Howto: install Fedora® 13

This is a  simple walk through on how to install Fedora® 13.
I presume that you already have Windows installed on your system.   This is not intended for laptops.  If you find that this procedure works for your laptop,  great.  Laptops have a wide variety of wireless devices that can be difficult to configure and are beyond the scope of this walk through.

1) First determine whether you would prefer the 32 bit or 64 bit version. If you are uncertain, select the 32 bit version.  If your system is less than 2 years old, you could install the 64 bit version for added performance.  If your system does not have an AMD or Intel Core 2 Duo or newer processor, use the 32 bit version.

2) Download the .iso file for the installation:

Download for 32 bit version

Download for 64 bit version

3) Once you have downloaded the .iso file you will need to burn the .iso to a DVD.
You can not use a CD burner for this. You must have a DVD burner, and a DVD burner program, such as Nero, Roxio Easy CD and DVD creator, or Nero Lite.

4) Next you need to boot your system using the DVD you created in step 3. Most systems allow you to press F8 (some use F2 and some systems require changing the default boot devices in the BIOS) during boot for the boot menu options. Then select your DVD drive from the menu. Next you will be prompted to either check the DVD for errors or skip forward to begin installation. It is always a good idea to check the media of the DVD the first time you use it.  This will verify the DVD was burned correctly and has the necessary files for the installation. If the DVD integrity check fails toss it in the trash. Repeat step 3.

5) After you have verified the DVD successfully, you will be prompted for the language you prefer, a root password and your time zone selections.  If you are planning to dual boot between Windows and Fedora, be sure to deselect the system uses NTC time box.

6) Next up you will be presented with a choice of which drive types. Standard is the default choice. Next a menu will offer various partitioning schemes.   I always choose CUSTOM.  Then the partitioning menu will be presented. A standard SATA or IDE drive can have 4 primary partitions maximum. Your system may have 2 partitions already.  One for Windows and one for a recovery partition. DO NOT modify the recovery partition.  Select the custom layout and then re-size your OS partition to a smaller size. This is done to create the room for a new partition for the Fedora installation. I use EXT4 to format the new partition and create a separate swap file partition.  Fedora requires a lot less hard drive space than Windows does.
I create a  Fedora EXT4 partition between 20G- 100G. Your swap partition needs to be roughly the size of the amount of ram of your computer. When in doubt make the swap partition 8G. There is very limited value in making a swap partition larger than 8G unless you have 16G of RAM.  A typical Fedora 13 installation will only occupy about 4-8G of hard drive space.

7) After you have set up your partitions, you will be prompted for the installation type. If you accept the defaults, gnome will be installed as your desktop manager.  I prefer KDE as my desktop manager. I often leave gnome installed in case KDE has a problem.

8) The installation should begin and may take approximately 45 minutes.  You will not be prompted again, until the installation is complete.

9) Once the install is done there will be a reboot now button.  Press it.

10) When your system reboots after the installation, you will boot directly to Fedora the first time and be prompted to create a user name and password and select your time zone and send system hardware data to Fedora.  After you reboot again, you should see a prompt saying booting to, then either Fedora or Other or Windows. You can press the up and down arrows at that point to select which Operating system to boot into.

Congratulations you now have a system that will dual boot Windows and Fedora.

Fedora 13 is ready

Most software is released before it is ready for prime time.   If you have used computers for any length of time you may have encountered some of the issues as a result.  An icon that is a question mark.  The blue screen of WindowsME® at a trade show.   The sluggish reboot.  And so on.

Many seasoned network administrators wait a considerable time to embrace new versions of operating systems.
When implementing Microsoft® server software, I often recommend waiting for the first service pack.

Cost and time issues typically prevent a thorough and complete error free build on release day.  Fedora® 13 still had several issues on release day.   As a result of the latest updates I find that I have only one minor issue with Fedora 13  x64 at this time.   The issue only effects Intel® Core i3, i5, and i7 based processors.    This issue is a minor nag error message at boot time that does not have any actual impact on system stability or performance.   It is merely an annoyance.  The error is:

alg: hash: Failed to load transform for ghash-clmulni

All of the applications and daemons that I use on my workstations and servers are behaving well. The performance of the current kernel is fast and stable. If you have been waiting to try Fedora, this may be a good time to take the plunge.

If you like Ubuntu, you are going to love 10.04.

The interface is clean and neat.  The installation is fast and smooth.  I installed Kubuntu 10.04 last night.   I was pleasantly surprised.

Some of the new features include Grub 1.98, plasma support, removal of HAL, and so on.   If you like Ubuntu, you will love 10.04.

Personally I always have a feeling of missing half of the things I need when I use Ubuntu.    I miss su, Administration controls,  and various little things  that are readily available with Fedora builds.

I still test most of the major versions of Linux when they release.  Some releases are ready, some feel rushed. some are just not ready.   10.04 Lynx feels like it is ready.   10.04 is a Long Term Support version.   This means updates will be available for a minimum of  three years for the operating system.

My criterion for valid benchmarks.

