Fedora 18 : Install from ISO file

I can’t remember the last time I burned a DVD when a new Fedora version releases. The preferred way of installing a new version is the ‘diskless’ install method provided the computer already is running one or the other version of Fedora. For guidelines, see the installation guide: http://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/Fedora/18/html/Installation_Guide/ap-medialess-install.html

As of Fedora 17, the Boot Options have been changed, and the “askmethod” parameter is deprecated, it is no longer recognized by the installer. Instead you need to use “inst.repo” parameter with appropriate syntax to specify install from network (http/ftp), nfs, hard disk et al.

I have obtained the Fedora 18 DVD ISO file, mounted it loopback, and copied the vmlinuz and initrd.img from isolinux folder to /boot/ and added a custom menu entry in /etc/grub.d/40_custom with the repo method as found in the documentation. Installer starts, but unfortunately fails, probably at stage2, with a dracut message saying “Cannot boot” and “Root device not found”. There’s no helpful error message or warning as to what could cause this.

Finally figured out that the repo parameter was missing a colon after the hard disk device. This had hit me during the Fedora 17 install too, so let it be documented for future reference. The proper parameter would be something like:

linux /boot/vmlinuz-fedora18-install repo=hd:/dev/sda2:/home/rajeesh/

Where the Fedora DVD ISO is placed at /home/rajeesh. Once that is fixed, installer boots into the graphical mode just fine. The new installer seems quite unstable – it crashed 4 times before I could complete installation – at disk probing, when switching to other terminals using Alt+Ctrl+F2, Alt+Ctrl+F3 etc. But once that phase is passed, the package installation is swift. There’s no way to customize and tweak package selection during the installation, which is quite limiting. That said, once the installation is done, the desktop is quite solid and polished.

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12 thoughts on “Fedora 18 : Install from ISO file

  1. Rajeesh says:

    Adam,

    The installer will not boot without a stage2 loader, using the diskless method. If both stage2 loader and packages reside in the same location (which is true for ISO/Network installation), it is recommended to use the “repo” parameter.
    Yes, it would be nice to get the documentation updated.

  2. Except you point the gui at the actual checked (sha256sum confirmed) iso file, and Installer says: MEDIA VERIFICATION: This media is not good to install from.

    Instead of a mutually exclusive selection in the installer, we should aim to use the local high speed source. If a file fails to load, then a DVD, then network local, then ISPs mirror, then finally near mirror, or any other mirror could be tried and the problematic file loaded from the cheapest fallback location…

  3. Sanjeev says:

    I am getting this error while trying to install Fedora 18 from a USB stick.
    MEDIA VERIFICATION: This media is not good to install from.

    I tried to copy the iso file itself to the flash drive. But as this is a FAT32 system it won’t support file size above 4GB to transfer. I tried to split the iso in 2GB parts, transfered the parts to usb and extract. Even when the extraction size is getting bigger than 4GB it shows “not enough disk space”. I am using a 16 GB stick. Still 5.5 GB left.

    Can anybody please recommend what steps I should follow?

  4. Rajeesh says:

    @Sanjeev:

    You need to have an ext3 or ext4 partition in the USB drive to keep the DVD iso image.

  5. Hussien says:

    I need to install fedora 18 from a usb stick and I only have access to a windows machine.

    can anyone please help me with this?

  6. Hussien says:

    Hi Rajeesh, I think I didn’t explain my self clearly – I don’t want to run fedora from usb stick – I have Fedora DVD iso 4.3 GB, I need to install this to My HDD using a usb media. To create Fedora USB media from the distribution image (not the live image) I need the command line, they didn’t explain how do this under windows. Your suggestion above about creating an ext4 partition might work – Is there any way that I create ext4 partition on a flash drive and write on it under windows ?

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