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Old 08-12-2014, 04:20 AM   #1
Registered: Apr 2014
Location: Tucson, AZ
Distribution: UNK: (NEW Workstation) AMD 5900X w/64GB; CentOS 7 (Workstation) AMD FX 6300 w/32GB;
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Thumbs down CentOS 7.0 : First Look

I had been running CentOS 6.5 on a small workstation:

ASUS M5A97-R2.0 Motherboard
AMD 6300 8.5 GHz 6 core Processor
8 GB of DDR3 1600 RAM (CAS 9-9-9-24)
SATA Optical Drive
ASUS NVidia Gefore 640GT Video card w/2GB DDR3 RAM

CentOS 6.5 was OK but nothing to write home about. It was a SOLID OS and well maintained. It ran VMware Player, Gkrellm, allowed for updating the kernel so that the NVidia Driver 340.24 (latest stable release) all without a hitch. When CentOS 7.0 came out a buddy and I (on identical machines) decided to create CentOS 7.0 virtual machines. The VM of CentOS 7.0 was quite impressive, very slick. After debating the pros and cons of installing a *.0 release we were of a like mind. Cent)S 7.0 was slick, what could go wrong?!?

The first challenge you will encounter is there is a NEW INSTALLER. If you like LVM partitions and don't mind allowing the OS to hijack your computer and install itself as it sees fit, then this is the OS for you.. MAYBE. OTOH if you want to set up Standard Partitions, then this is a REAL PITA. It took the better part of 2 days to figure out how to set up the computer using classic Standard Partitions. I only stumbled over the solution because I was talking on the phone with a girlfriend and mindlessly trying to install the OS for the nth time, when I was dancing back-and-forth between options, and discovered the solution. After that the install went quickly.

The Installer was not the only thing that was new: On bootup there is a NEW look: Forget the days of starting up the machine, setting it in verbose mode and watching a string of OK's and the occasional FAIL quickly flash by as various services come on line. Now you are greeted by a string of penguins ( one penguin per core) and then what has to be assumed to be certain services but there is no "OK" or "FAILED" or "WARNING". Then in pops the login screen.

The fun does not stop there. After updating the machine etc., the first thing you note is that KDE Games is Totally MISSING. A search of the various .el7 repositories failed to find any games, including Solitaire and Chess. OK we can live without "Games". Time to get down to brass tacks: Installation of VMware's VMPlayer. We depend on VMPlayer to test new software etc. before we commit to doing an hard install. It installs very nicely. At first startup it says "Before you can run VMware, several modules must be complied and loaded into the running kernel. You say sure, hit the Install button, type in your secret sauce root password, and.... it blows up!!! First comes the message "Stopping VMware Services". All well and good. Then Compiling Virtual Network Device: Running Depmod. All well and good. Then "Starting VMware Services" FAILED. In spite of a lot of hunting around we found no solutions to this problem... YET.

OK surly we would have NO PROBLEM getting the NVidia drivers to work.. Right? WRONG! We did the whole song and dance routine of installing kmod nvidia drivers. Got them installed and started the machine back up only to see it hang indefinitely. Gkrellm?!? That was a no go from the start as we were not able to find a *.el7 of Gkrellm. OK time to listen to some tunes. Stuck in a CD with music to calm a savage beast. Neither Rhythembox or JuK will play a standard CD. Went in search of KSCD to install. Sorry there is no *.el7 version of KSCD. Indeed there are virtually NO *.el7 packages you can install, unlike *.el6

This does not seem to be a single machine problem either as my buddy who has a duplicate of my machine with a slightly different install structure had IDENTICAL problems, as we checked one machine against the other. My buddy (who is a guru of sorts and programmer ) and I (who am neither) are going to continue to try and hack the system to see if we can solve even ONE of these problems, but the prospects do not look encouraging. We are going to give it until this Friday to see if we can come up with some run around, tweaks, etc., to see if we can fix any of them. If not, come Saturday we are going to punt and drop back to CentOS 6.5 (glad I backed up the whole machine) and label CentOS 7.0 NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME.. I suspect many of these problems will at some point be fixed -- new packages such as games, KSCD, and others will be put in the *.el7 repositories, bugs in the kernel that prevent VMware Player from running and NVidia from work will be fixed. Problems such as the ones mentioned above are not uncommon in any *.0 release. If you haven't installed CentOS 7.0 you might want to consider skipping this release and waiting until CentOS 7.1 or later comes out.
Old 08-12-2014, 05:57 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2009
Location: /Universe/Earth/India/Pune
Distribution: Slackware64 -Current
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I installed CentOS 7.0 on my workstation(in signature) the week it was released and I hit almost all the issues you have. It's been a month now and I'm still stuck on most part.
> VirtualBox 4.1.10 refused to install because of some bug of the EL kernel shipped with it. Had to compile some modules and install VB 4.1.14 finally.
> There's no VLC player in any of the third party repos, I have rpmforge configured and tried EPEL too but most of the regular packages are missing. So installing some audio-video codecs is out of question till indefinite time.
> Systemd boots the system quite fast, almost in 5 seconds but I need my non-splash boot.

I can see that my main concern is not much third party packages as of now which is not CentOS's fault. It's still a solid and stable OS for server use.

Old 08-12-2014, 10:42 AM   #3
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Location: London
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Most of the third-party repos are still in beta stage. After all, they can't start creating them until they have a finished CentOS 7 to work on. People who use a lot of third-party stuff should really wait for 7.1
Old 08-12-2014, 11:14 AM   #4
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Location: Washington DC area
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To me the biggest problems are the security issues.

1. using /run to hold user writable files and be tmpfs.
2. using /tmp with tmpfs.

#1 allows for trivial denial of service attacks - just fill up the file system with a file in /run/user/<username>/killthesystem...

As soon as the filesystem is full - users can't login (not even root), services can't be started or restarted (cant create the uid files).

Combined with #2 allows the system to deadlock.

Putting the X authority files in /run allows the same problem as #1; the authority files are in /run/[gkx]dm/auth-for-<username>-<unique-name>/database... Even if the user is prevented from writing new files in the directory, they can fill the database with junk credentials and thus fill the filesystem (resulting in #1).

For a server system, NO filesystem with user writable data space can be reliable without effective user quotas.

Last edited by jpollard; 08-12-2014 at 11:19 AM.


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