RHEL7: How to get started with a minimal installation.

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Problem Description

A lot of people are screaming because they installed a system through a minimal system image, using either the RHEL 7 minimal iso image or specifying @core in the kickstart %packages section.

They are ranting because they don’t find their habitual tools like ifconfig, nslookup, route, etc.
All the purpose of the minimal system image is to reduce the software footprint to the minimum for security reasons. They shouldn’t scream but choose an other system installation option!


To alleviate this situation, here is a minimal installation survival guide.

To be able to install the aforementioned commands, you first need to set up a remote repository.

In the following tutorial, we will see what are the equivalent commands available (if they exist) in the minimal system distribution and which package brings the missing commands.

Missing command

Replacement command(s)


arp ip n (ip neighbor) net-tools
brctl bridge-utils
bzip2 bzip2
dig bind-utils
fsck.fat/msdos/vfat dosfstools
host bind-utils
ifconfig ip a (ip addr), ip link, ip -s (ip -stats) net-tools
iostat sysstat
iptunnel ip tunnel net-tools
locate mlocate
lsof lsof
lsusb usbutils
mail mailx
mdadm mdadm
mkfs.fat/msdos/vfat dosfstools
mtr mtr
netstat ss, ip route (for netstat -r), ip -s link (for netstat -i) net-tools
nslookup bind-utils
ntpdate ntpdate
route ip r (ip route) net-tools
rsync rsync
strace strace
traceroute/6 traceroute
unzip unzip
wget wget
xfsdump/xfsrestore xfsdump
zip zip

Other Useful Packages

In addition, the missing man-pages package adds text documentation for many commands.

The yum install bash-­completion command can also be very handy to increase your productivity!

As a text editor, you can use vi but vim is not available, you will have to install the vim package.

Additional Resources

If you plan to use the minimal installation in a VMware environment, you will have to follow this article about guest customization and manually install Perl.
It can also be interesting to have a look at the list of the RHEL 7 Core and Base packages.
The tecmin website provides a tutorial about the 30 Things to Do After Minimal Installation.

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