I have remote server without GUI support. How can I install `CentOS 7 there?

The CentOS 7 is mandatary and I can't switch to another OS or distribution.

I get following text at the end. I able to mount CD but I don't know what to do next. FreeBSD has bsdinstall which works in text mode. Debian can also be installed in text mode without any problems.

 //\   Core is distributed with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY.
 v_/_           www.tinycorelinux.com

tc@box:~$ Switched to clocksource tsc

3 Answers 3


CentOS 7 has an option to install in text mode.

When you see install centos menu option press the tab key, add text to the end of any existing installer command line arguments and then press the return key.

This will tell the installer (Anaconda) to install the OS in text mode.

  • Thank you, I've found that I used wrong initrd. I was able to install after replacing it with initrd for pxeboot. But how should I run the OS? Where can I download the kernel and initrd to run os in normal mode? I'm sorry for these noob questions.
    – Eir Nym
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 15:10
  • Unless you have set up a pxe server, using pxeboot will not work. Just download regular install media,burn to DVD, boot from DVD, and go from there
    – fpmurphy
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 4:15
  • 1
    For VM I use bhyve/xhyve, also these files are required by Xen to boot Linux.
    – Eir Nym
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 8:28
  • My final result: I able to install ubuntu server and centos. However centos doesn't work only because of some wierd bug in AES module (it's opened in the official issue tracker). It works from time to time, but it's not stable and this happens only in specific CentOS(7)/Red Hat across limited number of architectures like MBA.
    – Eir Nym
    Commented May 3, 2017 at 13:22
  • Does the text you quote install centos - menu appear only on systems without any graphic support (i.e. no framebuffer, raster output)? Commented May 30, 2019 at 16:58

In case you are directly connected to the console of your headless system, just add


to the above mentioned boot command. This will redirect the output to the serial console (bear in mind, that 115200 is the console speed). So the complete line would be

linux text console=ttyS0,57600n8

for a console output with a speed of 57600 baud.

It must be the same speed as it is configured in your Putty session under serial speed. In case you are connecting to the console from a unix-like-system (Linux, BSD, OS X) it can be done with screen:

screen /dev/ttyS0 115200,cs8

To use text mode install, you can also press ESC when you see install centos. At the boot: prompt, type linux text.

  • Thank you for a share of an another method to switch to text mode install. The important thing was I want to install a linux in headless interactive mode when I had only serial line attached to a VM without a graphics card installed.
    – Eir Nym
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 16:46

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