Detailed Installation Instructions

This section provides more detail on installation. Besides expanding on the installation procedure, this section also provides information on different installation types and on choosing computer hardware.


If you are installing a dual-boot system that includes a Windows operating system, try to install the Windows system first and the Fedora system later. Some Windows systems blow away the Master Boot Record (MBR), making the Fedora partition inaccessible.

A bug in the 2.6 kernel caused particular problems on dual-boot systems with Windows XP and Linux. If you can’t boot on a computer that includes Fedora and XP, refer to this article for a workaround: 

If, when installing Windows or Fedora, you find that the other operating system is no longer available on your boot screen, don’t panic and don’t immediately reinstall. You can usually recover from the problem by booting with the Fedora emergency boot disk, and then using either the grub-install or lilo commands to reinsert the proper MBR. (You can also enter rescue mode by typing linux rescue from the Fedora DVD boot prompt.) If you are uncomfortable working in emergency mode, seek out an expert to help you. See Appendix A for more information on using the Fedora Core 3 Rescue CD.

Installing Fedora Core 3

This chapter details how to install Fedora 3 from the DVD that comes with this book. If you are installing Fedora from that DVD, you can simply follow the instructions in this chapter. This procedure will also work if you have obtained the Fedora Core four-CD installation set.

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Installing Other Red Hat Linux Systems

Much of the installation procedure described here is the same as you will find when you install a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system. However, here are a few issues you should be aware of if you are using the installation procedure in this chapter to install Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

  • Instead of having a DVD or four-CD installation set, Red Hat Enterprise Linux consists of a different boot CD for AS and WS installs. After starting installation with the appropriate boot CD, both install types use the same set of additional CDs (marked disc2, disc3, and disc4).

  • Installation classes for Fedora and Enterprise are different.

  • The names and logos used for Fedora and Enterprise are different

  • Unlike the Fedora installation, which installs all CDs in order, Red Hat Enterprise Linux requires that you insert the boot CD again near the end of the install process.

Besides those differences, an installation of Fedora Enterprise Linux 4 should closely match the instructions in this chapter. There are differences in which packages are included with the Fedora and Enterprise distributions, however. (See Appendix B for Fedora package descriptions.)

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Choosing an installation method

Fedora offers very flexible ways of installing the operating system. Of course, I recommend installing Fedora from the DVD that comes with this book. However, if you don’t have the Fedora DVD or if you don’t have a working DVD drive, you can install Fedora from any of several different types of media. There are also several special types of installation. The installation types noted here are described fully in the “Special Installation Procedures” section.


If you do not have a DVD drive, you can obtain the four-CD Fedora Core 3 installation set by downloading disk images of those CDs from the Internet and burning them to CD yourself. Go to for information on downloading those CDs. Refer to Chapter 8 for information on burning disk images to CD. You can also order a full set of Fedora Core 3 source and binary code CDs using the coupon at the back of this book.

Install or upgrade?

First you should determine if you are doing a new install or an upgrade. If you are upgrading an existing Red Hat Linux or Fedora system to the latest version, the installation process will try to leave your data files and configuration files intact as much as possible. This type of installation takes longer than a new install. A new install will simply erase all data on the Linux partitions (or whole hard disk) that you choose.


While you can upgrade to Fedora Core 3 from previous Fedora or Red Hat Linux systems (such as Red Hat Linux 8 or 9), you cannot upgrade to Fedora Core 3 from a Red Hat Enterprise Linux system.

From DVD/CD, network, or hard disk?

When you install Fedora, the distribution doesn’t have to come from the installation DVD. After booting the installation DVD and typing linux askmethod at the boot prompt, you are offered the choice of installing Fedora from the following locations:

  • Local DVD or CDROM — This is the most common method of installing Fedora and the one you get by simply pressing Enter from the installation boot prompt. All packages needed to complete the installation are on the DVD that comes with this book or the set of four install CDs available from the Fedora project that contain the same software.

  • HTTP— Lets you install from a Web page address (http://).

  • FTP — Lets you install from an FTP site (ftp://).

  • NFS image — Allows you to install from any shared directory on another computer on your network using the Network File System (NFS) facility.

