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NUC5i5RYH - Barebone PC as Linux Server

After thinking of  installing VMWare ESXi on NUC5i5RYH barebone , I decided not to go ahead. This is because you need a separate system to manage (vSphere Client) to manage your lab which in my case was not helpful. I decided to go ahead and install CentOS 7 as my main OS(host) and install VMware workstation to support Windows Server (for ActiveDirectory) as guest.

I faced few issues while installing CentOS into the i5 NUC. Mainly because the CentOS Kernel & drivers are bit outdated compared to NUC. Just to document what I've done to fix them !!


  • Download Minimal CentOS7 from main site
  • Use "UNetbootin" to put the ISO into thumbdrive. 
  • FAT32 formatting of your USB is best suited


  • Attach bootable USB to your NUC and enter ensure your USB as primary boot.
  • Ensure you create a "root" user and password
  • Reboot and CentOS installation is straight forward. 

Network Issues

Your Wi-Fi won't be listed in your detected devices (ifconfig, iwlist etc are not installed)

NetworkManager to your rescue

NetworkManager Command Line (nmcli) is very powerful. Full details here
sudo su - # All activities in root
nmcli device show   # Shows all devices available. Only your ethernet and loop back would show
nmcli con show # Shows connections available. You won't be able to see anything initially

Installing Relevant Driver. 

(You need an extra laptop for this)
I had CentOS 7 with Kernel 3.10.x . NUC5i5RYH uses Wireless 7265 ,but the downloads are meant for Kernel 3.13+ onwards. So I had to download multiple drivers thus facing lot of hit & miss. I can confirm, the driver that works is  "iwlwifi-7265-ucode-" though it's for a higher Kernel. Extract just the "iwlwifi-7265-9.ucode" file from the archive and copy it into usb drive and copy it to /lib/firmware/ of your CentOS installation.  (USB mounting tips at this link). Now REBOOT your NUC

Verify if your Network is detected. 

sudo su - # All activities in root
nmcli device show   # Shows all devices available. Now it show a wireless device (eg wls2p0)
nmcli con show # Connections won't be still available
if no devices are shown, something went wrong. Need to debug by running "dmesg | tail -100" to see if there are any errors when OS rebooted.

Add your interface

Now try adding a new connection to your interface using networkmanager cli (wls2p0 is my ifname shown when I ran  "nmcli device show") . More Details in this link

nmcli con add con-name wls2p0 ifname wls2p0 type wifi ssid MyInternetConnectionName ip4 gw4
service NetworkManager restart# This should restart network
You should be now able to see ifcfg-wls2p0 file in /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/  location with above details and will get a MAC address automatically.

Adding wifi plugin to NetworkManager

Unfortunately "NetworkManager" itself doesn't contain wifi setup plugins. You need to download "NetworkManager-wifi" rpm offline package separately into your laptop. Copy this again using usb into your NUC.   Install it using  rpm -Uvh <rpmfile> 
Verify if the package is installed
rpm -qa | grep NetworkManager
service NetworkManager restart
service NetworkManager status

Connect your Wifi

nmcli device wifi connect <MyInternetConnectionName> password <myPassword>

Verify by running 
curl -k 
Atlast, it should all work now !!

Now you could install GUI by
sudo yum groups install "GNOME Desktop"

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