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The Perfect Business Desktop – CentOS 7


This tutorial shows how you can set up CentOS 7 desktop. The CentOS 7 have

high

quality of desktop environment which is fully suited for day to day business needs of a corporate culture. I will also show some of the specific features from Thunderbird which makes the day to day business use easier.
The software I propose as default is the one I found easiest to use and best in their functionality – this won’t necessarily be true for your needs, thus you are welcome to try out the applications listed as alternatives.

1 Preliminary Note

This tutorial is based on CentOS 7.0 desktop. I will first install the CentOS 7.0 Desktop. For the CentOS installation, you need the iso files from the following link:

32-bit NA (It is available only in 64-bit architecture)
64-bit http://isoredirect.centos.org/centos/7/isos/x86_64/

In my case system have a static IP address. I use 192.168.0.100 as my IP address in this tutorial and desktop1.example.com as the hostname. You can either use static or dynamic IP address depending upon your requirements.

2 Installation

Now we will install the CentOS 7.0 with Gnome desktop. Insert the CD burnt with the iso downloaded above and proceed as:

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Just Install the CentOS 7:

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Select Language as per you preference, I am using here English the press Continue:

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Now we need to select some more options before the installation. Select your prefered Date and time, in my case  I am using Europe/Berlin:

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After selecting your timezone press Done.

Next we need to select the Keyboard and Language Support. If you wish to add more languages then you can add it here, I will be using English for that:

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Press Done when completed.

Next we need to customized the selection for SOFTWARE SELECTION I will select here Base Environment as Gnome Desktop and Add-Ons for the environment as Gnome Applications, Internet Applications and Office suite and productivity.

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Press Done when completed.

Next in INSTALLATION DESTINATION you can use either Automatic or manual partitioning formation. I will be using Automatic drive Partitioning.

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Press Done when completed.

Next we need to select NETWORK & HOSTNAME If you have a DHCP server installed before then you can use automatic DHCP, otherwise you can make it manual static IP addressing as shown. Press Configure in this section further in IPv4 Settings select Manual and give the entries as per your networking environment. I am the values as
Address    192.168.0.100   
Netmask    255.255.255.0
Gateway    192.168.0.1   
DNS servers    8.8.8.8    8.8.4.4

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Press Save. In hostname give your desired name, I am using my hostname as desktop1.example.com Press Done when completed.

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Please ensure that your Installation source must be Local media if it is like that. Now we can proceed with the installation, press Begin Installation.

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Now we have started with the installation. Now we add an user and set the root passwords:

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I will be creating the user as administrator and any password of your choice as follows:

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Press Done when completed. Similarly set the Root Password.

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After that wait for some while till the installation is completed.

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After complete installation it will ask for Reboot, just press Reboot.

Now we need to accept the License, press LICENSE INFORMATION.

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Tick the checkbox for I accept the license agreement. Press Done when completed.

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Next press FINISH CONFIGURATION. Next step is to enable Kdump. Select default values i.e. Automatic and the press forward:

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Next screen will prompt us to login in Gnome-desktop , put the credentials and press Signin:

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Now we have completed the installation part. Next we need to setup the Gnome-initial-setup.

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Select language and press Next:

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Further press Next:

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If you wish you can add accounts for Google, Yahoo etc. Press Next when done.

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Now we are done, press using Start using CentOS Linux.

Now we are ready with the raw CentOS Desktop.

2 Software installations

Now we need to install the following softwares in CentOS to make it suitable for using it in official works.

Graphics:

  • The GIMP – free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
  • Shotwell Photo Manager – full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop
  • Pencil – Replacement for Microsoft VISIO in CentOS

Internet:

  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Google-chrome
  • Flash Player
  • FileZilla – multithreaded FTP client
  • Thunderbird – email and news client
  • Evolution – combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • Transmission BitTorrent Client – Bittorrent client
  • Pidgin –  Pidgin protocol plugin to connect to MS Office Communicator

Office:

  • LibreOffice Writer – replacement for Microsoft Word
  • LibreOffice Calc – replacement for Microsoft Excel
  • Document-viewer for reading pdf files
  • Scribus – open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

Sound & Video:

  • Amarok – audio player
  • Totem – media player (video/audio)
  • Brasero – CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B – CD/DVD burning program

Programming:

  • Bluefish – text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages

Other:

  • VirtualBox – lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don’t have to entirely abandon Windows
  • TrueType fonts

I will be installing the packages with root credentials, if your user have sudo credentials then you can use sudo before the commands which I will be using in the guide

Before that we will add EPEL-7 to install the packages:

su –
rpm -ivh http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/epel/7/x86_64/e/epel-release-7-1.noarch.rpm

2.1 Graphics

  • The GIMP – free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop

yum install gimp

  • Shotwell Photo Manager – full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop

It will come installed by default with gnome-desktop.

