bug Reporting Tool...
Apr 03 00:04:45 localhost.localdomain systemd: Started ABRT Automated Bug Reporting Tool.
Apr 03 00:04:45 localhost.localdomain abrtd: Init complete, entering main loop
Run following command to see help and details about abrtd command:
OpenJDK (Open Java Development Kit) is a free and open source implementation of the Java Platform. Currently OpenJDK 7 is the last stable release and OpenJDK 8 is still in work by developers and being tweaked and bug fixed. This new CentOS release has support for OpenJDK 8 version as well. In order to install OpenJDK 8 on Centos , run following yum command:
[root@localhost ~]# yum install java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel
Improved Hardware and Driver Support
The latest CentOS release has improved support for Processors, Graphic cards, and additional drivers. Support for new processors includes Intel Broadwell and graphics AMD Hawaii cards. This also provides enhanced support for many old graphic and Ethernet cards. One of the noteworthy improvement is the updation of Hyper-V network drivers.
Ceph Devices Support
Centos 7.1.1503 has embedded support for mounting ceph device. Ceph is a redhat’s scalable clustering solution. You can read about Ceph architecture for more details. Along with Ceph devices support, it also adds support for Btrfs, OverlayFS and Cisco VIC Kernels.
Updated Software Versions
CentOS latest release comes with updated version for most commonly used applications. Dockers, SSH software, Email clients etc are on the latest stable releases. We are listing version info for some commonly used software applications below:
[root@localhost ~]# sshd –V
OpenSSH_6.6.1p1, OpenSSL 1.0.1e-fips 11 Feb 2013
[root@localhost ~]# thunderbird -v
[root@localhost ~]# docker -v
Docker version 1.5.0-dev, build fc0329b/1.5.0
[root@localhost ~]# firefox -v
Mozilla Firefox 31.6.0
Installing / Upgrading to Centos 7.1 with Screenshots
Step 1: Download Centos ISO
Download the ISO file for CentOS from its official page, please note that only 64 bit architecture ISO is available for download. CentOS is a widely used operating system for online production servers so 64 bit architecture is always preferred there.
Step 2: Initiating the Install
Here are two ways through which you can initiate the installation process for this new CentOS release.
Burn the downloaded ISO to DVD drive and then boot your system using this ISO.
Use any Virtulization tool like Oracle Virtual Box to create Virtual Machine on your computer and boot your newly created virtual machine using CentOS ISO.
Regardless of the method you choose, here is the very first screen you will see when you boot your system using CentOS ISO. Choose 'Install Centos 7" from here.
Step 3: Select Language and timezone
On the next two steps choose your language for the installation and timezone. Hit "Next" once done so that installation may proceed further.
Step 4: Select Disk Partition Settings
On next step choose your disk partitioning setting, you can add additional disks from here, or customize your partition space settings from here, click “Done” to proceed to the next stage.
Step 5: Begin Installation
The install process will start now, you can set root password and setup additional users from here if you want.
Step 5: Complete Installation and Reboot
As soon as install process completes, it will ask you to reboot your sytem once.
That’s all, enjoy your community Operating System !
Lets see how we can upgrade our CentOS installation to the latest one. Check your current operating system version by running the following command:
[root@localhost ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS Linux release 7.0.1406 (Core)
Run following yum update command to upgrade your CentOS operating system version to 7.1 release tag 1503.
yum -y upgrade
Once upgrade process complete, verify your CentOS version, It should be listing the version as “7.1.1503”
[root@localhost ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS Linux release 7.1.1503 (Core)
CentOS is widely used Linux operating system and its key features aimed at speed and performance improvements as well as system security. You can check CentOS official site for more news and release notes.
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