Thursday, October 13, 2011

Installing Fedora Core 15 "Lovelock"

I've had a DVD for Fedora Core 15 for some time now but somehow never got around to trying it out. Since Ubuntu 11.10 is almost out and Fedora Core 16 Beta is well under way, I'd better get this out of the way first.

So, I'll be running this in VirtualBox as usual. Fedora Core looks nice, but I'm not sure I'm ready to give up on Ubuntu just yet. I've left everything in the VirtualBox VM at defaults except for the hard disk. That's set to 20GB dynamically sized.

Here goes...

Fedora Core 15 DVD boot splash
The boot splash is pretty standard fare. Start the installation and you'll be asked to verify the disc you're booting from. It's generally a good idea to check the media. You wouldn't want to get stuck with a half-installed system. That's just useless.

After the media check succeeds, the installation goes through the usual country and keyboard selection.

Device type? Looks pretty newbie un-friendly
Then comes the install device type page. This is something you don't see in Ubuntu. Since Fedora Core eventually graduates to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), I guess it's unavoidable. You'll get a warning if the installer can't detect any partitions on the device when you proceed. Proceed with caution.

Next, you go through network configuration, time zone selection, root password settings and installation type. It should be reasonable to assume a automatically configured network nowadays but maybe it's just one of those enterprise things that require manual network configuration during OS installations. Ubuntu just auto-detects your network.

Hmm... which should I choose?
One of the things that put off a lot of users is the need to select packages during an install. New comers won't know what they want anyway so it's going to be confusing for some. Of course, there's always people who like to configure things to death who'd just love the choices available. I'd rather a reasonably slim default installation that I get to customise later as I go.

Installation in progress. This one's pretty long
The first pass of the installation. Yes, Fedora Core has more to setup after you finish and reboot.

Booting Fedora Core 15 for the first time
The boot splash for Fedora Core 15 looks pretty interesting. Can't say I've seen anything similar before. We'll then get to finish up the installation process.

2nd pass of the installation

Amazingly you get to read the End User License Agreement after you've already essentially installed the system. Also, you'll need to setup date and time settings. This really looks like something they could've asked when they asked for your time zone.

User login. FC15 clearly uses Gnome Shell
Once you get past all that, you'll finally see the login screen.

The desktop at last. It's in fallback mode, though
Unfortunately, VirtualBox doesn't seem to have support for hardware acceleration right now. At least, it doesn't seem to support Gnome Shell. Maybe I just need VirtualBox Additions installed, but that doesn't seem to want to install.

Installing Fedora Core isn't really hard. Just stick to the defaults when you're not sure; it's pretty sane defaults for the average user. The network doesn't auto-connect though. Maybe it's just because it's running in a virtual environment.

On a side note, Shotwell really sucks in cropping. I find the crop selection box rather more frustrating to use than just selecting like you normally do in The Gimp. Maybe it's just be, but it seems much harder to crop to just the dimensions you want.

Well, in any case, I think Ubuntu needs a better basic image editor. That'd help. A lot.