  • Pencil – Replacement for Microsoft VISIO in CentOS

Pencil is one the best alternatives for Microsoft VISIO here, it can be used for business diagram feature. Other available softwares are Dia and yEd that can be composed with their source codes.

yum install xulrunner
rpm -ivh http://evoluspencil.googlecode.com/files/pencil-2.0.5-1.fc19.noarch.rpm

2.2 Internet:

  • Firefox

It will come pre-installed in Gnome-desktop

  • Opera

Download opera from link and install it as follows:

wget http://get.opera.com/pub/opera/linux/1216/opera-12.16-1860.x86_64.rpm
rpm -ivh opera-12.16-1860.x86_64.rpm

  • Google-chrome

Download Google-chrome from link https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/#eula and install it as follows:

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Put the system login password and you are done.

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  • Flash Player

To install flash goto the URL http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/?no_redirect and install it as follows:

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Press install and you are done.

  • FileZilla – multithreaded FTP client

yum install filezilla

  • Thunderbird – email and news client

To install use:

yum install thunderbird

We can use Thunderbird as a powerful mail client, it includes almost all the necessary features that should be essential in a Corporate environment. It includes emailing, calender, addressbook, mail encryption/decryption and several other features which make it a good replacement for the MS Outlook.

Lets check those features separately.

2.2.1 Calender

We need proper addons for that, after successful configuration of the mail-user in  thunderbird install the addon as follows:

Goto Tools–>Addons and search for lightning

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Search for lightning.

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Install the plugin.

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It will ask for restart the thunderbird, just press Restart now:

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You can verify the download of the plugin in your extentions.

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Now you can configure either local or network based calendering on Thunderbird.

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2.2.2 Addressbook

You can have local as well as network based addressbook  in your Thunderbird, if the mail-server is configured with the LDAP scheme of address book.

Goto Tool–>Addressbook

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2.2.3 Mail Encryption/Decryption

I will be using Enigmail for this, just install the Enigmail from addons:

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Now we need to configure the Enigmail:

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Now we need to configure the Enigmail:

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Press Next:

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It will Sign all my messages by default. Press Next:

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Press Next:

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Here you can install a new certificate, if you have a public certificate just add it with second option. in my case I will creating my own certificate with the option  I want to install…. Press Next:

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Give a password for you certificate. Press Next:

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Press Next:

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Be patient it will take some time to create the certificate. Press Next when completed. After completion it will ask to generate certificate, press Generate Certificate

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Save the certificate.

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Now we will send an encrypted mail to another user to check the integrity of Enigmail. First we will save our Public key and secret key so that it could be sent to another receipient to get it in readable format. Goto Enigmail–>Key management and

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Now save Public and secret key separately in two files.

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Now we will compose an encrypted mail, so that we can check Enigmail. Additinally attach the two keys in the mail so that the second party can use the attachment to get it decrypted.

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After pressing send, you will be asked for Select Encrypt and sign the message test, but not the attachments

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Put the encrytion part to confirm and the mail will be sent.

Now we will decrypt it at client as, just save the atachment send by administrator and import the certificates as done before for exporting the certificate.

Goto Enigmail–>Keymanagement and then Import the both the certificates. After succeful import close the thunderbird and reopen the same mail, it will ask for the passphrase for the certificate, Put the passphrase.

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It will decrypt the message. 🙂

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  • Evolution – combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions

It comes default, you can also use it as like Thunderbird

  • Transmission BitTorrent Client – Bittorrent client

yum install transmission

  • Pidgin –  Pidgin protocol plugin to connect to MS Office Communicator

It is replacement for MS office Communicator, almost similar functionality except file sharing and screen sharing.

yum install pidgin-sipe

  • Xchat IRC – IRC client

yum install xchat

2.3 Office

  • LibreOffice Writer – replacement for Microsoft Word
  • LibreOffice Calc – replacement for Microsoft Excel

Libre office comes default which is a good replacement for the MS Office.

  • Document Viewer for reading pdf files

It comes default in gnome-desktop

  • Scribus – open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

yum install scribus

2.4 Sound & Video:

  • Amarok – audio player
  • Totem Media Player – media player (video/audio)
  • Brasero – CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B – CD/DVD burning program

Totem media player comes default, To install other packages we can install it as

yum install amarok brasero k3b

2.4 Programming:

  • Bluefish – text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages

yum install bluefish

2.5 Other:

  • VirtualBox – lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don’t have to entirely abandon Windows

rpm -ivh http://download.virtualbox.org/virtualbox/4.3.16/VirtualBox-4.3-4.3.16_95972_el7-1.x86_64.rpm

  • TrueType fonts

To install windows fonts use:

rpm -ivh http://www.my-guides.net/en/images/stories/fedora12/msttcore-fonts-2.0-3.noarch.rpm

Now we have windows type font in Libre office

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  • Java

Java comes preinstalled in Gnome-desktop, you can check the version as follows:

java -version

[root@desktop1 ~]# java -version
java version “1.7.0_65”
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (rhel-2.5.1.2.el7_0-x86_64 u65-b17)
OpenJDK 64-Bit Server VM (build 24.65-b04, mixed mode)
[root@desktop1 ~]

Congratulations! Now we have a fully functional CentOS 7.0 Gnome-desktop that can be used in a corporate environment 🙂

  • CentOS : http://www.centos.org/

 

 

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