Category Archives: RedHat

Installing Parallels Tools on Centos 8

N/B: Parallels have since fixed this in the latest version of Parallels Desktop 15, thus it’s no longer an issue

A little while back I tweeted Parallels via their @ParallelsCares twitter account to find out if they could provide support for Parallels Tools with CentOS 8.

RHEL 8 was released 7th May 2019, with Parallels 15 released 13th August 2019, so since CentOS is a free version of RHEL with the commercial, and copyright protected parts removed, I made the presumption that Parallels 15 would support it. However with CentOS 8 taking until 24th September 2019 to be released, all they did was respond to state that they didn’t support it, with a link to their KB article.

I went about looking for a fix, and it turns out it’s fairly easy. It needs two things:

  • Pretending to Parallels that what you’re installing is RHEL 8
  • The EPEL Repo enabled

Here’s the exactly what I did:

  1. Download the CentOS DVD image for the version that you want here
  2. In Parallels, Start the new VM Installation Assistant
  3. Select “Install Windows or another OS from a DVD or image file”
  4. Select “Choose Manually”, then “Select a file…”, and find the DVD image you’ve just downloaded
  5. It will claim “Unable to detect operating system”, click “Continue”
  6. When the Prompt comes up to select your operating system, select “More Linux” > “Red Hat Enterprise Linux”, then proceed through to creating and booting the VM
  7. Proceed with the install
    1. Ensure the network is enabled under “Network & Host Name”
    2. Ensure the drive is checked in “Installation Destination”
    3. To fix the error in “Installation Source”, select “On the network” > “http://”, and enter the following in the text box:
    4. Once it’s downloaded the metadata, under the “Software Selection” select the options you want for your install
    5. Proceed with the install, and make sure you enter a root password
  8. Once rebooted under a terminal, install EPEL using the instructions here. Ensure you run the command to enable the PowerTools repository too.
  9. Start the “Install Parallels Tools” process, ensuring that any existing mounted CD/DVD is unmounted. This is needed to mount the Parallels Tools DVD image.
  10. Run the following commands in a terminal:
    mkdir /media/cdrom
    mount /dev/cdrom /media/cdrom
    cd /media/cdrom
  11. Proceed through the install process for Parallels Tools, and you should be done.

If you want to do this on an existing VM, shutdown the VM, go to Settings > General and change the type (above the VM Name), to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, then boot, and perform steps 9-11 above.

Firewalld, firewall-cmd and Fail2Ban

Basically I’ve been looking at upgrading a web-server to the latest version of Fedora 19, or when it’s released later this year CentOS 7.0 (providing it’s easy for them when RHEL 7.0 is released), however knowing that iptables is now becoming redundant in favour of firewalld in Fedora I started looking at updating my web-server install script to work with firewalld.  Knowing part of that is Fail2Ban and that uses iptables my first port of call was finding a way of getting these two working together.

My first obvious search for “firewalld fail2ban” returned nothing helpful whatsoever, just people wanting a conf file to get it working with no actually helpful response, however once I found that firewalld uses firewall-cmd on the command line to control the rules I searched for that. This turned up a current bug posted on RedHat’s BugZilla: , where it turns out a very helpful soul, Edgar Hoch, has created an action.d conf file to get it all working:

Fedora 19, GNOME 3 and nVidia graphics

After upgrading to the latest version of Fedora a few months ago I was terribly un-impressed. The box in question had been upgraded every 6 months (-ish, thanks to Fedora 18) since Fedora 14 and I’d never had any issues, but then came Fedora 19.

To be fair it wasn’t Fedora’s fault per say, it was GNOME 3 and the open source nVidia graphics drivers. The desktop looked ok when you booted the box, but if you tried to use the Activities section, none of the transparency worked, and a lot of the Favourite icons in the dock had a luminous green behind them when you hovered over them.  What was worse was trying to launch a non-favourite application, click to do that and you could see the first 6 frequently used ones, but no others, and none under the “all” tab. This obviously made the whole experience pretty much unusable.

I went through the obvious investigations, straight away looking for some better nVidia graphics drivers.  I didn’t expect to find any official nvidia drivers after Linus’ hilarious rant last year. However, it turned out there was. I first tried downloading them from nVidia but their installers were less than helpful, and none wanted to install on my system regardless of fulfilling their dependencies. I then tried looking elsewhere and remembered the trusty basic linux guide site If !1 0. I found a guide on there for Fedora 18, and adapted it for Fedora 19, but unfortunately that wouldn’t work due to a mass amount of package conflicts.  I’d been meaning to wipe the system for a while and start again, so backed up the /etc/ folder to another drive, wiped the partitions, then installed Fedora 19 and used the guide again and all was fine and dandy.  The boot screen is the basic plymouth one rather than the more graphical splash one, but apart from that everything works and I don’t have awful un-usable graphics anymore.

If you want the latest guide, which is for Fedora 19, go here:

Fedora 18 – non-graphical boot and ifconfig

After downloading Fedora 18 and creating a minimal install virtual machine I went straight to doing the default I always do.  As I was creating a test server I need to be able to see what’s happening during boot so I disable the graphical boot.

