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Fedora 18

Installation Quick Start Guide

Downloading and installing Fedora 18 on most desktop and laptop computers

Fedora Documentation Project

Fedora Documentation Project

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This document shows you how to download and install Fedora. It does not cover every possible scenario, but describes steps that will work in most situations on most common hardware.

1. Introduction
2. Requirements
3. Download the Fedora live CD image file
4. Burn the image file to CD
5. Boot your computer from the CD
6. Fedora Live Desktop
7. Language Selection
8. The Installation Summary Menu
9. Keyboard Configuration
10. Date and time
11. Storage and partitioning
12. Software Selection
13. Begin installation
14. The Configuration Menu and Progress Screen
15. Set the Root Password
16. Reboot your system
17. Welcome to Firstboot
18. License Agreement
19. Create User
20. Date and Time
21. Your installation is complete
22. We Need Feedback!
A. Software Selection
B. Revision History

1. Introduction

This guide shows you how to download a Fedora 18 live CD image, burn this image to a disc, and use this disc to install Fedora 18 on a typical desktop or notebook computer. This guide is not a complete description of the installation process and all its options — for greater detail, refer to the Fedora 18 Installation Guide, available from

2. Requirements

To create a Fedora live CD, you need:
  • a broadband connection to the Internet.
  • a computer with a CD or DVD burner.
  • software that allows you to create a CD from an image file.
  • a blank, writeable CD.
If you do not have a fast Internet connection, or if you have a problem creating boot media, downloading may not be an option. Fedora DVD and CD distribution media is available from a number of online sources around the world at a minimal cost. Use your favorite Web search engine to locate a vendor, or refer to
The computer on which you intend to install Fedora 18 from the live CD should have:
  • a CD or DVD drive, and the capability to boot from this drive.
  • a 400 MHz processor or faster
  • at least 1 GB of memory (RAM)
  • at least 10 GB of permanent storage (hard drive) space.
These specifications represent a bare minumum to use Fedora in graphical mode. Almost any laptop or desktop computer manufactured in recent years will meet these requirements. For more details of the hardware requirements for Fedora 18, refer to the Fedora 18 Release Notes, available from
If your computer does not have a CD or DVD drive, or is not capable of booting from this drive, then you might be able to install Fedora from a USB storage device such as a USB flash drive. Refer to the liveusb-creator page at for instructions.

Do you already have Fedora 18 on CD, DVD, or live USB media?

If you already have Fedora 18 on CD, DVD, or live USB media, you can still use this guide, because many steps will be similar. Skip ahead to Section 5, “Boot your computer from the CD”, then

3. Download the Fedora live CD image file

The image file for the Fedora 18 live CD is available from Download and save this file to your computer.

4. Burn the image file to CD

The exact series of steps that produces a CD from an image file varies greatly from computer to computer, depending on the operating system and disc burning software installed. Use this procedure as a general guide. You might be able to omit certain steps on your computer, or might have to perform some of the steps in a different order from the order described here.
Make sure that your disc burning software is capable of burning discs from image files. Although this is true of most disc burning software, exceptions exist.
In particular, note that the CD burning feature built into Windows XP and Windows Vista cannot burn CDs from images and that earlier Windows operating systems did not have any CD burning capability installed by default. Therefore, if your computer has a Windows operating system prior to Windows 7 installed on it, you need a separate piece of software for this task. Examples of popular CD burning software for Windows that you might already have on your computer include Nero Burning ROM and Roxio Creator. If you use a Windows operating system on your computer and do not have disc burning software installed (or you are not sure that the software can burn discs from image files) InfraRecorder is a suitable alternative available from, and is free and open-source.
The Disk Utility software installed by default with Mac OS X on Apple computers has the capability to burn CDs from images built into it already. Most widely-used CD burning software for Linux, such as Brasero and K3b, also includes this capability.
  1. Insert a blank, writeable CD into your computer's CD or DVD burner. On some computers, a window opens and displays various options when you insert the disc. If you see a window like this, look for an option to launch your chosen disc burning program. If you do not see an option like this, close the window and launch the program manually.
  2. Launch your disc burning program. On some computers, you can do this by right-clicking (or control-clicking) on the image file and selecting a menu option with a label like Copy image to CD, or Copy CD or DVD image. Other computers might provide you with a menu option to launch your chosen disc burning program, either directly or with an option like Open With. If none of these options are available on your computer, launch the program from an icon on your desktop, in a menu of applications such as the Start menu on Windows operating systems, or in the Mac Applications folder.
  3. In your disc burning program, select the option to burn a CD from an image file. For example, in Nero Burning ROM, this option is called Burn Image and is located on the File menu.
    Note that you can skip this step when using certain CD burning software; for example, Disk Utility on Mac OS X does not require it.
  4. Browse to the ISO CD image file that you downloaded previously and select it for burning.
  5. Click the button that starts the burning process.

