Error: Cannot retrieve metalink for repository: epel. Please verify its path and try again


Error: Cannot retrieve metalink for repository: epel. Please verify its path and try again

Faced this error in CentOS 6.3. This issue started after installing the epel-repo


You need to update ca-certificates package. Before that disable all the repos with https that are failing.

Here in my case,  epel-repo is failing, so I have to disable only epel repo:

yum --disablerepo=epel -y update  ca-certificates

The above fix helped me to resolve the issue.

How to check the entries in fstab without system reboot

/etc/fstab contains information about the disks. It has the details about where the partitions and storage devices should be mounted. We usually configure automount, disk quota, mount points etc in this fstab.

Inorder to test the entries or modifications in fstab without restart the following commands will be helpful

mount -a

The above command will mount all the filesystems mentioned in the fstab. This is just like a refresh command to activate the entries in fstab.

mount -fav

The above command will help if you don’t want to apply the modifications in the fstab and want to validate the entries only.  This will just fake the entries in the fstab without applying the changes. This is a very useful command.



How to attach a new EBS to an EC2 instance

Nowadays majority of us are using some cloud services. Amazon Web Services is one of the popular provider among all the other cloud service providers. Just like we upgrade our harddisk or mounting new drives to physical machines, we can attach new block storages to Amazon EC2 also. Amazon provides a service called EBS (Elastic Block Storage). There are various types of EBS with various speed and cost. Example are magnetic, SSD etc.

Attaching a new EBS to a running EC2 instance is very simple. We can do this programatically as well as using the console. Here I am explaining the basic steps to perform this operation using the console.

  1. Launch an EBS in the same region and same availability zone as that of the EC2 instance
  2. Note down the instance id of the EC2 instance
  3. Attach the EBS to the EC2. This can be done by using the attach option available in the EBS. The EBS will be listed under the Volumes section in EC2 service page of AWS console.
  4. Login to the EC2 instance and switch to the root user
  5. Type lsblk to list all the block devices
  6. Identify the new block device.
  7. Create a new directory to mount the EBS.
  8. Format the newly mounted storage. The command is mkfs -t ext4 /dev/<device-name>
  9. Mount the EBS on the directory. The command is mount /dev/<device-name>  <mount-dir>
  10. Check for the new storage. The command is df -h



Disable SELinux without reboot

To disable the SELinux by modifying /etc/sysconfig/selinux file, we have to perform a reboot. In some cases, we may not be able to perform a reboot because this involves a downtime of the system. In this situations we can disable SELinux by using a simple command. This will not disable SELinux permanently. The effect will last until the next reboot, but you have the option to edit the selinux file so that it will be in the disabled state even after  the reboot also. The steps for disabling selinux permanently are explained in my previous post.

The command the check the status of SELinux is given below.


This may show enforcing or permissive or disabled. In permissive mode, SELinux will not block anything, but merely warns you. The line will show enforcing when it’s actually blocking.

To disable the SELinux temporarily we can use the following command. This has to be executed as root or using sudo.

setenforce 0

After this command execution we can check the status of selinux using sestatus command. If it is permissive, we are good to go. 🙂

Disable SELinux in CentOS and RHEL

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a security architecture integrated into the 2.6.x kernel using the Linux Security Modules. It is a project of the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and the SELinux community. SELinux integration into Red Hat Enterprise Linux was a joint effort between the NSA and Red Hat.

Most of the application needs SELinux to be turned off. Turning off selinux is simple. You can use the following steps to turn off selinux in RHEL or CentOS 6 and 7 operating systems.

Open the file /etc/sysconfig/selinux . The contents will be similar as below.

# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
# enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
# permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
# disabled - SELinux is fully disabled.
# SELINUXTYPE= type of policy in use. Possible values are:
# targeted - Only targeted network daemons are protected.
# strict - Full SELinux protection.


The contents are self explanatory. Change the value of SELINUX as disabled and save the file. Then reboot the system.

List the available block devices in RHEL or CentOS servers

To list the available block devices, we can use the following command.