  • Hard drive — If you can place a copy of the Fedora Core distribution on your hard drive, you can install it from there. (Presumably, the distribution is on a hard drive partition to which you are not installing.)

If you don’t have a bootable DVD drive, there are other ways to start the Fedora installation. Unlike earlier Fedora and Red Hat Linux versions, Fedora Core 3 doesn’t support floppy disk boot images (the Linux 2.6 kernel is too large to fit on a floppy disk). Therefore, if you don’t have a bootable DVD or CD drive, you need to start the install process from some other medium (such as a USB device, PXE server or hard drive, as described later in this chapter.)

The following specialty installation types also may be of interest to you:

  • Boot CD — You can create a boot CD from the boot images contained on the Fedora installation DVD that comes with this book. Copy and burn the file boot.iso from the images directory on the DVD. You can use the CD you create from that image to begin the install process if you have a DVD drive that is not bootable or if you have the Fedora Core 3 software available on any of the media described in the linux askmethod section.

  • USB or other bootable media — If your computer can be configured to boot from alternate bootable media, such as a USB pen drive, that is larger than a floppy disk, you can copy the diskboot.img file to that medium and install from there. That image is contained in the images directory on the DVD.

  • Kickstart installation — Lets you create a set of answers to the questions Fedora asks you during installation. This can be a time-saving method if you are installing Fedora on many computers with similar configurations.

There is no specific installation guide provided with the Fedora Project. However, the Red Hat Linux Installation Guide is available from any Red Hat FTP site (such as The location on the server of the Red Hat Linux 9 Installation Guide is:


Another document you may find useful before installing is the Red Hat Linux Reference Guide (also listed in the RH-DOCS directory, as rhl-rg-en-9.0). You’ll need to check for yourself to find out whether the Fedora Project eventually updates the reference guides for Fedora Core.

Choosing computer hardware

This may not really be a choice. You may just have an old PC lying around that you want to try Fedora on. Or you may have a killer workstation with some extra disk space and want to try out Fedora on a separate partition or whole disk. To install the 32-bit PC version of Fedora successfully (that is, the version on the accompanying DVD), the computer must have the following:

  • x86 processor — Your computer needs an Intel-compatible CPU. With the latest version, Fedora recommends that you at least have a Pentium-class processor to run Fedora. For a text-only installation, a 200 MHz Pentium is the minimum, while a 400 MHz Pentium II is the minimum for a GUI installation. Although some 486 machines will work, they cannot be counted on.

  • DVD or CD-ROM drive— You need to be able to boot up the installation process from a DVD, CD-ROM or other bootable drive. (Other drives can include a USB pendrive that you can use with a diskboot.img image included on the DVD.) Once you have booted from one of the media just described, you can use a LAN connection to install Fedora Core software packages from a server on the network or figure out a way to copy the contents of the DVD to a local hard disk to install from there.

  • Hard disk — The minimum amount of space you need varies depending on the installation type and packages you select. If you are an inexperienced user, you want at least 2.3GB of space so you can get the GUI with a Personal Desktop or 3GB for a Workstation install:

    • Personal Desktop — Requires 2.3GB of disk space.

    • Workstation — Requires 3.0GB of disk space.

    • Server — Requires 1.1MB of disk space.

    • Everything (Custom) — Requires about 6.9 GB.

    • Mimimum (Custom) — Requires at least 620MB of disk space.

  • RAM — You should have at least 64MB of RAM to install Fedora Core. If you are running in graphical mode, you will want at least 192MB. The recommended RAM for GUI mode is 256MB.

  • Keyboard and monitor — Although this seems obvious, the truth is that you only need a keyboard and monitor during installation. You can operate Fedora Core quite well over a LAN using either a shell interface from a network login or an X terminal.

Fedora Core versions, not included with this book, are available for the AMD64 architecture. For other hardware, such as Intel Itanium, IBM PowerPC, and IBM mainframe, there are versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux available (which you have to purchase from Red Hat, Inc.). The DVD that comes with this book and the installation procedures presented here, however, are specific to 32-bit PCs. Most of the software described in this book will work the same in any of those hardware environments. (Check out for sites that offer Fedora for different computer hardware architectures.)


