Download Fedora Linux

Mauriat Miranda (http://www.mjmwired.net/contact/)

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Published: 4 October 2006 (updated: 16 June 2009)

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Fedora Linux

What is Fedora? Fedora is a Linux distribution. What is a Linux distribution? It is a collection of software that forms a complete operating system. For more information please search on google or read on the Fedora Project Page.

This page is not intended to explain what Fedora or Linux is, if you know you wish to use Fedora and wish to install it on your desktop or laptop, then this page is meant to help you download Fedora. Installation instructions are separate.

At the time of writing this, Fedora is currently at version 11. Prior to Fedora 7, Fedora was known as Fedora Core (often known as FC).

This page is meant for primarily for Windows users but applies to all users.


Installation Media

Fedora is available for download through "images" of CD's or DVD's. These images are of file type .ISO and contain a complete copy of a CD or DVD which when written to a CD or DVD provide bootable software to run and install Fedora. Often the terms "ISO" and "image" mean the same thing with respect to Linux installations.

The images are categorized into either "Install Media" or "Live Media". Each is different.

Install Media

The images grouped in the Install Media are typically DVD's. They contain a bootable installer and a complete set of all major applications which come standard in Linux. For this reason, it is recommended to use a DVD installation media for installing Fedora.

Note: While Fedora does currently provide the same content in the DVD in a set of 6-7 CD's, this may be discontinued in the future.

Live Media

The images grouped in the Live Media are typically CD's (although some are DVD's). They contain a reduced set of applications and do NOT boot directly to an installer. Instead the load a live working copy of Fedora into memory (not affecting your hard drive) where you can you test and use Fedora before actually installing it. If you wish you CAN install from a Live Media however there are several fewer options within the installer.

The Live Media are typically grouped by a specific function. The primary two options are Fedora Desktop Live Media and Fedora KDE Live Media. The "Desktop" is based on the GNOME Desktop Environment (#) which is the official desktop in Fedora. However many new users find the KDE Desktop Environment (#) easier to use. If you prefer to use a Live Media, it is recommended to try the KDE option.

Note: There are other customized Live Media for specific purposes. These custom versions are known as "SPINS". The images for Spins are available on the Spins Page (#). However Spins are typically only provided for download as torrents.

Major Differences

The standard DVD Install Media provides more options for installation, such as a text based installer if you have older hardware. The Live Media require more memory since they run directly in memory with graphics. Additionally, since the Live Media have less software, you will be required to download significantly more applications to have a useful Fedora installation. However the Live Media maybe good to demonstrate Fedora functionality without having to install it.


Hardware Architecture: 32bit? 64bit?

Fedora must be installed matching the architecture of your machine. There are 3 architectures officially supported on the Fedora Download page:

Note: If you have a 64bit system, you can optionally run 32bit. Almost all desktop and laptop hardware within the past 1-2 years will support 64-bit. However some netbook or "mini-laptops" may still be 32-bit.

Selecting between 32-bit and 64-bit

Most all x86 based 64-bit CPU's will also run 32-bit. However by running 32-bit Linux on 64-bit hardware you will sacrifice some performance and features of newer hardware. There are no major barriers to running 64-bit Linux.

Unless you have older hardware, or you specifically need i386 32-bit, you should use 64-bit. This applies to both desktop and server uses.


Download Space and Time

Currently you will require about 4GB for DVD Install Media or about 700-800MB for CD/DVD Live Media. The 64-bit downloads will typically be larger than the 32-bit downloads.

Depending on your connection speed and type of internet service. Download times will vary. Users who do NOT have broadband (cable, dsl, t1) should consider purchasing CD's from an online vendor. The cost will typically be between $5-$15.

Some online vendors:
http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Distribution/OnlineVendors

Remember that complete installations will typically require a separate 4-5GB of space (if DVD Install) or about 1-2GB (if Live Install).


Download Method

You current options to download images are either by standard FTP or using bittorrent. The FTP method is manually downloading each CD or DVD image file individually. Bittorrent download is a peer-to-peer file sharing method.

