Having been a merry Ubuntu GNU/Linux user for a couple of years now and, lately, kind of “flirting” with OpenSolaris for some reasons, these days once again I experienced what I like about technology, once in a while – the feeling of simply being stunned by the presence of a feature which might be obvious yet maybe not obvious enough to see wide-spread adoption: About to set up a server based upon the CentOS 5.3 GNU/Linux operating system (which, basically, is a “community rebuild” of RedHat Enterprise Linux), I fired up the network boot CD (dang, these old IBM xSeries machines didn’t yet come with a DVD drive…), chose to do the “text based installation” (as I usually dislike GUI based operating system installers and try avoiding them as good as somehow possible), made my way through configuring the base system, networking and mirror access… to, then, be asked whether I might want to continue installation using the “graphical installer” via VNC.

VNC? Well, why not… Accepted this, so it just took a couple of seconds until the installer provided me with the IP address and port of the VNC server running on this host, and, back to my notebook, connecting there I indeed was capable of performing the server installation completely from the comfortable environment of my office rather than standing in front of the machine in the loud and cold server room. So… I have to admit that this has somehow changed my mind about “GUI based installers”, and this definitely is a ‘killer feature’ from my point of view. Hope other distributions to come up with something like this (maybe an installer via ssh?) sooner or later, as well… ever even thought about doing a Windows Server System remote installation via RDP? Wonder whether this even would be possible… 😉

Some evidence screenshots, just because: Network and disk configuration using CentOS VNC installer. Pretty neat. 🙂