Installation of Fedora 15 using Fedora Desktop Edition (Live CD)

June 5, 2011

This installation guide is provided for those who would like to install Fedora 15 (code name: Lovelock) on a PC.

Fedora 15 (64-bit) was installed on a Core 2 Dual PC with 4GB of memory using the media “Fedora 15 Desktop Edition (64-bit)”.

Getting Fedora 15

  • You can download the latest Fedora distribution at http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora-options
  • Select the 64-bit version and download the ISO. The file name is ‘Fedora-15-x86_64-Live-Desktop.iso’.
  • Proceed to burn Fedora Live Desktop into a CD. You can search the web on how to burn an ISO image to a CD.

Hardware Requirement 

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 depends on what application you choose to install. For Desktop Edition installation, you will require 2-3GB of hard disk space. You might need up to 6GB of disk space after updates and installation of additional applications.
  • It is recommended you have a hard disk space of 9GB to 15GB for the operating system and applications. You might need additional hard disk space for user data.

Getting Help

Important Features and Changes

  • The most obvious changes to Fedora 15 is the inclusion of GNOME 3. This is an entirely new desktop interface.
  • Other system enhancement includes replacing SysVinit and Upstart with systemd, inclusion of /run directory, provides a dynamic firewall management and improving virtualization support.

Installing Fedora 15

  • You can try out Fedora 15 without making any changes to the hard disk by booting up and running the Desktop Edition.
  • The new interface from GNOME 3 looks like this:
  • To install the operating system to the hard disk. Go to Activities and on the sidebar (left hand side), there is a short cut icon “Install to Hard Drive”. Alternatively, you could select Applications >> System Tools and select “Install to Hard Drive”.
  • The installation program starts with the screen below. You are required to select the type of keyboard
  • The next screen allows you to choose the disk storage system. Choose “Basic Storage System”.
  • Next, you are required to enter the host 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, is to designate the drive partition where Fedora is to be installed.
  • If you have only one primary drive, you should let the system configure the drive by selecting the defaults.
  • If you are familiar with the Linux partition, you could customize your drive system.
  • In addition, you have the option to encrypt the whole hard disk or a single partition.

Fedora Partition and Customization

By default, Fedora create a 500MB boot partition (/boot), then it allocates the rest of free space to LVM Group. Under LVM Group, besides few gigabytes of hard disk space is allocated to swap file, the rest of disk space is allocated between root partition (/) and home partition (/home).

  • Standard Partition – boot partition (/boot) 500MB
  • LVM Group
  • root partition (/)
  • home or user data partition (/home)
  • swap file (usually equivalent to your memory size)

LVM (Logical Volume Manager) is a partition management technology that allows multiple physical hard disk to be logically bind into a single volume. This is beneficial especially in a server environment or if you have huge data that span into multiple hard disk

At a minimum, you need to have a boot partition, a root partition and a swap file. The following is my custom configuration. Please note that I use standard partition instead of LVM technology.

  • Standard Partition – boot partition (/boot) 500MB
  • Standard Partition – root partition (/) the rest of hard disk space
  • Standard Partition – swap file (usually equivalent to your memory size)

Using Default: Replace Existing Linux System

  • If you let the system configures the hard disk for you, you can select “Replace Existing Linux System”. If you want to know what how the system is going to configure your hard disk, check “Review and modifying partition layout” and click next.

  • If you have a system with multiple hard disk, you have to choose which hard disk do you want your operating system and boot loader to be installed.
  • This screen shows you how the system configures the hard disk. Those partitions with a tick are the ones the system will change.

Customize and Create Partition

  • The following section is for customizing disk partition, you can skip this section of you are letting the system configures the disk partition for you.
  • Select “Create Custom Layout” from the previous screen.
  • If you have multiple hard disk in the system, you will not be asked which hard disk to installed the operating system or boot loader. The boot loader will automatically installed in sda (the first disk in your SATA system). To select the target device to install the operating system and boot loader, you need to select “Replace Existing Linux System, configure that target device for OS and boot loader. Click “Back” button and select “Create custom Layout”.
  • The following screen show all your hard disk and partition information. You need to understand how Linux named the hard disk and partitions.
  • Depends on the position in the SATA channel, your physical hard disk is labelled as sda, sdb, sdc…and so on. The system will display the hard disk model such as WD4000AAKS with the label (sda or sdb..). It would be a challenge if you have multiple hard disks of same make and model in the same system. You need to identify which physical hard disk belongs to sda or sdb etc. Within a physical drive such as sda, the partitions are labelled sda1, sda2, sda3…etc.
  • Select “Create” to create new partition. You need to specified if it is a LVM volume or standard partition.

  • Then you need to configure the partition by selecting the mount point, physical disk and the size of partition as shown below:
  • Note: Please select”ext 4″ for file system when configuring the boot partition and root partition. The file system for swap file is swap.
  • The partition summary shows how the hard disk is partitioned. Please note that at this point nothing has been written yet, you can make changes.

  • Finally you need to confirm the settings and make the changes

Configuring Boot Loader

  • After the partition is set up, you need to configures the boot loader.

