It’s now a week since the new version of Fedora has been released. I have attempted to install it on three system, therefore I collected a bit of experience in the operation.Rewritable CDs sounded like a good idea to store my favorite distro, given that it pops up in a new release every 6-8 months. Unfortunately Fedora doesn’t seem to like this kind of media too much, especially for its disc #2. Quite puzzling you can burn all the ISO images without errors. The trouble hits you during the installation.
If you choose the GUI installer be prepared that in case of media error the installation is aborted. You have to fix the defect and restart from scratch. While the good ol’ text installer is more forgiving – when it stumbles against a media error it let you choose between retry or restart.
The first “guinea-pig” was my old office PC – a dual P3 at 733Mhz, 512M RAM, one SCSI 9G HD and one EIDE 30G HD.
By letting Fedora installer doing the disk partition, only the EIDE device was used. So I get back and manually reconfigured the disks. I put /boot, swap and /usr on the SCSI, and /home and /var on the EIDE.
I am not sure if Fedora doesn’t like booting from a SCSI when it has an EIDE disk available, or the rewriteable media provided damaged packages, but the result is that this machine isn’t able to boot.
The second candidate was my notebook (Celeron 433Mhz, with 192M RAM, 6G HD). Apart from installing in text mode and frying a new CD, I got the system up and running. Anyway I installed over the old system (Fedora Core 1) and used a backup for my data.
The third system was my home PC (AMD 2600, 1G RAM, 120G HD). This time I opted for an installation, without reformatting the disc. My intention was to preserve my home directory content. Unfortunately the installer didn’t get my intention right and installed the new system together with the old one. After the end-of-install-reboot I got a system with all RPMs duplicated. This messed the system up significantly. Apparently I got some of the old and some of the new configuration. I started to remove old RPMs by hand, but I fear it is not the Right Thing to do.
I recommend a new install with a formatted HD. An upgrade should do well, but I haven’t tried since in the past the upgrades I made worked fine, but left the system in an hybrid configuration – the new system content with the old system behavior/look.
I installed every RedHat version since 4 (maybe I installed 3 too) several times. I find that RH8/RH9 were easier to install than FC2. Maybe I have been just out of luck, but having an easier installation for RH rather than FC may be not so unintentional, since it would be quite a strong selling point.
I read on slashdot that FC seems to sport a number of defects and annoyances. Anyway I found a good faq site that should help a lot for my next installation and configuration twiddling.