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The CentOS 6.2 installer drops to text mode if the system has less than 650 (or so) MB of RAM. I have 512MB and no way to change this as the RAM used is obsolete. I need to use the graphical installer so I can use the partition editor to select a special partition to install on. This is a server with no GUI and doesn't need more than 512MB to run, once installed.

Is there a command I can use to force the installer to use graphical install mode even if it thinks there's not enough RAM?

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Doesn't the text-based installer offer an equivalent in-terminal partition editor which has the same functions? – Breakthrough May 8 '12 at 21:04
No it doesn't. It only lets you choose an auto-partition option, "use free space" or "use whole disk". You can't open a partitioner, or choose to install to a RAID or to a Logical Volume, or even how big the partitions are. – N Rahl May 8 '12 at 23:26
Also, to clarify, I'm not talking about the live CD that's not working. I'm installing from a minimal CD. It's the basic installer that won't run. – N Rahl May 9 '12 at 15:51
Related: How to create and deploy Linux images. – Breakthrough May 10 '12 at 17:40
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can define a custom Kickstart installation, which will allow you to specify various options used when initially booting into the kernel used to perform the OS installation. See Section 28.10 - Starting a Kickstart Installation from the CentOS documentation for further details.

Specifically, you need to force the kernel to start with the graphical option. See this article for details regarding deploying the kickstarter files.

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I gave it the graphical argument on the loading screen, but it still went into text installer mode. – N Rahl May 8 '12 at 23:31
you can do all the partitioning in the kickstart file though, and just go with the text based install. it'll skip the partition questions as it'll use the kickstart file for that. – Sirex May 9 '12 at 0:20
I'm still not clear on how that is done. I see that there's a -part option for creating a partition ie part / --size 500. But how do I say, "with the first disk, create a 100MB partition, a second partition that's 2GB, then and create a third partition that takes all of the remaining space. Then do the same to the second disk. Make all 6 partitions physical volumes for RAID. Pair up each set of partitions into a RAID array, for three RAID 1 arrays total. – N Rahl May 9 '12 at 15:32
Make the 100MB RAID EXT3 and mount as /boot, make the 2nd 2GB RAID array into swap, make the third RAID array into a physical volume for LVM. On the LVM volume, create a volume group that uses the whole disk. In the newly created volume group, create a logical volume of 10GB, named "os". Use that as the root file system."? – N Rahl May 9 '12 at 15:32
@NRahl another option you might want to consider is downloading a Linux distribution that can run directly from a USB key, and pre-partitioning the disk before installing CentOS. – Breakthrough May 9 '12 at 17:01

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