Check the CD

After the burning process completes, browse to the CD and check its contents. If you have burned the disc correctly, it should contain a number of files and folders, including GPL, README, LiveOS, EFI, and isolinux. If you see only a single file named Fedora-18-i686-Live.iso, you have burned the image file itself to the CD, rather than burning a CD from the image file. In this case, you cannot use the CD and must try again.

5. Boot your computer from the CD

Switch on your computer, load the Fedora 18 live CD into the CD or DVD drive, and restart the computer with the disc still in the drive. Ideally, you should soon see the Fedora boot screen and a ten-second countdown:
The Fedora live CD boot screen
The boot screen displays a countdown timer.
Figure 1. The Fedora live CD boot screen

Either press Enter to select the Start Fedora 18 option, or wait for the countdown to expire.
If you do not see this screen, you might need to select an option manually to make your computer boot from the CD. Power your computer on, and watch the initial BIOS screen for a prompt that indicates which key to use for either:
  • a boot menu, or
  • the BIOS setup utility
The boot menu option is preferable. If you cannot see such a prompt, consult your manufacturer's documentation for your computer system, motherboard, or mainboard for the correct keystroke. On many systems, the required key will be F12, F2, F1, Esc, or Delete.

6. Fedora Live Desktop

After a ten-second countdown, your computer loads the Fedora live system and presents you with a login screen:
The Fedora live system login screen
The Fedora live system login screen. Click the user named Live System User to log in and reach the desktop.
Figure 2. The Fedora live system login screen

Click the Live System User button. No password is required. The Fedora live system desktop will then load.
After a few seconds, a menu will appear offering two choices.
Try or install Fedora
The menu presented when the desktop loads, offering the choice to try Fedora or install it to the hard drive.
Figure 3. Try or install Fedora

To test out Fedora before installing, click Try Fedora to browse the desktop interface.
To install Fedora, click Install to Hard Drive.

7. Language Selection

At the Welcome to Fedora 18 screen, use your mouse to select the language (for example, English (United States)) you would prefer to use for the installation and as the system default.
Alternatively, type your preferred language into the search box (refer to the figure below).
To also set the keyboard layout to the default for your selected language, click the checkbox below the search box.
Once you have made your selection, click Continue.
Language Configuration
Language selection screen
Figure 4. Language Configuration

8.  The Installation Summary Menu

The Installation Summary Menu is the central screen for setting up an installation.
The Installation Summary Menu
Installation Summary Menu screen
Figure 5. The Installation Summary Menu

Instead of directing you through consecutive screens, the Fedora installer allows you to configure your installation in the order you choose.
Use your mouse to select a menu item to configure a section of the installation. When you have completed configuring a section, or if you would like to complete that section later, click Done.
Only sections marked with a warning symbol are mandatory. A note at the bottom of the screen warns you that these sections must be completed before the installation can begin. The remaining sections are optional. Beneath each section's title, the current configuration is summarised. Using this you can determine whether you need to visit the section to configure it further.
Once all required sections are complete, click Begin Installation (refer to Section 13, “Begin installation”).
To cancel the installation, click Quit.


When related background tasks are being run, certain menu items may be temporarily grayed out and unavailable.

9. Keyboard Configuration

Select Keyboard from the Installation Summary Menu.
In the left-hand pane, English (United States) is listed as the keyboard layout, unless you clicked the checkbox in Section 7, “Language Selection” to set the keyboard layout to the default for your selected language. If so, you may still want to select a more specific layout. For example, if you selected French as the language for this installation, the layout listed in the left-hand pane will be French (French). However, you may want to change it to French (French (Canada)).
Keyboard Configuration
Keyboard configuration screen
Figure 6. Keyboard Configuration

To change the layout or add additional layouts, click the + button and select from the list. To delete a layout, select it and click the - button. Use the arrow buttons to arrange the layouts in order of preference. For a visual preview of the keyboard layout, select it and click the keyboard button.

