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Fedora 19: Installing Software from DVD After System Installation

Let’s admit it–the new Anaconda (Fedora’s installer program) simplifies certain things in a perceived convoluted process of installing Linux, but, at the same time, oversimplifies some, which is not necessarily a good thing. Besides, it’s still not as mature as its predecessor, resulting in crashes more often than not. At least that’s what I experienced during my attempt at installing a “full” Fedora 19 system on my PC. The one thing I’ve always loved about Fedora is the sheer number of latest versions of software (packages) it comes along with. For me, the best way to enjoy Fedora has always been installing it off its DVD edition. And that’s what I attempted to do with its latest avatar.

I downloaded F19’s DVD iso, checksum-verified it, and burned it on my DVD+RW. As a double-check, I reverified things by selecting the “Test and install Fedora” option from the boot menu. All was fine, and I was soon shown the installation screen. As I was installing Fedora after quite long (F14), I felt a lot had changed. But things were pleasant for the first few screens. Until I hit the software selection part. Quite clearly, a lot of effort had been made to ensure a smooth installation experience by removing all the “extra” input and configuration screens. This works well for almost all things, save for software (package) selection. Unlike in releases prior to F18, Anaconda no longer lets you select more than one desktop enviroment (DE) to install. What’s even more annoying is that it doesn’t even let you optionally select more packages outside of the pool that’s tied to the selected DE. Bad! Very bad! Fedora != Ubuntu, which makes it an absolutely bad idea to restrict its target users (experienced Linux users). Enough rants already!

Eventually, I got Fedora installed using the default 64-bit Live disc (GNOME 3) as the installer on DVD was crashing because of apparently missing dependencies. But what’s Fedora without the loads of software that come in its DVD? Thankfully, yum allows for adding of Fedora’s DVD ISO as a software source; even more thankfully, I had my 4.1GB DVD ISO still around. Below I list the steps necessary to install packages directly (and easily) off the DVD using yum. The best part of this process is the ability to install package groups that allows for installation of complete KDE or Xfce or development tools with a single command. Now let’s boot into our shiny new F19 installation, and follow the below steps.

  1. Mount the F19 DVD ISO:
    sudo mkdir /mnt/F19_ISO
    sudo mount /home/me/Downloads/Fedora-19-x86_64-DVD.iso /mnt/F19_ISO/
  2. Create a new yum repo with the mounted DVD as its source:
    sudo vi /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-dvd.repo
  3. Copy-paste the following into the repo file:
    [fedora-dvd]
    name=Fedora DVD $releasever – $basearch
    failovermethod=priority
    baseurl=file:///mnt/F19_ISO/
    enabled=1
    metadata_expire=7d
    gpgcheck=1
    gpgkey=file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-fedora-$basearch
  4. Enable the new repo:
    sudo yum –enablerepo=fedora-dvd
  5. Disable all other repos by ticking them off in Menu > Software > Software Sources. You can do the same using this command:
    sudo yum –disablerepo=*
  6. Things are ready now. Install a package:
    sudo yum install amarok
  7. Check list of all groups available in yum:
    sudo yum grouplist
  8. Install a group using:
    sudo yum groupinstall “NAME OF GROUP”
    For example:
    sudo yum groupinstall “KDE Plasma Workspaces”
  9. Disable the DVD repo, and re-enable the official ones after you have installed new software to your heart’s content. Again, you can do this from Menu > Software > Software Sources or using the aforementioned yum commands.
  10. Enjoy :)
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Anurag is an open-source evangelist, and affiliated with several Linux projects like OpenMandriva, Unity and Granular. He began his Linux journey with SuSE 9.1. He is passionate about sports (football, tennis, cricket) and loves to read books (fiction, sci-fi, classics). He is also an avid gamer, Steam being his latest obsession. He usually blogs on his homepage and twitter profile. Anurag works as a Senior Analyst (software engineering) at Accenture India, and is a regular contributor at Muktware.