Performing Preinstallation Evaluation

Before getting into the actual installation phase, it is important that you take a moment and evaluate two things:

● The hardware the system is going to run on
● The server’s ideal configuration to provide the services you need

Let’s start by examining hardware issues.

As with any operating system, before getting started with the installation process, you should determine what hardware configurations would work. Each commercial vendor publishes a hardware compatibility list (HCL) and makes it available on its web site. Red Hat’s hardware support site is at, where you can search a compatibility database for systems or components. In general, most popular Intel-based configurations work without difficulty.

A general suggestion that applies to all operating systems is to avoid cutting-edge hardware and software configurations. While they appear to be really impressive, they haven’t had the maturing process some of the slightly older hardware has gone through. For servers, this usually isn’t an issue, since there is no need for a server to have the latest and greatest toys, such as 3-D video cards. After all, your main goal is to provide a highly available server for your users, not to play Doom. (Although it should be noted that I, myself, during my less responsible days as a junior-level administrator, found that Linux is wonderfully stable even while running Doom and being a file server.)


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