Home Red Hat Enterprise Linux How To Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8)

This step by step guide explains how to download latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) for FREE using Red Hat Developer account, and then how to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 with screenshots.

Create Red Hat Developer Account

Red Hat, Inc., is an American software company founded in 1993. It provides open source software products and software solutions to enterprises.

It used the Linux source code and created one of the first commercial Linux distribution named Red Hat Linux (RHL) in 1994. In March 2003, Red Hat Linux is renamed into Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The latest stable RHEL version is 8.4 at the time of writing this guide.

Even though RHEL is a commercial distribution, the individuals and developers can download and use RHEL 8 for FREE of charge via no-cost Red Hat Enterprise Linux developer subscription.

Anyone can Join the free Red Hat Developers program and download Red Hat Enterprise Linux including large amount of up-to-date development tools, for absolutely FREE!

You can use it for development, testing, and learning purposes. Just like the paid-edition, you need to renew your developer subscription once in a year.

RHEL 8 is available for free to download from Red Hat Developer's website. Visit https://developers.redhat.com/login webpage and login with your Red hat developer user account and its password.

If you don't have a developer account, create a new one. It is FREE!

Register for Red hat account
Register for Red hat account

Fill out the form by entering your details such as an unique username, email address, and password. Make sure you have checked the license agreement box.

Create new account in Redhat
Create new account in Redhat

An email with instructions to verify your email address will be sent to your registered Email ID. Go to your Email inbox and click the mail verification link sent from Red hat.

Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8

Once the account is created and activated, go to https://developers.redhat.com/products/rhel/download page and click Download button.

Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8
Download Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8

In the next screen, you will be prompted to enter your login credentials. Enter your Redhat developer account and its password which you created earlier.

If you've registered for the first time, you will be further required to fill additional details such as your first and last name, Email address, company name, Job title, phone number and country/ region. You must fill all the mandatory fields marked with * and click Submit button.

Enter Redhat user account details
Enter Redhat user account details

Once you hit the Submit button, the latest RHEL version will start to download.

The name of the RHEL 8 ISO file will be rhel-8.4-x86_64-dvd.iso and its size will be about 9.4 GB at the time of writing this guide. There is also minimal ISO and images for other platforms available under MORE DOWNLOADS tab.

Create RHEL 8 bootable USB medium

If you are installing Rhel 8 in a physical bare metal machine, you may need to create a bootable USB medium and boot your machine using it.

There are many bootable USB creation tools available to create a bootable USB medium. We already have reviewed a few bootable USB creation applications. You can pick any one that suits you.

Command line bootable USB creation tools:

Graphical bootable USB creation tools:

There is no need to create Bootable USB if you are going to install Rhel 8 on top of any hypervisor like KVM, Virtualbox, VMWare etc.

Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8)

RHEL and its clones such as CentOS, Alma Linux and Rocky Linux uses Anaconda installer. If you install any of the distributions from the Redhat family, installation steps are almost similar.

STEP 1 - Boot your system with RHEL 8 ISO Image

Boot your system with RHEL 8 bootable ISO. Select "Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4" from the boot screen to start the installation.

Start RHEL 8 installation
Start RHEL 8 installation

Once the installation is started, wait for Anaconda installed to finish the initial steps. It will take a minute or two.

STEP 2 - Preferred Language for Installation

The installer will ask you to select the preferred language to use during the installation process. Choose your desired language and press Continue.

Select the language to use during the installation process
Select the language to use during the installation process

STEP 3 - Installation Summary

This is the important step and your operating system will be installed based on the parameters you configure here.

Take a look at the below image. There are 12 options in total and they are split into four categories.

Among the 12 settings, the following three settings must be configured to begin RHEL 8 installation:

  • Installation Destination,
  • Root Password,
  • and User Creation.
RHEL 8 installation summary
RHEL 8 installation summary

Let me show you how to configure each option.

STEP 3.1 - Keyboard Layout

Select the "keyboard" option from the installation summary. Here you can set the keyboard layout for your system and can add additional keyboard layouts or remove existing keyboard layouts.

Press "Done" once the Keyboard layout is selected and go back to the installation summary.

Configure keyboard layout
Configure keyboard layout

STEP 3.2 - Language Support

Select the "Language Support" option from the installation summary. Select all your preferred languages to be installed and press "Done".

Select additional language support to be installed
Select additional language support to be installed

STEP 3.3 - Date and Timezone

Select the "Time & Date" option from the installation summary.

In the map, you can click your region or select the appropriate options from the drop-down.

Configure time zone
Configure time zone

You can enable network time which will use NTP. Before setting up NTP, network configurations should be completed.

Heads Up: If your system is connected with Internet, the date, time and your country/region will be selected automatically.

STEP 3.4 - Installation Source

Select the "Installation Source" option from the installation summary. There are different ways you can install rhel 8.

What we are following here is the standard installation method of using installation media. You can also choose RedHat CDN or network install to install rhel8.

Choose installation source
Choose installation source

The installer will automatically detect the media if you choose Auto-detected installation media option.

There is a section to configure additional repositories at the bottom. By default, AppStream will be included which is the default repository that comes with RHEL operating system. You can add more repositories here if you wish to.

