Chapter 2. RHEL installation methods

You can install Red Hat Enterprise Linux using any of the following methods:

  • GUI-based installations
  • System or cloud image-based installations
  • Advanced installations

This document provides details about installing RHEL using the user interfaces (GUI).

GUI-based installations

You can choose from the following GUI-based installation methods:

  • Install RHEL using an ISO image from the Customer Portal: Install Red Hat Enterprise Linux by downloading the DVD ISO image file from the Customer Portal. Registration is performed after the GUI installation completes. This installation method is also supported by Kickstart.
  • Register and install RHEL from the Content Delivery Network: Register your system, attach subscriptions, and install Red Hat Enterprise Linux from the Content Delivery Network (CDN). This installation method supports Boot ISO and DVD ISO image files; however, the Boot ISO image file is recommended as the installation source defaults to CDN for the Boot ISO image file. After registering the system, the installer downloads and installs packages from the CDN. This installation method is also supported by Kickstart.


    You can customize the RHEL installation for your specific requirements using the GUI. You can select additional options for specific environment requirements, for example, Connect to Red Hat, software selection, partitioning, security, and many more. For more information, see Customizing your installation.

System or cloud image-based installations

You can use system or cloud image-based installation methods only in virtual and cloud environments.

To perform a system or cloud image-based installation, use Red Hat Image Builder. Image Builder creates customized system images of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, including the system images for cloud deployment.

For more information about installing RHEL using image builder, see Composing a customized RHEL system image.

Advanced installations

You can choose from the following advanced installation methods:

  • Perform an automated RHEL installation using Kickstart: Kickstart is an automated process that helps you install the operating system by specifying all your requirements and configurations in a file. Kickstart file contains RHEL installation options, for example, the time zone, drive partitions, or packages to be installed. Providing a prepared Kickstart file completes installation without the need for any user intervention. This is useful when deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux on a large number of systems at once.
  • Perform a remote RHEL installation using VNC: The RHEL installation program offers two Virtual Network Computing (VNC) installation modes: Direct and Connect. After a connection is established, the two modes do not differ. The mode you select depends on your environment.
  • Install RHEL from the network using PXE : With a network installation using preboot execution environment (PXE), you can install Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a system that has access to an installation server. At a minimum, two systems are required for a network installation.

Additional resources