Can we have a smaller netboot ISO and make it so it actually installs the selected edition with its default settings? An installation summary before starting the installation starts would also be nice and helpful.
My Netboot Installation Experience
Yesterday, for the first time in a very long while, I had the need to install Fedora from scratch.
I headed over to the main landing page for downloading an ISO. I came across the netboot image of Fedora 38 Server, which is advertised as:
Note: You can select different editions of Fedora to install with this netinstall. You are not limited to Server edition only.
That’s exactly what I was looking for. Small image, up to date packages downloaded from the mirrors, choice of desktop environment, flavor and additional packages.
It turns out not all of these were delivered. After some discussion with @chrismurphy on IRC, I decided to summarize this in order to discuss with a broader audience and maybe we can decide on some improvements.
The image isn’t small. It’s advertised as being 600MB on alt.fp.o. In fact it’s more than 700MB. Back in the day, if I remember correctly, the netboot ISO used to be relatively with around 100MB. I don’t know why it has grown to a full fledged ISO when all that is needed is a very basic OS and the installer. I’m curious, though.
Up To Date Packages
That’s why I like using the netboot ISO. It downloads required packages from the mirrors, saving me having to pull in a large update right after installing. Especially when installing later in the release cycle this is a big advantage.
Choice of Desktop Environment
While I can choose the desktop environment I’d like to install, the final installation turns out to deviate from the default workstation installation. It uses LVM+XFS instead of BTRFS, which is the default for Workstation. I only discovered that after the installation was finished. At the start of the installation the progress report already hinted at it, but I let it run anyway.
It would be nice to have an installation summary before the actual installation kicks off. That way I can verify that all settings are correct and the installation will do what I expect it to do. For example, I forgot to set a hostname in the network configuration, only realizing my oversight post installation.
Having a summary presented, would have allowed me to go back and change my configuration using the advanced partitioning feature for configuring BTRFS and setting the hostname.
The Server default of LVM+XFS is not mentioned in the Server documentation. The section mentions: “You get a partitioning as described in the Server installation introduction”, but the link in that sentence does not lead to a page with more information regarding default partitioning. ↩︎