Hands on with Fedora 18

Hands on with Fedora 18

Summary: Much anticipated, Fedora 18, otherwise known as 'Spherical Cow' has finally arrived - here's what to expect.


 |  Image 5 of 10

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Fedora 18 - KDE Netbook Desktop

    I can't let a new release with KDE go by without plugging my favorite netbook desktop - KDE netbook. 

    This is included in the standard KDE distribution, all you have to do is select it in "System Settings/Workspace Behavior". It changes the desktop into the multi-sectioned layout shown above, with a top panel (which auto-hides when an application is started), a quick launch area, a search bar, and an application/utility menu area. It just keeps getting better with every new KDE release.

  • Before disk and partition selection

    This is the initial view of the anaconda installation summary screen. 

    What is important here is the Storage Installation Destination, click that to select the disks and partitions where Fedora is to be installed. You can also change the timezone and keyboard layout if necessary - but note that changing the keyboard here has no affect on the installation process itself. 

    If you want to change the keyboard layout for that, you have to use the normal tools - go to the application menu and type Language, then select the Region and Language utility program, and use the Input Sources tab to select a new layout.

  • Default is lvm

    After clicking Storage Installation Destination and then selecting the disk you want to install on, you will get this screen with installation options. 

    The exact content of the upper part of the window will depend on how your disk is partitioned and how much free space you have. In the lower portion of the window you will find a Partition Scheme Configuration drop-down.  Fedora uses lvm disk management by default, if you want to use standard partitions you have to click this drop-down and select that option.

    If you want to specify the partition layout yourself, you have to click the I don't need help box. anaconda will then not try to figure out a partition layour for you, when you click Reclaim space it will simply take you to the next screen where you can do it all yourself. I found this a bit scary, I didn't want it to reclaim space, I want to tell it myself which existing partition to reuse, but you have to click that button to go on.

Topics: Linux, Open Source, Operating Systems

J.A. Watson

About J.A. Watson

I started working with what we called "analog computers" in aircraft maintenance with the United States Air Force in 1970. After finishing military service and returning to university, I was introduced to microprocessors and machine language programming on Intel 4040 processors. After that I also worked on, operated and programmed Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8, PDP-11 (/45 and /70) and VAX minicomputers. I was involved with the first wave of Unix-based microcomputers, in the early '80s. I have been working in software development, operation, installation and support since then.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Hands on with Fedora 18

    Fedora 18 nice.
  • How about some coverage of Fedora 18 security? Such as LSMs.

    Which on Fedora 18 is SELinux. Is the default web browser, Firefox, running with a default SELinux policy? If not, is there a default SELinux policy provided by Fedora 18 for Firefox? How does one enable SELinux policy for Firefox? And, finally, does the policy include protection for use of the Java plug-in?

    I ask this question because web browsers, along with plug-ins such as Flash Player and Java, are the most vulnerable application on client operating systems today. And with regard to Java, does Fedora 18 default with the open-source OpenJDK 7 JRE? Because it is vulnerable on Linux.

    Red Hat has just issued an update to Oracle's JRE 7, java-1.7.0-oracle, for RHEL. Better watch for an upcoming patch to the OpenJDK 7 JRE, if installed on your systems.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Red Hat updates OpenJDK

      "Security Advisory Important: java-1.7.0-openjdk security update
      Issued on: 2013-01-16

      Watch for the update in Fedora 18.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Java Update Released

        Thanks for the tip. You are correct, I just picked up the latest updates for Fedora 18, and it updated openjdk 1.7.

  • Do you use your computer for anything else

    Other than download and reinstall distros? I know its part of your job, but considering you do this on every system you own, you don't seem to store data on your systems at all. When I look at setups at work where persons have years of data on their system, you are in a class all by yourself. Windows users or even Mac users don't do this. You need to sit down, run the thing on the machine for at least 1 year minimum then share some actual experience about the product. Your distro hopping comes across as more idle behaviour. Do not delete or block my comment. I prefer for the wolves to have a go at me.
    • Wow, bossy much?

      "Do not delete my comment"

      or else, what follows? (as the King of France once said).
      Otto Schlosser
    • If you know how to set Linux up

      you can install as many concurrent copies of different Linux distros as you like and still use the same data folder. All you have to do is set up the /home folder on its own partition, and give each Linux distro's root its own partition. Grub can then either be put on its own /boot partition or kept in the root folder of the distro which you have chosen to maintain Grub.