10. Date and time

Select Date and Time from the Installation Summary Menu.
Set your time zone by selecting the city closest to your computer's physical location.
There are two ways for you to select a city:
  • Using your mouse, click on the interactive map to select a specific city. A red pin appears indicating your selection.
  • You can also scroll through the Region and City drop-down menus at the top of the screen to select your time zone.
If your city is not available on the map or in the drop-down menu, select the nearest major city in the same timezone.
Configuring the Time Zone
Time zone configuration screen.
Figure 7. Configuring the Time Zone

Once you have made your selection, click Done to return to the Installation Summary Menu.

11. Storage and partitioning

Select Installation Destination from the Installation Summary Menu to select and partition the disks Fedora will be installed on.
Disk Partitioning Setup
Choose automatic partitioning or manual partitioning.
Figure 8. Disk Partitioning Setup

On this screen you can choose to create the default partition layout automatically, or choose to partition storage devices manually to create a custom layout.
Choose the disks to install Fedora on by clicking their graphical representations from the pane at the top of the screen. Each disk is marked with its label and size. Hold down Ctrl or Shift while clicking on the disks to select or unselect multiple disks.
You may want to simply install Fedora on all available disks. However, if you want to retain data or previously installed operating systems on one or more of those disks, do not include them in the installation.


All data will be erased during installation from the disks you select at this stage. Do not select disks that contain data you want to preserve.
Click Continue once you have made your selections.
The Installation Options dialog now appears, informing you if there is enough space on the selected drive to install Fedora.
Installation Options dialog
Edit the partition configuration and select custom partitioning
Figure 9. Installation Options dialog

To create and edit the partitions yourself, check the box labeled Let me customize the partitioning of the disks, then click Continue to reach the Manual Partitioning section. Refer to the Fedora Installation Guide for instructions on manual partitioning.
Click Continue to allow Fedora to automatically configure the partitions for you and return to the Installation Summary Menu.

12. Software Selection

If you install from a Fedora Live image, you cannot make package selections. This installation method transfers a copy of the Live image rather than installing packages from a repository. To change the package selection, complete the installation, then use the Add/Remove Software application to make desired changes.
If you are installing Fedora from a DVD, refer to Appendix A, Software Selection for details of package selection.

13. Begin installation

When all required sections of the Installation Summary Menu have been completed, the yellow admonition at the bottom of the menu screen will disappear and the Begin Installation button can be selected.
If you have finished customizing your installation and are certain that you want to proceed, click Begin Installation.

Last chance to cancel safely

Up to this point in the installation process, the installer has made no lasting changes to your computer. When you click Begin Installation, the installer will allocate space on your hard drive and start to transfer Fedora into this space. Depending on the partitioning option that you chose, this process might include erasing data that already exists on your computer.
To revise any of the choices that you made up to this point, return to the relevant section of the Installation Summary Menu. To cancel installation completely, click Quit or switch off your computer. To switch off most computers at this stage, press the power button and hold it down for a few seconds.
After you click Begin Installation, allow the installation process to complete. If the process is interrupted (for example, by you switching off or resetting the computer, or by a power outage) you will probably not be able to use your computer until you restart and complete the Fedora installation process, or install a different operating system.

14. The Configuration Menu and Progress Screen

Once you click Begin Installation on the Installation Summary Menu, you will be directed to the Configuration Menu and Progress Screen. Fedora reports the installation progress on the screen as it writes the selected packages to your system.
Installing packages
The Packages Completed progress bar
Figure 10. Installing packages

While the packages are being installed, more configuration is required. Above the installation progress bar is the Root Password menu item. The root password can be configured either while the packages are being installed or afterwards, but you will not be able to complete the installation process until it has been configured.

15. Set the Root Password

Setting up a root account and password is one of the most important steps during your installation. The root account is used to install packages, upgrade RPMs, and perform most system maintenance. Logging in as root gives you complete control over your system.
Root Password
Setting your root password.
Figure 11. Root Password

Click the Root Password menu item and enter your nominated password into the Root Password field. Fedora displays the characters as asterisks for security. Type the same password into the Confirm field to ensure it is set correctly. After you set the root password, click Done to return to the Configuration Menu and Progress Screen.