Fedora works with other sites (universities, organizations, etc.) to provide exact copies of the ISO images. These site are known as "mirrors". Many users might find fast downloads from a mirror that is located nearby. If your internet provider limits torrents in some way, then this method may be your best option. However these files must be verified for integrity before usage.

The recommended method for downloading is using the torrent. By engaging in a peer-to-peer session, you will help others download also. Additionally your files will be automatically checked for integrity and you can pause and resume the download without any problems. Some specific versions of Fedora ("SPINS") may only be available through torrents, as they may not be on FTP mirrors.

Manual FTP Download

To download manually go to:
http://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/publiclist

Every mirror will have a similar directory structure, typically starting with "releases/". Under the "releases/" there will be a number matching the release. Ex: 9, 10, 11 etc. There will usually only 2-3 different numbers. Each one is a unique Fedora version. NOTE: If you don't see "releases/" and/or older numbers, then most likely that mirror is not up to date and you should try a different mirror.

Once you select the Fedora version, you will typically see some directory options: "Everything/", "Fedora/", and "Live/". The "Fedora/" and "Live/" directorys typically have ISO images in some subdirectory. Selecting either option should next list the architectures available at that mirror: i386, ppc and x86_64. The source is the source code. Select your choice as noted above (architecture).

Once you selected your architecture, go to the iso directory and download your files. If you instead chose "Live/" you should see the ISO images immediately.

NOTE: Make sure you copy the SHA1SUM or CHECKSUM file from that mirror, you will need it verify integrity of your download.

Note: If the iso directory is empty you will have to use another mirror site.

Bittorrent Download

Bittorrent is a peer-to-peer method of downloading software.

To install Bittorrent in windows go to: http://www.bittorrent.com/download.html

To obtain the torrent file for bittorrent, go to: http://torrent.fedoraproject.org/.
Make sure to select the correct media and architecture.
Note: Additionally torrents may be available on the Fedora "SPINS" page (#).

Note: Other peer-to-peer applications may support loading .torrent files. Use whichever application you prefer.


Verify Integrity

Once you have the ISO files, DO NOT decompress them. If you did NOT use bittorrent, make sure you check their integrity before burning them. To verify their integrity make sure to download the SHA1SUM or CHECKSUM file text file included with the ISO files.

Fedora 10 and older used sha1sum, while Fedora 11 and newer use sha256sum.

Run 'sha1sum' (or 'sha256sum') on each ISO and compare with the values in the file.

The version of these applications for windows can be found here:

ftp://ftp.gnupg.org/gcrypt/binary/sha1sum.exe
http://www.slavasoft.com/fsum/
http://www.slavasoft.com/hashcalc/
http://blog.nfllab.com/archives/152-Win32-native-md5sum,-sha1sum,-sha256sum-etc..html

If it fails to match you MUST RE-DOWNLOAD the ISO file.


Writing Image to CD/DVD Physical Media

You must use a CD writer or DVD writer to create the installation disc.

Do not simply "copy" the ISO image to a disc. Every major application supports an option to "Burn an Image". Nero, Roxio, Sony and even Windows XP/Vista can create a CD/DVD from an ISO image.


Booting the Installation Disc

The most common and easiest method for installation is booting via a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. Most new computers support booting from CD/DVD. Your computer must have this option to install Fedora. Insert the first CD (or DVD) and reboot your computer, if the disc does not boot, then go to your computer BIOS options and set the bootable device to your CD/DVD ROM drive.

Proceed to installation!!!
Installing Fedora 11, Installing Fedora 10

NOTE: If you do not have a CD/DVD drive other options are available (such as via Flash-Drive, USB Drive, etc.) however they are not mentioned in this document.


More Information


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Disclaimer: The author makes no claim to the accuracy of the information provided. This information is provided in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. There is no implied support from referencing this guide. Any help that is provided is at will. Use this information at your own risk. Always make proper backups and use caution when modifying critical system files.

PLEASE DO NOT mirror, translate or duplicate this page without contacting me.

Copyright © 2003-2013 by Mauriat Miranda (mjmwired.net).