Installation of Fedora 12 using Live CD (32-bit/64-bit)

Choosing Between 32-bit / 64-bit Operating System

  • When deciding to use 32-bit or 64-bit Fedora, you should consider the need and the usage of the system. If you have proprietary hardware, the drivers and software are usually written in 32-bit. You would have less problem with software installation such as Adobe products and most media players, since most of these software were written in 32-bit.
  • You could still install and use 32-bit software in a 64-bit operating environment. However, you need to download all the 32-bit libraries, wrapper and component for installation and compilation. This will increase your hard disk space since you need to maintain both 32-bit and 64-bit libraries.
  • You should consider using 64-bit operating system if you need to use a particular software application that requires speed and large amount of memory and this software is supported in 64-bit Linux.
  • If you have more than 3GB of RAM, you should consider using 64-bit operating system because the 32-bit operating system only recognizes 3GB of RAM.
  • You could use 32-bit Fedora that addresses more than 3GB of RAM. This requires a different kernel known as PAE (Physical Addressing Extension) kernel. This Fedora kernel makes use of PAE features provided by Intel.

Getting Fedora

  • You can download the latest Fedora distribution at http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora
  • Download the LiveCD. For 32-bit version, the file name is ‘Fedora-12-i686-Live.iso’ and for 64-bit version, the file name is ‘Fedora-12-x86_64-Live.iso’.
  • Proceed to burn Fedora LiveCD into a CD. You can search the web on how to burn an ISO image to a CD. You can use the ISO image if you are installing on a virtual machine.

Hardware Requirement (x86)

Ensure that your hardware meets the minimum requirement:

  • Recommended for text-mode: 200 MHz Pentium Pro or better
  • Recommended for graphical: 400 MHz Pentium Pro or better
  • Minimum RAM for text-mode: 256MB
  • Minimum RAM for graphical: 512MB
  • Recommended RAM for graphical: >512MB
  • The hard disk space required is depend on what application you choose to install. For LiveCD installation you will require 2-3GB of hard disk space. You might need up to 4GB of disk space after updates and installation of additional applications.
  • It is recommended you have a hard disk space of 6GB to 8GB for the operating system and applications. You might need additional hard disk space for user data.
  • At least 5% free space should be maintained for proper system operation.

Getting Help

Evaluating Fedora 12

  • You can try out Fedora without making any changes to the hard disk by booting up and running the LiveCD.
  • You need to resolve any critical hardware problem you might encounter during booting.
  • If you experienced video problem, probably due to video driver compatibility, you need to change the video mode in the boot option by appending “vga=<video mode>”. Press any key to stop the automatic booting. Press [Tab] at the boot menu. Append “vga=771”. This video mode gives you 800×600 with 256 colors. After booting up, you might want to search for a driver for your particular video card.
  • If you encounter more hardware problem relating to processor, keyboard and hard drive; please make sure your hardware meets the minimum requirement. You might want to ensure that your hardware is functioning properly. Check out the section “Getting Help” to find help for your particular hardware problem.
  • Once you are able to boot into the operating system, all critical hardware problems such as bootable drive, processor, memory, video, keyboard and mouse should be resolved at this stage.
  • Once Fedora 12 is up and running, you could proceed to evaluate the operating system. You can also test other hardware by running some user applications. You may encounter other hardware problem such as sound, printer, proprietary PCI card and any other peripheral device.
  • You can choose to troubleshoot major hardware problem now and proceed with installation before troubleshooting the minor hardware problem. Alternatively, you can choose to troubleshoot all hardware problems before proceeding with installation. You may try to search for a driver for the particular hardware you need and you could install it to see if it works.
  • Please note that, Creative Labs, the company that produce sound card is not good at supporting Linux drivers, especially the newer ones. You might want to install generic ALSA drivers. Check out for more details at http://www.alsa-project.org.
  • You can use disk utility, system monitor and various system administration functions such as network configuration, display and sound configuration.
  • You may choose to install “hwbrowser” (hardware browser). This program displays all the vital hardware information you required.
  • To install “hwbrowser”, you need to open a terminal with root access. From the menu in Fedora, select Application >> System Tools >> Terminal. Type “su” and press [Enter]. There is no password for su if you boot from LiveCD.
  • Enter “yum install hwbrowser” to proceed with the installation. After installation, select Application >> System Tools >> Hardware. This program displays all the necessary hardware information you might need.
  • Alternatively, you can also gather hardware information with the following commands using terminal with root access:
    • lspci
    • less /proc/cpuinfo
    • less /proc/interrupts
    • less /proc/bus/usb/devices
    • less /proc/ioports
  • You can also check out the system log to look for errors:
    • less /var/log/messages
  • For any additional hardware and installation problem, you could search the web or check out the forums.
  • At this point, you may decide whether to proceed with the installation. If you encounter some tolerable hardware problem, you may proceed with the installation and try to resolve them later. However, if you encounter major hardware problem that prevents the operating system from booting up or running properly, you should abort the installation.
  • You may choose to configure the hard disk partition first or you can configure hard disk partition during installation. To configure disk partition first, you may choose to install “gparted”, a disk partition utility.

Installing Fedora 12

  • Double click “Install to Hard Drive” from the desktop of the LiveCD after you are satisfied with the evaluation of the OS.



  • The installation program starts with the screen below.

  • During the pre-installation stage, you are required to answer some question such as the type of keyboard

  • If you have new hard disk which has not been initialized, you might get a message asking to initialize the hard disk.
  • The host name is the name of your computer. You need to supply the host name using the internet format localhost@domain.com. Local host is the name of the computer; domain name is use when you have an Internet domain. For personal use and home use, you can use the defaults.

