Trying to install and test Fedora 14 without success

Wow! I was off for a while and many things have been happened in this period. But it is a few days that I’m back. One of the first things that I decided to do was to start testing a new version of Fedora much sooner. So, for the first time I downloaded an Alpha version of Fedora DVD to test and report any bugs encountered.

I have a ThinkPad X61 laptop which doesn’t come with any DVD/CD drives. So, I usually install Fedora using Hard disk installation method. Before Fedora 12 (IIRC), hard disk installation was only supported using ext or Fat partitions. Also, it doesn’t support installing from LVM partitions. As a result, I had a 10GB non-LVM ext3 partition solely for this purpose which was really annoying considering my 120GB hard disk. Fortunately, in Fedora 12 and 13 hard disk installation from NTFS partitions was supported, so I happily removed the 10GB ext3 partition and added it to the pole of LVM physical volumes (I have a NTFS partition for my Windows OS, and I put Fedora DVD iso images for installation there).

Well, I downloaded Fedora 14 Alpha iso and started the installation… but after selecting the desired partition and images directory, the installer simply stopped doing anything! I tried playing with different options and trying again, but with no progress. So, I filled this bug and it was discovered that this problem occurs only in NTFS partitions and not in ext4. Unfortunately, it seems that this bug is considered not-important just because that the documentation (which is outdated IMHO) says that only installation from ext and fat partitions are supported (has anybody still FAT partitions in his hard disk?!! or people should stop using LVM?).

IMHO, if hard disk installation is going to remain a really “useful” option, it should at least support either installation from LVM partitions or NTFS partitions.

Following that bug report, I decided to try installing from an ext4 partition. Fortunately, my 120GB hard disk is replaced with a 500GB hard disk and I use the 120G hard disk as an external USB hard disk. I had not touched its partition table since the replacement and retained its contents for backup purposes. However, for this test I was forced to create an ext4 partition and try to install from it. This time, I could advance in the installation process past the partitioning section.

I found two nice tweaks in the installer compared to older versions:

1. It correctly detects my Windows partition and does not try to use my sda1 (which is my recovery partition) as my Windows partition to boot from.

2. In the date/time configuration window, the “System clock uses UTC” option is not checked by default (apparently because it knows that I have a Windows installed and this option is not appropriate for dual boot systems who use Windows).  This was one of the things that I always noted to almost everybody who wanted to try installing Fedora, as almost all of them wanted to install it beside their Windows.

But, when I was going to be presented with the software selection window, this bug was encountered (which is apparently duplicate of this bug). Therefore, I was unable to install Fedora 14 Alpha.

Unfortunately, the bugs are still present in Fedora 14 Beta RC2 (thanks to delta isos I was able to jump over different releases with not too much download) and it seems that they’ll be in Fedora 14 Beta release too. Considering the comments in both bugs, I’m afraid that they’ll be taken seriously for Fedora 14 final release; which means that I might be able to install Fedora 14 on my system from hard disk which would be a considerable regression in my point of view.  (Yes, certainly I can setup a server on another system and install from network (if it still works though!), but that’s really undesirable. And I don’t like to buy an external DVD drive just for this purpose!

Well, not a very interesting experience of trying Fedora early pre-relaeses! But if it’s just for the pre-release versions, it’s still nice. I’m afraid of encountering the same problems in the final release… 😦

OK, that was too much! I did other things too. First, I decided to once again tray to have a look at what’s annoying in PackageKit for me, and report the problems in a reasonable way. The result was a set of bug reports and a patch (30251, 30276, 30284, 30252 and 30240) which will hopefully make Fedora package management system a bit more pleasant for some of us (usually people who doesn’t have a fast internet access). Three of the bugs are already fixed (thanks Richard) and I hope that the other 2 will be fixed soon. Now, PackaeKit should correctly support split media repositories (e.g. Fedora installation CDs in addition to Fedora installation DVDs) and be more well behaved in some scenarios.

