Install Instructions

Here are step-by-step instructions for installing Fedora 30 on a flash drive using a computer in the 204 lab. Other distros will be similar in most respects. I'm picking Fedora 30 just because that's what I use, and it's a lot easier just to pick one.

You need a USB drive to install to, preferably one that supports USB 3.0, though 2.0 will work. You will also need an install image. An image on a (different) USB flash is best, though a DVD ROM will also work. If you are a patient soul, and have a machine with a DVD reader (unlike the lab machines).

  1. Try to boot from the install media. Place the install image drive into the extra slot in the back of the machine. Reboot the machine.
  2. If the screen says Fedora 30 Live, you're good. Go to step III. If Windows returns, you'll have to change the boot order on the machine, as follows here.
    1. Reboot the machine again.
    2. When the screen first turns blank, press F10. Continue pressing it until the BIOS menu appears.
    3. Use the arrow keys to navigate the BIOS screens. Use the right arrow to move to “Storage,” then the down arrow to select “boot order,” and push enter to activate the control.
    4. Use the down arrow to highlight “USB Hard Drive.” Press enter.
    5. Use the up arrow to drag the entry to the top of the list, and press enter again to drop it there.
    6. Press F10 to accept the change.
    7. Press escape to leave the BIOS menu. When it asks, say “save changes and exit.”
    8. The system should reboot to Linux on the install media.
  3. The first screen gives a 60-second countdown. No need to wait; press enter.
  4. You'll then see a “Checking” screen count up to 100% as the system is verifying the install media. It's probably safe to abort the check if you're in a hurry, but it doesn't take too long.
  5. When that finishes, you'll see a Linux desktop.
  6. Insert your target install media in the USB slot at the bottom of the machine. This slot supports USB 3.0.
  7. On the screen, run “Install to Hard Drive.”
  8. Choose the language and continue. Can take unexpectedly long to go to the next screen.
  9. You will now see a screen with four items to set, and a button on the lower right to start installation. One of the items has a warning symbol, and the install button is disabled.
  10. If the timezone doesn't say Central, or Chicago, click it and set it correctly. Say done, and you will return to the four-item screen.
  11. Click on “Installation Destination.”
    1. Choose the installation flash drive to install.
      1. You should see two drives listed, the main hard drive, called sda, and the intallation flash drive, probably called sdc.
      2. Select sdc. If it doesn't have a check box click on it to select it. if sda has a check, click it to unselect. Do NOT select sda.
      3. Under “Storage Configuration,” leave the “Automatic” selection checked, and tick the “I would like to make additional space available.”
      4. Confirm that sda is NOT checked.
      5. Click Done at the top of the screen.
      6. The screen will now show the existing contents of sdc. Verify that it is not sda, then click “Delete All” at the lower right.
      7. Say “Reclaim Space” and confirm.
    2. The installer should return to the four-item screen, and after thinking about it for a while, remove the warning symbol on the installation destination and enable the Start Install button.
  12. Press Start Install. You should see an installation screen with a progress bar and some additional controls.
    1. Use the appropriate control to choose a root password for your install. Don't forget what you choose.
    2. Create an account for yourself. Choose any name you like, and check the box to make yourself an administrator.
    3. Otherwise, watch the progress bar creep. Or maybe go have lunch.
  13. When the install finishes, shut down the computer. Remove the install media (in back), but leave the target disk (on the bottom).
  14. Reboot. The computer should boot to your newly-installed Linux. Log in.
  15. You need to perform an initial update to get the latest versions of the packages you just installed.
    1. This will take a long time, and you may want to shut down, take your Linux with you, and try later.
    2. Become root: Type su and enter the password when prompted.
    3. Perform the update with dnf update
    4. This will install hundreds of packages, and take several hours.
  16. When you finsh, you'll have a flash drive that should be able to boot on any of the lab computers. It may well work on other machines, depending on how much customization the installer performs. Insert the flash and reboot.