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I'm trying to install CentOS 7 on a desktop PC, which I'm not allowed to connect to the Internet. I would like to have the GNOME desktop and development tools installed as well. My last install attempt resulted in hanging at the "Starting Package Installation Process" stage, and I'm assuming it's because the installer is trying to reach an external mirror for packages.

Is it possible to do a GNOME desktop with Development Tool add-on without a network connection?

If not, I've brainstormed a couple options:

  • Try installing using an "Everything" ISO
  • Use the DVD ISO and perform a minimal install, then download packages to a DVD, and use that to set up a local yum repo

In the case that I can't achieve my main goal without a network, which of the alternate paths would be the best to take?

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Is a CentOS 7 install on a blank HDD possible without a network connection

yes

https://www.centos.org/download/

technically all you need is CentOS-7-x86_64-DVD-2009.iso at ~4.6gb

the CentOS-7-x86_64-Everything-2009.iso is not required.

Adjust that wording accordingly for centos-8 or whatever versions are released in the future from now.

Of course you'll need some method of online access to get the iso to begin with, then either burn to bootable dvd or put onto a usb stick that will allow for a bootable install. Then simply install following the onscreen instructions from which point you can do everything offline.

The install by default, because centos is free, will install the necessary repository files under /etc/yum.repos.d/ that will point to the correct web address if you were to be online and could simply do a yum update. But none of that is required to run centos, you can be offline from the get go and install and use centos (or any linux) just fine from what gets installed off the install dvd or usb stick.

And when you need some other software (i.e. rpm) that you would normally take for granted by having installed the EPEL repo for example and just downloading it automatically, you would have to go get it manually and put that rpm along with all its dependencies on a cd or usb stick to transfer it to your offline system where you would then do a yum install *.rpm having those rpm files in your current directory, or set up a local repository {directory} on your offline system.

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The best way to do so would be to install from the latest "Everything" ISO available. The second way would not add anything to it and would be needlessly complicated.

Note that since the machine cannot connect to the network you will be unable to download updates, patches, and new packages.

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  • Gotcha. So is my understanding correct that if I try to install development tools during the install as opposed to just the GNOME desktop, the installer is looking externally for those packages? – C-Scholl20 Mar 18 at 15:27
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    It’s the Everything ISO, so it should have the entire contents of the release. – jsbillings Mar 20 at 1:17
  • @jsbillings I was referring to the DVD iso in my reply – C-Scholl20 Mar 22 at 13:15

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