The list of hardware supported by previous versions of Red Hat Linux is available on the Internet at

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Installing Fedora on a Laptop

Because laptops can contain non-standard equipment, before you begin installing on a laptop you should find out about other people’s experiences installing Linux on your model. Do that by visiting the Linux on Laptops site (

Most modern laptops contain bootable CD-ROM drives, If yours doesn’t, you probably need to install from a device connected to a USB or PCMCIA slot on your laptop. PCMCIA slots let you connect a variety of devices to your laptop using credit card–sized cards (sometimes called PC Cards). Linux supports hundreds of PCMCIA devices. You can use your laptop’s PCMCIA slot to install Fedora from several different types of PCMCIA devices, including:

  • A DVD drive

  • A CD-ROM drive

  • A LAN adapter

If you would like to know which PCMCIA devices are supported in Linux, see the SUPPORTED.CARDS file (located in the /usr/share/doc/kernel-pcmcia-cs* directory). In any of these cases, you need the PCMCIA support disk to use the device as an installation medium. The section on creating install disks describes how to create these installation floppy disks. (See Chapter 10 for further information on using Linux on laptops.)

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Beginning the installation

If you feel you have chosen the right type of installation for your needs, you can begin the installation procedure. Throughout most of the procedure, you can click Back to make changes to earlier screens. However, once you go forward after being warned that packages are about to be written to hard disk, there’s no turning back. Most items that you configure can be changed after Fedora Core is installed.


It is quite possible that your entire hard disk is devoted to a Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, NT, or XP operating system and you may want to keep much of that information after Fedora Core is installed. Personal Desktop, Workstation, and Custom install classes retain existing partitions (by default), but they don’t let you take space from existing DOS partitions without destroying them. See the section on reclaiming free disk space called “Using the FIPS Utility” for information on how to assign your extra disk space to a different partition before you start this installation process.


If you are upgrading an existing Fedora Core system to this release, you should consider first removing any unwanted packages from your old Fedora system. Fewer packages that have to be checked during an upgrade can mean a significantly faster upgrade installation, as well as the consumption of less space.

  1. Insert the DVD or first CD-ROM. This procedure assumes you are booting installation and installing from either the DVD that comes with this book or the CD set that you can download from the Internet. (If you are not able to boot from either of those media, refer to the “Alternatives for Starting Installation” section. If you are booting installation from DVD or CD, but installing the software packages from a network or hard disk, refer to the "Installing from Other Media" section.)

  2. Start your computer. If you see the Fedora Core installation screen, continue to the next step.


    If you don’t see the installation screen, your DVD or CD-ROM drive may not be bootable. Creating a bootable floppy is no longer an option because the 2.6 kernel doesn’t fit on a floppy. However, you may have the choice of making your DVD or CD-ROM drive bootable or copying a boot image to a bootable USB device (such as a pendrive). Here’s how: Restart the computer. Immediately, you should see a message telling you how to go into setup, such as by pressing the F1, F2, or Del key. Enter setup and look for an option such as "Boot Options" or "Boot from." If the value is "A: First, Then C:" change it to "CD-ROM First, Then C:" or something similar. Save the changes and try to install again.

    If installation succeeds, you may want to restore the boot settings. If your DVD or CD drive still won’t boot, you may need to use an alternative method to boot Fedora installation (described in “Alternatives for Starting Installation” later in this chapter).

  3. Start the boot procedure. At the boot prompt, press Enter to start the boot procedure in graphical mode. If for some reason your computer will not let you install in graphical mode (16-bit color, 800 x 600 resolution, framebuffer), refer to the “Choosing Different Install Modes” sidebar. Different modes let you start network installs and nongraphical installs (in case, for example, your video card can’t be detected). There are also options for turning off certain features that may be causing installation to fail.

  4. Media check. At this point, you may be asked to check your installation media. If so, press Enter to check that the DVD or CD is in working order. If the DVD or one of the CDs is damaged, this step saves you the trouble of getting deep into the install before failing. After the media are checked, select Skip to continue.

  5. Continue. When the welcome screen appears, click Release Notes to see information about this version of Fedora Core. Click Next when you’re ready to continue.

