Fedora 8 Installation

I'd decided that since I had an Intel Core 2 Duo, that it would be a good idea to make use of it's full potential.  So I figured that Fedora 8 x86_64 would be something worth a try.

Originally, when I got this particular machine, it was before Fedora 8 had been released.  Initially I had wanted to install Fedora 7, but had problems because of a busybox issue - due to the disk controller driver not being loaded when booting from the CD/DVD.  I had tried to get it going, but it wouldn't do it.  Ubuntu 7.04 was the same.  I'd also checked CentOS, and whilst it had gotten further and actually booted correctly, I still couldn't see the disk to be able to install.  The only thing that would work for me was Gentoo 2007.0.  I didn't really fancy going on a big distro hunt to try and find something else that would work and, well, I like Gentoo and use it a lot.  I also tend to like to update regularly, and sometimes Gentoo can be a little problem in this area - at least with OpenOffice.  You're looking at about 4 hours to compile OpenOffice on my particular machine.  My last machine was 24 hours, or you could download the 1GB OpenOffice-bin package to save the compilation, albeit a 1GB download.

Gentoo 2007.0 when I installed it was x86, but I could have done x86_64, just that I didn't.  Later, I found I couldn't upgrade it, it would mean a clean install and go through all the compiling process again.  So I hung fire.  Then Fedora 8 came out, as well as Ubuntu 7.10.  I downloaded the Fedora 8 DVD, and when I booted from it I had a problem.  The machine booted OK, but when it came to install, it couldn't find my DVD media for some bizarre reason.  It could see the hard disk fine though.  This annoyed me a little as I figured I'd just wasted downloading 4GB of DVD only to find I couldn't install.  I downloaded Ubuntu 7.10, and this booted OK.  I then downloaded the Fedora Live DVD and tested this.  This also booted OK, and all hardware was recognised.  I was thinking, if I can get this installed, then I'll be OK.

This is where I experimented a little.  I burnt the boot.iso from the Fedora 8 DVD for my laptop to use.  I then mounted the Fedora 8 DVD iso on another machine using the loop feature and got vsftpd to use his under anonymous access.  So, if you're wanting to do this or having similar problems to me:

Edit /etc/vsftpd.conf or /etc/vsftpd/vsftpd.conf depending on where it's located on your particular Linux install.  Ensure you have:

anonymous_enable=YES
anon_root=/mnt/iso

The reason why I have anon_root set to /mnt/iso, is because this is where I will mount the Fedora DVD.

mkdir /mnt/iso
mount -o loop Fedora-8-x86_64-DVD.iso /mnt/iso
/etc/init.d/vsftpd start

The last line starts vsftpd for you.  Alternatively, if vsftpd is running, just restart it to enable the changes you've just accepted.  Test using gftp or similar on anonymous access to see that you can see the file listing in readiness for the install.  If not, check it and find out why.  For me, it worked immediately.

Now, all I did was boot my laptop from the CD I burnt with the boot.iso image.  It asked me for the type of install, I chose the network option for ftp.  You then just give the ip address of the machine that you mounted the Fedora 8 iso for use during the install.  The reason I did this, is because I didn't want to end up downloading from the internet again all the packages, which I already have on the DVD.  Plus, if I can do it locally, then it's much faster!

A short while later (I forget how long), I had my Fedora 8 x86_64 installation :-)

Alternatively, I could have just downloaded the Fedora Live DVD initially to test and check my machine to see if it would work.  I could have completed the install from this, but I really didn't fancy it.  I didn't know how minimal my installation would be, plus how long it would take to download whatever other packages it required from the internet.  In hindsight, maybe it's better to download this first and test.  But, even with this I wouldn't have known about the CD/DVD drive problem until I'd downloaded and checked the DVD install.  But, at least there is a way, regardless of what you downloaded.