Fedora 18 is out and it’s Cloudy

So we’ve released the latest version of Fedora, release 18. It’s the hard work of Robyn Bergeron and her team of erstwhile project maintainers, community contributors, documentation editors and hundreds of people with Fedora carved in their hearts. Kudos to their efforts, this release has been a labour of love. I was on the phone to Robyn last week and we were talking about the herculean efforts of all those involved to get this release out – albeit later than planned because of the documented issues with the whole Microsoft bootloader crap.

This release also features latest release of oVirt 3.1 (listen to the podcast with Jon Benedict in the Podcast directory above), latest version of Eucalyptus appearing for the first time (ver 3.2), as well as the Folsom release of OpenStack and the very cool Red Hat sponsored HeatAPI that we’ve featured in the podcast with Steven Hardy recently.

Robyn and I will be recording a podcast in a few weeks at FOSDEM in Brussels talking Fedora 18 and I think I may even be doing some stuff more formally with the Fedora crew if everything aligns. Watch this space for more news if and when it happens.

A grumble first. The new installer has real issues. To say that you are replacing the existing Anaconda because its old doesn’t wash if you don’t look at the behaviour of your former installation engine scripting. It’s quite a big fail and hopefully this will be fixed and fixed fast. If you are installing over or upgradingĀ  a previous version of Fedora and you have previously used LUKS/DMCrypt the partitioning tool doesn’t allow you to authenticate the underlying volume or mount it just telling you you have 900k or whatever free on your drive. Non sensical – all old versions of Anaconda supported mounting of encrypted partitions. So if you are installing and have LUKS/DMCrypt on a partition my advice is back it up to a drive and blast it away as otherwise you’re potentially going to be screaming at the installer screen. You could argue that to install a fresh squeaky clean F18 install its nice to start with a clean harddrive but in reality we’re all adults and thats just bonkers. You have to think out the box and think that a LOT of your existing users will be using disk encryption and where applicable you document and build on screen assistance to what is the worst partitioning logic I have ever seen in an installer.

Think back 12 years to Caldera’s LISA installer and the emergence of Anaconda circa 2000/1 replacing the libnewt traditional installer and what a breath of fresh air it was. This is a major major step back. Oh and the artwork really sucks. No idea what high school grad they got to use Inkscape in his/her lunchbreak. Poor.

So you’ve installed Fedora 18, what next ? I like to customise my Fedora and to do that I have always preferred to use Fedora Utils thats just moved to GitHub. Fedora Utils is the ongoing work of Satyajit Sahoo and it saves a lot of time and hassle to get you a box with restricted codecs and applications.

Once you’ve installed the codecs and tools installed from Fedora Utils drop to the console and immediately avoid GPG key failure error messages grab both these RPMs

http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-branched.noarch.rpm
http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-branched.noarch.rpm

In a console move to the directory that you’ve downloaded to and issue the following command for each RPM both FREE and NON FREE

sudo yum localinstall --nogpgcheck

Next step, again as root

# yum clean all
# yum check-update
# yum update

Once update then add the following tools (especially if you use HP all in one devices or Jetdirect printers).

yum install hplip-gui gthumb gimp pulsecaster audacity ardour

You’re good to go

Oh and remember to encrypt your boot partition, LUKS/DMCrypt is your friend – security costs nothing folks.

Great distro – major move – but the installer is just very poor as is the logic behind partitioning and disk mounting. Let’s the side down, but as with everything in Open Source we can get under the hood and fix it.