Sunday, January 27, 2013

Anaconda 2 a Cow's Revenge

Hello all!, since setting up the Cow at the office is done, is time to move back home to a better computer system, bearing an AMD 4800x2 video card and 8Gigas of RAM on a 500Gb hard drive, this time there is a part of the drive that is already being used by one of Ubuntu's animals, and is time for some Cow revenge.
Hard Drive Partition Scheme
This time the Cow's target is whatever that lies inside the /dev/sda4...
And so it begins:
  • Image Downloaded, 
  • DVD burned,
  • Computer Rebooted,
  • Live System Started,
  • Installation Process Initiated,
  • Hard Drive Selected,
  • Manual Partitioning Chosen...
File Systems Exposed
Knowing how this works makes this a slice of Pizza (not a fan of pies). On the panel located at the right side of this menu of file systems we can define what we want Anaconda to do with them, this means we define what our /home or / and swap are going to be from what it found; as an example take the sd3 that belongs to Unknown, it will become my all OS file space (I call it Skull) if I just set the following:

So we take Ubuntu's / and swap and do the same that on /mnt/skull up there and I would also have made /dev/sda2 into /mnt/win so windows gets auto mounted but I can't edit that one, so the New Fedora 18 Installation ends like this:

End this and pressing Begin Installation, set the root password and wait until the Cow is set by blogging about it ;)

In conclusion, I've just tested a tiny part of the cases that Anaconda is prepared to handle:
  • I did not encrypt need to nor had any partitions encrypted before hand, 
  • I did not have free space to let Anaconda take by itself so as to save me (the user) some time on the installation process, 
  • Anaconda does not automatically download Updates in the style of Ubuntu's Installer (set aside the adding of repos), 
  • as so picking the software to install was not part of this version of Anaconda, however, it seems to be a work in progress
I'm Happy to announce that it all went well and I have my Computer ready to work.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Installing Fedora's Spherical Cow

Yes I know this has nothing to do with web development but, I am documenting this since I have installed several different GNU/Linux distributions and this Cow uses the new Anaconda Installer, witch comes with several (so lots of) changes, that sadly I have read lots of complains about.

I did try to install Fedora as it was on the alpha state but, trusting the partition maker, it took all my drive instead of just the free space :D, so I took into the beta kind of late due life taking the time out of my hands and my need to get the lost information back from the dead, I read it was about a week to final release, so I waited the month.

Its fair to add that I do love Fedora, and have used it since 16th, I ran from Ubuntu's Unity to Gnome3, and now I'm hooked on G3 so I don't care if you hate it and love mate or whatever other desktop; its your choice.

From the top, download Fedora's Cow, burn the image in to a DVD and boot the computer with that DVD in it (remember to check that the computer boots from that drive).

As all (linux) installers it will show a screen with a few options and if you press enter or let it happen it will start the Live DVD environment. Now you'll have to select if you would like to try the Live environment or go direct and install. I choose to try so I can do something else while installing like blogging or checking mail, reviewing my machine stats, etc...
On the first try for this I got no network so being it Friday afternoon I did nothing and went home.

Monday arrives and I give it another try, presto magic I get network and start trial number 2!, this time I chose to install and still got the Live environment working, so you know, I'm happily online, so I yum install GPARTED. (can't live without it!) and continued with this.

After the installer asked for the default language, the normal behavior for all Linux installers, I get the Summary view of Anaconda:
(what happened to the screen shoot maker, it didn't ask where to save... now yum GIMP!, wait they get saved on the pictures folder)
installer's summary
Anaconda's first screen
The installer adjusts to any screen size, tested from 800x600 to 1280x1024, and shows three (3) icons divided on two (2) categories, Localization and Storage. Since I selected US as the default keyboard layout I just need to adjust the time setting to Venezuela, and then off to Storage, where the real meat of Anaconda's hate seems to be.

Localization, Date & Time

As you can see, now the map is as big as your screen, no more weird zooms!.
world map to select your country time zone
Choose your time zone
However, even tho I can turn on and off the network time, I can't seem to choose between the 24/12 hour system, or date, so if any needs to be done, just make it post install. 
Press Done on the top left to return to the summary screen.

