What’s coming in Fedora 29 Anaconda?

Last week, the Fedora Magazine covered the new features and improvements in the Fedora 28 Installer. The Fedora installer team is already hard at work adding new features for Fedora 29. This article covers some of these improvements.

Progress hub

The progress hub is mostly empty (on Fedora Workstation) after moving the user creation step to GNOME Initial Setup.

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Discussions are on going with the Fedora Workstation working group  about re-working the progress hub. Hit the comments with suggestions on how you think this could be improved.

More Anaconda on DBus

Fedora 28 was the start of the ultimate goal of modularizing Anaconda. The main idea is to split the code into several modules that will communicate over DBus. Ultimately, this will enable a UI-less installation process.

The goal in Fedora 29 is to move all the storage-related code to the storage module.   Additionally, plans are in place to extend some of the other modules and introduce installation tasks, so you can monitor the installation steps.

Supporting Fedora Modularity

Fedora Modularity was introduced in Fedora 28 for the Server variant. This effort is still expanding, adding more modules, features and bug fixes. The Anaconda team is  working on module installation support for Anaconda.

First of all, the new kickstart command, called “module”, is used to enable modules. Additionally, support for installing modules via the %packages section in kickstart.

There are already patches for Anaconda, DNF, Pykickstart and libdnf that make module installation from kickstart possible.

Reducing Initial Setup dependencies even more

Fedora 28 reduced Initial Setup dependencies from Anaconda and the compose tools greatly. Next on the list is to do the same with Blivet.

Currently, the python-blivet package has hard dependencies on many storage handling tools. The current plan is to introduce a blivet-minimal package to just provide the bare minimum of Blivet functionality, such as architecture detection and device-tree based storage modeling. The current python-blivet package will maintain its current dependencies. Consequently, Initial Setup won’t drag in unnecessary dependencies, making packaging more flexible.

LUKS2 support

LUKS2 is the new generation of the Linux storage encryption workhorse, bringing various improvements and new features. Work has started adding support for creating LUKS2-based encrypted storage volumes during installation.

Fedora Project community

40 Comments

  1. Larry Dalton

    Very interested in LUKS2

  2. Leslie Satenstein

    Where can we specify additional defaults for the database?

    Typically, I have something like the following in the/etc/fstab

    UUID=… /Backup defaults,noauto, user

    Root has chmod. 1000 /Backup as the default. When the backup is mounted, the permissions follow that of the mounted partition

  3. SampsonF

    Will /boot on btrfs option finally got there?

  4. dede

    when vera crypt and luks hiden partition?

    when reducing size of update package? isnt possible to install minimal system and using ‘outernet’

    when signed package binary elf

  5. Noel

    Keep up the good work, Fedora Team. I’m greatly satisfied with my OS migration to Fedora 28.

  6. Fedora, OpenSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu and Others GNU/Linux installers WORKS VERY SLOW in a Multi-boot setup (50+ Operating Systems). Debian, Ubuntu, Devuan, Deepin and others GNU/Linux dos NOT support installation with over 46 OS’s. Only Fedora, OpenSUSE & Arch Based installers (Calamares installer) support Multi-boot install, but very slow (The GNU GRUB installation with the update-grub command takes ours) I believe all GNU/Linux Distros needs to use the Calamares installer https://calamares.io/about/ & Create a GRUB 3 with multi-boot support (Like 300+ Operating Systems on a Single System) with UEFI we can have up to 128 partitions in a SINGLE Hard Drive and we can HAVE up to 124 Operating Systems in UEFI including Windows.

    • Mehdi

      Why would one require so many installations on a single system? Wouldn’t a virtualization solution like Virtual Box or VMWare work better for such situations?

      • @Mehdi: Indeed it would. There is almost no reasonable use case these days for more than a dual boot OS, if that. Virtualization is the right solution here.

