Fedora Core 8

I've decided to try Fedora Core 8 to see what it is like and how easy it would be to create an automated installer for it, including making RPM packages for my needs.

Unlike Debian, the Fedora Core 8 (FC8) installmedia is not a CD of 100MB, but rather a DVD of 3.2GB. It's just my luck that QEMU does not support DVDROMs.
I was merrily on my way to creating a loopmounted ext2 filesystem to copy the contents of the DVD when I discovered that the FC8 DVD can also use a HTTP mirror to install from. Actually, it was stupid of me to assume that FC8 didn't have that.

So, what does the installer look like ? I'm spoiled by Debian and my own custom install CD. When using Debian, I don't need to type anything (for the most part). I can just select a mirror from a list for example.

Under FC8, I need to enter the address of my HTTP server and the directory. The KULeuven FTP-server does not mirror FC8, so I was forced to use the next best thing: the BelNet FTP server.

Information entered:
Server: ftp.belnet.be
Directory: /mirror/download.fedora.redhat.com/linux/... *time to breathe* .../releases/8/Fedora/i386/os/

That's right, it's that complicated. When this install is finished, I will without a doubt need to buy a new keyboard because all the paint will be removed from the keys.

I am installing FC8 while I am writing this post by the way.

It now seems that FC8 failed to detect my (virtual) harddisk. This is quite odd, because I just created it, 5GB in size. Maybe I need to load some driver for it...

I had to reboot because the installer didn't respond anymore (crash?)

[Update 2 hours later]
I've tried extensively and failed to get FC8 to recognize my harddisk.

This is my setup:

  • I use QEMU 0.9.0 on Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10 with kqemu

  • tap1 is a tap device that is bridged with eth0 (networking is OK, since I'm able to fetch the minstg2.img)

  • fc8.img is a 5GB large qcow file created with "qemu-img create -f qcow fc8.img 5G"

  • /var/www/isos/FC8_boot_minimal.iso is downloaded here

  • I run this command:

    qemu -localtime -net nic,vlan=0,macaddr=1c:71:e9:f0:3a:1e -net tap,ifname=tap1,script=/bin/true,vlan=0 -cdrom /var/www/isos/FC8_boot_minimal.iso -boot d -m 128 -hda fc8.img

    Select the first option "Install or upgrade an existing system"
    Then I selected the "English" language and keyboard "us"
    Installation method: "HTTP"
    I don't touch the network setup and just click OK (so it does DHCP over IPv4)
    Web site name: "ftp.belnet.be"
    Fedora directory: "/mirror/download.fedora.redhat.com/linux/releases/8/Fedora/i386/os/"

    The "images/imstg2.img" image is retrieved and used to boot the installer.
    After the "Welcome to Fedora" screen, it asks about the "Partitioning Type" and I can't select any disk.

    When I switch to tty2 (alt-F2) and type "cat /proc/partitions"
    , it only shows loop0 which is most likely the installer image.

    I'm puzzled...
    Could anyone else try to replicate this ?