How to Install Fedora Linux on a Local Machine

Instructor: Alexis Kypridemos

Alexis is a technical writer for an IT company and has worked in publishing as a writer, editor and web designer. He has a BA in Communication.

This article explains how to find and download the Fedora Linux disk image, and then write it to a USB drive to create a bootable installer and use it to install Fedora on your standard PC.

Before Installing Linux

In this lesson we'll see how to download and install Fedora Linux on a standard PC. Please note that we are making the following assumptions: first, that you are installing Linux on a PC that is currently running some version of Windows; and second, that you want this machine to be a dedicated Linux machine. In other words, you won't be able to run Windows on this machine after this procedure, without reinstalling Windows.

If you want to run both Windows and Linux on this machine, please install a virtual machine manager program such as Oracle VirtualBox, and then install Linux into a virtual machine. You can find instructions on how to do that in the following two lessons: How to Install Oracle VM VirtualBox and How to Install Linux on a VirtualBox.

If you have data and files on this machine that you wish to save, make backup copies of them before proceeding. After installing Linux, these files may be missing or corrupted, because they are Windows files, not Linux files. This is true even if you plan to install Linux in a separate partition on the machine.

Download and Install Fedora Linux on a Standard PC

Before we begin to install Linux, we'll need to make sure we have the following requirements in place:

Hardware:

  • A PC with at least 10 GB disk storage space available, a processor speed of at least 1 GHz, and at least 1 GB of RAM memory.
  • A blank USB drive with at least 2 GB of storage space, to create the bootable installer. How to create the installer is explained later in this lesson. PLEASE NOTE: creating a bootable installer will delete all data on the USB drive. Also, the USB drive will have to be completely formatted before it can be used again with Windows. This can be done using the Disks application in Linux or the diskpart utility in Windows.

Other Requirements:

  • An Internet connection.
  • Before you begin installing Linux, create a backup of your data, as installing Linux will completely overwrite any existing data, including the Windows operating system.
  • The Rawrite32 free application. We'll explain how to get this.
  • The Linux installation process requires approximately 30 minutes.

Find and Download Fedora

Open a web browser and navigate to: http://getfedora.org. Click on 'Workstation', which is the version of Fedora most suitable for a personal, home computer. The other available versions are Server and Atomic (the cloud version).

Once on the Workstation page, click on 'Download Now' and then on the following page, click on one of the two links, depending on whether your computer supports 32- or 64-bit software:

  • 64-bit 1.7GB Live image
  • 32-bit 1.6GB Live image

The file that will download to your computer is the Fedora Linux disk image, which will be used in the following steps.

Get Rawrite32

Rawrite32 is a free application that will write the Linux disk image file you're downloading on your computer to your USB drive. As of this writing, the current version is 1.0.6.0. To get this application, navigate to the web page: http://www.netbsd.org/~martin/rawrite32/download.html

On this page, there are four options. Click on 'rawriteexe-1.0.6.0.zip'. The file size is approximately 1 MB, so it should download quickly.

Write Fedora Linux Disk Image to the USB Drive

Once the Fedora Linux disk image has finished downloading, unzip the Rawrite32 zip file you downloaded earlier and run the Rawrite32 application.

Connect the USB drive to the computer.

In Rawrite32, click 'Open' and select the Fedora disk image file, which by default should be in the Downloads folder. By default, Rawrite looks for (Compressed) fs image files, and will not find the Fedora .iso disk image. Click on '(Compressed) fs image' to get the dropdown menu, and then choose 'All files'. Rawrite will now be able to open the Fedora .iso file.

In Rawrite32, under 'Target', select your USB drive. Then press 'Write to disk'. A confirmation message will be displayed once the disk image has been written to the USB drive.

Installing Fedora Linux

Assuming your PC has a standard BIOS, to begin installing Linux, restart the computer with the USB drive connected. On some computers, it may be necessary to completely power off the machine and then power on. The computer should boot to the Fedora installer screen.

If you find that the computer restarts into Windows, you will first need to manually enter the BIOS settings and place the USB drive before the hard drive on the list of drives to boot from. The BIOS can be accessed by pressing a specific key immediately after powering on. The key is not the same on all computers, but frequently it is a function key (F1 - F12).

First Screens After Reboot

Before the actual installation of Fedora, the first screen to appear will be one prompting to 'Try Fedora' or 'Install to Hard Drive'. For the purpose of this lesson, click 'Install to Hard Drive'.

The next screen will prompt to choose a language.

Installation Summary

The next screen of the Fedora Linux installation is the Installation Summary screen. This screen provides the following options:

  • Date & Time
  • Keyboard
  • Installation Destination
  • Network and Hostname

You can configure all of these settings, but only the Installation Destination is necessary to configure before the 'Begin Installation' button becomes active.

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