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      No sane person would dual-boot with more than three OS’s. If you’re installing 100+ you’re making a mistake somewhere buddy

  7. Awaiting for the amazing new features

  8. Mehdi

    This reminds me of famous platforms like Android. I love the fact that there are always new innovative releases coming in the Fedora line.

  9. A user in IRC Freenode #fedora yesterday was asking why anaconda and other only-needed-for-installation packages were left around post-install… and we thought it might be a good idea to remove that stuff post-install in Anaconda or in first boot. Sound like a good idea? Any reason not to?

    • Cody

      I’ve not actually checked but one possible time it’s used is during kernel updates. Whether or not that’s the case – or even if no other time it’s used – I personally don’t mind it being there. But I suspect somehow that if there is a reason it’s a good reason; maybe it’s a dependency issue and if so – well you shouldn’t mess with those. Ever.

  10. Ivan

    Maybe you could add a larger banner to the progress hub as most other distros have.

  11. Phillip B

    I can not figure out how to map my /home from a separate drive in anaconda. I love the boot speed of my ssd, but I don’t want to burn it up too fast, plus space is very limited on it. If there was a tutorial I missed somehow on using multiple drives please let me know

    • Flo

      You should contact a support forum (ask.fedoraproject.org) or IRC

    • Are you selecting both drives as targets in the installer? If so, they both should be usable when you assign partitions. You have to click on it to put a checkmark over it.

    • drakkai

      In F28 you can do this easily with Advanced Custom (Blivet-GUI) option.

    • With anaconda, you need to mark the additional drives as ones you will write to during the install. You might need custom allocation to specify where /home goes.

      However, you can move /home to another drive after installation. There is no real need for anaconda to do it. You might need a tutorial for LVM. Try the lsblk command to show the drives, volume groups, logical volumes, partitions, etc on your system – that should get you started.

      I have no idea what is on your second drive now, but I would recommend making it another volume group, and allocate /home as a logical volume on it.

      lsblk – list block devices volumes, and mounted filesystems
      pvcreate – turns a partition or entire drive into a PV (physical volume), destroying any existing data
      vgcreate – creates a VG (volume group) from a collection of PVs
      lvcreate – creates a LV (logical volume) on a VG
      partclone – does an image copy of an unmounted filesystem
      rsync – can copy directories between filesystems, needed if /home is not already on a separate volume.
      mkfs – create a new empty filesystem
      /etc/fstab – edit this to have /home mounted from your new location

    • Sebastiaan Franken

      If you choose custom partitioning you can select every drive you want to use. Put / and /boot (and /proc and stuff) on the SSD, and put /home on the HDD.

    • Cody

      You should be able to when you customise your disk layout; and if you have volumes you don’t want to wipe (which /home is a good candidate of that) you would use that option. This is in contrast to letting [it] set up the file systems (and doing it custom is good anyway to have further separation which makes it easier to fix things, update things, set different mount options, etc.)

      Otherwise don’t touch it and just add it to /etc/fstab later on (though I seem to recall that there is the desire to move away from that but I won’t get into such … well I have nothing nice to say so I won’t say anything at all).

  12. Amitosh Swain

    One suggestion for Progress Hub: a slideshow showcasing the capabilities of Fedora, and slides about fedora project, applications available for common tasks etc can be put there. The banners below the progress bar can be removed altogether.

    • Ashok Poolla

      I second this, solely for the reason that new users will find it interesting to discover more about their OS. Some of the info you could put up on the banners would be LibreOffice for productivity, Firefox browser, Image Editing tools, Media Players, Security and Privacy settings etc., and without taking anything away from “How to personalize your Fedora Install”.

      It’s always great and enriching to see an OS team look up to the community for ideas.

  13. Flo

    I would like to see a little check-button that enables a minimal Gnome install. I’ve recently seen this with Ubuntu (I guess it was 18.04), and it’s quite nice to have a Desktop installed without the dozens of Gnome apps that a user may not use (but can easily install them if needed).