Second, I’ve also joint Fedora Localization team to contribute a little to Fedora Persian translation.

And finally, I’m starting my work on yum which I talked about it about 3 months ago! Who knows, maybe I can make it a Fedora 16 feature 😛


11 responses to this post.

  1. If you are using windows then I would recommend that you use a VM to install and test alpha builds. Alpha builds can cause damage to hardware and are only advised for VMs. I have little experience with Fedora only that quality is a higher priority than UI. If your hardware is incapable of running a VM (dual core systems are really a minimum for this and twice as much ram as you need) then you should wait until at lease the beta. If you really must install the alpha do so using the USB method. I know fedora offers a USB installer so you can run it from the USB and install it.


  2. Not a problem…


  3. Posted by fedored on September 28, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Fedora’s usb-installation-media creator for Windows seems not to work with usb memory stick 4 gb and up. It expects the usb memory stick to be formatted and seems to write fedora installation media on it, it boots but then it doesn’t work. It just rolls data on screen…

    That is strange. Sure keeps many Windows users away from fedora.


    • The best thing somebody can do in these situations to help in Linux progress is to report bugs. It would be great if you can put some time and report this as a bug. I wonder if it is a general problem with any flash bigger than 4G or not. BTW, I’ll try to do it and if I saw the bug I’ll report it myself 🙂 Thank you for letting me know.


      • Posted by Vadim on October 3, 2010 at 1:57 am

        I confirm that Fedora 14 Beta doesn’t start from USB stick 4GB *AND* – changing it to 2GB stick doesn’t help.

        I was using LIveUSB Creator for making bootable USB sticks.
        In contrast, Fedora 13 was booting from USB on the same PC without any problem.

      • IIRC, F14 beta had some known issues with booting from usb. I’ll look to see if it covers your problem. If not, I’ll report the problem.

  4. Posted by Rakesh on November 13, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    guys i amm a learner and a lover of linux i am not able to install fedora 13/14 on my lappy
    i have a toshiba satellite pro c650 model which just a month old
    it’s saying that
    the prots are not supported ………it’s not even recognising my hdd
    i already have win xp
    and fedora 11 on it
    help me out what would be the problem
    errors r more r less like these
    usb port not accepting address
    error -110
    and so on
    guys please help out


    • I’ve searched a little and it seems that nobody have reported this problem with newer kernels (specially, you should not see this in Fedora 14). So, if you do; please report a new bug in redhat bugzilla or else, you’ll probably see this problem in future releases too.


  5. Posted by Tom Liakos on December 26, 2010 at 1:13 am

    First and foremost:
    Thanks for the blog post..

    I tried installing from USB (FC14)=> No joy, no love.
    Issues I ran into =>
    o Can confirm that Live-USB Creator works, albeit working…You will definitely run into SYSLINUX versioning issues – If you base install the iso onto the thumb drive it will just hang at Menu. My work around was to manually update syslinux to the most up to date version.

    o Once it began to boot the usual installation setup seems to function. I then went into tty2 and overviewed dmesg and noticed mounting issues with /dev/sdaN -> This is somewhat odd since the output from df -h shows the devices mounted have syslinux/boot, and so on mounted to the appropriate devices. Only thing I did find odd is that the /boot dir. in syslinux was unreadable and had an i/o (permission) error – and supposed bad blocks. I tried to overlook it and went back to attempting to finalize and format/install.

    o Installation: It begins to create the lvm and prep the hdd to install the /boot & filesystem. It then hangs and throws an error to make sure that the installation boot is mounted to the hdd.

    o Tried to confirm sdaN has the appropriate mount and attempted to retry. No luck.

    Still figuring it out and will report back via reply and in my wiki/blog.



    • Hmmm, personally I’ve used my LiveUSB but not installed it. I’ll also try to install it virtually to see if I can reproduce the same problems. Have you find other people with the same issue?

      Good luck!


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