  • Select your time zone

  • Enter the root password

  • The next stage, which is the most important stage, is to designate the drive partition where Fedora is to be installed.

Hard Disk Partition

Automatic Configuration of Disk Partition

  • If you have only one primary drive, you should let the system configure the drive.
  • In Fedora 12, the default configuration creates a 200MB of hard disk using ext4 file system with mount point “/boot”. The rest of the disk partition is configured using LVM.
  • Within the LVM group, there are 2 logical partition volumes. The ‘lv_swap’ is configured using swap file type having the disk size twice as much as your RAM (swap file size = RAM x 2). The ‘lv_root’ is configured using the rest of the hard disk with ext4 file system using mount point “/” (root or first level of the file system).
  • Additionally, you have the option to encrypt the whole hard disk using a passphrase.

Manual Configuration of Disk Partition (without LVM)

If you choose to configure the partition manually, you need to choose ‘Create custom layout’. This is especially true if you are having mixed partition with the Windows file system.

Under Fedora 12, it is recommended that you create the following minimum partition:

  • One main partition using ext4 file system with mount point set as “/”
  • One swap partition using swap file system using a disk space of (RAM x 2)

The procedure for configuring disk partition manually is as follows:

  • First,  select “Create Custom Layout”

  • Click [New], select the file type (either ext4 or swap) and select the mount point. You need to determine the size of the partition and the hard disk drive which the partition is to be created.

For better management of disk space with multiple users or large data size, you might consider the following:

  • You might consider adding one or more partition using ext3 or ext4 with mount point “/usr” or “/home”. For a computer system with multiple users or computer system with large user data; it is better for user data to be place in a separate partition.
  • If you have multiple hard disks, it is faster for the swap partition to be located in separate hard disk.
  • LVM is designed for large hard disk space spanning into multiple hard disk. If you require more hard disk space and would like to combine multiple hard disk into a single logical volume; then you should configure the partition with LVM. For home user with a single hard disk, LVM is not necessary. This is the reason we do not use LVM for manual configuration.

Manual Configuration of Disk Partition (with LVM)

Under Fedora 12, it is recommended that you create the following minimum partition using LVM:

  • One boot partition of 200 – 300MB, using ext4 file system with mount point set as “/boot”. (Boot partition does not work with LVM)
  • The rest of partition format using LVM with group name of your choice such as “VolGroup”. To create logical partition in LVM. Click LVM button. Within LVM you can set the following:
    • One main partition using ext4 file system with mount point set as “/”
    • One swap partition using swap file system using a disk space of RAM size x 2

Manual Configuration of Disk Partition (with encryption)

Under Fedora 12, it is recommended that you create the following minimum partition:

  • One boot partition of 200 – 300MB, using ext4 file system with mount point set as “/boot”. (Boot partition cannot be encrypted)
  • One swap partition using swap file system using a disk space of RAM size x 2 (Swap file can be encrypted)
  • The rest of partition using ext4 file system with mount point set as “/” with encryption.

Note: Make sure you check the “Encrypt” checkbox at the bottom

  • You will be given an opportunity to create a passphrase for the encryption.
  • For laptop user, it is better to encrypt the whole hard disk except the boot partition.

Setting Boot Loader (using Grub)

  • Fedora uses Grub as boot loader. You can choose to set up Grub as the default boot loader (in sda or hd0, 0 or 1st partition in 1st drive) in a multiple OS environment. You can choose not to install Grub if you have other boot loader installed. This means that you must configure your current boot loader before you could boot up Fedora.
  • By default Grub is set to be installed in MBR which is usually the first partition in the first hard disk.
  • Alternatively you can set the Grub on your Linux partition. Using this option, the system assumes that you have another boot loader in the MBR. This option allows you to use another boot loader to point to your Grub boot loader to load Fedora. You need to modify other boot loader to point to the Grub in your Linux partition or you won’t be able to boot up Fedora.
  • For any boot option used during the installation, you need to permanently include them in the boot loader. The configuration file is located at /boot/grub/grub.conf.
  • If you have multiple hard disk but you intend to create MBR in every drive, the best way is to unplug all other drive in your system. This ensures that Fedora can install Grub at the MBR. You may proceed to plug in other drives after the installation. Note: You must physically unplug the drive because disabling the drives in BIOS does work. Linux can still see the partition information even the drive is disabled in the BIOS.
  • For encrypted drive, the device will not be shown.

Completion of the Installation

  • After configuration of boot loader, the installation program proceeds with the installation of the operating system by copying live image to the hard disk.

  • Once the LiveCD image is copied to the hard disk and boot loader is configured, you will be asked to reboot the OS.

  • At this stage the installation is 90% complete. However, you still need to complete the final phase of installation after reboot.

Post Installation Setup

  • First you need to accept the license agreement.

  • Then you need to register a user

  • Next, configures the system date and time

  • And finally you are asked to send hardware profile.

  • The installation is completed when the system prompt the user for login ID.

  • Once is system is up and running, you need to update the operating system and get the drivers ready for any device that was missed during the installation.

After the Installation

  • After the installation you need to update the system by selecting System >> Administration >> Software Updates.

  • Alternatively, you can use terminal window with roots privilege and run the command #yum update.
  • Firefox is installed in Fedora by default. However, you need to install Google Toolbar and any other plug-in such as Adobe Flash Player manually.
  • You can choose to install any program by selecting System >> Administration >> Add/Remove Program.

  • However, you can choose to use terminal command with root privilege and run $yum install <name of software packages>
  • If you are using 64-bit Fedora, there isn’t much software that is 64-bit. You can install 32-bit software such as OpenOffice etc on 64-bit Fedora. Alternatively, you can download the source code and recompile it into 64-bit program.

*** End ***

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