This is a simple guide to installing CentOS 5.1 via Network Install (netinstall). You can save yourself a lot of time by doing a network install and only installing the base packages rather than downloading a 3.6GB DVD ISO or the six CD-ROM images.
1. Start by downloading the small 7.3MB CentOS-5.1-i386-netinstall.iso image and burn it to a disc. There’s also an x86_64 architecture image available that you can download if that’s the type of hardware you’re using.
2. Boot up the designated CentOS PC with your netinstall disc and wait for it to get to boot screen.
Press Enter for the GUI install or type linux text and press Enter for text mode installation.
3. Choose your language. The default selection is English.
Is English your primary language? It is for me.
4. Choose your keyboard type. The default is a US keyboard layout.
My keyboard is as basic as they come. So I’m choosing US.
5. Choose the installation method. For this guide I perform a HTTP install and get the packages from kernel.org.
6. Now it’s time to configure the TCP/IP settings. If you want to acquire an IP from a DHCP server or have no idea what your network settings are, then leave everything on the defaults. However, if you want to use a static IP and save yourself the trouble of editing /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0 or running setup later, then choose Manual configuration. I don’t have an IPv6 network, so I’ll be using IPv4.
7. Skip this step if you chose DHCP. On this screen enter your network settings (IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and a dns name server).
8. Enter the web server and directory path to the CentOS packages to get this installation started. I’ll be using the server mirrors.kernel.org. The directory path is centos/5.1/os/i386.
9. Go get something to drink. Retrieving the image may take a while.
10. Follow the rest of the prompts to install CentOS. It’s the same as if you’re doing it from DVD or CD’s, just takes longer because all packages are downloaded. So select your packages, set the root password, etc… The installation time will depend on how many packages you select.