  6. Choose a language. When prompted, indicate the language that you would like to use during the installation procedure by moving the arrow keys and selecting Next. (Later, you will be able to add additional languages.) You are asked to choose a keyboard.

  7. Choose a keyboard. Select the correct keyboard layout (U.S. English, with Generic 101- key PC keyboard by default). Some layouts enable dead keys (on by default). Dead keys let you use characters with special markings (such as circumflexes and umlauts).

  8. Choose install type. Select either “Install Fedora Core” for a new install or “Upgrade an existing installation” to upgrade an existing version of Fedora.

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    Choosing Different Install Modes

    Although most computers will enable you to install Fedora in the default mode (graphical), there may be times when your video card does not support that mode. Also, though the install process will detect most computer hardware, there may be times when your hard disk, Ethernet card, or other critical piece of hardware cannot be detected and will require you to enter special information at boot time.

    The following is a list of different installation modes you can use to start the Fedora install process. You would typically only try these modes if the default mode failed (that is, if the screen was garbled or installation failed at some point). For a list of other supported modes, refer to the /usr/share/doc/anaconda*/command-line.txt file or press F2 to see short descriptions of some of these types.

    • linux text: Type linux text to run installation in a text-based mode. Do this if installation doesn't seem to recognize your graphics card. The installation screens aren’t as pretty, but they work just as well.

    • linux lowres: Type linux lowres to run installation in 640x480 screen resolution for graphics cards that can’t support the higher resolution.

    • linux nofb: Type linux nofb to turn off frame buffer.

    • linux noprobe: Normally, the installation process will try to determine what hardware you have on your computer. In noprobe mode, installation will not probe to determine your hardware; you will be asked to load any special drivers that might be needed to install it.

    • linux mediacheck: Type linux mediacheck to check your DVD or CDs before installing. Because media checking is done next in the normal installation process, you should do this only to test the media on a computer you are not installing on.

    • linux rescue: The linux rescue mode is not really an installation mode. This mode boots from DVD or CD, mounts your hard disk, and lets you access useful utilities to correct problems preventing your Linux system from operating properly.

    • linux vnc vncconnect=hostname vncpassword=******: Run the install in VNC mode to step through the installation process from another system (a VNC client represented by hostname). The optional password must be entered by the client to connect to the installation session. linux dd: Type linux dd if you have a driver disk you want to use to install.

    • linux expert: Type linux expert if you believe that the installation process is not properly auto-probing your hardware. This mode bypasses probing so you can choose your mouse, video memory, and other values that would otherwise be chosen for you.

    • linux askmethod: Type linux askmethod to have the installation process ask where to install from (local DVD/CD, NFS image, FTP, HTTP, or hard disk).

    • linux updates: Type linux updates to install from an update disk.

    You can add other options to the linux boot command to identify particular hardware that is not being detected properly. For example, to specify the number of cylinders, heads, and sectors for your hard disk (if you believe the boot process is not detecting these values properly), you could pass the information to the kernel as follows: linux hd=720,32,64. In this example, the kernel is told that the hard disk has 720 cylinders, 32 heads, and 64 sectors. You can find this information in the documentation that comes with your hard disk (or stamped on the hard disk itself on a sticker near the serial number).

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    To upgrade, you must have at least a Linux 2.0 kernel installed. With an upgrade, all of your configuration files are saved as filename.rpmsave (for example, the hosts file is saved as hosts.rpmsave). The locations of those files, as well as other upgrade information, is written to /tmp/upgrade.log. The upgrade installs the new kernel, any changed software packages, and any packages that the installed packages depend on being there. Your data files and configuration information should remain intact. By clicking the "Customize" box, you can choose which packages to upgrade.


    The personal desktop and workstation installation types do not install server packages or many system administration tools. To use most of the administration and server features described in this book (especially from Part IV), you must either 1) select to add additional packages to those install types, or 2) add extra packages as you need them with the system-config-packages tool described later in this chapter or yum command described in Chapter 5.

    For a new install, you must choose one of the following types (also referred to as classes) of installation. For any of these installation types, you will have the opportunity to install a set of preset packages or customize that set.

