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LinuxLinks Fedora 7 Review (page 2)
LinuxLinks Review
By Kevin E. Glosser


Fedora 7 is available at no cost. There are three ways to download it, BitTorrent, Fedora mirror sites or network install. I used a BitTorrent client and then burned the ISO image to DVD with GNOME's built-in burning software. Burning an ISO in GNOME is as easy as right clicking on a file in the Nautilus file browser. There's no installation or configuration required. The ability to burn CD's or DVD's has been included in GNOME for a while, but I had to mention how much I like it. Next up, I booted from the DVD, ran the included check utility to test the DVD, and launched the graphical (text is available) component of the installer.

Anaconda is Red Hat's installation tool. It's graphical component is designed so even a novice user can effortlessly install the operating system. As long the default settings are selected, it reaches that goal nicely. Should a user decide to manually manage their partitions however, confusion may arise. Even those familiar with Fedora might find themslves wondering what to choose when prompted for partition choice. Disk Druid, a tool to partition and format the hard drive, handles the actual chores.  However, the installer creates confusion by asking an ambiguous question prior to launching it. There were four options, none of them being what I thought was desired. I wanted to keep my existing partitions, but not format all of them. This led to me choosing “create custom layout” from the list. Although this seemed contrary to what I wanted, it did launch Disk Druid and allow me to make the choices I wanted. When I finally selected the partitions to format, I received a nice warning message, however. By default, it appears the installer will create it's own partition setup wiping the hard drive. Although, if you were to create your own “spin” of Fedora 7, you could change that. You could make the default to keep existing partitions, for example. I'll get into “spins” and the tools that allow you to build your own custom version of Fedora 7 later.

The rest of the installer options were few and fairly self explanatory. Normally, I choose exactly the packages I want installed. However, this time I decided to go with pretty much the default, to see what that included. My only modifications were to add the office and software development package categories while removing the web server software. It took fifteen minutes for Anaconda to navigate me through the choices and another twenty minutes for the formatting and installation of the 1007 packages to complete. On a newer computer, I'd expect this to be a lot faster.

The installation went smoothly, as expected. Of note, during installation every single piece of hardware in my computer was detected accurately, including my not so common monitor. I have a 19” SONY G420 Multiscan monitor that no operating system has ever detected correctly. Post install, everything was configured properly and working. The only thing I didn't like about the post install desktop was the resolution, set at a high 1920x1440. I was surprised such a high resolution would be chosen by the installer. I'll give Anaconda the benefit of the doubt that it detected an unusual video card / monitor combination. The “first boot” utility reminded me I had enabled the firewall and set SELinux to enforcing mode. I was asked to submit my hardware profile to the SMOLT project, and I did. This is totally optional of course. After creating a user account and performing a sound test, the installation process was complete. Let's check out the desktop...

Flying High with Fedora

Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Installation
3. Flying High with Fedora
4. 3D Desktops and the default software lineup
5. Fedora and the Free Software Movement
6. Making your own version of Fedora
7. Final thoughts

Last Updated Sunday, August 05 2007 @ 04:22 AM EDT

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