    (So, this is not a minimal install; it’s a minimal Gnome3 install)

  14. drakkai

    Waiting for the minimal installation options (without gui etc.)

    • Flo

      You already got this using the netinstall image.

  15. Matt

    I’m not sure what the background to removing the ability to set the host’s FQDN from F28’s workstation installer was. Any pointers to that discussion/reasoning would be welcome. Seeing that make a return would be my only feature request. Even making it part of GNOME Initial Setup would be an almost bearable workaround, but as it currently stands one has to drop down to

    hostnamectl

    which doesn’t seem like a step in the right direction for user friendliness in my eyes.

    • Timur

      Matt, you can just set the hostname in the Gnome Settings app.

  16. Timur

    My 20 cents:

    I really liked the redesigned anaconda when it was introduced. However the new design didn’t age well – now it’s just a couple of buttons. If you have a high-res screen then most of the screen is empty during installation, because now there are only a few steps that you need to configure in anaconda (and it is becoming even fewer).

    So while I’m excited to see the new features, I would be thrilled to see a new, more fitting design approach that guides the user on what to do.

  17. While the customized install lets you setup LVM just how you want, the default install should really have a simple slider for how much free space to leave in LVM. There is little point in installing LVM by default if there isn’t enough space left for even a snapshot.

    The help text should explain a few of things you could do with the free space, and the default should be enough for a snapshot – maybe 1G.

  18. Phill

    I suffered many a sprain on the Progress Hub. Partly because feedback was slow and it often misled me to repeat the storage step needlessly, and partly because I do it seldom and I must not forget anything, such as the inconspicuous little boot-loader invitation in the lower corner–which the setup sequence regards as an option. What I need is Next, Next, Next so I won’t stray and I won’t miss anything. If some people need random access to installer steps, that’s fine, provide both.

  19. Peter

    For the new empty screen, there could be the possibility to setup the software configuration (maybe add software packages) or load a configuration file for the setup.

  20. Leslie Satenstein

    Hi Ryan
    Here is my idea that would do for live ISO installations.
    There should be one large tar file or a series of tar files, that would
    have /usr /var, /etc, /sbin, etc all preconfigured and ready.
    The anaconda routine would look at /usr, /var, /etc and create any that are missing. Then just untar the files into the above mentioned partitions.
    I could see a single tar file providing the core of the next Fedora. Immediately follow up with the configuration for region, language, timezone, and /home.

    What I believe happens today is that dnf installs each separate rpm as part of the Live ISO installation. (dnf install ./rpm). That step is what I think could be optimized.

    • Leslie Satenstein, No… that is NOT how the live install media works. It does not install rpm packages. The livemedia just copies over the disk contents of the live media and you get the packages that were pre-installed… and since they are pre-installed, that’s one gets to use them from the live media. Package-based installations would be slower.

  21. jjj

    please translate images (ads?)
    in install process.

  22. zfsuser

    Hopefully root on zfs makes the bill, copying root from a chroot and reinstalling grub every time a kernel update breaks my install is mildly boring.

  23. Pat Kelly

    I install Fedora Workstation frequently. This is for multiple PCs and because I help with Fedora QA. I always install on bare metal and I always want a “clean install”. That is, I always want to reclaim all disk space. Another check box near where the one is that results in (reclaiming disk space) would be handy. The new check box would be something like (reclaim all disk space). That would save a couple of mouse clicks. The selections that are currently under reclaim disk space could be made part of an option under custom.

  24. jenrry

    I hope next fedora improve performance in RAM consumption because by now gnome takes 2.13G of RAM and just with one tab open to write you. maybe the developers of genome use a super machine with a core I7 with 16GB of RAM o maybe more and they feel the consumption of RAM and CPU, well I hope listen to me. thank you for all.

  25. Chuck Wolff

    After live Fedora 28 install a note to remove install media and press enter will help. If the flash drive is left in after install the system restarts live mode. A note from a W10 and Apple studio.

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