CentOS 5 Beta
I discovered that CentOS announced a public release of CentOS 5 beta this morning. I quickly downloaded the 6 .iso images for the CDs and gave it a spin. The DVD iso is only available via .torrent and I can't do bittorrent at work.
Added to this release are package sets for:
Follow along with me as I do installs on both a physical machine and in VMware. Feel free to go directly to the screenshot gallery.
First Install - Physical Hardware
After burning all 6 CDs I booted from CD 1 and went through the install process. Since RHEL 5 / CentOS 5 are based on Fedora Core 6, if you've seen the Fedora Core 6 install, it is a lot like it. During the install I chose to customize the package set and added KDE and Virtualization... and then drilled down on a few of the other selected package set and added some individual packages. It told me I'd need all 6 CDs for the install.
The Install - The new graphics on the CentOS beta are very professional looking. It took about 20-30 minutes or so to do the install (I was doing other things and didn't swap out each CD immediately after being prompted). After the install it was time for a reboot and then firstboot. Firstboot was as expected...license, timezone, sound card config, firewall, SElinux settings, and create new user. The sound card config part had a volume control so I cranked it up which allowed me to actually hear the sample music over the cheesy internal speaker my test machine has.
Graphical Login and the Desktop - Then the graphical login screen showed up and I logged in the unpriviledged user I created during firstboot. I tried GNOME and then logged out and tried KDE. Both are the versions that were shipped with FC6 so they are fairly modern.
I'm guessing that since I picked the Xen kernel I didn't have the hardware accelerated options in GNOME to turn on wobbly windows and the 3D-Cube desktop. I'll have to try another install to find out for sure.
[Update: I did another install without Virtualization and made sure to add in compwiz during custom package selection and the "Desktop Effects" option was available and I turned on special effects. Bingo, 3D-cube desktop worked just fine although I turned off wobbly windows because I'm not fond of them.]
Virtual Machines - I ran the Virtual Machine Manager which is a GUI admin tool to view, create, and modify virtual machines. I believe it supports Xen and Qemu. I decided to walk through the creation wizard and went through various dialog boxes to define the virtual machine. It let me pick a remote URL as the install media. Since I had chosen to create a para-virtualized machine, which does not require VT hardware support in the CPU (don't have it in the test machine), I had to pick a Linux distro that has been modified to work with Xen. In this case I picked Fedora Core 6 which I happened to have the install directory tree accessible over HTTP on one of my fileservers... so I plopped in the remote URL. I decided to create a image file (rather than use real disk partitions) of 10GBs and assigned it 512MB of RAM and 1 CPU.
After all of the parameters were satisfied, it booted a virtual machine and started the Fedora Core 6 GUI-based install in a new window. The Virtual Machine Manager window was still visable showing my real machine and the FC6 machine along with updating widgets showing the CPU and RAM usage for each machine.
The Fedora Core 6 install seemed to go at full speed and the install was done pretty quickly... at which time I clicked on the install's reboot button. It has been a while since I've used Xen so at this point, I'm not really sure what to do after the inital install of a virtual machine.
[Update: If you want to see some screenshots of using the Virtual Machine Manager to create a Xen guest, there are some on this page of Red Hat's beta manual.]
Install in VMware
The VMware install, from which the screenshots were taken, went exactly like the install did on the real machine... accept I didn't pick Virtualization... and I didn't have a sound card... and the default resolution for Xorg was 800x600.