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F12 Installation Installation Procedure

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Associate Professor Gregory R. Kriehn
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F12 Installation Procedure

Assuming that you have partitioned your hard drive, you need to change the BIOS settings on your computer to allow it to boot from the CD/DVD drive first. After you turn on the power to your computer, getting into the BIOS configuration is typically done by pressing either F2 or F12 after you see the initial splash screen being displayed on the monitor.


boot Options


The next step is to insert the Fedora 12 DVD Disk into your CD/DVD drive, and reboot the machine. A simple VGA splash screen will appear, allowing you to Install or upgrade an existing system, Install system with basic video driver, Rescue installed system, Boot from local drive, or perform a Memory test. It is important to note that you can also pass other parameters the kernel, such as setting the resolution. The option for doing so is given by the hitting the Tab key.

When I originally installed FC6 on a new Dell D620 laptop (conveniently given to me by the university a day after FC6 was released), the kernel had a bit of difficulty determining the appropriate resolution of the display (1440 x 900), although Fedora 8 has had no such problems. If you are having problems with the graphical installer, you can use the
'resolution=<width>x<height>' option to try and force a particular resolution. For example, you could boot with 'vmlinuz initrd=initrd.img resolution=1024x768'. Regardless, select the Install or upgrade an existing system and hit Enter.  The boot process will then begin.


Testing Media

Next you will be prompted to test the DVD media. I strongly recommend testing the DVD to make sure that the disk will work (i.e., it has been burned correctly). Hit OK, followed by Test, and the DVD will be checked for errors. If it passes, you will be given the opportunity to check additional disks if you burned multiple copies of the DVD. When you are finished testing, hit OK, then use the Right Arrow to select Continue. Make sure the Fedora DVD is in the CD/DVD drive.


Selecting the Language and Keyboard Layout


The Red Hat/Fedora Core installer anaconda will now fully load. Go ahead and hit Next once the Fedora splash screen appears, and choose your language and keyboard selection. If you are in the United States, choosing English (English) and U.S. English, respectively, is probably a good idea, unless you feel like trying to pick up a new language while simultaneously learning a different keyboard layout. After you make each selection, click Next.


Selecting the Hostname

When prompted for a hostname, enter the fully resolvable domain name of the computer and hit click Next.


Time


Click on the map location that is nearest to where you live (for me this means choosing America/Los_Angeles even though I am in Fresno), and unclick the System clock uses UTC. This is because I also have a Windows partition that interacts with the hardware clock, and the two do not play nicely with each other if UTC is enabled. Click Next to continue.


root Password


Enter your preferred root password, but be sure to choose something that contains both alpha and numeric characters, along with at least one special character to ensure that it will not be easily cracked by other people trying to break into your system. Click Next to continue.


Mounting and Formating Partitions

You are now given an option as to whether or not you wish to perform a fresh install of Fedora, or if you want to upgrade an existing installation. Since I perform automatic backups of all relevant data, I find it easiest to just install Fedora from scratch to avoid any upgrade problems which is not uncommon, even when using another Linux distribution.

Even if you have not already partitioned your hard drive, it is vitally important that you do not allow anaconda to Use entire drive unless you enjoy watching your Windows partition get blown away. Justification for manually setting up your partitions, and keeping your Windows partition is provided on the Partition Sizes and Dual Boot Options pages. This implies that I  do not advise choosing the Replace existing Linux system, Shrink current system, or Use free space options either. Instead, select the Create custom layout option, and hit Next.

If you have already partitioned your drive, you will only have to set mount points and re-format the partitions. If you have not fully partitioned your hard drive yet, you will need to create new primary and logical partitions, but you will be unable to do so if your Windows partition is currently taking up the entire space on your hard drive. In this case, you will need to use an external tool to first resize the partition, such as PartitionMagic 8.0.1, gparted, or qtparted. See the Pre-Installation Tasks page for details.

Since I typically tweek my partition sizes a bit before installing a fresh version of Fedora, my partitions are always created ahead of time. To set the mount point, simply double click on a partition, and type in the label for the Mount Point based upon the partition size (i.e., /boot, /, /opt, /tmp, /usr, /usr/local, /var/backup, and /home). After typing in the mount point, click on the Format partition as: option, and choose the ext4 partition (to enable file journaling for graceful recovery from system crashes) for every partition except the SWAP partition, which should be formatted as swap (please note that you will not be able to set a mount point for the swap partition). Your NTFS partition, if you have one, should NOT be labeled or formatted! Once the appropriate mount points and formatting options have been set, hit OK, and move to the next partition. After all partitions have been configured, hit Next and verify that each of the partitions have their mount point labeled correctly and will be formated when the Format Warnings window pops up. If you are satisfied, click Format followed by 
Write changes to disk. Your partitions will now be formatted.


GRUB

I typically allow GRUB (the GRand Unified Boot loader)to be installed on the hard drive, and am satisfied with it taking over the Master Boot Record, simply because I always have a dual boot system on each of my computers, and have never found a reason to remove Linux from any one of them. Therefore, click on the Install boot loader on /dev/... option. Next, decide which operating system you want to boot into by Default, and click on the appropriate box. The "Other" operating system is your NTFS Windows partition (if you have one), so go ahead and double click on it and change the label to "Windows XP Professional", or whatever best describes what you have. Click OK, followed by Next.

You should see a messages that says Transfering Install Image to Hard Drive, followed by Retrieving Installation Information for Fedora...



Package Options & Installation

The package installation page provides general groups of software that can be installed. As I have already provided reasons why I like to install everything when using Fedora (as discussed on the Fedora 9 Installation page), click on the Software Development and Web server options, and click on the Customize now button. Then click Next. (We will deal with repositories later.)

Next you are presented with a dialog page that allows you to select more specific software groups and sub-groups, and even individual packages if you click on the Optional packages button. Since I like to install as much of "Everything" as possible, the simplest way to do this is to click on each of the groups (Desktop Environments, Applications, etc.) and right click on each of the sub-groups (GNOME Desktop Environment, KDE, etc.) and choose the Select all optional packages option. Even simpler, you can highlight all of the sub-groups at once using the Shift key and clicking on the bottom group, which means that you only have to Select all optional packages 5 times, based upon the number of groups that are present. The only group that I do not do this for is the Languages group. I have absolutely no need for Assamese, Bulgarian, Southern Ndebele, Xhosa, Zulu, or any other language besides English
.

This is your last chance to go back and make changes before reaching the point of no return. If you are satisfied with your configuration setup, click
Next, and anaconda will begin the process of installing Fedora onto your hard drive. You will see a message that says "Checking dependencies in packages selected for installation...", which will take a minute or two to complete, depending upon how many packages you have chosen to install.  Once complete, you should see a message "Starting install process. This may take several minutes...", and "Preparing transaction with installation source..." before packages begin installing onto your computer. Once finished, click on Reboot, and allow the computer to reboot into Fedora.

Next up is the First Boot page.