Temp OPS235 Lab 1

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OPS235 Lab 1 GNU/Linux Installation - Fedora 16


  • In this lab, you are going to install the Fedora (GNU/Linux Distribution) to your removable hard disk from your burned DVD.
  • Although this will be a simple install, this Fedora Operating System will be a platform for other Virtual Machine Fedora installations (in future labs). Therefore, it is very important that you take the time to carefully read and perform ALL steps, and take time to check your work.
  • After performing the Fedora16 DVD installation, you will collect baseline information about your Fedora GNU/Linux system, and perform some post installation configuration to prepare your system for the remainder of the labs.


  1. Perform a GNU/Linux installation using the Fedora 16 distribution
  2. Investigate information during and after the Fedora 16 installation
  3. Perform an upgrade after a recent installation

Required Materials (Bring to All Labs)

  • Fedora 16 LIVE CD - You can burn this onto a CD-R in the Open Lab
  • Fedora 16 x_64 Installation DVD - You can burn this onto a DVD-R in the Open Lab (or burn image onto a DVD+R if you are using the Freedom Toaster).
  • SATA Hard Disk (in removable disk tray)
  • USB Memory Stick (minimum 64M)
  • Lab Logbook (Lab1 Reference Sheet) (to make notes and observations).


  • None (First Lab)

Linux Command Online Reference

Each Link below displays online manpages for each command (via http://linuxmanpages.com):

Resources on the web

Additional links to tutorials and HOWTOs:

Performing Lab 1

Investigation 1: How to Perform a Fedora DVD Install on Your Removable Hard Drive

  1. Insert your removable SATA hard disk into the drive tray.
  2. Set your computer's drive selector switch to external (a.k.a position #4).
  3. Power up the computer and insert the Fedora 16 Installation DVD into the CD/DVD drive.
  4. Wait until the Fedora DVD boots (could take a few moments).
Boot-up Issues (Fedora16) in Seneca's Computer labs
If for some reason, the Fedora16 Installation DVD does not boot:
  • Restart the computer, and press the function key F10 to specify the device to boot (eg. DVD drive).
  • If the user is prompted for a password, simply press ENTER (without typing any password) at the password prompt.
  • You will need to perform this technique to ensure that Fedora boots from the hard drive (in future labs).
  • If you have tried this technique, and the Fedora Installation DVD does not boot, you may have to burn a new Fedora Installation DVD.
  1. Note the time at the beginning of your installation.
  2. When the Fedora16 Installation DVD boots, it will prompt the user to test the media (i.e. DVD) for integrity. Since time is limited for installation in the lab, select SKIP. On the other hand, if the install did not work, then you can test out the integrity of the DVD in the computer lab during your spare time.
  3. Select the default language (English) in the next install screen, and click Next.
  4. Select the default keyboard layout and Basic Storage Devices in the following installation screens.
  5. Set your hostname (name of the computer) to f16host (one word, no space, all lowercase).
    Record in your lab logbook why you think it is important to set your hostname to this exact name instead of using another name...
  6. Set your time zone to Toronto.
  7. <li>Root Password: enter a password of your own choosing. Pick one that is really, really hard to guess to protect your system. (Recommendation: use the first letter and all the punctuation from a favorite phrase or song verse. For example, "To be or not to be, that is the question!" could become the password "Tbontb,titq!").
  8. Select Use All Space, to have the entire disk for the current Fedora16 OS.
Previous Contents of Hard Drive will be Erased
If you are using an existing removable Hard Disk from a previous course, you must allow the Installation DVD to "wipe" all previous contents prior to proceeding with this lab (no exceptions). Failure to erase existing contents can cause problems in subsequent labs such as running out of hard disk space...
Using Entire Hard Disk
You may be "hesitant" to want to use the entire disk for just one operating system, but we will be using software that will allow us to run virtual machines for other Fedora installs (while your host system called f16host is also running).

  1. When prompted, make certain to select Fresh Install in order to erase any previous contents of the hard disk.
  2. You will be prompted to confirm the options that you have chosen prior to performing the DVD install. If you are not certain, you can "Go Back". As soon as you are satisfied with your selections, then click Write Changes to Disk.
  3. Record briefly in your lab logbook what activity occurs during this installation process.
  4. Select in the next screen the Graphical Desktop applications, and in the additional repositories section (at the bottom) accept the default settings, then proceed.
  5. Add in your lab logbook a brief description of the term "software repository" and what its major purpose serves (what you think it does). We will not add any existing repositories since we are not currently connected to the Internet. Therefore, we will customize the repositories later.
  6. Proceed with the installation. This may take some time. Record in your lab log-book the general steps in the installation process (displayed in the dialog box).
  7. When installation is complete, a screen will confirm completion, and ask the user to remove the DVD, and reboot the computer. Write in your lab log-book the time it took to perform this DVD Fedora install.
  8. Remove the Fedora Installation DVD, and click Reboot.
Boot-up Issues (Fedora16) in Seneca's Computer labs
Each time you boot from your removable hard drive:
  • Press the function key F10 and specify the hard disk device to boot
    (eg. SATA drive).
  • If the user is prompted for a password, simply press ENTER
    (without typing any password) at the password prompt.
  1. When the system starts, set or accept the time and date default.
  2. Create a user account for yourself using the same name as your learn account, and create a suitable password (do not forget password!).
  3. Normally, you would want to enable Network Time Protocol, but since we will be experimenting with the networking turned off in later labs, leave it disabled.
  4. Click on Do Not Send Hardware Profile.
  5. Finish the post-installation customization, wait for the login screen to appear, and then login to your computer account and your created (i.e. your name).
  6. Proceed to Investigation 2

Answer the Investigation 1 observations / questions in your lab log book.

