Anaconda flaws make it unusable

I can’t find a tag specifically for Anaconda in the drop-down, so I chose this one. Please re-direct it if necessary.
Anaconda is the most bizarre Linux installer I’ve ever used. I’m a new (potential) user of Fedora, but I’m at a loss as to how to install Fedora xfce Spin live .iso using Anaconda. Typical installers such as Calamares, Debian and Mint allow unrestricted manual partitioning - Anaconda does not. The developers have over-automated it so that its not possible to manual specify the exact partition desired for an installation.
I have 2 stretches of unallocated space on my 1TB disk, and I’m multi-booting several distros while looking for a version I’m most comfortable with. I want to specify the smaller unallocated space, but Anaconda insists on using the larger space which I’m reserving for other uses.
I tried setting up the partitions for root and home in advance using gParted, but that seems to confuse Anaconda even more. Choosing my new, desired partition from the “Unknown” drop-down list, and specifying the mount type and desired size doesn’t convince Anaconda to use those choices - it creates a new partition number in the wrong unallocated space, duplicating what I’ve created. Changing from ‘standard partition’ to ‘btrfs partition’ doesn’t change this wrong choice.
Further, there is no listed choice of my partitions for the boot partition - I assume that Anaconda would set that up in the new root partition. That defeats the whole purpose of having a separate, unified boot partition where Grub lists all my other distros. How do other multi-booters get around this?
This frustration also extends to the swap - there is no mount option for a swap mount in the mount drop-down list. I’d like to use a common swap partition that’s successfully shared with other distros, but its also unlisted in the Unknown drop-down.
None of these problems arise in using Calamares or Debian installers. Is there a way to import another installer and use it to install Fedora xfce? It seems to me that Anaconda is too much of a “cookie-cutter” approach to installation - the automation process is perhaps too inflexible to allow specified installation locations.

From Proposed Common Issues to Ask Fedora

Added anaconda

For a more customized installation, you might want to try the “Everything” network (online) installer.

I haven’t used it in a long time, but IIRC, it will let you choose from any of the available DEs (including Xfce). It is probably more amicable to customized partition layouts as well. (But I’m not sure, like I said, I haven’t used it personally in a very long time.)

Edit: grub, however, is a whole other mess. I’d be very surprised if you can get that working correctly regardless of what installer you use.

Fedora stopped using disk based swap as experience shows that its better to use zram see Changes/SwapOnZRAM - Fedora Project Wiki

I use plasma kde spin and fedora server in both cases I have been able to use anaconda’s custom partitioning options to setup custom partitioning as I required it.

I have not tried the xfce installer, but I would be surprised if the custom partitioning was not included there as well.

1 Like

Have you tried Advanced Custom Blivet GUI?


Yes, this would be the best answer for the above question. I would also add, that one can achieve similar results with “Custom” partitioning as well.

However, the Anaconda team has been working on a new web based Anaconda installer and there were attempts to make it default in Fedora 40. Some of the installation images were created with that new Anaconda, which has currently limited functionality as far as fiddling with disks and partitions is concerned.

Make sure, you have an image with the old Anaconda. Someone suggested the Everything iso. This is a good option, especially if you have fast internet and in never uses the new Anaconda. The newest Fedora 40 Beta Workstation isos (but not those with osb in name) should be also using the old Anaconda.

Thanks all for your responses to my uninformed grumblings about Anaconda. I sense that Fedora Spin may be a bit beyond my level of experience at this point. I think I’ll wait for Fedora 40 and try installation again. I appreciate your explanations of the changes in swap and the various approaches to customizing my installation. Robert