Scientific Linux 7 is the newest branch of this Red Hat Enterprise Linux based operating system designed for scientists. It is an open source distribution of Linux that comes pre-installed with two main desktop environments, as well as a plethora of libre tools and applications designed for scientists.

Available for download as installable-only DVDs for mainstream platforms

The base distribution is basically Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x, recompiled from the publicly available source packages. This means that it uses the RPM Package Management system for installation, update or removal of packages from the system.

This edition is available for download as installable-only DVD ISO images of approximately 4GB in size each, suitable for either 32-bit (i386) or 64-bit (x86_64) hardware platforms.

Keep in mind though, that there are two DVD ISO images for each architecture, but you only need to download the first disc for a basic installation, as the second one includes extra applications.

Easy to follow boot instructions and a straightforward installation

The boot menu has not been changed from previous editions, as it allows the user to install or upgrade in graphical or text mode, as well as to add support for exotic devices by modifying the kernel parameters, or rescue a broken installation or another operating system.

The graphical installer is easy to use and straightforward, requiring users to choose a language for the installation process and a keyboard layout, partition the drive (disk encryption is possible), configure the network interfaces, as well as to setup the system clock and timezone.

Additionally, you must add a root (system administrator) password and choose which software packages to install. The system comes by default with the GNOME Classic desktop environment, but you can also install the KDE Plasma interface and various server and clustering related applications.

Bottom line

At the moment, Scientific Linux 7 is the most advanced and up-to-date branch of this powerful, free and open source operating system designed for scientists. Do not hesitate to check out the Live CD edition of Scientific Linux!