      You can completely wipe out the root partitions as many times as you want and still have your data and settings on the /home partition. Personally I even keep /home on a separate hard drive entirely.
      Michael Kelly
      • This proves

        adacosta has no idea about Linux.
        • Re: This proves

          adacosta is clearly Andre da Costa, a MVP and Microsoft Shill. He's just trolling.
    • Michael Kelly hit the nail squarely on the head

      All of my systems have 10-12 partitions on the disk, with a variety of Linux distributions installed in them (and occasionally Windows). Typically the last three or four partitions are for pre-release distribution testing, one or two are for "permanent" installations in which I keep real work and real data, one is for /home and thus my permanent data, and the others turn over more slowly, typically when a new final release is made, such as this. This is not part of my "job", although I wish it were. I do sometimes write about experience with longer-term installations, but those articles, by definition, come much less frequently than the new releases.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Sounds like my machine :)

        Add in a whole host of virtual machines...one even has windows 98 in it for old games! Things have got so much easier now we have more widespread GPT support... Always used to be a pain planning out primary partitions across disks!

        Long term usage reports are fantastic, but the reality is that by and large massive amounts of Linux and bsd updates are incremental; if you used the last release, a couple of days testing the new features will give you a great feel for the new one.

        As something of a "distro junkie" myself I really appreciate the testing you do, and taking the time the write up an I depth coverage for both us users and those that may not have considered such a system before. :)
      • ok, but how-to, If you wouldn't mind...

        wow! I wish I could set up my hardware some near that like. I ran into this post while after readings on dealing with java functionalities under linux afterward a recently, by new installation rather a fedup use of, upgrading to fedora 18. I confess being still lost about that but instead I am appealed more, as whenever I am when I find someone that says it's possible to put root and Home partition in different places and still together. I am just an user, but I enjoy the challenging world linux means, even so I find myself unable to find a clear guideline on this. Yeah, I could do an extra degree in computers, but is this the only way?. I love fedora and linux but I got this criticism (a positive one) as well. Connection between users and those who have in this their job is still poor, opensource meaning accordingly... good for you. Otherwise this blog it's great!. Thanks!
    • I makes sense for an OS reviewer...

      ...to have one or more systems for experimenting with and a completely different machine for regular work. I strongly suspect that's the sort of setup our author has.
      John L. Ries
  • Linux will eventually get 100% marketshare on the desktop

    It will happen when apple, Microsoft, and 99.9% of consumers have completed their move to tablets.

    It is amazing to me, looking at those screenshots, how legacy this all is. It all feels like you guys are trying to release the best buggywhip ever, in 1920, just as the Model T was roaring off the assembly lines in the millions and people were leaving their horses on the farm.

    So kudos on releasing the best buggywhip you've ever released.
    • RE:Linux will eventually get 100% marketshare on the desktop

      do not look , try it out then tell us how your experience was
      cause i can tell you the same exact thing about your beloved windows 8 or RT , sucks and a buggywhip from just looking at screenshots and that will get you nuts probably.

      linux distros and communities are moving to tablets too , not mentioning androids , by looking at gnome3 and unity and trying them on touch enabled devices they are as good as IOS or WIN RT/8.
      • What advantage would I get?

        The computing device I use the most is my Surface RT. Windows 8 on my PC uses the exact same UI and in many cases, the exact same software. This is an advantage. It is consistent.

        I would get 0 benefit switching from Windows 8 to Linux on my PC. Besides, I kind of like the fact that I don't have to compile a kernel to use my PC.
        • RE: "I ... like the fact that I don't have to compile a kernel to use my PC

          Mr. toddbottom3, you remind me of someone ... Mr. Davidson!

          It's a good thing that you don't have to compile the Windows NT kernel on your PC as it is proprietary. However, I'm sure that if you were a trusted Microsoft business partner and had a good reason for compiling the Windows NT kernel, Microsoft would provide you with the source code and allow you to do so ... after you signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. But, individuals like yourself? No.

          Gentoo is the only Linux distro I'm aware of where desktop users still regularly compile their software, including the kernel, from source code. The option to do so, however, is available for most Linux distros.

          In addition, there are some advanced Linux users and sysadmins that do compile their kernels. An example would be to enhance system security by applying the grsecurity patch to the Linux kernel. Either on top of an LSM or in lieu of a LSM.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
          • Glad you noticed

            "Mr. toddbottom3, you remind me of someone ... Mr. Davidson!"

            Yes, this was a nod to your favorite provocateur. I haven't recompiled a kernel since LFS and gentoo.
          • toddbottom3 ... tell us all you created your post on your Surface

            Compiling a Kerrnel is Loverock Davidsons favorite sthick...are you trying to one up him?
            Over and Out
        • toddbottom3....everyone knows why you love your Surface & Windows 8 so much



          Over and Out