Just another way of reinstalling Fedora.

I have Fedora installed.  I’m very used to its packaging system and feel very comfortable using it.  Fedora releases every 6 months (more or less) and I like to a “fresh” reinstall every time there is a release.  I can’t say it’s a completely fresh install because I don’t install grub and I don’t change the partitioning of my hard drive.  I have a home partition, a boot partition and a swap partition that I don’t touch in the installation.  My only interest is to reinstall the operating system and the apps.

I like to install my Fedora by using the minimal boot media.  This is a small (under 300 Mbs) file that will kickstart the installation from a CD or a USB.  I prefer the USB method over the CD.  The file is in the installation trees of the various Fedora releases.  Today I installed F14, so I had to get my boot.img file from http://ftp.klid.dk/ftp/fedora/linux/releases/14/Fedora/x86_64/os/images/.

After downloading this file into my computer, I have to put it in a USB.  So I connect the USB that I will use to the port and execute the following command:

dd if=/path/to/boot.img of=/dev/sdb

Notice that the USB that I connected ended up in sdb, but this might change.

Confident of my procedure I reboot my machine and tell it to initialize from the USB key.  There you will find a menu that has various options.  I press TAB on the option that says install.  This will allow me to edit the boot line.  Given that I previously know where my installation is going to come from, I replace the stage2 option with Anaconda’s (Fedora installer) repo boot option to tell the installer where to fetch the images from.  Notice that I execute this procedure from a place with a hight speed connection.  The additional argument looks something like this:


Your line will probably be different as you might not be in Denmark when you are installing.  Further notice that the line changes with architecture and Fedora release.

I press enter and the installer does its thing.  When I get to the disk partitioning part I choose “customize”.  This will take me to a window that has my disk layout.  I choose my current boot partition and press edit.  I make sure to select the label “/boot” and make sure that the format checkbox is not checked.  I continue with the root partition and select “/” label and make sure that it is checked for format.  Finally I edit my home partition, make sure that the label is “/home” and that the format checkbox is not checked.  I hit next and continue the installation. I like to customize the packages that I am installing; but if you don’t want to do that, you can just continue without customizing.

Update 10-06-2011 (Fedora 15)

Had to change a little command to my process.  After downloading the boot image from the fedoraproject site, the reboot did not work.  After some searching around I found out that the livecd-tools package provided me with the functionality I needed (put a boot image into a usb key).  Here is the command I used:

livecd-iso-to-disk /path/to/boot.img /dev/sdX

After this command my usbkey was ready to use and I could continue with the process stated above.


About joelgranados

I'm fascinated with how technology and science impact our reality and am drawn to leverage them in order to increase the potential of human activity.
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