View Full Version : Newbie question about installing Fedora 12

1st March 2010, 05:35 PM
Hello everyone,

I am trying to create a home theater PC (HTPC) and instead of going the way of windows to use media center, I wanted to try to learn this thing called Linux. So after reading about it and finding an old computer at my work, I am ready to install, but have run into some problems and hope that someone can help me here. I want to run Myth(TV) as my media center application and have it get media over a home LAN from a media drive. Here are the specks on the computer

Dell optiplex GX260
256MB RAM (Dual Inline Memory Module,256,266M,32X64M8K,184) (may get more in the future)
Processor,80531,1.8G,128K 400FSB,Celeron
Dell 32MB ATI Radeon 7500 AGP Graphics Card 6T974
250GB WD EIDE Drive (computer had drive removed at my work due to sensitive data, and I had this one lying around)
It was built about 4/4/2003

I found out that the DVD drive didn't work, so currently I have another one temporary patched that I have been able to run optical disks.

I have a 250GB drive installed that was zeroed out (wiped by writing 0's to all sectors) thus there is no operating system on this computer and I don't want to install any other type except a linux distribution at this time, just to keep things simple.

This computer is not connected to a network at this time and BIOS does not support booting from a USB source.

I downloaded Fedora-12-i686-Live.iso and burned it on to a CD-R and am able to run it although it is very slow. I am also in the process of getting the Fedora-12-i386-DVD.iso but it will be a few more hours to download.

After reading a lot of the documentation on line about disk partitions (Primary vs extended/logical) I have a basic understanding of the way data is located on a hard drive using Linux. I also understand that Linux needs several partitions to work, there is a great table located here that I have read (http://docs.fedoraproject.org/install-guide/f12/en-US/html/s2-diskpartrecommend-x86.html).

Here are my questions (and please remember that I am just smart enough to get into trouble otherwise I would not be trying to learn Linux :-)

1)If I run the live-CD (from the optical drive), should I make these partitions then chose to install to the hard drive or will clicking on install to hard drive then create the partitions I need?

2)There are many different partition types (http://docs.fedoraproject.org/install-guide/f12/en-US/html/ch-partitions-x86.html#tb-partitions-types-x86) and I am not sure which would work for my setup so wanted some input for choosing the right one. This machine will be hooked up to a LAN that is in my home through a typical wired router. My other computers run different versions of windows (XP Pro, Vista Premium). I do have a networked printer and network storage system (Linksys NAS200). My drives are all partitioned with NTFS (is NTFS the DOS 16-bit >=32).

While I have a few more questions, I'll save those as it might become clear as I proceed.

Thank you in advance


1st March 2010, 07:43 PM
First, I'd like to commend you for your willingness to foray into the world of Linux. That said, I worry that your hardware won't be able to provide the kind of performance one would hope for from an HTPC. I leave that to your own experience though. As for your questions...

1) Anaconda, the Fedora installer, can handle the partitioning for you. There's even an automagic approach to producing a workable partition table if you don't feel comfortable getting your hands dirty. If you have a need for specialized partitioning (it doesn't sound like you do, though) Anaconda can be as advanced or simple as you'd like for partitioning.

2) The filesystem types listed is a bit exhaustive and somewhat beyond the scope IMO of what a new user should need. For a general purpose Linux install, you'll really only need an ext2 boot partition, and a couple ext2/3/4 partitions for your data. The automagic Anaconda option I referenced above will produce a boot partition and a couple logical volumes (2 last time I used it).

Bonus Answer) NTFS and Samba are well supported these days under Linux. A couple years back, it was a different world but now your existing Windows computers will be able to interface well with your shiny Fedora box.

1st March 2010, 10:50 PM
If I were you I would double, at a minimum, your 256mb of memory before I even began. Particularly if Anaconda (the fedora installer) wants to do a text install rather than graphical - a text install is no longer merely a text version, it is a limited installation that requires considerably more work afterwards.

By all means give it a shot, but I really think your chances for fedora happiness would be better with a minimum of 512 mb of ram.

2nd March 2010, 05:33 AM
Thanks so much for the help. I have 2GB of ram coming before I start the install.

Is there anything else that I need to upgrade before I install? All this machine has to do is be able to pull data from a network drive and pass it through the S-video port to our CRT TV. We don't have HD TV.


2nd March 2010, 08:17 AM
Your cpu ought to be up to the task, and a quick forum search on ATI 7500 chips shows the main problem to be with 3D desktop effects, which shouldn't affect you. If you run into problems, there's always fedora forum. Good Luck!

7th March 2010, 06:30 AM
So I think that I am having a problem with my install. So I added 2gb of ram and when I try to install fedora from a DVD (i386), I run into a a problem when it get's to the drive partition point. The is a detailed log that I would love to have someone who knows fedora look at but I have a problem getting the report on to the web.

The computer that I am putting fedora on does not have access to the internet and still won't boot from the hard drive. Is there a way that I can recover this error file so that I can post to the forum? Where on the hard drive should I look? What do I do to copy it from the drive to a USB drive?


7th March 2010, 09:59 AM
As I recall, the default is LVM, RAM + 2GB /SWAP partition, then 200MB /BOOT partition and the rest to / (root) partition with both of the latter formatted Ext4 (I'm not certain what format /SWAP is).

And... Anaconda (that's the installer program's name) GIVEs you the option to change those partition choices.

Everything seems fine until you get done making the changes (say, a little larger /BOOT partition, and/or formatting everything except /SWAP to Ext3 instead), it writes the new partition table and formats, then when you click Next, the installer gets a fatal error and kicks you out... is that what you're seeing?

7th March 2010, 10:07 AM
Everything seems fine until you get done making the changes (say, a little larger /BOOT partition, and/or formatting everything except /SWAP to Ext3 instead), it writes the new partition table and formats, then when you click Next, the installer gets a fatal error and kicks you out... is that what you're seeing?

As I understand it, the OP uses the liveCD, so formatting "/" (root filesystem) to anything other than ext4 will result in an error. The problem is, that the liveCD itself uses ext4 and just copies the content to the hdd (thats why installation is so fast if you use a liveCD), but the drawback is that you have to use the same filesystem as on the liveCD, which is ext4.

7th March 2010, 08:24 PM
So I want to thank everyone for the help. It turned out that the DVD drive that I though worked, was not working all the time. So I hooked up a different one and the install went smoothly. Thanks. Now I have other issues that I will post and hopefully I will get those solved as well.