Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop

In this tutorial, we will learn how to install the latest graphical version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 on a dedicated hardware server or on a virtual machine in a private or public cloud using the DVD ISO image or a bootable RHEL USB. Red Hat Linux is a highly stable open source Linux distribution developed by Red Hat and is one of the oldest and most popular Linux distributions for which support must be paid for via subscriptions. The latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux includes many bug fixes, new updates to packages, and new security updates.

Some of the most notable changes in this new release are: built-in features to better support 7th generation Intel Core i3, i5, i7 processors, server-side support for SSH1 protocol from SSH server has been removed, all cryptographic protocols and algorithms considered insecure have been deprecated, OpenSSL includes support for Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) version 1.2 protocol and Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation (ALPN), support for Network Bound Disk Encryption (NBDE), new features for Network Manager (MACsec and GRE kernel support), NFS over RDMA, and other important features.

The typical RHEL installation performed in this tutorial is based on the RHEL 7.4 DVD ISO image, which is burned to a DVD or transferred to a bootable USB drive. The installation mainly refers to installing RHEL 7 on a UEFI-based machine, but the same installation procedure can also be successfully used on old BIOS motherboards or on UEFI systems with Legacy Mode or CSM (Compatibility Support Module) enabled.


  • The latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server ISO x86_64bit architectural image available from the following official RHEL download mirrors. To obtain a free trial subscription, you must log in to the RHEL Customer Portal and access the download link.
  • A direct or proxy Internet connection to the machine where the installation is taking place to activate the RHEL system and then download and upgrade the system.

First preparations

After downloading the RHEL 7.4 DVD ISO image from the download link on the Red Hat customer portal, burn the bootable image to a DVD using DVD burning software or create a bootable USB stick with the RHEL 7.4 image. The bootable USB drive must be created on Windows using the Rufus utility to be fully compatible with UEFI-based motherboards. On Linux, you can use the dd command line software to transfer the image to a USB drive. If you don’t have a UEFI motherboard, you can also use other software to create a bootable RHEL 7.4 USB stick. Some of the most popular programs for creating bootable USB sticks can be found at

Another important aspect to keep in mind to properly install RHEL 7 on UEFI-based motherboards is to open your motherboard’s UEFI settings (by pressing a special key, e.g. F1, F2, F11, F12, Del, Esc) and disable the QuickBoot/FastBoot and Secure Boot options in case of incompatibilities with some UEFI motherboards, even though the RHEL boot loader is digitally signed. The BIOS/EFI keys you need to press during hardware initialization or when powering on the machine to enter BIOS/UEFI settings depend heavily on the motherboard manufacturer’s specifications and should be included in the motherboard’s manual. Another important aspect to consider is changing the boot order of the computer and instructing the BIOS/EFI to use the correct drive for booting (DVD drive or USB). On some machines, the boot order or boot drive can be selected by pressing a special button when the hardware is powered on.

Installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 Serverusing the GUI

After you have made the above settings for your computer’s UEFI/BIOS motherboard, insert the RHEL 7.4 DVD ISO image or bootable USB stick into the appropriate drive on the motherboard and reboot or power on the computer. Press the appropriate boot key on the keyboard and instruct the BIOS or UEFI software to boot the computer from the appropriate DVD or USB drive. The bootable ISO image of RHEL 7.4 should load and the first installation image will appear on your screen. From this menu, select Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 and press Enter to start the installation process, as shown in the following image.

After a few seconds, the graphical RHEL installer will load into your computer’s memory and display the “Welcome to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4” screen. Select the language in which you want to install your system and click the “Next” button.

On the next screen, you will see the “Installation Summary” menu. First select the Date and Time menu to open this menu. Use the map to select your geographical location. Below the map you have the option to configure the date and time settings. When the time is set correctly, click the Done button at the top left to complete this step and return to the initial menu as shown in the following pictures.

In the next step, click the Keyboard menu and set up the keyboard layout for your system. To add another keyboard layout, click the + button and select the appropriate keyboard. When you have completed this step, click Done to return to the main menu.

