There is a new version of this tutorial available for CentOS 8.

How to Install a CentOS 7.3 Minimal Server

This tutorial exists for these OS versions

On this page

  1. Requirements
  2. Preliminary Note
  3. Install the CentOS Base System

This document describes the installation of a CentOS 7.3 server. The purpose of this guide is to provide a minimal setup that can be used as basis for our other tutorials here at howtoforge like the perfect server guides or the SAMBA, LAMP and LEMP server tutorials.


To get started with the CentOS 7.3 installation, we will need the installer ISO file. This can either be the CentOS minimal ISO or the DVD ISO file. If you plan to install just this one server then choose the minimal ISO as it is a smaller, the installer will download the required packages during installation later. I will install several servers with CentOS 7.3, therefore I choose the DVD installer ISO so I dont have to download the same packages again for each server.

I will do the installation on a VMware virtual machine. The installation steps on a physical server are the same. If your server is not able to boot from an ISO file, burn the ISO on a DVD and insert that into the DVD drive of the server.

Preliminary Note

This tutorial is based on CentOS 7.3 server, I use as my IP address in this tutorial and as the hostname. These settings might differ for you, so you have to replace them where appropriate.

Install the CentOS Base System

Boot from your CentOS 7 DVD. Select Install CentOS 7.

Boot from CentOS DVD or ISO.

Next press ENTER.

System boots from install DVD.

Choose the installation language. I am using English with English United States here, so I just press Continue:

Choose the language.

Next, we get the following screen:

The CentOS installer.

I will start to customize the settings starting with LOCALIZATION in DATE & TIME Click on DATE & TIME. Select your time zone, in my case, I am selecting Europe as Region and Berlin as City. Press Done when finished.

Set date and time zone.

It will set the server DATE & TIME to the Europe/Berlin timezone. Next, I will customize the KEYBOARD layout, Click on KEYBOARD to start the setup dialog.

Go to keyboard layout settings.

Press the + icon to add another keyboard layout:

Add another keyboard layout.

It will show the following window with the list of available keyboard layouts. In my case, I select German and click on the Add. button to add the keyboard layout.

Select the German keyboard layout.

Next, we customize the LAYOUT SWITCHING OPTIONS by pressing Options:

Customize layout switching option.

You can use any key combination for switching between keyboards, in my case I am using Alt+Ctrl. After selection of your desired key combination, press Done.

Use Alt + Ctrl to switch the layout.

Next press Done.

Additional keyboard layout has been added.

Now we can add LANGUAGE SUPPORT if you don't want to use English. Click on "LANGUAGE SUPPORT" to open the dialog.

Add language support.

By default, CentOS comes with English language preinstalled, but we can add more languages easily. In my case, I am adding Deutsch German with Deutsch (Deutschland) as the additional language. Press Done after selection

Add additional language in CentOS.

Next, we go to SOFTWARE > INSTALLATION SOURCE and select the installation media.

Go to software installation menu.

Next, you will see that the installation source is "Auto-detected installation media", if you have any other source of installation like a network install then you can set the path in the "On the network"  field with and without proxy from Proxy Setup. Additionally, we can add Additional repositories if needed. Then press Done.

Configure installation source.

Share this page:

4 Comment(s)

Add comment

Please register in our forum first to comment.


By: Ton

Install tutorial straightforward and clear, thnx.

By: nekrataal

Hello, what is the purpose of the last step? (when you edit the nano /etc/hosts)

I couldn't properly set a static IP address so I re-installed with auto for the IPv4 settings (but I also have IPv6). Is this bad?

By: AC Atul

Tutorial has deep detailed info, thanks for providing info.

By: Marvin Castro

Hi! Good day! I followed the procedures you did in the installation of Centos in VMWare, I was just wondering why I was not able to login to my credentials? Even in my root access. Thanks