    • Personal Desktop — Installs software appropriate for a home or office personal computer or laptop computer. This includes the GNOME desktop (no KDE) and various desktop-related tools (word processors, Internet tools, and so on). Server tools, software development tools, and many system administration tools are not installed.

    • Workstation — Similar to a Personal Desktop installation but adds tools for system administration and software development. (Server software is not installed.)


      Any Linux partitions or free space on your hard disk(s) will be assigned to the new installation with the Personal Desktop or Workstation types of installation. Any Windows partitions (VFAT or FAT32 file system types) will not be touched by this install. After installation, you will be able to boot Linux or Windows. If there is no free space outside of your Windows partition, you must run Partition Magic, the parted utility, the FIPS program (all described later) or other disk-resizing software before proceeding, or you will lose your Windows installation.

    • Server — Server installs the software packages that you would typically need for a Linux server (in particular, Web server, file server, and print server). It does not include many other server types (DHCP, mail, DNS, FTP, SQL, or news servers). The default server install does not include a GUI (so you’d better know how to use the shell). This install type also erases all hard disks and assigns them to Linux by default.


      This is a big one. In case you didn’t catch the previous paragraph, Server installs erase the whole hard disk by default! If you have an existing Windows partition that you want to keep, change the Automatic Partitioning option that appears next either to only remove the Linux Partitions or to only use existing free space.

    • Custom — You are given the choice of configuring your own partitions and selecting your own software packages. Minimal and Everthing installs can be selected during a Custom install.


      If you are just trying out Linux, an Everything custom install gives you all the desktop, server, and development tools that come with Fedora Core. If you have the disk space, an Everything install saves you the trouble of installing packages you need later. If you plan to use the computer as an Internet server, you should be more selective in which packages you install.

    At this point, the procedure will continue through a Custom System installation. Even though different install classes choose different partitioning methods by default, in all cases you have the choice to see and change the partitioning that was chosen for you.

  9. Choose your partitioning strategy. You have two choices related to how your disk is partitioned for a Fedora installation:

    • Automatically partition — With this selection, all Linux partitions on all hard disks are erased and used for the installation. The installation process automatically handles the partitioning. (It does give you a chance to review your partitioning, however.)

    • Manually partition with Disk Druid — With this selection, the Disk Druid utility is run to let you partition your hard disk. Click Next to continue.

  10. Choose partitioning. If you selected to have the installer automatically partition for you, you can choose from the following options:


    If you selected to use Disk Druid for partitioning, refer to the section on partitioning your hard disk later in this chapter for details on using those tools.

    • Remove all Linux partitions on this system — Windows and other non-Linux partitions remain intact with this selection.

    • Remove all partitions on this system — This erases the entire hard disk.

    • Keep all partitions and use existing free space — This only works if you have enough free space on your hard disk that is not currently assigned to any partition.

    If you have multiple hard disks, you can select which of those disks should be used for your Fedora Core installation. Turn the Review check box on to see how Linux is choosing to partition your hard disk. Click Next to continue.

    After reviewing the Partitions screen, you can change any of the partitions you choose, providing you have at least one root (/) partition that can hold the entire installation and one swap partition. A small /boot partition (about 100MB) is also recommended.

    The swap partition is often set to twice the size of the amount of RAM on your computer (for example, for 128MB RAM you could use 256MB of swap). Linux uses swap space when active processes have filled up your system’s RAM. At that point, an inactive process is moved to swap space. You get a performance hit when the inactive process is moved to swap and another hit when that process restarts (moves back to RAM). For example, you might notice a delay on a busy system when you reopen a Window that has been minimized for a long time.

    The reason you need to have enough swap space is that when RAM and swap fill up, no other processes can start until something closes. Bottom line: add RAM to get better performance; add swap space if processes are failing to start. Red Hat suggests a minimum of 32MB and maximum of 2GB of swap space.

    Click the Next button (and select OK to accept any changes) to continue.

  11. Configure boot loader. All bootable partitions and default boot loader options are displayed. By default, the install process will use the GRUB boot loader, install the boot loader in the master boot record of the computer, and choose Fedora Core as your default operating system to boot.


    If you keep the GRUB boot loader, you have the option of adding a GRUB password. The password protects your system from having potentially dangerous kernel options sent to the kernel by someone without that password. This password can be different from the root password you are asked to enter later. GRUB and LILO boot loaders are described later in this chapter.

