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Server Setup on CentOS Minimalist 

Back ... to the Future?


Those who have been using Linux & other POSIX systems for a few decades know that there was a time when there was no GUI. While technologies like XWindows are indeed welcome, some times we want to to make every byte & cycle count. -Why waste the floating-point time and space when graphical users are not part of our port-use paradigm?



Serving-up maximum power is surely the case whenever we set up a Server. Greedly managing every performance aspect is also the reason why many love the minimalist installation option available with CentOS.

Get Networking on Minimalist


Of course, the 'minimalist' definition means slightly different things to slightly different server-roles. --Yet since the ability to pick-and-choose is what we are after, here are a few general notes on how to get things started:

ifconfig eth0 192.168.1.231 netmask 255.255.255.0 up
ip addr add 192.168.1.231/24 dev eth0
ip route add default via 192.168.1.1
The example above is where your minimalist VM / server is a Class C (24 bit) net-mask with an IP address of *.231, and *.1 is your Gateway.

Getting Downloads on Minimalist


After you can do things like ping the outside world, the next thing to do is to get wget:

yum install wget

Downloading Apache Derby on Minimalist


Thereafter, my mission was to set up a dedicated Derby server for a custom Advanced Java Developer, Hibernate, Google Earth & "Big Data" Gig. Since license support prohibits a clear wget example of installing JEE / Oracle Java, lets begin by downloading something from the Apache Commons:
wget apache.cs.utah.edu/db/derby/db-derby-10.10.1.1/db-derby-10.10.1.1-bin.tar.gz
(other mirrors here)

Archive Support on Minimalist (Derby Example)


Next, we will all surely want to unzip archives, so:
gunzip *.gz

Such will therefore allow us to obviously:
tar -xvf *.tar
cd db*

so we can get ready for the next steps of installing Java, as well as the Derby SQL Server proper.

Adding Java


When it comes time to install java, we must resist the temptation to use yum. Instead, we should probably simply cross-load our favourite Java installation archive to a handy personal web server, then use wget to entice it down from there. (Surely a tad more involved, new folks should nevertheless neuron-in on the idea that things like FTP are obviously also an option for cross-loading things like "agree first" archives.)

File Wiring


Using our .bashrc is the best way to test things:
export JAVA_HOME=/myinstall/jre
export DERBY_HOME=/myinstall/derby
export CLASSPATH=$DERBY_HOME/lib/derbytools.jar:$DERBY_HOME/lib/derbynet.jar
export PATH="$JAVA_HOME/bin:$DERBY_HOME/bin:$PATH"
Ultimately however, servers need to start other things whenever they start up. Therefore, after updating the default path to where things are for the entire server (vi /etc/profile), be sure to update your list of inittab applications (e.g. startNetworkServer) as well.
startNetworkServer -h 0.0.0.0
You might even prefer to use the chkconfig utility.

Port-Enabling


Lest we forget, be sure to allows other computers to connect to your new server by updating your security & port requirements in /etc/sysconfig/iptables, too!

Here is a decent iptables R&D packet filtering stance for an up-and-down VM - such as what one might like to train on:
iptables -F
iptables -X
iptables -t nat -F
iptables -t nat -X
iptables -t mangle -F
iptables -t mangle -X
iptables -P INPUT ACCEPT
iptables -P FORWARD ACCEPT
iptables -P OUTPUT ACCEPT
Once defined, add the rules to the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file by typing:
/sbin/service iptables save

Cheers,

-Rn

p.s: If you would like to see a better color choice (i.e. so students can keep track of which VM they are using) then something like:

setterm -background white -foreground blue -store

-always helps! (you might even want to use things like
-blink on
to brighten things up a bit...)



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