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4. Installation-Related Notes

This section outlines those issues that are related to Anaconda (the Fedora Core installation program) and installing Fedora Core in general.

Downloading Large Files

If you intend to download the Fedora Core DVD ISO image, keep in mind that not all file downloading tools can accommodate files larger than 2GB in size. wget 1.9.1-16 and above, curl and ncftpget do not have this limitation, and can successfully download files larger than 2GB. BitTorrent is another method for downloading large files. For information about obtaining and using the torrent file, refer to http://torrent.fedoraproject.org/

4.1. Anaconda Notes

  • Anaconda tests the integrity of installation media by default. This function works with the CD, DVD, hard drive ISO, and NFS ISO installation methods. The Fedora Project recommends that you test all installation media before starting the installation process, and before reporting any installation-related bugs. Many of the bugs reported are actually due to improperly-burned CDs. To use this test, type linux mediacheck at the boot: prompt.
    The mediacheck function is highly sensitive, and may report some usable discs as faulty. This result is often caused by disc writing software that does not include padding when creating discs from ISO files. For best results with mediacheck , boot with the following option:
    linux ide=nodma
    
    
    Use the sha1sum utility to verify discs before carrying out an installation. This test accurately identifies discs that are not valid or identical to the ISO image files.

    BitTorrent Automatically Verifies File Integrity

    If you use BitTorrent, any files you download are automatically validated. If your file completes downloading, you do not need to check it. Once you burn your CD, however, you should still use mediacheck .
  • You may perform memory testing before you install Fedora Core by entering memtest86 at the boot: prompt. This option runs the Memtest86 standalone memory testing software in place of Anaconda. Memtest86 memory testing continues until the Esc key is pressed.

    Memtest86 Availability

    You must boot from Installation Disc 1 or a rescue CD in order to use this feature.
  • Fedora Core supports graphical FTP and HTTP installations. However, the installer image must either fit in RAM or appear on local storage such as Installation Disc 1. Therefore, only systems with more than 192MiB of RAM, or which boot from Installation Disc 1, can use the graphical installer. Systems with 192MiB RAM or less will fall back to using the text-based installer automatically. If you prefer to use the text-based installer, type linux text at the boot: prompt.

4.1.1. Changes in Anaconda

  • The installer checks hardware capability and installs either the uniprocessor or SMP (Symmetric Multi Processor) kernel as appropriate in this release. Previous releases installed both variants and used the appropriate one as default.
  • Anaconda now supports installation on several IDE software RAID chipsets using dmraid . To disable this feature, add the nodmraid option at the boot: prompt. For more information, refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/DmraidStatus .

    Do not boot only half of a dmraid RAID1 (mirror)

    Various situations may occur that cause dmraid to break the mirror, and if you boot in read/write mode into only one of the mirrored disks, it causes the disks to fall out of sync. No symptoms arise, since the primary disk is reading and writing to itself. But if you attempt to re-establish the mirror without first synchronizing the disks, you could corrupt the data and have to reinstall from scratch without a chance for recovery.
    If the mirror is broken, you should be able to resync from within the RAID chipset BIOS or by using the dd command. Reinstallation is always an option.
  • Serial mice are no longer formally supported in Anaconda or Fedora Core.
  • The disk partitioning screen has been reworked to be more user friendly.
  • The package selection screen has been revamped. The new, simplified screen only displays the optional groups Office and Productivity (enabled by default), Software Development, Web Server, and Virtualization (Xen). The Minimal and Everything shortcut groups have been removed from this screen. However, you may still fully customize your package selection. The right-click context menu provides an easy way to select all of the optional packages within a group. Refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/PackageSelection for more details.
  • Optional package selection has also been enhanced. In the custom package selection dialog, you can right-click any package group, and select or deselect all optional packages at one time.
  • Firewall and SELinux configuration has been moved to the Setup Agent ( firstboot ), the final phase of the graphical installation process.
  • The timezone configuration screen now features zooming areas on the location selection map.
  • This release supports remote logging via syslog . To use this feature, add the option syslog=host:port at the boot prompt. The :port specifier is optional.
  • Anaconda now renders release notes with the gtkhtml widget for better capability.
  • Kickstart has been refactored into its own package, pykickstart , and contains a parser and writers. As a result of this change, validation and extension is now much easier.
  • Anaconda now uses yum as the backend for solving package dependencies. Additional repositories such as Fedora Extras are expected to be supported during installation in a future release.

4.1.2. Installation Related Issues

  • Some Sony VAIO notebook systems may experience problems installing Fedora Core from CD-ROM. If this happens, restart the installation process and add the following option to the boot command line:
    • pci=off ide1=0x180,0x386
      
      
    Installation should proceed normally, and any devices not detected are configured the first time Fedora Core is booted.
  • Not all IDE RAID controllers are supported. If your RAID controller is not yet supported by dmraid , you may combine drives into RAID arrays by configuring Linux software RAID. For supported controllers, configure the RAID functions in the computer BIOS.

4.1.3. Upgrade Related Issues

Refer to http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/DistributionUpgrades for detailed recommended procedures for upgrading Fedora.
In general, fresh installations are recommended over upgrades, particularly for systems which include software from third-party repositories. Third-party packages remaining from a previous installation may not work as expected on an upgraded Fedora system. If you decide to perform an upgrade anyway, the following information may be helpful.
  • Before you upgrade, back up the system completely. In particular, preserve /etc , /home , and possibly /opt and /usr/local if customized packages are installed there. You may wish to use a multi-boot approach with a "clone" of the old installation on alternate partition(s) as a fallback. In that case, creating alternate boot media such as GRUB boot floppy.

    System Configuration Backups

    Backups of configurations in /etc are also useful in reconstructing system settings after a fresh installation.
  • After you complete the upgrade, run the following command:
    • rpm -qa --last > RPMS_by_Install_Time.txt
      
      
    Inspect the end of the output for packages that pre-date the upgrade. Remove or upgrade those packages from third-party repositories, or otherwise deal with them as necessary.