  • You can also choose to list operating system from other partitions or remove the listing. I choose to remove the lisitng of other operating system.

Special Note: Usually, I place the boot loader on the same physical disk that I’ve installed the operating system. If you’ve use the option “Replace Existing Linux System”, you have the choice to specify which hard disk to configures the boot loader. If you’ve use the option “Create Custom Layout”, the boot loader is automatically install in sda. If you want to change from sda to sdc, you need to use the option  “Replace Existing Linux System” and click back and choose “Create Custom Layout” again.

Completion of Installation

  • After configuration of the disk system, the installation program proceeds with the installation of the operating system by copying live image to the hard disk.
  • Once the operating system is copied to the hard disk, you will be asked to exit the operating system and reboot.
  • 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. Check the box “Add to administrative group”. This allows you to perform sudo command.
  • Next, configures the system date and time
  • I prefer to synchronize the system time with the Internet.
  • 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 IMMEDIATELY and  reboots the virtual machine as new kernels are updated on the system.
  • Please note that the system is mute by default, you need to clear the mute check box before hearing sound.

After the Installation

  • After the installation you need to update the system by selecting Applications >> System Tools >> Software Updates.
  • Alternatively, you can use terminal window and run the command $sudo yum update.
  • Please check the post on Application Installation and Configuration of Fedora 15 (Lovelock) on how to install various useful applications.
  • You could also check the following post for various types of configuration:

*** End ***

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VirtualBox – Sharing Folder between Windows Host and Linux Guest (Fedora)

June 4, 2011

Sharing Folder with Host System

To share network folders, you need to configure a share folder with a share name in the virtual machine settings.

Then in Linux, you need to mount the share folder using VirtualBox file system:

#mount –t vboxfs name_of_share_folder /mnt/mount_point

Please note that the above mounted folder is owned by root. To allow user to own the files and folder use the command:

#mount -t vboxsf -o uid=1000,gid=1000 name_of_share_folder /mnt/mount_point

Where uid is the user id and gid is the group id. If you want to have it mount automatically upon each boot, put the mount command in /etc/rc.local. Using /etc/fstab has little effect, because that  file is processed before the SF module is loaded and will fail to mount the share.


Install VirtualBox Linux Guest Addition in Fedora 15 (Lovelock) Guest OS

June 4, 2011

This is for those who have installed Fedora 15 as guest system in VirtualBox. Without the Linux guest additions from VirtualBox, you would still have mouse and keyboard integration. However, you need Linux Guest Additions from VirtualBox in order to run GNOME 3 and to share folders between the host and guest operating system.

Pre-Installation

  • Before installing Linux Guest Additions for VirtualBox, you need to ensure that you have the latest kernel installed. To ensure that, use the command:
$sudo yum update
  • Reboot your system after update.
  • Then, you need to install dkms, gcc and kernel-devel. Use the following command:
$sudo yum install -y kernel-devel dkms gcc
  • Finally, you need to load Linux Guest Additions ISO disc to your virtual CD-ROM

Installation of Linux Guest Additions

  • Once the disc image is mounted, the folder should be located at /media/VBOXADDITIONS* . The * being the version number.
  • Use the following command:
cd /media/VBOXADDITIONS*
./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
  • After the installation is complete, reboot the system.

To share folders between Windows host and Linux guest system, please refer to the post VritualBox Sharing Folders between Windows Host and Linux Guest

Automation

As usual, I have created an auto installation script for advanced user. You can download it from here.


Install Dropbox in Fedora 15 (Lovelock)

June 3, 2011

Update 15 Nov 2011

To install Dropbox on Fedora 16, please check out this post: Install Dropbox on Fedora 16

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The best method to install Dropbox in Fedora 15 (Lovelock) is to configure Dropbox repository and perform a yum install from the system terminal.

Configure Dropbox Repository

Create a file called dropbox.repo with the following, or you can download a copy from here:

[Dropbox]
name=Dropbox Repository
baseurl=http://linux.dropbox.com/fedora/$releasever/
gpgkey=http://linux.dropbox.com/fedora/rpm-public-key.asc

Place the file under /etc/yum.repos.d.

Installing Dropbox

Run yum install using the command:

$sudo yum install nautilus-dropbox

Update: If you encounter any error while downloading nautilus-dropbox. You might need to change the base url in the repo file from http://linux.dropbox.com/fedora/$releasever/ to http://linux.dropbox.com/fedora/14/

Post Installation Setup

After installation is completed, you need to run Dropbox application under Applications >> Internet >> Dropbox. Then you need to configure an account for the Dropbox.

Automation

You could also write a script file to automate the installation process. This script download the repository file that I’ve prepared and move it to the yum repository folder follow by installation of dropbox.

#! /bin/bash
#Add repo file from Dropbox
wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/30876345/repo/dropbox.repo
mv dropbox.repo /etc/yum.repos.d
#Installing Dropbox
yum install -y nautilus-dropbox

A copy of the script can be downloaded here.

Note: remember to give execution permission to the script by running the command:

$sudo chmod +x <script_name>

To run the script use the command:

$sudo ./<script_name>

*** End ***


Install Google Chrome in Fedora 15 (Lovelock)

June 3, 2011

Update: 12 November 2011

It seems that Google has restored the repository. You can still follow the instructions below however, it is recommended to just navigate to the chrome site and install from there.

