View Full Version : Documentation on installing fedora manually (wizard-less)?
25th April 2010, 03:38 PM
Let me first introduce myself so as to avoid any misunderstanding. I'm a Gentoo user, i.e. I'm used to installing everything by hand and to know exactly what I'm doing. I would hence like to keep the same level of control over Fedora. I am a Fedora n00b BTW but I'm no more a Linux beginner (begun Linux with Gentoo in 2004).
Is there anywhere a documentation on how to install Fedora manually, topic-specific, like install the base system, install a graphical environment, change system settings (console fonts, network management components, aso), in short a documentation that would expose how to get into Fedora and its specificities compared to other distros?
I'm currently lost at the installation guide (http://docs.fedoraproject.org/install-guide/f12/en-US/html/) after I installed the base system. There are zillions of topics but the ones I read don't apply to installing a system by hand on the console. The installation guide mostly assumes you have a graphical interface but a) I don't and b) I hate wizards and GUIs because I never know in details what I'm doing.
The first issue I have is the network; dhclient is run by Network Manager but doesn't send the host name to the DHCP server (actually dnsmasq) to the FQDN of my Fedora machine is left unknown. I have changed all configuration files I guessed would be read by Network Manager but dhclient still doesn't uses the host name with DHCP.
The second issue is about console font. I have installed Terminus font for the console and changed sysconfig appropriately in /etc/sysconfig/i18n but the latter a) seems to be overwritten somehow and b) not to be taken into account when I reboot.
My last question is about Apache. On Debian and Gentoo there is a directory dedicated to configuration files for virtual hosts. Debian even has separate directories for modules and sites, as well as for modules/sites that are defined but not active. Does Fedora have an equivalent or am I free to create my own?
Finally is there somewhere a documentation that is console-specific for console freak beginners?
Thanks in advance.
EDIT: As for the font problem I've grep'ed /etc/ and finally found something about the SYSFONT kernel argument. I've changed it in grub.conf but ter-v16b still is not set. I've then changed /etc/sysconfig/i18n again, still no way. The console font is set to ter-v16b *only* when I press the Escape key while Fedora is booting :confused: -- hence disabling the boot splash screen. If I let it go till the login prompt appears, the console font remains unchanged! Go figure...
EDIT: The network issue seems solved. I've had to type in the FQDN of the host so that the host name is used with DHCP... Weird but I admit :D .
25th April 2010, 05:59 PM
Heh. Welcome to Fedora. If you're used to Gentoo, you'll probably be spending a lot of time in disbelief.
Fedora doesn't really believe in the console. It's aimed at the desktop user and will fight your efforts to take control of your system.
It is aimed more at people who plan to boot into X, and don't know that doing so as root has hazards (so its default installation, with Gnome and GDM doesn't allow root login).
Somewhere on these forums, there are some posts by stevea about minimal installations which might be of use.
(Sorry, no time to search right now, try searching the forum for minimal install and username stevea).
25th April 2010, 07:23 PM
I don't know where to find a pretty tutorial about it. Sorry. But it's not hard to describe or do. For example, you can choose to do the text mode installation (add the text boot option (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Anaconda/Options)), and that will do two things: 1) present a text-based non-graphical interface to deal with, and 2) do a true minimal installation. It will be over in a couple of minutes and reboot to a runlevel 3 login prompt. No desktop. No X. Only enough things to get connected to the Internet and use yum to install other packages. At this point, you can use yum to install entire package groups or or single packages until you have exactly what you want. I started installing Fedora this way when Fedora 9 came with its extra share of initial problems. I never stopped since.
P.S.: The Micro Fedora thread by stevea that smr54 mentioned is probably overkill for what you want to do, but here it is anyway...http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=190084
26th April 2010, 02:12 AM
One issue though, with a text based install, is that one can no longer specify partitioning (or packages) RedHat, somewhat amusingly, to my admittedly jaundiced point of view, refers to it as simplifying and streamlining the textmode installation.
(The textmode installation used to give you all the flexibility of a GUI installation, so, again, admitting that I have a rather jaundiced point of view, I would replace simplified with crippled.)
My own PS. Stoat, if you have time and inclination, how do you deal with the partitions with that--just take the default?
26th April 2010, 02:21 AM
What is the default partitioning layout of the text install? Do you know it? I've never installed that way. I always do the graphical installation and uncheck all of the packages to do a minimal install. I mentioned the text install above because I knew it did the minimal installation, and I thought VinzC might like all that. But if the text install doesn't allow for a custom partition layout and does, say, an LVM layout by default, then that would not work for me.
