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Installing Fedora 3 Linux

We all know the advantages of the Linux operating system. It's more stable, it's more secure, and it's free of abusive licensing and product activation schemes. But Linux hasn't taken over as the desktop operating system of choice. That's because of it's reputation as being complicated to install, difficult to use, and lack of practical applications.

With the release of the OpenOffice.org office suite, the lack of practical applications problem is gone. In this article, I'm going to determine if the "complicated to install" problem has been solved. I will install Fedora Linux to an Athlon XP 1800 machine with 256 MB RAM and 40 GB hard drive, blowing away Windows XP in the process.

Installing Fedora is as simple as inserting the first CD-ROM into the drive and rebooting. But first make sure that your system is set to boot from the CD drive. Watch the on-screen messages as the system boots, you should see a message like "searching CD-ROM for boot sector" before the computer boots from the hard drive.

If your computer is not set to boot from CD-ROM, you may be able to configure the boot sequence in your system's BIOS. Enter the BIOS by pressing a key, usually Del or F2, as indicated by a screen message while your computer is starting. After entering the BIOS, navigate to the boot menu.

I will install Fedora Linux as the single operating system on the computer, no half-hearted and complicated dual-boot configurations. Below are the step-by-step instructions for installing Fedora Linux, along with my experience.

1. Insert Fedora CD 1 into the drive and restart your computer.

2. The message appears: "To install or upgrade in graphical mode press [Enter]".

3. The Fedora Welcome screen appears. Click on the [Next] button.

4. The Language Selection screen appears. The default, English, is highlighted. Click on the [Next] button.

5. The Keyboard Configuration screen appears. The default, U.S. English, is highlighted. Click on the [Next] button.

6. The Installation Type screen appears. The default, Personal Desktop, radio button is set. Click on the [Next] button.

7. The Disk Partitioning Setup screen appears. The default, Automatically Partition, radio button is set. Click on the [Next] button.

8. The Automatic Partitioning screen appears. Note the list of selected drives. Set the "Remove all partitions on this system" radio button and click on the [Next] button. A warning message box appears. Click on the [Yes] button in the warning message box.

My hard disk had a NTFS partition containing the Windows XP operating system. A message appeared informing me that Automatic Partitioning could not be done. I clicked the [Back] button and set the "Manually Partition with Disk Druid" radio button. When I clicked on the [Next] button, I was taken back to the Automatic Partitioning screen. I set the "Remove all partitions on this system" radio button again and clicked on the [Next] button. The warning message box appeared, and I clicked on the [Yes] button to dismiss the message box.

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