Next, select the Language Support menu and set the language support for your system. When you have finished this step, press Done to return to the main menu.

Next, go to the Installation Source menu and select Automatically detected installation media as the default. You can also install from other network locations such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP or NFS servers or add additional repositories. When you are done, click Done to return to the main menu.

In the next step, go to the Software Selection menu. There you will find a list of some predefined base environments for your system. You can choose to install a graphical desktop environment such as Gnome, KDE Plasma, or Creative Workstation, or you can install a custom server installation such as Web Server, Compute Node, Virtualization Host, Infrastructure Server, Graphical User Interface Server, or File and Print Server. The most suitable environment for a server is the minimal installation, as it is the most flexible and requires little disk space.

However, for newcomers, it is more intuitive to manage Oracle through a graphical user interface. To install a GUI for Oracle Linux 7, select Server with GUI from the left pane and make sure you install the following add-ons for the GUI environment: Java Platform (in case you need Java support), KDE Plasma Workspaces desktop environment and Compatibility Libraries (provides compatibility for older applications built in Oracle). You can also select other add-ons for installation depending on the machine you need them for. When you have selected all the add-ons you need, click the Done button to continue the installation process.

Next, select a security profile from the list in the System Security Policy menu. It is safe to choose the default security profile. Click the Select Profile button and toggle the Apply Security Policy button to ON. When you are done, click the Done button to return to the main screen.

Next, click the Installation Target menu to open the Storage Partition settings. In the device selection, choose the hard drive of the local computer. Then, under Other storage options, check the Auto-configure partitioning option. This option will automatically partition the computer’s hard disk with the /(root), /home and swap partitions. When you’re done, click the Done button to enable disk partitioning and return to the main menu.

Next, select the KDUMP menu and disable the KDUMP kernel crash mechanism to free up system memory. Click the Done button to apply these settings and return to the main menu.

Next, select the Network & Hostname menu and configure your computer’s FQDN hostname. Click the Apply button to set up the computer name. Also enable the network service for your Ethernet interface by changing the Ethernet button from OFF to ON. You can also manually configure the network interface at this step by clicking the Configure button. When you are done, click the Done button to return to the main installation menu.

Before you start the installation, you should double-check all the configurations of the installer. When you are done, click the Start Installation button to start the RHEL 7 installation.

After the installer has started, the user account configuration screen will be displayed. Click the ROOT PASSWORD menu on the configuration screen and set up a secure password for the root account. When you’re done, click the Done button to return to the User Settings screen.

Next, click the User Creation menu and add a new system account and a secure password for that account. Check the “Make this user an administrator” and “A password is required for this account” options to give this user root privileges and require the password to be entered manually each time the user logs in to the system. When you are done setting up the admin user, click the Done button to return to the initial menu and wait for the installation process to complete.

After a few minutes, depending on your system’s resources, the installation program will report that Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been successfully installed on your machine. To use the system, simply remove the installation media and restart the computer.

After rebooting, click the License Information menu on the first screen, read the RHEL license information, and click I accept the license agreement to accept the license. When you’re done, click Done to close the license agreement window and return to the main menu, as shown in the screenshots below.

To log in to Oracle Desktop, click the Finish Configuration button to complete the initial setup (see figure below).

In the Red Hat Enterprise Linux login window, use the username and password you set during installation and click the cog next to the Log In button to select your preferred desktop environment, such as KDE Plasma Workspace or Gnome DE, as shown in the following screenshot.

After logging into Oracle Desktop, follow the Gnome setup program to configure the desktop language, spelling, privacy, and online accounts.

To continue using RHEL, you’ll need to register the system and sign up for a subscription through the Red Hat Customer Portal.

Finally, navigate to Applications -> System Tools and open the Red Hat Subscription Manager utility to register the system, add your subscription, and continue upgrading your system.

Congratulations! You have successfully installed the latest version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Server with graphical user interface on your machine.

Categorized as Linux