26th April 2010, 03:15 AM
Darned if I remember. I do it the way you do it. I think the choices are remove all partitions and do default or use existing free space. You can not specify the layout, of that, at least, I am sure.
Back to the OP, to elaborate on Stoat's explanation, I believe the latest version offers, aside from desktop, server, and other choices, a checkbox for Minimal installation. If the version you are using does not have that, then you have to just uncheck *all* choices, including base system. (The base system section has a few subsections, including one of base--you can uncheck that as well.)
As Stoat says, that does only require a few minutes and will give you a fairly Gentoo-ish type installation, though it does start several services by default.
26th April 2010, 11:29 AM
Thank you all for your feedback.
I indeed installed the system with the Net install image and am rather happy with how the beast did partition the disk. It uses LVM even for root, making an initial ramdisk required for booting; I did want that. [Had I wanted something different, then I'd have been screwed maybe :D -- but ok, that did not happen.]
I did also check all options I understood to make it a base system from the net install. Looks like there are still a couple of packages I do not want, like Xorg plus some other graphic tools but I think I might clean them later on.
smr54, I hope you're kidding saying Fedora is desktop oriented and doesn't allow easily for controlling one's system :confused: ? (Since Linux is all about control, reducing control is like... ) Don't all GUI tools have a console equivalent? Or even an equivalent set of console commands?
Just one more thing: can the installer be launched again to select between package categories afterwards? If I want to install, say, a graphical environment with login and stuff and my system is text-based, will I be able to check only a few options (like «Gnome desktop» and «GDM») so the installer brings all the required packages and dependencies?
26th April 2010, 12:00 PM
No, I'm not kidding. Coming from systems like Gentoo, I think you will be unpleasantly surprised, but I do, as I have stated, have a very jaundiced view. Most of their decisions can be over ruled one way or another, but be prepared to do research if you want to do so.
There is a GUI package manager that will do what you ask afterwards. (I think---I've not used it.) You can also use the command line--if you type
It will give a list of the package groups. If you do yum grouplist -v it will give a long name and a short name--for example, you'll see something like
Development Tools (development-tools)
Then you can add that group by either type
yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'
or, more easily
yum install @development-tools
Note that the Graphic package manager doesn't need any authentication to upgrade already installed packages--none of those pesky passwords. Any user at the console can upgrade any signed package.
26th April 2010, 01:54 PM
smr54, I hope you're kidding saying Fedora is desktop oriented and doesn't allow easily for controlling one's system :confused: ? (Since Linux is all about control, reducing control is like... ) Don't all GUI tools have a console equivalent? Or even an equivalent set of console commands?I don't disagree with smr54 often, but I do sort of in this case. A number of distributions including Fedora seem to be going down the path toward coddling the user and protecting the user from his own indiscretions.
But you're right that there is a still a console equivalent to pretty much all GUI tools. If one doesn't want to use system-config-firewall, there's still iptables on the CLI. If one doesn't want to use that PackageKit nonsense, remove it (I do) and use yum from the command line like a man. :p If one doesn't want to use that flaky system-config-samba, open up a terminal and dive into editing /etc/samba/smb.conf. And on down the line...
Still, there are a few trends, such as the fact that you can't log into a root session of X without first beating GDM into submission. Sure, logging into a root GUI session is silliness incarnate as far as I'm concerned, but there's still the implicit you-must-be-protected-from-yourself assumption.
There are a few other examples of how Fedora has been declawed by default but they're evading my memory (other than little stuff like obnoxiously aliasing rm to 'rm -i'). Perhaps that means they're not so terribly grievous.
26th April 2010, 08:22 PM
I'm not sure we're disagreeing, but if we are, I'd recommend the OP take Tom's view over mine. He has a better and more flexible mind.
My point isn't that it's impossible, but that as I said, it is desktop oriented--and as Tom states, this is a growing trend.
I do think that it is becoming harder to avoid using some packgaes, and that it fights you if you go against many of the defaults.
As the OP is used to Gentoo, I'll be curious as to their reaction after awhile with Fedora.
26th April 2010, 08:44 PM
I'm not sure we're disagreeing...
Well, perhaps not disagreeing, but put it this way -- it's "easier" to make Fedora stop coddling the end user than it is to get, say, Ubuntu to stop the coddling.
26th April 2010, 09:59 PM
Hrrm, I'd agree with that, actually.
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