Dual Boot Windows 7 and Fedora 16 Verne (Step by Step Guide)

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The Fedora Project recently released Fedora 16 (“Verne”), featuring GNOME 3.2, as well as virtualization and cloud enhancements including Aeolus and OpenStack integration. Fedora 16 upgrades to Linux 3.1, the GRUB2 bootloader finally shows up, and Firefox 7.0.1, while offering improved system settings, plus enhanced contact and document management apps.

This installation guide is meant for those who want to dual boot Fedora 16 Verne alongside Windows 7 (should work with any version of Windows) and Fedora 16. I have chosen the most basic setup with Windows 7 already installed and occupying the entire hard drive.

Step 0: Before we start with the installation, we need to make space for the Fedora installation, if you already have old Fedora or any other Linux distro installed and you want to get rid of it (erase it completely), then you may skip this step. You have a few options for creating free space for Fedora. Windows 7 users can use Windows native partition manager tool to resize the partition as described here (easy GUI based tool), second option is to use a third party software like Gparted Live CD, or use the Fedora installer itself to do the resizing for you. If you have Windows 7 I would recommend the first approach which is the easiest and least messy approach. So resize current partition and leave empty space!

Step 1: Put the Fedora 16 installation disk, iso for which can be download from http://fedoraproject.org, in your CD/DVD drive and reboot (make sure your DVD/CD Drive is the first boot device or at least ahead of your hard drive in boot order). Alternatively you can use your USB drive to transfer the Iso image and make it bootable by using Unetbootin as described here. I am going to make use of the Fedora 16 live CD for the installation. The live CD should start to boot as soon as your computer restarts.

On first boot if might encounter Gnome3 failed error, don’t be alarmed by it, once you have the video drivers installed Gnome3 would start to work.

The Fedora Live Desktop would look something like this, start the installation by choosing Install to Hard Drive option from Applications > System Tools menu.

Step 2 Installation of Fedora 16: The screenshot of each installation step is shown below and the appropriate description is appended where needed. We start by selecting the language

Choose storage type, continue with Basic Storage Devices and hit the Next button

Specify the host name (the name of your computer, it can be anything you like)

Select the time zone.

Next specify the password for the root (super user). This is needed for making any changes to your installation, later.

In the next step, to keep things simple, we are going to choose the option of Use Free Space for the Fedora installation (we already have created free space on drive in Step 0). If you want to see how the partitions are created and want to modify them, then tick the box that says Review and modify the partitioning layout. It would show the partition structure that installer is going to create.

If you are not comfortable with dealing with partitions then I would suggest you to go with the default selection and hit next, auto partitioning should work fine.

In the next step you would be asked if you want to write changes to the disk. Click on it to continue and the partitions that you saw in previous step would be created for you.

Next screen allows you to choose the device where you want the boot loader (Grub 2) to be copied, I would recommend you to continue with the default choice.

By default the boot loader is installed on the MBR (Master Boot Record), I would continue with the default choice as it works most times. So I would suggest you stick to it. However, if you don’t get the Grub screen on boot, then you can repeat above steps and try changing settings in Change device option.

Installation of Fedora 16 would start now

Click on Close to exit the installer and then restart your computer by going to the System menu on top bar (don’t forget to eject the CD or unplug the USB as computer restarts)

Upon restart you should be greeted by the Grub menu. Choose Fedora to finalize your installation by creating users etc. Enjoy your dual boot system. Leave your feedback if you think I was not clear in explaining any of the steps or if you are stuck with some issue. Remember, new Fedora uses Grub 2 so the step to change the default boot choice (Windows vs Fedora) is now similar as for Ubuntu, you see this post to change this setting after first boot.




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has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

4 Comments on “Dual Boot Windows 7 and Fedora 16 Verne (Step by Step Guide)”

  • hector wrote on 13 November, 2011, 17:29

    How can i know how many space on the hdd fedora will be use? If i have ubuntu 11.10 previously installed and i want to replace it can i use the replace existing linux system option? Do you think its safer?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


    lifehacker Reply:

    @hector, Yes, this should be perfectly safe, I have tried doing this a bunch of times earlier without facing any issues, Fedora would carefully remove and format all linux (Ext3/Etx4) partitions and create default layout for Fedora. But, having said that I would still recommend you to take backup of all critical data on your drive in case something goes wrong, this is essential for operations involving modification of partition(s). The reason is that it is just a software and it can go wrong once in a while.

    Default Fedora installation should not use / need more space than your old Ubuntu installation. So you should be fine with disk space requirements.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0



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