I recently tried out the Fedora 18 Nightly Build to see what’s new! The most visible change was the completely new Anaconda Installer. The installer is the first thing a user sees and uses when he tries a new distro for the first time.
Hence it is a very important part of the distro and should be powerful yet simple. So does Anaconda live upto the expectations? Let’s find out!
I burnt it to a USB drive with the
dd command and booted from it. I was greeted with a screen which asked me to choose to “Try Fedora” or “Install to Hard Drive”. I choose “Installed to Hard Drive” as I wanted to test the real distro, not the Live CD.
I also needed to test some other things which I cannot test in Virtualbox, because there is some problem in connecting to internet there, so I had to install it to my hard drive (I wish I had not though).
The following warning appears mentioning that it is buggy and unstable. A funny message, but yet, a nice touch and does its job. I accepted it anyways.
The next screen was “Language Selection”. Nothing spectacular about it. Same old screen listing languages to choose from. Also the “pre-release” tag is written in red and bold letters which is enough to warn and a good little detail. I just choose “English” and clicked “Continue”.
Then it offered me to configure the internet. As I didn’t have an internet connection, I just clicked “Continue”.
Then the “Installation Summary” page pops in. Where you can configure the “Date & time”, “Keyboard”, “Language” and the installation location. The installer makes it simpler for you and doesn’t want to nag you with the configuration of “Date & Time” and “Keyboard”, still provides you options to configure them, and the options cannot go unnoticed since they are quite prominent.
When I clicked “Installation Destination”, it took me to the “Disk Selection” screen. It lists all the disks attached to the system. It shows my hard disk and the USB drive here. But since I booted from my USB drive, I don’t expect it to be shown. But hey, this occurs in Ubuntu’s Ubiquity Installer too!
After I choose my hard disk and clicked “Continue”, a dialog offered me to automatically configure the installation. Which seems nice for new users, as they won’t be familiar with mount points and stuff. But the current behavior is that your whole hard disk will be formatted. Hope they change it soon. Nah. I choose to customize my partitioning scheme and clicked “Continue”.
The “Manual Partitioning” screen then appears. I think it is quite confusing. I could not figure out anything from it and I doubt a new user will. It had an option to automatically create the mount points, which didn’t work. I’m curious how it will work though, once the code is complete. Anyways, I think it is far from being called user friendly. And by the way it did not detect my partitions, though after several attempts, it somehow managed to detect my partitions.
Anyhow I managed to assign a partition and mount point. Then I clicked “Begin Installation” and the installtion continued.
Hmm… It halted without any warning or message or anything. May be because my battery was low? But I have no idea. I connected my charger and it seemed to continue. Finally it finished without any problems. Yay!
I didn’t test everything as I was in a hurry. And everything was not smooth. I came across this screen in the installer quite a few times.
I think I somehow started multiple instances of the installer that caused this error. And again, two of my partitions were completely formatted automatically, and I (!)lost all my data (thank god I had backups). Fedora 18 (Spherical Cow) is still not released and this is a pre-release version. I hope the final Fedora 18 will fix all these annoying bugs though.
What do you think about the new installer? Is it user friendly?