    The names shown for each bootable partition will appear on the boot loader screen when the system starts. Change a bootable partition name by clicking it and selecting Edit. To change the location of the boot loader, click “Configure advanced boot loader options” and continue to the next step. If you do not want to install a boot loader (because you don’t want to change the current boot loader), click “Change boot loader” and select “Do not install a boot loader.” (If the defaults are okay, skip the next step.)

  12. Configure advanced boot loader. To choose where to store the boot loader, select one of the following:

    • Master Boot Record (MBR) — This is the preferred place for GRUB. It causes GRUB to control the boot process for all operating systems installed on the hard disk.

    • First Sector of Boot Partition — If another boot loader is being used on your computer, you can have GRUB installed on your Linux partition (first sector). This lets you have the other boot loader refer to your GRUB boot loader to boot Fedora Core.

    You can choose to add kernel parameters (which may be needed if your computer can’t detect certain hardware). If some piece of hardware is improperly detected and preventing your computer from booting, you can add a kernel parameter to disable that hardware (for example, add nousb, noscsi, nopcmcia or noagp) You can select to use linear mode (which was once required to boot from a partition on the disk that is above cylinder 1024, but is now rarely needed).


    For more information on GRUB, refer to the section on boot loaders later in this chapter.

  13. Configure networking. At this point, you are asked to configure your networking. This applies only to configuring a local area network. If you will use only dial-up networking, skip this section by clicking Next. If your computer is not yet connected to a LAN, you should skip this section.

    Network address information is assigned to your computer in two basic ways: statically (you type it) or dynamically (a DHCP server provides that information from the network at boot time). One Network Device appears for each network card you have installed on your computer. The first Ethernet interface is eth0, the second is eth1, and so on. Repeat the setup for each card by selecting each card and clicking Edit.


    Refer to Chapter 15 for descriptions of IP addresses, netmasks, and other information you need to set up your LAN and to Chapter 16 for information related to domain names.

    With the Edit Interface eth0 dialog box displayed, add the following:

    • Configure using DHCP — If your IP address is assigned automatically from a DHCP server, a checkmark should appear here. With DHCP checked, you don’t have to set other values on this page. Remove the checkmark to set your own IP address.

    • IP Address — If you set your own IP address, this is the four-part, dot-separated number that represents your computer to the network. How IP addresses are formed and how you choose them is more than can be said in a few sentences (see Chapter 15 for a more complete description). An example of a private IP address is

    • Netmask — The netmask is used to determine what part of an IP address represents the network and what part represents a particular host computer. An example of a netmask for a Class C network is

    • Activate on boot —You should indicate also whether you want the network to start at boot time (you probably do if you have a LAN).

    Click OK. Then add the following information on the main screen:

    • Set the hostname — This is the name identifying your computer within your domain. For example, if your computer were named “baskets” in the domain, your full hostname may be You can either set the domain name yourself (manually) or have it assigned automatically, if that information is being assigned by a DHCP server (automatically via DHCP).

    • Gateway — This is the IP number of the computer that acts as a gateway to networks outside your LAN. This typically represents a host computer or router that routes packets between your LAN and the Internet.

    • Primary DNS — This is the IP address of the host that translates computer names you request into IP addresses. It is referred to as a Domain Name System (DNS) server. You may also have Secondary and Tertiary name servers in case the first one can’t be reached. (Most ISPs will give you two DNS server addresses.)


      To configure your LAN after installation, see Chapter 15.

  14. Choose a firewall configuration. The use of a firewall has significant impact on the security of your computer. If you are connected to the Internet or to another public network, a firewall can limit the ways an intruder may break into your Linux system. Here are your choices for configuring a firewall during installation:

    • No firewall — Select this security level if you are not connected to a public network and do not want to deny requests for services from any computer on your local network. Of course, you can still restrict access to services by starting up only the services you want to offer and by using configuration files to restrict access to individual services.

    • Enable firewall — Select this security level if you are connecting your Linux system to the Internet for Web browsing and file downloading (FTP). By default, only services needed to allow Web browsing and basic network setup, DNS replies, and DHCP (to serve addresses) are allowed at this level.