Storage, Installation Destination

With the summary updated to my country, we go to the Installation Destination option. 
Choose your Disk
This is the screen that appears now, the physical disks are shown and you can select the one that will hold the GNU/Linux installation of the Spherical Cow.
It seems I left one of the disk that I was working with on connected, a wise choice... is better to take it out, just in case.
With the target disk selected you can press to see full summary and options below and get this bit of information:
Disk summary and options
Or just press continue and get this bits of information, but they might differ from what I got:
Storage Information
It seems I have no free space on the disk so, Fedora needs 3.2 Gigs, it shows that my disk has 131Gigs used that could be reclaimed from a partition, or that there are 152Gigs I can take by deleting other partitions, I choose to do thing by hand. Since I will create the simple layout that I'm used to, I check the don't help me option and press reclaim space. 
gparted, not included on Live environment
This is pretty much the disk layout that I need to work at the office (extremely low security). There is a Windows installation, a huge amount of EXT3 space used to keep files for all the offices, and the space for one Linux installation, in this case Fedora. It was empty space until the alpha did something and I had to re-install Windows, but now we can compare with what Anaconda found!.

This is the starting screen for manual partitioning; the no gparted style has made ppl rant about being weird, like all new things, it seems however very clean and organized. 
The first option top allows the user to automatically make the partitions for you, Linux pros don't like that, but we press it just to see what happens, a message showing me that I have no space to use that appears at the bottom, this leaves me with no choice but to follow the instructions, so I press the "+" button on the bottom?, no I press the "+" next to the words Fedora Linux 18 for i386 and it expands to this:
Partition scheme found
It shows a partition scheme left by a previous Fedora alpha installation, now it is time to compare with what gparted shows; so it found /root and swap where I need them but it also made /boot that I was unaware of, and placed /home into the special partition I use for everything, I can't have that so I'll take it out and keep /home inside /root, cos I don't care about it.
As I select the items and press the edit button below, this window shows no sign that I can make any change, so I go on and press the help button.
a help window apears to show an intro to the new interface
Anaconda's Help documentation
And a nice read that is, it will introduce the user to the new interface, how it works and some things you might need to do; lets look at the tips:
  • You can enter sizes for new filesystems that are greater than the total available free space. The installer will come as close as possible to the size you request.
  • By default, new devices use any/all of your selected disks.
  • You can change which disks a new device may be allocated from by clicking the configure button (the one with a tools graphic) while that device is selected.
  • When adding a new mountpoint by clicking the + button, leave the size entry blank to make the new device use all available free space.
  • When you remove the last device from a container device like an LVM volume group, we will automatically remove that container device to make room for new devices.
  • When the last partition is removed from a disk, that disk may be reinitialized with a new partition table if we think there is a more appropriate type for that disk.
Since the /home is the only thing I don't like on this scheme, I select it and press the "-" at the bottom to take it out of the list, so I get this message:
Confirm Deletion
Anaconda's help button states that "Removing a device that already exists on your disk from the "New Fedora Installation" does not remove it from the disk. It only resets that device to its original state." But I am doing this "To remove a device that already exists on your disk, you must select it from under any of the other detected installations (or "Unknown") and hit the - button."
By this point if I press Delete, Anaconda will delete, as it states, the Data, so I chicken out and press Cancel, and read up the help again, paying special attention to the description of the layout and the items on the list.
  • "New Fedora Installation" is the one that Anaconda tried to make, and has no space for.
  • "Fedora Linux 18 for i686" is the old Fedora installation that is in the disk, has a layout but it marks my special partition as /home.
  • "Unknown" is windows.
The wise choice here is to open gparted and delete the old Fedora to try again and check the result. 
What I did was I went back, re-selected the disk, then selected the /boot that appeared on the old Fedora, edited it (there is no need to press that edit button at the bottom) marking it to be re-formatted and pressed apply, this made an orange message appear at the bottom of the window, "choose a correct mount point", so I added /boot and
Scheme magic
The /boot entry was moved from the old scheme to the new installation scheme. At this point I keep modifying the rest and this moved them from the old scheme to the new installation in the same way, what I was not certain was if the work was only being done on the new installation and the rest would remained untouched.
The new Scheme
There was only one way to know that, pressing the Finish Partitioning button, if any problem arises there is always a good moment to start a how to System Rescue post! ;)
Review the Scheme
Done that, Anaconda seemed to gaze at my selection for the Partitioning Scheme, with that message to review those choices, as I pressed print screen to capture it, the screen flickered and
Ready to Install
It seamed that the scheme was approves, still I entered the storage option to review that it was all there, and it was. :)
So I pressed Begin Installation and BAM!, I got caught in a bug, lost the screen but I could see that it was about to ask me to set the root password, I did try to make the bug report but the computer crashed, seems 3rd time could be the charm ;)