STEP 3.5 - Software Selection

Select the "Software Selection" option from the installation summary. This is an important step. Here, you can choose the base environment to set up.

There are six environments and each environment decides what type of packages will be installed. I am choosing "Workstation" which will be a desktop-based environment that comes with Gnome.

You can also choose "Minimal Install" which will come with the basic set of packages. This is good for testing Rhel 8.

After choosing the base environment, the default set of packages will be automatically selected. You can also add additional packages for the selected environment on the right side.

Software selection
Software selection

STEP 3.6 - Disk partitions

Select the "Installation Destination" option from the installation summary. This is where you will configure your underlying disk.

You can either choose automatic partitioning or custom partitioning.

In automatic partitioning, the system will decide your partitions and it will create a single partition.

In manual partitioning, we have more control over how to partition our disk according to the requirement. In production environments, manual partitioning is preferred.

By default, it will be set to automatic partitioning. All you have to do is press Done.

Automatic partition
Automatic partition

To create a custom partition select Custom and press Done.

Custom partition
Custom partition

Custom partitions can be created in a standard way or using LVM. I choose to do it in the standard way here. Below is how my partitioned table will look like.

PARTITIONSIZEFILESYSTEM TYPE
/15 GBXFS
/home15 GBXFS
/var10 GBXFS
/boot2 GBXFS
/tmp3 GBXFS
swap2 GBXFS
My partition layout

This is my preferred partition table layout. Your disk partition requirement may vary.

Press the (+) icon as shown in the below image to create a new partition.

Add new partition
Add new partition

Select the appropriate mount point from the drop-down and enter the capacity and click "Add Mount Point".

Create Root partition
Create Root partition

Repeat the above step to create all partitions. Once it is done, you can see all the partition details and you can also modify the configurations for each partition.

Create custom partitions
Create custom partitions

Press "Done" and it will display a summary of changes and press "Accept Changes".

Accept partition changes
Accept partition changes

STEP 3.7 - Disable Kdump

Kdump is a mechanism to capture dumps in case your kernel crashes. Generally, kdump will not be enabled in the production system, unless suggested by Redhat support for troubleshooting purposes. Once the troubleshooting is done kdump will be turned off.

Select the "kdump" option from the installation summary. Kdump is enabled by default. Remove the tick mark as shown in the image and press done.

Disable Kdump
Disable Kdump

STEP 3.8 - Network and Hostname

Select the "Network and Hostname" option from the installation summary.

By default "localhost" will be the hostname. You can set a custom hostname in the hostname box and press apply.

Network and Hostname configuration
Network and Hostname configuration

Turn on your Ethernet adapter by toggling ON/OFF. If DHCP server is configured in your network, the IP address will be automatically assigned.

If you wish to set a static IP address, click the Configure option and go to the IPv4 Settings tab and add the IP address, Subnet, and Gateway.

Configure static IP address
Configure static IP address

STEP 3.9 - Activate Subscription

Select the "Connect to Redhat" option from the installation summary. Fill in the necessary details and click Register. You should use the same username and password that you created on the Redhat site.

Check box that says Set System Purpose and choose Role as Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation, SLA as Self-support, and Usage as Development/Test and finally click Register.

Enable Red Hat Subscription
Enable Red Hat Subscription

Once registration is completed, you will get subscription information as shown in the below image.

Red Hat developer subscription details for individuals
Red Hat developer subscription details for individuals

You can go to your account in the Redhat portal and can see the subscription details.

STEP 3.10 - Security Policy

Select the "Security Policy" option from the installation summary. There are a few set of policies available here. You can choose any one that suits for your requirement. Once the policy is selected, press "Select Profile".

Choose security policy
Choose security policy

STEP 3.11 - Setting Up Root Password

Select the "Root Password" option from the installation summary. Set a strong password for the root user and press "Done".

Set Root user password
Set Root user password

STEP 3.12 - Create new user

Select the "User Creation" option from the installation summary. Enter the new user's information such as name, password, and privileges. User will automatically be added to the wheel group if you check "Make this user administrator".

Create new user
Create new user

Heads Up: It is always best practice to disable direct root user login and grant sudo privilege for a local user.

Step 4 - Start RHEL 8 installation

All the settings are now configured according to your needs. You can start the installation by clicking "Begin Installation".

Begin RHEL installation
Begin RHEL installation

Once the installation is completed, reboot the machine by pressing "Reboot System".

Reboot RHEL system
Reboot RHEL system

After rebooting the system, accept the license and click Finish Configuration.

Step 5 - Login to RHEL 8

Now, you will be redirected to the login screen. Click the user name and enter the password to log in.

Login to RHEL system
Login to RHEL system

Congratulations! The newly installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 edition is ready to use!

Welcome to RHEL 8.4 edition
Welcome to RHEL 8.4 edition

Conclusion

In this comprehensive guide, we discussed what is Red Hat Enterprise Linux and how to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) with screenshots.

The installation is same for other RHEL clones such as AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, except the Subscription part. Almalinux and Rocky Linux is completely free to use, and there is neither subscription nor renewal. You can use them for free, forever!

If you have any questions, feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

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