How to Install CentOS 7 Step by Step with Screenshots

CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) is forked from RedHat Linux, a Linux Distro fine-tuned for servers. In this tutorial, you will learn how to install CentOS 7 in a few easy steps.

Read Also: How to Install CentOS 8 (Step by Step with Screenshots)

Step 1: Download The ISO Image

To get a copy of CentOS 7 download from its source mirror. CentOS 7 is now shipping for 64 bit platforms, and currently there is no 32 bit ISO image. This is primarily due to the fact that most servers in production are 64 bit.

Step 2: Make A bootable Drive

After you have downloaded the ISO image, make a bootable USB drive. Since Centos 6.5, you can create usb drive bootable by simply transferring iso file to usb using dd command. Win32DiskImager or Etcher are the alternative solutions, as we found Unetbootin no longer works for CentOS 7.

# dd if=/iso/CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-1602-99.iso of=/dev/sdb

* /dev/sdb is the usb device and make sure you have atleast 4.3 GB space.

Step 3: Begin Installation

To begin installation, click on the Install to Hard Drive icon on the desktop.
Desktop Install to Hard Drive

Step 4: Select Language And Keyboard

Select your preferred language as well as the Keyboard type you have. Take care not forget to choose the correct keyboard or else you will end up with a few scrambled keys.

Select Language

Step 5: Change The Installation Destination

By default the Anaconda installer will choose automatic partitioning for your hard disk. Click on the Installation Destination icon to change this to custom partitioning.

Automatic Partitioning

Click on the hard drive you want to install CentOS 7 and under the Other Storage Options, choose I will configure partitioning then click Done.
Configure Partitioning

Step 6: Select The Partitioning Scheme

Next select the partitioning scheme to use for the mount points. In this case choose Standard Partition.

Select Partitioning Scheme

Step 7: Create A Swap Space

You can create a swap space from one of the partitions and set the desired capacity, which is dependent on the RAM you have. Choose the File System for swap space as swap, and click on Reformat, though reformatting is optional. You can also name your swap space to whatever name you like but a name like swap is more descriptive.
Create Swap Space

Step 8: Create A Mount Point

The next step is to create a mount point where the root partition will be installed. Depending on your requirements you might need to put the boot, home and root partition on different mount points. For this case we shall have only one mount point /.

After this set the Label and Desired Capacity to whatever you wish. A rule of thumb is to use descriptive names for the Label especially if the computer is to be used by different system administrators.

Choose the file system as ext4 and click on reformat.

Create a Mount Point

Step 9: Accept Changes

After completing Step 7 and Step 8 successfully click on Done button. A prompt window will appear with a summary of changes that will take place. If you are satisfied with them click Accept changes.
Accept Changes

Step 10: Set Date And Time

Click on the clock icon under the localization menu and select a time zone from the map of the world, then click Done.
Set Date and Time

Step 11: Begin Installation

Now after configuring the System and Localization settings you can click on the Begin Installation button.
Begin Installation

Installation will begin immediately and as it proceeds you need to set up a User account as well as the root password.
configuration during installation

Step 12: Set Up Root Password

Click on the root password option and enter a password and confirmation of the same then click Done.

Set Up Root Password

Step 13: Create a User Account

The next step is to create a user account. Enter the correct details and if this is the administrator account, tick Make this user administrator and Require a password to use this account for security purposes.
Create a User Account

Step 14: Complete Installation

The installer should complete installing the software and the bootloader. Have a look on how to Set Linux Grub Password with Examples.
Installing Bootloader

Once complete you should get a success message, after which you can click quit.
Logout from the Live system and login to your new installation.

Finally once you login to your CentOS 7 accept the EULA agreement and enjoy!
Complete Installation

New Features in CentOS 7

The following are some of the notable feature in CentOS 7:

Gnome 3 Desktop Environment

CentOS 7 comes with Gnome 3 which is very convenient when you have a touch screen.

gnome 3 Desktop

It also comes with Gnome Classic for those that want the look and feel of Gnome 2.

gnome classic

CentOS 7 comes with GRUB 2 which solves dual booting problems with other Linux distros that have been using GRUB 2, like Ubuntu. This is an improvement from CentOS 6.5 which used GRUB Legacy and was a problem when dual booting. Now you can do your installation without concerns of GRUB issues.

CentOS 7 has support for the xfs file system which is suitable especially in a distributed type of environment. XFS is known for its ability to handle parallel I/O compared to ext4.

CentOS 7 will also be shipping with MariaDB, a replacement for MySQL.


