It can be a little intimidating to see a thick chapter on installation. But the truth is, if you have a little bit of experience with computers and a computer with common hardware, you can probably install Fedora pretty easily. The procedure in this section will get you going quickly if you have:
The Fedora installation DVD (Fedora Core 3) that comes with this book.
A Pentium-class PC (at least 200 MHz for text mode; 400 MHz Pentium II for GUI) with a built-in, bootable DVD drive, at least 64MB of RAM (for text mode) or 192MB of RAM (for GUI mode). You need at least 620MB of free hard disk space for a Minimum custom install, at least 2.3GB of hard disk space for a personal desktop install, at least 3GB of free space for a workstation install, and at least 1.1GB for a server install. (The Minimum install is configured to be used as a Linux firewall and/or router.) A custom Everything install requires at least 6.9GB of disk space. In all of these installations, you will want to have more disk space than the bare minimum. (The Fedora project recommends at least 5% of additional free space, plus any disk space you require for user data.)
For this quick procedure, you must either be dedicating your entire hard disk to Linux, have a preconfigured Linux partition, or have sufficient free space on your hard disk outside any existing Windows partition.
If you are not dedicating your whole hard disk to Fedora and you don’t understand partitioning, skip to the “Detailed Installation Instructions” section in this chapter. That section describes choices for having both Linux and Windows on the same computer.
Here’s how you get started:
Insert Fedora (Fedora Core 3) installation DVD into your computer’s DVD drive.
Reboot your computer.
When you see the installation screen (with a boot: prompt at the bottom), press Enter to begin the installation.
During installation, you are asked questions about your computer hardware and the network connections. After you have completed each answer, click Next. The following list describes the information you will need to enter. (If you need help, all of these topics are explained later in this chapter.)
Media Check — Optionally check the DVD to be sure it is not damaged or corrupted.
Language Selection — Choose your language.
Keyboard Configuration — Choose your keyboard type.
Upgrade — If you have an earlier version of Fedora installed, you can choose Upgrade to upgrade your system without losing data files. Otherwise, you can continue with a new installation.
Installation Type — Choose a configuration, such as Personal Desktop (for laptop, home, or desktop use), Workstation (desktop plus software development), Server (file, print, Web, and other server software), or Custom (adds selected Linux packages, Minimum, or Everything installs).
Disk Partitioning Setup — Either have Fedora automatically choose your partitions or manually partition yourself (with Disk Druid). With Automatic, you can choose to remove Linux partitions, all partitions, or no partitions (and use existing free space). Because repartitioning can result in lost data, I recommend that you refer to descriptions on repartitioning your hard disk later in this chapter.
Disk Druid — Whether you choose Automatic or Manual partitioning, Disk Druid appears onscreen to let you review or change the partitions.
Boot Loader Configuration — Add the GRUB boot manager to control the boot process. (GRUB is described later in this chapter.) With multiple operating systems on the computer, select which one to boot by default.
Network Configuration — Set up your LAN connection (not dial-up). You can simply choose to get addresses using DHCP, or you can manually enter your computer’s IP address, netmask, host name, default gateway, and DNS servers. You can also indicate whether to activate your network when Linux boots.
Firewall Configuration — Choose a default firewall configuration. Select Enable firewall if you want to block access to most services to your computer from outside computers. If you do enable the firewall, you can select to open particular services to computers on the network or choose to allow all computers on a selected network interface (such as eth0 for your first Ethernet card) to connect to any service on your computer. Select No Firewall only if you are connected to a trusted network, with no connection to a public network.
Additional Language Support — Choose to install support for additional languages.
Time Zone Selection — Identify the time zone in which you are located.
Set Root Password — Add the root user account password.
Package Installation Defaults — Select to install the current package list (for the install type you chose) or customize it. For custom installations, choose groups of software packages to install, choose Everything, or Mimimum. (You can also choose separate packages if you like.)
If your computer is connected to the Internet, you should be more selective about which server packages you install because they may pose potential security risks. A misconfigured server can be like an open window to your computer. In a safe environment, however, an Everything install (if you have enough disk space) allows you to follow the procedures in this book without continuously going back and installing new packages from the DVD.
About to Install — To this point, you can quit the install process without having written anything to disk. When you select Next, the disk is formatted (as you chose) and selected packages are installed.
After answering the questions, the actual installation of packages takes between 20 and 60 minutes, depending on the number of packages and the speed of the computer hardware.
Monitor Configuration — You may be asked to configure your Monitor at this point. If it was probed properly, you should be able to just continue.
When installation is done, remove the Fedora DVD and click Exit to reboot your computer. When you see the boot screen, use up and down arrows to select a partition. Linux should boot by default. After Linux boots for the first time, the Fedora Setup Agent runs to let you read the license agreement, set system date and time, configure your display, add a user account, configure your sound card, and install additional CDs. On subsequent reboots, you will see a login prompt. If you need more information than this procedure provides, go to the detailed installation instructions just ahead.
If you did a Server or Minimum install where no graphical interface is installed, the Fedora Setup Agent does not run.