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Howto install Fedora Core over NFS.

by Daniel Owen on February 12, 2004

If you are tired of waiting anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or more for installs of Fedora to finish, then using NFS to install Fedora Core will greatly reduce the time needed for an install. You'll need another machine with the iso images for Fedora to run the NFS share from.

Start out by putting the Fedora iso images in a directory somewhere. For this example I'll use /usr/local/iso/yarrow

[daniel@linuxone][daniel]# mkdir -p /usr/local/iso/yarrow

copy the files to your directory

[daniel@linuxone][daniel]# cd /usr/local/iso/yarrow
[daniel@linuxone][yarrow]# ls
MD5SUM yarrow-i386-disc1.iso yarrow-i386-disc2.iso yarrow-i386-disc3.iso

Configure the NFS share. This can be done from the Fedora GUI or from the command line.

From the GUI goto Applications\System Settings\Server Settings\NFS

The NFS Server Configuration will prompt you for your root password. After entering that click add. In the box that appears enter the directory of your share and the IP of the machine you wish to allow to connect to the share. You may also add your whole subnet using something like this The permissions should be read-only.

Now you should have your share listed in the configuration program.

Now you're ready to go to the client and start the install.

You'll need the first Fedora disk to start the process. Boot off the first disk. At the prompt type linux askmethod

This will let the installer know you wish to do some form of install other than off the cds.

The installer will start as normal but will request you to select a way to install. Select NFS and then configure an IP for your client. Next it will ask for the IP of your NFS server and the location of the directory where the iso images are stored.

After following all these steps your install should begin using the NFS images. The install time on my machine went from 45 minutes on the CDs to about 8 minutes using NFS.

Like most Linux GUI tools this one is just modifying a text file, in this case /etc/exports. The file made by the GUI above looks like this.

[daniel@linuxone][daniel]# cat /etc/exports

After configuring the /etc/exports file you need to let NFS know of your modifications. Use exportfs to do this. exportfs will list the directories you have exported.

[root@linuxone root]# exportfs

-Daniel Owen