Previously (at-least up to Fedora 15) I’d used the plymouth commands to switch the graphical boot to details which had worked.

[root@localhost ~]# plymouth-set-default-plugin details
[root@localhost ~]# /usr/libexec/plymouth/plymouth-update-initrd

However, when I tried this with Fedora 18, nope, not working, the community to the rescue. Another individual  (Nigel Smith) had had the same issue and found the solution in editing the default grub configuration file. So if you need the same visit here:

While I was at it I also noticed that ifconfig produced a “Command not found”. Erm … wha? Where did that go? Isn’t that like a basic linux command? Turns out in Fedora 18 it’s been removed due to the alternative and replacement iproute package being in place for “many years”. So you’ve now got 2 choices:

1. use the ip command:

ip addr

2. install the net-tools package:

yum -y install net-tools

Installing MongoDB on a Linux distro using SystemD instead of inittab

While trying to get MongoDB working on a Fedora 15 test server I found that there was no way of installing the latest version with SystemD control due to a pre-existing known bug.

To Mongo’s credit there is a file provided in the source under rpm/init.d-mongod, however when it comes to this being used by SystemD, well it just errors.

This was frustrating, but as I was doing it on a VM, I did what any logical person would do. Installed Mongo from the package manager, took a copy of the required SystemD files, reverted to a snapshot, then installed the latest version of Mongo from source.

After this I adapted the mongod.service file to use the correct locations, ensured all the required directories, files and users were present on the system then started the service et voila, working latest version of MongoDB on Fedora 15 with SystemD

the two required files are:

Description=High-performance, schema-free document-oriented database
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/mongod $OPTIONS run


Or you can just use the RedHat distro based install script I created:


# MongoDB Version

# Get all the dependencies up to date
yum -y update
yum -y install scons gcc-c++ glibc-devel

# Get the source
cd /usr/local/src/
tar xfz mongodb-src-r$MONGODB_VER.tar.gz
cd mongodb-src-r$MONGODB_VER

# Compile and Install
scons all
scons install

# Create the SystemD dependant files
echo '[Unit]
Description=High-performance, schema-free document-oriented database
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/mongod $OPTIONS run
[Install]' > /lib/systemd/system/mongod.service

echo 'OPTIONS="--quiet -f /etc/mongod.conf"' > /etc/sysconfig/mongod

# Setup the required user and group
useradd -r -U mongod

# Setup the required directories
mkdir -p /var/run/mongodb/
mkdir -p /var/log/mongo/
mkdir -p /var/lib/mongo/
chown mongod:mongod /var/run/mongodb/
chown mongod:mongod /var/log/mongo/
chown mongod:mongod /var/lib/mongo/
chmod 0755 /var/log/mongo/
chmod 0755 /var/run/mongodb/
chmod 0755 /var/lib/mongo

# Start the new service and enable it on boot
systemctl --system daemon-reload
systemctl start mongod.service
systemctl enable mongod.service

Installing the default Linux Kernel on a Linode CentOS 6 box

While creating the new web-server for my employers, to replace a Fedora 10 box which gets no security updates, I needed to compile some software from source, meaning I needed the kernel sources.

Since I couldn’t easily obtain these I needed to install the Kernel provided by the distribution rather than the more recent kernel provided by Linode themselves.

The Linode Library provided a way of doing this for CentOS 5 but not for CentOS 6, thus I adapted the provided script for v5 into one that works with CentOS 6 et voila, distro provided kernel.

Here’s the full source available as a gist on github:

### Starting from a fresh CentOS 6 or newer Linode
### Enable the native kernel to boot from pvgrub
### It will autoconfigure itself with each yum update.
### This is adapted from a previous script for CentOS 5.5 found here:
### Provided via the linode wiki
### Provided without warranty, although since it should only be run
### on first box build if your box gets broken simply rebuild it

mkdir /boot/grub/

AWK_VERSION_MATCH="{if(\$1==\"kernel.$DISTRO_PLATFORM\") print \$2}"
KERNEL_VERSION=`yum -q list kernel | awk "$AWK_VERSION_MATCH"`

### Write template grub.conf
cat > /boot/grub/grub.conf << EOF
# grub.conf generated by anaconda
# Note that you do not have to rerun grub after making changes to this file
# NOTICE:  You have a /boot partition.  This means that
#          all kernel and initramfs paths are relative to /boot/, eg.
#          root (hd0)
#          kernel /boot/vmlinuz-version ro root=/dev/xvda
#          initrd /boot/initramfs-version.img
        root (hd0)
        kernel /boot/vmlinuz-$KERNEL_VERSION.$DISTRO_PLATFORM root=/dev/xvda
        initrd /boot/initramfs-$KERNEL_VERSION.$DISTRO_PLATFORM.img

ln -s /boot/grub/grub.conf /boot/grub/menu.lst
yum -y install kernel
if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then
    echo "ERROR aborting..."
    exit 1