16. Reboot your system

Once the packages are installed and you have set the root password, click the Quit button that will appear at the bottom of the screen to exit to the Live Desktop.
Packages installed
The menu presented when the desktop loads, offering the choice to try Fedora or install it to the hard drive.
Figure 12. Packages installed

Click Live System User in the top right of the Live Desktop. Click Power Off from the drop-down menu that appears, then Restart to reboot your system and begin the Firstboot process.

17. Welcome to Firstboot

Firstboot launches the first time that you start a new Fedora system. Use Firstboot to configure the system for use before you log in.
Firstboot welcome screen
Firstboot welcome screen
Figure 13. Firstboot welcome screen

Select Forward to start Firstboot.

18. License Agreement

This screen displays the overall licensing terms for Fedora. Each software package in Fedora is covered by its own license. All licensing guidelines for Fedora are located at
Firstboot license screen
Firstboot license screen
Figure 14. Firstboot license screen

If you agree to the terms of the licence, click Forward.

19. Create User

Create a user account for yourself with this screen. Always use this account to log in to your Fedora system, rather than using the root account.
Firstboot create user screen
Firstboot create user screen
Figure 15. Firstboot create user screen

20. Date and Time

If your system does not have Internet access or a network time server, manually set the date and time for your system on this screen. Otherwise, click the Synchronize date and time over the network checkbox to configure your system to use NTP (Network Time Protocol) servers to maintain the accuracy of the clock. NTP provides time synchronization service to computers on the same network. The Internet contains many computers that offer public NTP services.
Firstboot date and time screen
Firstboot date and time screen
Figure 16. Firstboot date and time screen

Click Finish to complete and exit Firstboot.

21. Your installation is complete

Fedora is now installed on your computer. Log in with the username and password that you created during the installation process.
To learn more about Fedora, visit the Fedora Project website at If you need help installing or using Fedora, visit

22. We Need Feedback!

If you find a typographical error in this manual, or if you have thought of a way to make this manual better, we would love to hear from you! Please submit a report in Bugzilla: against the product Fedora Documentation.
When submitting a bug report, be sure to mention the manual's identifier: installation-quick-start-guide
If you have a suggestion for improving the documentation, try to be as specific as possible when describing it. If you have found an error, please include the section number and some of the surrounding text so we can find it easily.

A. Software Selection

DVD or six-CD set only

You will not see this screen if you are installing Fedora from the live CD.
Software Selection
Choose which environment and add-ons you want to install.
Figure A.1. Software Selection

To specify which packages Fedora will install, select Software Selection from the Installation Summary Menu.
By default, Fedora installs the GNOME Desktop Environment, but in Software Selection you can choose from a range of other environments and customise additional packages to be installed as add-ons. Available environments are listed in the left-hand pane. To select an environment, click the radio button that corresponds to one of the following options:
Graphical Desktops (multiple options, one radio button each)
Fedora offers a variety of graphical desktop environments, which can be enhanced with add-ons such as the LibreOffice productivity suite, graphical tools such as the GIMP, and multimedia applications. The available environments are:
  • GNOME Desktop
  • KDE Plasma Workspaces
  • Xfce Desktop
  • LXDE Desktop
  • Cinnamon Desktop
  • MATE Desktop
  • Sugar Desktop Environment
Development and Creative Workstation
This option provides the necessary tools to compile software and develop graphics and other content on your Fedora system.
Web Server
This option provides the Apache web server.
Infrastructure Server
This option provides a server for operating network infrastructure services.
Basic X Window System
This option provides the X Window System without a full graphical desktop environment.
Minimal Install
This option provides only the packages essential to run Fedora. A minimal installation provides the basis for a single-purpose server or desktop appliance and maximizes performance and security on such an installation.


Only one desktop environment can be selected at install time. To install additional environments once Fedora is installed, use the Software tool or the yum groupinstall command.
Fedora will automatically install the base and mandatory packages for the environment you select, but you can select additional package groups, or add-ons, from the right-hand pane. The list of add-ons is refreshed when a new environment is selected. Add-ons range from common utilities such as Administrative Tools and LibreOffice to specialist tools such as Medical Applications and Robotics
To specify add-ons for installation as part of the environment, select the check box next to each add-on.
Once you have selected an environment and any additional packages you may wish to install, click Done to return to the Installation Summary Menu.

B. Revision History

Revision History
Revision 1.0-0Mon Mar 11 2013Jack Reed
Updates for Fedora 18