CentOS 7 has greatly improved from version 6.5 and now is easier to adopt it as a Desktop OS compared to its predecessor. For those that probably cannot keep up with Fedora releases every 6 months, CentOS 7 is a good consideration. Try it out today!

28 Comments... add one

  1. I am an absolute beginner to Linux and recently (3 days ago) decided it's time to learn, so i chose centOS and funny enough a new version had been recently released which makes it all the better.

    I plan to install it into my Windows Xp (sp3) machine as a dual boot and leave the laptop untouched (just in case things go wrong)

    Question is, how do install CentOS 7 on a windows xp machine for dual boot purposes?

    • Hi Allan,

      You need to have unallocated disk space on your laptop to install linux. Most time when you buy laptop all disk would be partitioned for windows.
      If you are beginner one choice would be install sun virtual box on windows and install centos on the virtual box to start learning.

  2. Hi,

    I just tried to install centOS 7 and have a formated 500GB hd, but for some reason the installer reads available hd space as 2.99MB.

    Any ideas?

    Thank you.

  3. In network and hostname option, I am getting no network devices available, but while creating the vm, I had added a network adapter with NAT enabled. Please help.

  4. I wasn't unable to find the boot loader option while installing CentOS 7. I had centos 6.5 running parallel with windows. But this time I had no dual boot option and as a result I was left with only centos 7 OS. Please help!

  5. Hi all,
    I got the same problem like allan, but I have windows 7, I have unallocated disk space enough to install Centos 7, but the problem is that after install centos 7 at the boot time there is no option for windows 7,I read that Centos come with Grub2 but I am not sure if I missed something during the installation for that option. Please help me with that.

    • grub2-mkconfig -o /boot/grub2/grub.cfg did u tried running this ? See if it resolves or give any error on reboot.

  6. Sir, while installing Cenotos 7 in my Desktop server machine, i am unable to read any text like select language and so on and so I have to leave the installation process undone. I.e The text are viewed from left to right but not from top to bottom while inserting Cd during installation which makes me problem to read the options correctly. Please help me in this regard

  7. Hi there,

    I'm a CentOS 6 Administrator and I want to upgrade my servers to 7. When I tested this new version I didn't find any options for selecting packages during installation process as it has in version 6.

    Does anyone know a way to do this?

    Thanks in advance.

  8. Hi,
    I am trying to install CentOS on windows 10 on my Dell Inspiron Desktop.
    I downloaded the ISO file for version 7. I have also extracted the files using Unetbin.
    While rebootng when I select Unetbin I am getting error
    "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.

    I have unallocated space in my desktop.
    Please help.


  9. Hello

    I want installed centos7 and I bought full new computer like server Dell T130. No operating system in my computer.

    Please guide me how I can do it.

    Thank you

  10. My 16GB USB stick showed up in Local Standard Disks and after installation, I cannot boot the Centos 7.2 unless I plug in USB stick, otherwise no bootable partition found. Any suggestion?

  11. Hi, I have windows on one laptop, and would like to fully replace it with CentOS 7.
    So, no dual boot, Linux all the way. How do I go about this? Any help appreciated.

    • During installation you can select either choose "Remove all partitions on selected drives and create default layout" or choose "Create custom layout" (delete and recreate partition).

  12. I have been trying to burn the image to a disk with no luck; nothing happens. I just noticed that you only refer to a usb install; is that the only way?

  13. Hello Bobbin,

    Thank you for your post. This has been very helpful.

    I am stuck at the step where I need to select a disk to install CentOS7. I am attempting to do this install on an old server that currently has a Red Hat environment. There are 8 hard disk ports, but none are recognized by the CentOS7 installer. Any tips?


  14. Hi,
    Hopefully, you are still here. I've tried to install Centos three times and all I get on bootup is a line asking for username and password. No graphical interface. What have I missed?

  15. I am installing latest version of Centos on my new PC hp prodesk 400.
    But I tried both methods uefi and legacy boot but getting kernal panic error during bootup from USB .
    I used the same iso image with another PC and it's working fine.plz help

  16. Hi, pardon my ignorance since I'm new with Linux. I just downloaded an Cent OS iso file around 11Gb on my windows 10 laptop. I want to burn a copy of that to a Kingston SATA drive that I got from Amazon, which I will use then to boot another rack computer. Is this doable? Appreciate any inputs. Thanks.

    • Hi Roy,

      Try installing "Universal USB Installer". Another option if you have CD/DVD Drive and install from Ubuntu CD to the external drive, that will make the drive bootable as well.


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