Linux Milestone – My Intro to NetInstall
Wow, I have been totally blown away today with what i’ve learned from my good friend Mr. Linux, my nickname for him is Fedora. Basically; I was having a problem installing the latest release of Fedora 10 through the DVDs I burned (32 and 64 bit). I thought all was lost, I literally thought that I would miss out on Fedora 10 and catch up with it next time on Fedora 11. Thanks to the good folks in the #fedora IRC chatroom (shout out to elfstone) – he gave me the idea and provided the path to do my first internet install of an operating system. “Oh Fedora, how I love thee!”
It’s Like Woah!
It started a couple days ago with the release of Fedora 10. I was eagerly excited about it as I heard that the new features are well worth it. I started the torrent that night and let it ride till morning. I made my lazy-man backups of the most important [dot] folders onto my data partition and rebooted with the intent to install Fedora 10. Well; that didn’t happen! After the splash screen asking what I wanted to do, I chose “Install/Upgrade Fedora”, and I was sent to a non-gui install screen. I thought that was a bit odd. It’s not even the nice text-based installer, it looked like some ol’ DOS attempt at a graphical interface. After a few prompts it informed me that it needed a device driver. I tried to choose a driver, but none of the options looked familiar.
After playing with it, rebooting a couple times and writing down some of the options I went to the #fedora chat room to try and get some help. All-in-all, someone told me that my hard drive controller probably isn’t supported. They instructed me on filing a bug report at http://bugzilla.redhat.com. It was categorized as a kernel issue. I waited a couple days, but nothing was done with the report. A small part of me was hurt. “What will I do now!?” I thought to myself, “Will I miss out on this release and wait for the next release for the kernel issue to be fixed? I really want to experience the new features of GNOME 2.2.4.”
Late Night, Early Morning
My wife and I were up till around 1:00 AM, we watched “Final Fantasy: Spirits Within” on DVD. Leeanne and Alex were already asleep and Monica was kind of up and about. So; I did what I could to handle her. Since I’m finishing this article a couple days later I no longer remember the details. Overall; I couldn’t go back to sleep so I stayed up and was determined to beat this issue. I loaded up XChat and fished around for some help on the #fedora channel. After a couple of hours of whatever (playing Urban Terror, juggling some work, blah blah blah) I met up with a great guy going by the handle “elfstone”. Now I usually don’t get all mushy on people, but what I was exposed to after conversing with him, I believe has changed a apart of my life FOREVER!
In the end, he showed me that I was not bound by the faults of my hardware. Someone else told me that my problem was kernel related and that it didn’t recognize my hard drive controller. The actual process was weird to me though, it was looking for network devices when I specifically told it I wanted to do an install from “Local CD/DVD”. Either way, elfstone provided me with a link to get a netinstall.iso for Fedora 10. I didn’t need it though since I already had an .iso burned – the URL option was already there. So; he provided me with a URL.
I was skeptical and excited about the process. I booted up the DVD, chose URL, inserted the LOOOONNGGGG URL and watched a GUI install wizard load up. My eyes lighted up with the hope that I have beaten the stumbling block! At that time the kids were up and I was preparing their breakfast so I couldn’t stay to watch the complete install process. In the end, I was greated by the warm solar flares of Fedora 10: Cambridge. What a morning!
A Changed Man
For years I’ve always downloaded and burned ISOs of the full install files. I never really thought a net install was good enough. One way that I’m a changed man is I will no longer bound myself to a stack of DVDs that I will never use again. I’ve got Fedora 8, OpenSUSE 10.x, and Ubuntu 7.x DVDs just sitting in a spindle – probably never to be used again and taking up valuable space. Elfstone says he’s been doing netinstalls by default and I believe this method will be my default for installing operating systems to come! He didn’t want me to mention his name, he just wanted me to post the Fedora Public Active Mirrors. So; here it is: