Set up Red Hat Enterprise Linux on a thumb drive (for MacBooks)31 Jul 2017
Fair warning: I’m not going to go into excruciating detail about this process
A) I don’t think anyone reading this will benefit from it
B) If it turns out A is false, leave me a comment and if I ever see it, I’ll update the post with more detail.
The RHEL package manager is yum
RHEL packages are .rpm files, as opposed to .deb files for Debian
With Kali Linux recently installed, let’s also set up Red Hat on a thumb drive.
I don’t believe you can easily set up a RHEL live drive like you could with Kali. The biggest thing to consider is that RHEL will be configured specifically to the hardware that it was installed on. However, I was able to get it to boot on three different machines, including one with a Ryzen processor.
- Get the RHEL install iso
- Install RHEL to a thumb drive
- Set up WiFi for the piece of crap Broadcom BCM4600
- Set up RHEL a subscription
- Fix the tilde key on MacBooks
- Optional fun stuff
Get the RHEL install iso
To do that, you need a Red Hat account. Sorry, I hate making accounts too. Once you have your account, you should be able to download Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Just in case that direct download link doesn’t work (by the way, you should never trust direct links like that anyway, smh) you should be able to access the right stuff here.
Install RHEL to a thumb drive
For me, I wanted to set up a 32Gb thumb drive to have 8Gb available for use as an exFat drive, and the rest to be used by Red Hat. Unfortunately, Disk Utility for Macs is the worst disk utility I’ve ever seen and Windows’ disk management program isn’t much better. You can use Windows’ diskpart utility from the command line to clean the drive, at which point you should then be able to use disk management to create an 8Gb simple volume formatted to exFat. Once that’s done, you can boot up the Red Hat install USB/Disk and Red Hat should be able to make use of the remaining space on the drive to install itself. Be sure to set the correct timezone and I always like to encrypt my stuff. Also, if you are hoping for a GUI, then you need to be sure to select that as well as any of the optional crap you want/need (I wanted the security and developer tools). Once the install is going, you can set an admin password as well as create a user for yourself. The install will take a while.
Set up WiFi for the piece of crap Broadcom BCM4600
As of kernel 7.4, the wl driver causes a kernel panic on startup. Therefore, following any of the following instructions will most likely require you to undo what you did by booting into single user mode.
Have you gotten this working? Mind telling me how?
You can install wl-kmod by following the instructions from ElRepo, however, good luck getting the adapter to actually connect to anything.
Set up a RHEL subscription
Red Hat keeps a pretty tight lid on their subscriptions. They have a built-in tool called ‘Red Hat Subscription Manager’, but if you go to the Systems page on their website, you can find more detailed information, particularly if you encounter any issues while setting the subscriptions up.
After the install, you’ll want to set up some kind of subscription for yourself. This gives you access to the basic RHEL repo so you can update your packages. However, you’ll soon realize that Enteprise Linux has terrible repos for some reason or the other (I’m talking both CentOS and RHEL here). We’ll set up some decent repos later.
Fix the tilde key on MacBooks
The best way to do this is by setting up a cron job I think. So, get a root
terminal going and use
crontab -e to set up a job that will fix the tilde key
@reboot echo 0 > /sys/module/hid_apple/parameters/iso_layout
Alternatively, some dude set up a repo that you can use to configure this. However,
for some reason he wanted to mess with the function keys, which I didn’t care for.
Optional fun stuff
Install Google Chrome
This one is actually easy. Just go to the chrome download page and download the
.rpm file. Once downloaded, double click it and install the app through the
This didn’t seem to work on my third install. It’s still simple though. Download
the rpm package then install it
yum install google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm
Set up a repo that doesn’t suck
This should be fairly basic after your first two or three unixy system installs.
vim ~/.vimrc, add:
set number syntax on
yum update Takes years. Don’t interrupt it, or you’ll be sorry!
I have lots of sources. Maybe I’ll put them here after I’ve got the process nailed down. I really hate Broadcom. Be sure to send them some fanmail, thanking them for their proprietary, closed-source drivers!