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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- How To Create Multiboot USB Drives With Ventoy In Linux
- How To Create Bootable USB Drive Using dd Command
- Bootiso Lets You Safely Create Bootable USB Drive In Linux
Graphical bootable USB creation tools:
- Create Bootable USB Drive With Ventoy WebUI In Linux
- Create Bootable USB Drives And SD Cards With Etcher In Linux
- Popsicle – Create Multiple Bootable USB Drives At Once
- Create Bootable USB Drive With USBImager In Linux
- Kindd – A Graphical Frontend To dd Command
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
To create a custom partition select Custom and press Done.
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.
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.
Select the appropriate mount point from the drop-down and enter the capacity and click "Add Mount Point".
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.
Press "Done" and it will display a summary of changes and press "Accept 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.
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.
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.
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.
Once registration is completed, you will get subscription information as shown in the below image.
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".
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".
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".
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".
Once the installation is completed, reboot the machine by pressing "Reboot 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.
Congratulations! The newly installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 edition is ready to use!
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.