    If you enable the firewall and you know you want to allow access to particular services, you can click the appropriate check boxes and allow incoming requests for the following services: SSH (secure shell to allow remote login), Telnet (an insecure method of remote login), WWW (act as a Web server), Mail (act as a mail server), and/or FTP (act as an FTP server). You can also add a comma-separated list of port numbers to the Other Ports box to open access to those ports, which effectively allows requests to services associated with those port numbers. (The /etc/services file lists which services are associated with which port numbers.)

    On the Firewall Configuration screen you can also select to Enable SELinux (Active), have it disabled but warn you when requests would be denied (Warn), or have it turned off (Disabled). For a new Linux user, I recommend turning SELinux off (Disabled). If you are a more experienced user, Red Hat would appreciate your help trying out SELinux as it is an important new feature for highly-secure servers. (See Chapter 28 for information about SE Linux.)


    Adding firewall rules here results in rules being added to the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file. The rules are run from the /etc/init.d/iptables start-up script when you boot your system. To make permanent changes to your firewall rules, you can use the Configure Firewalling window, as described in Chapter 14.

  15. Choose language support. Your installation language should be selected automatically as your default language on this screen. You can select to install support for additional languages by clicking the check boxes next to the languages you want. You can click the Select All button to install all supported languages to your system.

  16. Choose a time zone. Select the time zone from the list of time zones shown. Either click a spot on the map or choose from the scrolling list. To see a more specific view of your location, click World and choose your continent. From the UTC Offset tab, you can choose a time zone according to the number of hours away from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), known as the UTC offset.

  17. Set root password. You must choose a password for your root user at this point. The root password provides complete control of your Fedora Core system. Without it, and before you add other users, you will have no access to your own system. Enter the Root Password, and then type it again in the Confirm box. (Remember the root user’s password and keep it confidential! Don’t lose it!) Click Next to continue.


    Use the passwd command to change your password later. See Chapter 14 for suggestions on how to choose a good password. See Chapter 11 for information on setting up user accounts.


    If you are enabling Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) on your computer, the security structure of your computer changes. The root user may no longer have complete control of the computer, but instead there may be policies set that prevent any one user from having complete control.

  18. Select Packages. You are presented with groups of packages at this point. Which packages are selected by default depends on the type of installation you chose earlier. In general, either more workstation-oriented or server-oriented packages are selected.


    You can override your package selections by choosing Mimimal or Everything install groups. Disk space requirements for those install types are described earlier in this chapter.

    Because each group represents several packages, you can click the Details button next to each group to select more specifically the packages within that group. Because Workstation and Personal Desktop installations don’t add any server packages, this is a good opportunity to add server packages for the services you expect to use. When you are done selecting groups and packages, click Next.


    Appendix B describes the software packages that come with Fedora Core.

  19. About to Install. A screen tells you that you are about to begin writing to hard disk. You can still back out now, and the disk will not have changed. Click Next to proceed. (To quit without changes, eject the DVD or CD and restart the computer.) Now the file systems are created and the packages are installed. This typically takes from 20 to 60 minutes to complete, although it can take much longer on older computers.

    For CD installs, you are prompted to insert additional installation CDs as they are needed.

  20. 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.

  21. Finish installing. When you see the Congratulations screen, you are done. Note the links to Fedora information, eject the DVD or CD and click Exit.

Your computer will restart. If you installed GRUB, you will see a graphical boot screen that displays the bootable partitions. Press the up or down arrow keys to choose the partition you want to boot, and press Enter. If Linux is the default partition, you can simply wait a few moments and it will boot automatically.

The first time your system boots after installation, the Fedora Setup Agent runs to do some initial configuration of your system. The next section explains how Fedora Setup Agent works.

Running Fedora Setup Agent

The first time you boot Fedora Core, after it is installed, the Fedora Setup Agent runs to configure some initial settings for your computer.


The Fedora Setup Agent only runs automatically if you have configured Fedora to boot to a graphical login prompt. To start it from a text login, log in as root and type the following from a Terminal window:

# rm /etc/sysconfig/firstboot  # /usr/sbin/firstboot

The first screen you see is the Welcome screen. Click the Next button to step through each procedure as follows:

  • License Agreement — Read and agree to the Fedora License Agreement to be able to continue.