Recently I have fielded many inquiries related to building the fastest servers available.

So, in reply. I am publishing the list of criterion I adhere to. These are requirements for the server systems that I build and sell for production web or file servers. My standards of quality and moral values in this regard will not waiver based on the lure of easy wealth or time constraints. If I do not have the time to focus the requisite attention on building a server right, it will not be built. I will not cut corners on quality. I build each server by hand. I build each system in Long Beach, California. All sales are direct from Evanscomputers.com. If you find a system for sale with my name on it elsewhere, it’s either used (not likely), or an imitation.

1. Stock and reasonably available production parts. Using prototype parts is out of the question. Engineering samples are legitimate if you can later reproduce the result with a production part.
2. Standard clock speeds. Overclocking may be a wonderful option for a gaming system. When you plan to use the system as a production server, that has to be online and operational 24×7 365 days of the year ( or as close to that as possible ) overclocking is not an option. Not to mention that it voids your warranties for the processor and motherboard in most cases.
3. A reproducible production grade build of the system. If you spend 25 hours modifying the system and can not reproduce that with every server you manufacture for sale to your clients, it does not apply.
4. An off the shelf operating system. If you modify the operating system for the benchmark results, and you can not or will not do so for your production systems, it would not apply. If it is a tuning or selection of components that you can and do reproduce for a production system, that’s perfectly acceptable. See rule 2.
5. Reproducible results of the benchmark. If you perform the benchmark once and can not reproduce the results using the same criterion again, using the same production grade system, it is not a valid benchmark.
6. Test tools that are readily available and produce consistent results. I personally prefer Phoronix Test Suite. The tests are standardized and produce consistent results for the same versions of the software. There are other test suites available that provide consistent reliable benchmark results.
7. A system that is configured correctly and securely for a production server environment. SELinux or equivalent enabled in enforcing targeted mode at the very least.

All that said, when following the above guidelines, I build the fastest servers that exist. Faster than Dell 2, 4, 8 or even 16 core servers. Faster than Fujitsu-Siemens Dual Xeons. Faster than even HP Proliant servers. I do not build the least expensive servers available, only the best.

For a listing of the results, the best, the worst, and the mediocre, of my benchmarking results visit:
Phoronix Evanscomputers.com Results

I am never the fastest for every benchmark. I am usually the fastest for Super-Pi and Apache-Build benchmarks. I do get bested on occasion. Currently I am the fastest for Super-Pi to 1 Million digits using the criterion stated above with results that are consistently reproducible and published at Phoronix. Dealer inquiries are not welcome here. Comments and your business are! : )

Windows 7 x64 Enterprise edition!

For my new workstation, I installed the 64 bit version of Windows 7 Enterprise edition.

Install from start to first log in took 15 minutes.

System reboot from pressing shutdown to seeing the clock on the desktop 34 seconds!

The install is currently occupying  12.6G of hard drive space on my Intel X25-M SSD.  That includes all of the latest Windows updates and:  Adobe reader and Flash, Amaya, Firefox, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1, Sun JRE and Windows Live Essentials.

I am reasonably impressed by the performance of Windows 7 Enterprise edition on the new workstation.  If you must use a Windows operating system, Windows 7 is a pretty decent choice.  Be sure to purchase the 64bit version of Windows 7 Professional.

Windows 7 technical review release to expire soon

Just a reminder that the Windows 7 technical review release ends in two weeks.  Time to weigh the alternatives.   I planned to re-install Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit.   On doing so today I found that the OS takes up 30G of hard drive real estate after you apply all of the latest updates.  This is not an acceptable solution on the 37G partition of my SSD that was occupied by Windows 7 Ultimate(approximately 9G).  I installed XP Pro 64bit.  Takes a scant 9.22G of space with all the software I typically use installed and the latest updates applied.  It boots in less than 20 seconds too!

Rawhide nears Alpha

I have recently been putting the Fedora rawhide software through it’s paces. This is the software that will become Fedora 13 in June. At this point it is nearly feature complete. While it runs very smoothly on most platforms, the latest update of the glib2 package creates real problems with Nvidia chipset based motherboards. The update renders USB keyboards and mice inoperative at the launch of kdm. This leaves a system without any form of input device. This issue has not existed for Intel and Via based chipset motherboards. This issue required serious isolation testing.

Now my F13 testing platforms rattle and hum. I will have to compile some benchmarks comparing Fedora 12 to Rawhide soon.

Fedora 12 officially released. Not ready for prime time.

Fedora 12 officially released a few days ago. Today I downloaded the latest bits and installed it. Then I went through the typical process of installing the programs I use and updating all the packages.

If you want to use the Nvidia or Fusion Nvidia drivers there are some new steps involved with installing the driver. For details visit the Fedora Forum
I found that with the Fusion driver my system was very sluggish compared to Fedora 11. When I use the Fedora Nouveau driver I lose GLX direct rendering.

My first impression is that Fedora 12 did not obtain thorough testing for this release.

For now, I will continue to use Fedora 11. Your mileage may vary.