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Fedora 16 Installation: Phase One

Fedora 16 And GNOME Shell: Tested And Reviewed

The live CD download of Fedora is separate from the Installation DVD. While you can use the live CD to install Fedora onto a hard drive, it will only install a limited number of applications. You need the complete installation DVD to get the full Fedora experience.

As stated earlier, one notable application missing from the live CD is LibreOffice. Of course, you can install it from the package manager after Fedora is set up. Considering the size of the DVD ISO and the painfully slow DVD installation, using the live CD and then installing missing applications is the quicker approach.

The Fedora 16 installation is much improved over Linux distros of yesteryear. But the experience still isn't as polished as Ubuntu and its derivatives. For example, the wording of option descriptions isn't as end-user oriented, and the screen switches to a CLI briefly several times during the installation.

The Fedora installation procedure occurs in two stages. The first part begins in the live CD desktop and the second occurs upon first boot. To initialize the first phase, click the live CD installer, located in the Dash section of the Activities overview (move the mouse to the top-left corner).

When the installer begins, select a language:

Next, choose between a Basic Storage Device (like a hard drive or SSD), or a Specialized Storage Device (like networked storage). For this review, and in most normal environments, selecting Basic Storage Device is the way to go.

After the type of storage device is selected, a hostname must be chosen. This is how the system is identified on a network.

Next up is the obligatory time zone selection screen.

Next, create a root password. Unlike Ubuntu, this does not have to be the same password as the primary user. There is an option to enter a different user password during the second stage of the installation.

If the password is deemed too weak, what can only be described as a “windowlet” spawns out of the title bar, informing you of this and allowing you to change the password. This is totally optional; you can keep that weak password if you want.

Now it's time to choose a partitioning scheme. Options here include: Use All Space, Replace Existing Linux System(s), Shrink Current System, Use Free Space, and Create Custom Layout. Since Fedora 15 is going on one of the drives used in our recent Ubuntu 11.10 review, the option to replace the existing Linux partitions appears. On a blank drive, it wouldn't. Note that, unlike Ubuntu, there is no "Install Them Side-By-Side" option for easy dual-booting.

After you choose the partitioning scheme, you have to pick the drive on which Fedora is to be installed. In our example, a Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 USB thumb drive storing the Fedora 16 live media, a Kingston DataTraveler DT 100 G2 holding essential testing files, and a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB hard drive are listed. Because the Seagate hard drive is our destination device, we move it to the right-hand pane.

Another “windowlet” appears asking if you are sure about the destination drive. Be certain here; this cannot be undone.

Now it's just a waiting game as phase one is completed. When it finishes, you'll be greeted by a congratulatory screen. You can restart the computer at any time after that. In order to do so, log out and then restart from the log-in screen. When the computer restarts, make sure the live media is no longer inserted. The second phase of the Fedora 16 installation should begin.

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