Chapter 1. Getting Started

This chapter covers the basic tasks that you might need to perform just after you have installed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.
Note that these items may include tasks that are usually done already during the installation proces, but they do not have to be done necessarily, such as the registration of the system. The subchapters dealing with such tasks provide a brief summary of how this can be achived during the installation and links to related documentation in a special section.
For detailed information on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 installation, consult Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Installation Guide.


This chapter mentions some commands to be performed. The commands that need to be entered by the root user have # in the prompt, while the commands that can be performed by a regular user, have $ in their prompt.
For further information on common post-installation tasks, you can see also Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Installation Guide.
Although all post-installation tasks can be achieved through the command line, you can also use the Cockpit tool to perform some of them.

What Cockpit Is and Which Tasks It Can Be Used For

Cockpit is a system administration tool that provides a user interface for monitoring and administering servers through a web browser.
Cockpit enables to perform these tasks:
  • Monitoring basic system features, such as hardware, internet connection, or performance characteristics
  • Analyzing the content of the system log files
  • Configuring basic networking features, such as interfaces, network logs, packet sizes
  • Managing user accounts
  • Monitoring and configuring system services
  • Creating diagnostic reports
  • Setting kernel dump configuration
  • Configuring SELinux
  • Managing system subscriptions
  • Accessing the terminal
For more information on installing and using Cockpit, see Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Getting Started with Cockpit Guide.

1.1. Basic Configuration of the Environment

Basic configuration of the environment includes:
  • Date and Time
  • System Locales
  • Keyboard Layout
Setting of these items is normally a part of the installation process.
For more information, see the appropriate source according to the installation method:
If you need to reconfigure the basic characteristics of the environment after the installation, follow the instructions in this section.

1.1.1. Introduction to Configuring the Date and Time

Accurate time keeping is important for a number of reasons. In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, time keeping is ensured by the NTP protocol, which is implemented by a daemon running in user space. The user space daemon updates the system clock running in the kernel. The system clock can keep time by using various clock sources.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 uses the following daemons to implement NTP:
If you want to use ntpd instead of default chronyd, you need to disable chronyd, install, enable and configure ntpd as shown in Chapter 19, Configuring NTP Using ntpd.

Displaying the Current Date and Time

To display the current date and time, use one of the following commands:
  • ~]$ date
  • ~]$ timedatectl
    Note that the timedatectl command provides more verbose output, including universal time, currently used time zone, the status of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) configuration, and some additional information.
For more information on configuring the date and time, see Chapter 3, Configuring the Date and Time.

1.1.2. Introduction to Configuring the System Locale

System-wide locale settings are stored in the /etc/locale.conf file, which is read at early boot by the systemd daemon. The locale settings configured in /etc/locale.conf are inherited by every service or user, unless individual programs or individual users override them.
Basic tasks to handle the system locales:
  • Listing available system locale settings:
    ~]$ localectl list-locales
  • Displaying current status of the system locales settings:
    ~]$ localectl status
  • Setting or changing the default system locale settings:
    ~]# localectl set-locale LANG=locale
For more information on configuring the system locale, see Chapter 2, System Locale and Keyboard Configuration.

1.1.3. Introduction to Configuring the Keyboard Layout

The keyboard layout settings control the layout used on the text console and graphical user interfaces.
Basic tasks to handle the keyboard layout include:
  • Listing available keymaps:
    ~]$ localectl list-keymaps
  • Displaying current status of keymap settings:
    ~]$ localectl status
  • Setting or changing the default system keymap:
    ~]# localectl set-keymap
For more information on configuring the keyboard layout, see Chapter 2, System Locale and Keyboard Configuration.