  • Date and Time Configuration — You can manually enter the date (click the calendar) and time (select hour, minutes, and seconds) or use the Network Time Protocol tab to have your date and time set automatically from a known time server. Click Enable Network Time Protocol (NTP), then select a time server by clicking the down arrow and selecting a site. Then click Add to add it to the list. Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a service that allows computers to synchronize their date and time clocks with reliable time servers.


    Fedora offers two time servers you can use (click the down arrow in the server box to see them). Or you can type in your own time server. It is better to type an IP address than a name for your time server.

    Setting NTP in this way adds your chosen NTP server to the /etc/ntp.conf file (see the server option). To check that time has been synchronized, type the ntptrace command. You should not have to change your firewall for NTP to work, because NTP attempts to punch a hole through your firewall to synchronize your time.

  • Monitor Configuration — You may be asked to configure your monitor. Linux should already know your monitor model and allow you to select your screen resolution and color depth. If your video card is improperly detected, select Configure to fix it.

  • User Account — For your daily use of Fedora Core, you should have your own user account. You should typically log in with this user name (of your choosing) and use only the root user to perform administrative tasks. In the first of the four text boxes on the screen, type a user name (something like jparker or alanb). Next, type your full name (like John W. Parker or Alan Bourne). Then type your password in the Password text box and again in the Confirm Password text box. Click Next.

    If some form of network authentication is used, such as LDAP, Kerberos, or SMB authentication, you can click the Use Network Login button. See the “Enabling Authentication” sidebar for information on choosing different authentication types.

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Enabling Authentication

In most situations, you will enable shadow passwords and MD5 passwords (as selected by default) to authenticate users who log in to your computer from local passwd and shadow password files. To change that behavior, you can select the Use Network Login button during the User Account setup during Fedora Setup Agent (firstboot).

The shadow password file prevents access to encrypted passwords. MD5 is an algorithm used to encrypt passwords in Linux and other UNIX systems. It replaces an algorithm called crypt, which was used with early UNIX systems. When you enable MD5 passwords, your users can have longer passwords that are harder to break than those encrypted with crypt.

If you are on a network that supports one of several different forms of network-wide authentication, you may choose one of the following features:

  • Configure NIS. Select this button and type the NIS Domain name and NIS server location if your network is configured to use the Network Information System (NIS). Instead of selecting an NIS Server, you can click the check box to broadcast to find the server on your network. For more information on NIS, see Chapter 23.

  • Configure LDAP. If your organization gathers information about users, you can click this button to search for authentication information in an LDAP server. You can enter the LDAP Server name and optionally an LDAP distinguished name to look up the user information your system needs.

  • Configure Hesiod. If your organization uses Hesiod for holding user and group information in DNS, you can add the LHS (domain prefix) and RHS (Hesiod default domain) to use for doing Hesiod queries.

  • Configure Kerberos Support. Click this button to enable network authentication services available through Kerberos. After enabling Kerberos, you can add information about a Kerberos Realm (a group of Kerberos servers and clients), KDC (a computer that issues Kerberos tickets), and Admin server (a server running the Kerberos kadmind daemon).

  • Configure SMB. Click this tab to configure your computer to use Samba for file and print sharing with Windows systems. If you enable SMB authentication, you can enter the name of the SMB server for your LAN and indicate the Workgroup you want your computer to belong to.

image from book

  • Install Additional Software — If you have a Fedora CD other than the four installation CDs or the DVD that comes with this book, you can install it now. Insert the CD you want to install and clicking the appropriate button.

The Fedora Setup Agent is complete. Click Finish to continue. See Chapter 3 for a description of how to log in to Fedora and start learning how to use Linux.

When Fedora starts up the next time, it will boot up normally to a login prompt. A graphical boot screen is displayed (instead of a scrolling list of services starting up). If you miss the old scrolling list, you can view it by clicking the Details button or by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1. Then go back again by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F8.

Red Hat Fedora Linux 3 Bible
Red Hat Fedora Linux 3 Bible
ISBN: 0764578723
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 286 © 2008-2017.
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