Linux : Rocky Linux


Background

I believe most of you heard about the new Red Hat strategy around CentOS ? One of the favorite OS for Linux testing in the Enterprise ? Yes, CentOS used to be the most stable and conservative environment in the Red Hat family (CentOS, Fedora and Red Hat Enterprise Linux - aka RHEL). When Red Hat announced they are going to shift CentOS to a rolling release exactly like Fedora for the end user world. Many Sysadmin out there were wondering how to address that issue. I believe we have a solid candidate.

Rocky Linux

Exactly like MySQL developers did when Oracle bought them in 2010, and the birth of mariaDB; CentOS core developers did a fork of CentOS and created Rocky Linux. It is indeed very easy to see similarities when installing the OS. The first release of Rocky Linux is starting at the latest version number of CenOS : 8.4. So, don't try to find Rocky Linux 1.0, it will be very hard ;)

I installed it on a VM with 2 vCPU and 2 vCores, 4 GB RAM and 20 GB HDD.

The installation screens are almost exactly the same as CentOS and the setup script is still called anaconda !


Here is Anaconda, the famous setup script :



As you can see, it works perfectly on Nutanix AHV ;) 




After setup, I was struggling with the network. If you are also having an issue, just check if your NIC is set as onboot=yes in the interface file : 

[root@localhost ~]# cd /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/
[root@localhost network-scripts]# cat ifcfg-ens3
TYPE=Ethernet
PROXY_METHOD=none
BROWSER_ONLY=no
BOOTPROTO=dhcp
DEFROUTE=yes
IPV4_FAILURE_FATAL=no
IPV6INIT=yes
IPV6_AUTOCONF=yes
IPV6_DEFROUTE=yes
IPV6_FAILURE_FATAL=no
NAME=ens3
UUID=321e7709-4b79-4d77-a69a-41a06d2b981a
DEVICE=ens3
ONBOOT=yes

Otherwise, an easy fix if you don't want to reboot is issuing this command : 

[root@localhost ~]# ifup ens3

By default, Rocky Linux comes without any GUI. In most cases, this is ok. But if you want to have a graphical user interface because it runs on a laptop or just because you are curious, you can still install Gnome on it :
 
[root@localhost network-scripts]# yum group list
Rocky Linux 8 - AppStream              5.0 MB/s | 7.8 MB     00:01
Rocky Linux 8 - BaseOS                 4.7 MB/s | 3.5 MB     00:00
Rocky Linux 8 - Extras                 6.2 kB/s | 3.8 kB     00:00
Available Environment Groups:
   Server with GUI
   Minimal Install
   Workstation
   Virtualization Host
   Custom Operating System
Installed Environment Groups:
   Server
Installed Groups:
   Graphical Administration Tools
   Headless Management
   System Tools
Available Groups:
   Container Management
   .NET Core Development
   RPM Development Tools
   Development Tools
   Legacy UNIX Compatibility
   Network Servers
   Scientific Support
   Security Tools
   Smart Card Support
It requires an extra 860 MB (and 892 additional packages).

Next, we just need to install the Server with GUI group of packages :

[root@localhost network-scripts]# yum groupinstall "Server with GUI"
Last metadata expiration check: 0:01:29 ago on Thu 08 Jul 2021 09:31:36 AM EDT.
no group 'dns-server' from environment 'graphical-server-environment'
No match for group package "insights-client"
No match for group package "rocky-release-eula"
No match for group package "hpijs"
Dependencies resolved.
=======================================================================================================================================================
 Package                                              Architecture    Version                                                 Repository          Size
=======================================================================================================================================================
Upgrading:
 NetworkManager                                       x86_64          1:1.30.0-9.el8_4                                        baseos             2.6 M
 NetworkManager-adsl                                  x86_64          1:1.30.0-9.el8_4                                        baseos             140 k
 NetworkManager-config-server                         noarch          1:1.30.0-9.el8_4

[...]

Transaction Summary
=======================================================================================================================================================
Install  849 Packages
Upgrade   43 Packages

Total download size: 860 M
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Downloading Packages:
(1/892): PackageKit-command-not-found-1.1.12-6.el8.x86_64.rpm                                                          108 kB/s |  26 kB     00:00
(2/892): PackageKit-glib-1.1.12-6.el8.x86_64.rpm                                                                       814 kB/s | 139 kB     00:00
(3/892): GConf2-3.2.6-22.el8.x86_64.rpm

[...]

  yelp-2:3.28.1-3.el8.x86_64
  yelp-libs-2:3.28.1-3.el8.x86_64
  yelp-tools-3.28.0-3.el8.noarch
  yelp-xsl-3.28.0-2.el8.noarch
  zenity-3.28.1-1.el8.x86_64

Complete!
In order to boot in graphical mode, issue this command : 

[root@localhost ~]systemctl set-default graphical

Then reboot and the magic happened !



Apart from the new logo, I really feel like home compared to my years of CentOS experience. I believe this will be my future default Linux release from now on.

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