Installing fedora

Installing Fedora

This is a simple guide to help users install Fedora for machines that are connected to the CSE network via a cabled connection, i.e. plugged into a wall socket. If you require any further information, refer to the Official Fedora Installation Guide.

Getting the Installation Media

Note If using DVD images, be sure to read about using DVDs On Mirror. The first step is getting a copy of Fedora Core 5 on either DVD or CD-ROM. Probably the best (fastest and cheapest) is to download the ISO image files from CSE's mirror at: http://mirror.cse.unsw.edu.au/pub/fedora/5/i386/iso/ (or here if your CPU is capable of amd64/em64t 64-bit extensions and you wish to use them). The available images are shown below: Picture of available images on the mirror (13apr2006) You can use either the single DVD ISO image (after burning it to a DVD, of course), or use the five CD-ROM ISO images (disc1-5) after burning them to CD-ROM. Which way you go depends on whether your target computer has a DVD drive, and whether you have facilities to burn the DVD.

Starting the Installation

I'm going to assume here that you are going to overwrite whatever was on the target computer. When done the only thing on the computer will be a fresh install of Fedora Core 5 Make sure that the BIOS is set to boot from CD/DVD and then insert the DVD, or the first CD-ROM (disc1), into the drive in the computer. Then turn it on. All going well you should get a screen that looks like this: Screenshot of Fedora 5 boot prompt Press ENTER. After a few miles of kernel startup diagnostic and status lines, you'll be prompted to test the DVD/CD-ROM image. This is the first step of the installation proper. I'd recommend doing the test. Have a coffee while you wait.

The rest of the initial installation

For the rest of the initial installation, read the prompts and messages along the way and give what seem to be sensible replies for how you want your computer to work when you're done. I do recommend the following though:
  1. A "U.S. English" keyboard is what most CSE computers use.
  2. Use "Remove linux partitions on selected drives and create default layout." unless you really know what you're doing. AND beware that this will wipe any existing installations.
  3. You will need to know about the network you are using. At CSE, you are probably using the Wired Network and can just use the default DHCP settings.
  4. Pick the appropriate time zone (I'll let you work out what that is) and tick the UTC box (unless dual booting with windows).
  5. You'll probably also want to tick the "Software Development" box when asked what things you'll be doing with the computer. If there's anything special or wierd in your agenda, also select "Customize now" and see if there's anything shown that you'll need.
When you've finished selecting the various installation options the installer will popup a window saying that it's "Checking dependencies in packages for installation...". This takes a while and it'd be tempting to go off and get another coffee. This isn't a good idea as the installer will want you to click one more thing before it actually starts installing. Once the installation starts you'll have plenty of time for a cup of coffee. In fact, have a cup of coffee, a doughnut, and read the paper and do its cryptic crossword. If you're installing from CD-ROM then don't wander too far away. It'll want you to put in another one of the five CD-ROMs from time to time. When the installation is complete you'll see a pop-up window telling you so and a [single] option to reboot. Accept the inevitable and make sure (in the BIOS) that your computer will boot from hard disk this time. Remove the CD-ROM/DVD.

After the initial installation

Once you've done the initial installation and have rebooted the computer it will start the newly-installed Linux. There's still more to do before you can use it however. This reboot will take a while until it gets to the "Welcome" screen (see next paragraph). There is time for another quick coffee while you wait. The first interesting thing that happens after the initial install and reboot is the "Welcome" screen. This tells you that you are about to do some configuration.
  1. Check the firewall settings and make sure that any services you want to be reachable from other computers are ticked. I very strongly recommend that you leave the firewall enabled.
  2. Set the date and time, and enable the Network Time Protocol (NTP). NTP will keep your computer's time to within a fraction of a second of the actual time. This can be vital if you are working with multiple computers at a time and are trying to keep them synchronized.
  3. Create a user account which you'll be using for your day-to-day work. Don't use the "root" account for day-to-day work. "root" is the omnipotent super-user account. If using "root" it's too easy to make a mistake and then wonder why your computer doesn't boot any more, why you've suddenly been afflicted with the worst case of pimples ever, and why your boyfriend/girlfriend/dog has left you. Using a normal user account for most of your work can avoid this.
Once the configuration is done the computer will think to itself for a bit. Sorry, but there probably won't be time for a coffee at this time.

Some finishing up

After the configuration it'll come up with a log-in screen. Log in as "root" using the password you entered during installation so we can do some updates to prevent evil Internet-based hackers making your computer a base of operations for themselves.

yum

"yum" is a program. It is part of Fedora Core 5 and is used to fetch and install new software packages, patches and updates.

yum and the CSE web proxy

Normally yum fetches downloads from the Internet by going to external servers directly. This won't work in CSE. yum has to be configured to use one of CSE's web proxies instead. To do this add the following line to the end of /etc/profile: export http_proxy=http://www-proxy.cse.unsw.edu.au:3128/ If you made the above change in a Terminal window, close the window and open another one so the change takes effect.

yum and the CSE's own Fedora mirror

At this point, you should make the changes to your yum configuration files as documented in the Fedora Maintenance Information.

Printing

Fedora uses CUPS for printing. To setup CSE printers, you should refer to the CUPS Section of Accessing CSE Printers.

Email

It is very important that email to the root account on your computer not be directed to the root account at CSE. Please read the instructions at RedirectingRootEmail to ensure that your root email stays on your computer.

Accessing your home directory

Refer to Remote Home Directory.
Last edited by Kam Hoong Cheong 17/04/2011

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fedora, linux, distro, yum