Check out my new post Install Google Chrome in Fedora 16 (Verne) 

Update: 28 September 2011

Google repository does not work anymore because Google has discontinued Google Pack. You can visit the main site for further information.

To install Chrome on Fedora, you just need to navigate to Chrome website and click install. The procedure is similar to installing Chrome in Windows.

Please do not follow the instructions below!

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While you could download the rpm file from Chrome website and install Chrome, a better method is to download Chrome from Google repository so that you could receive any new updates.

Configure Google Repository

Create a file called google.repo with the following:

[google64]
name=Google - x86_64
baseurl=http://dl.google.com/linux/rpm/stable/x86_64
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub

You can also download a copy from here. Place the file under /etc/yum.repos.d

Installing Google Chrome

Run yum install using the command:

$sudo yum install google-chrome-stable

If you would like to install the beta or unstable version of Chrome use the following command:

$sudo yum install google-chrome-beta
$sudo yum install google-chrome-unstable

Automation

You could also write a script file to automate the installation process. This script download the repository file that I’ve prepared and move it to the yum repository folder.  You need to hash (#) out those version that you DO NOT want to install. You could only install one version of Chrome.

#! /bin/bash
#Add repo file from Google
wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/30876345/repo/google.repo
mv google.repo /etc/yum.repos.d
#Install Google Chrome
yum install -y google-chrome-stable
#yum install -y google-chrome-beta
#yum install -y google-chrome-unstable

You could download a copy of the script here. Note: remember to give execution permission to the script using the command $sudo chmod +x <script_name>. To run the script use the command:

$sudo ./<script_name>

***End***


Using Fedora 15 (Lovelock) GNOME 3 and Fallback Mode

June 3, 2011

One of the most significant changes in Fedora 15 (Lovelock) is the introduction of GNOME 3.  The new interface looks nicer and cleaner, as shown below:

The system setting is hide under the user name.

Windows (Formerly desktop workspace) and Applications hide under “Activities” on the top left hand corner. For “Places” you need to launch file manager.

According to Fedora website, most PC supports GNOME3. However, if your system hardware does not support GNOME 3, it will run GNOME 3 fallback mode which has the looks and appearance of older GNOME.

Some of the user still prefers the older looks because it requires less click. There are pros and cons of both type of interface.

GNOME 3

Pros

  • Screen looks cleaner and slicker.

Cons

  • The workspace and shortcuts hides under the “Activities” menu. Extra click is require to launch your favorites.

GNOME 3 Fallback Mode

Pros

  • Your workspace and shortcuts are one click away.

Cons

  • The desktop looks more messy if you have created many shortcuts on the top bar.

Set GNOME 3 Fallback Mode as Default

For those who prefer to use the older looks of GNOME, you can force the system to run GNOME in Fallback mode.

Method 1

  • Select your username >> System Settings
  • Select System Info
  • Select Graphics (as shown) and set “Forced Fallback Mode” to ON

Method 2

  • Use the following command (single line):
$GSETTINGS_BACKEND=dconf gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.session session-name 
gnome-fallback
  • Logout from GNOME and login again

Additional Changes

  • Please note that regardless of which mode you are running, anything you place in the desktop folder will not appear in your desktop anymore.
  • To activate shutdown option, you need to click your username+Alt. The “Shutdown” option will replace “Suspend”.

Finally, I would like to note that I am still exploring GNOME 3. Your feedback is appreciated if I’ve made any errors. You can checkout the GNOME shell cheat sheet from here.


Configuring Adobe Flash Player for Chrome in Fedora 15 (Lovelock)

June 2, 2011

Update 14 Nov 2011

Adobe has release a 64-bit version of Flash Player Plugins. The installation is straight forward and simple. Most important, there is no additional tweaking required for Google Chrome. To install the latest Adobe Flash Player check out this post Install Adobe Flash Player (64-bit) on Fedora 16

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After installing Adobe Flash Player in Fedora 15, you’ll notice that you can watch YouTube video using Firefox but it wouldn’t work on Chrome. The following is the instruction for configuring Adobe Flash Player to work with Chrome browser.

  • Install Adobe Flash Player if you haven’t done so. You can follow the instruction from Installing Adobe Flash Player in Fedora 15 (Lovelock)
  • Open Firefox browser and test the player at least ONCE from YouTube or Adobe web site.
  • Create a folder using the command:
mkdir /opt/google/chrome/plugins
  • The next step is to configure a link for the Chrome browser. For 64-bit system, use the command (single line):
ln -s /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins-wrapped/nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so
/opt/google/chrome/plugins/nswrapper_32_64.libflashplayer.so
  • For 32-bit system use the following command (single line):
ln -s /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so 
/opt/google/chrome/plugins/libflashplayer.so
  • You can download a little automation script here. This script work on both 32-bit and 64-bit system.
  • You also need to give execution permission to the script using the command
    $sudo chmod +x <script name>
  • To run the script use the command:
    $sudo ./<script name>

***End***