Getting involved with the Fedora project – Part 3

In part one and two of this series one explained how to download and install Oracle’s VirtualBox software, I then covered the steps required for downloading the latest Fedora operating system.  And, finally I explained the steps needed to set-up VirtualBox in preparation for installing Fedora.  In this post I’ll continue the series by showing how to install Fedora into the newly created virtual machine.

Installing Fedora into VirtualBox

Installing Fedora is pretty simple.  Fedora provides a multi-step wizard approach. Within this post I’ll cover each step and explain the actions to choose during each stage.  Before we can install Fedora we first need to start the virtual machine.  Remember, we downloaded the Fedora Live CD which when started will load Fedora into memory.  Therefore, we’ll be able to use Fedora in its ‘live’ mode; but, it is not  installed.  Therefore, I will explain how to permanently install Fedora from within the ‘live’ mode.

Powering on the Virtual Machine

If the VirtualBox GUI is not running it can be started by selecting the “Oracle VM VirtualBox” option from your Windows start menu.

Starting VirtualBox

The main VirtualBox window will  show the configured virtual machines within the list on the left.  The panel on the right should also display a summary of the selected virtual machine.  The virtual machine we created in part two should be present:

Virtual machine wizard complete

Select the virtual machine we created in part two from the list on the left  and power it on by clicking the Start button on the toolbar shown below:

Powering on a virtual machine

On clicking the Start button VirtualBox will open a new window and it will attempt to start our virtual machine.  To orientate readers who are new to virtualization this is akin to powering on a physical machine.  The first image to appear within the new window should be:

VirtualBox BVIOS screen

The above screen will flash past within seconds.  The next screen should be Fedora 16’s CD/DVD boot menu.  This is being loaded because we inserted the Fedora CD image into our virtual machine’s CD/DVD drive in part two.

Fedora 16 Live CD boot menu

If the above screen does not display please refer to part two and ensure the Fedora CD/DVD image was correctly inserted into the virtual machine’s CD/DVD drive.  If all is well after a few seconds the live instance of Fedora will start to load:

Fedora Live CD starting

This screen will display the loading progress of the Fedora 16’s Live CD.  Depending on the speed of you host PC this may take a few minutes.  Once complete the Fedora operating system should be ready to go!

Fedora Live CD started

The default user interface for Fedora 16 is GNOME 3.  This requires a rather powerful graphics card; thus, in VirtualBox initially you’ll get a warning about graphics.  Don’t worry about this – simply close the warning.  If you are interested in how this can be fixed (not essential) then look here.  As stated before the live CD is not installed within the virtual machine: it is just running in memory.  Although, you can test Fedora perfectly within the ‘live’ mode it can be restrictive.  For example, adding software is not permanent.  Therefore,we need to install Fedora onto the virtual machine.

Starting Fedora’s installation wizard

Within the ‘live’ mode you can choose to permanently install Fedora.   The option to start this is located under the GNOME menu:

Fedora live to disk

Select the option “Install to Hard Drive” from the Application->System tools menu.  The following screen will be displayed:

The set-up wizard is several steps long and some of the steps are personal choice; for example, the above step allows me to choose my keyboard.  Therefore, select the keyboard that suites you and press the Next button.

The step (shown above) allows you to choose the installation type.  We are using a local disk so ensure the “Basic storage device” option is selected and press Next.

If prompted confirm you are happy to erase any data.  As we are virtual we are not going to loose anything!

Again the above step is a personal choice.  Input a hostname and press Next:

Choose you geographical location and press Next:

Input the root password and press Next:

The above step refers to the partition preservation/erase screen.  In this case we are not installing Fedora alongside any other operating system such as Windows; therefore, leave the default and press Next:

After pressing Next on the penultimate step the set-up wizard will start the installation of Fedora.  This will take several minutes; therefore, I suggest you break for a refreshment, or, just wait 🙂

Eventually the installation wizard will confirm the completion.  Before rebooting please ensure you remove the virtual CD/DVD from the drive.  This can be done from VirtualBox’s menu by choosing the men option Devices->CD/DVD Devices->Remove disk from virtual device.  Once removed hit reboot.

Although Fedora 16 is installed there are some final configuration screens to complete.  After reboot the first of these screens is:

The screen above is simply a welcome screen, so click Next:

Click Next on the license information:

Ensure the date and time are correct and click Next:

The user details are personal choice.  Enter the required details and click Next:

The is the penultimate screen which you can simply press Next:

The installation and configuration is now complete.  Fedora is now fully installed into our virtual machine.  In the next step we’ll complete the last phase of our preparation prior to testing which is registering an account on Fedora’s bug tracking system.  This will permit us to log any bugs we find.


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