Investigation 2: How many file packages and files are installed on the system?

For the rest of the tasks in this lab, you must login to your installed Fedora system using your Learn account, open a terminal and execute the following listed Linux commands to obtain information for your lab-logbook (lab1). If you get a Permission Denied message when trying to execute a command, then switch to the superuser account by running the command su - and type in your password for "root" (since you are the main administrator for your Fedora system). Once the intended command is executed, type "exit" to exit from the superuser account and return to your regular Learn account.

Using Superuser Privilege
Throughout this course, you may need to execute commands using the privileges of the the administrative user (username "root", also called the "superuser"). To switch from your account to the root account, type the command: su

After switching user notice and make note of the change in your shell prompt. Also note the difference in output for the whoami andpwd commands.

Whenever this is required, make a note of it, and determine why superuser privilege is required.

When you are finished using the root account type exit to return to your previous account. Avoid using the superuser account unless absolutely necessary, because the superuser account has unlimited privilege and a typo can destroy your system.

In some documentation, you may see the command su - used in place of su. The dash argument causes su to go through the steps that would normally be performed when the root user logs in, including (1) running the startup scripts (such as/etc/profile and /root/.bash_profile and (2) changing to the root user's home directory (/root).

Note that the root user's home directory (/root) is not the same as the root directory of the system (/). It is also in a different directory than the rest of the home directories, which are typically in /home -- the reason for this is that /home is sometimes on a network filesystem shared by another server (as is the case on Matrix), and it's important that the system administrator be able to log in to the system even if the network is not operating normally.

Navigate through your Graphical Fedora system, locate and run a terminal program (in order to issue Linux commands). Issue and record the commands used and the output generated in each of the following steps:

  1. The name of the installation log file is /root/install.log -- It is an ASCII file (how can you be sure?) which can be viewed with the less command.
  2. You can make use of this file to determine how many packages have been installed: complete the following command to count the number of packages listed in the installation log file:
grep ________________ /root/install.log | wc -l
  1. Using the rpm command: you can also use the following commands to list all the installed packages, and the total number of packages installed:
rpm -q -a
rpm -q -a | wc -l
rpm -qa | wc -l
  1. The -q option means query, and the -a option means all (in other words, query all installed software packages). Did you get the same number of packages from the above two methods?
  2. Some of the files on your system were installed with the software packages, and some were created by system activity (for example, by creating your Learn account and by logging in). If you know the package name (from the install.log), you can list all the files that were installed from the package by using the following command:
rpm -q -l package_name
  1. This combines the -q (query) option with the -l (list filenames) option
  2. You can pipe the outupt through wc -l to count the number of lines:
rpm -ql package_name| wc -l
  1. Using what you learned in steps 3, 4, and 8, get a count of the total number of files installed by all of the software packages on your system.
  2. To find out the name that you have assigned to your Linux system, enter the command: hostname
  3. To find out the kernel version of your GNU/Linux workstation and the date it was created, enter the command: uname -r
  4. To find out all the system processes running on your GNU/Linux workstation, enter the command: ps -ef
  5. To capture the list of all the system processes to a file called ps.lst, enter the command: ps -ef > ps.lst
  6. Copy the installation log file /root/install.log and the file ps.lst to a USB memory key, or scp to your matrix account as a backup.
  7. View the section below to learn about and perform an update on your fresh Fedora16 install (you may have to find spare time to perform this install if you are running short on lab time). Do not proceed to Investigation 3 without performing an update.
Updating Fedora
The Fedora 16 software is updated frequently to add features, fix bugs, and upgrade security. Perform a system update to get the latest versions of the packages installed in Fedora: Start the Firefox web browser, turn off popup window blocking (select Edit>Preferences, then select the Content tab and uncheck the box to Block Popups), then login to SeneNET. Open a terminal and type su to start a shell as root. Enter the command yum update This will download and install all of the packages that have been updated since the installation DVD image was created. If you complete this command at Seneca it should run quite fast as Seneca College hosts a Fedora Repository mirror (a copy of all of the current fedora packages, on a local web server).

Answer the Investigation 2 observations / questions in your lab log book.

Investigation 3: What is the network configuration?

  1. To check the network configuration settings obtained from the DHCP server, run the following commands, describing the output in your log book:
    • ifconfig
    • route
    • netstat -rn
    • nslookup (at the > prompt, enter the word "server" (do not type the quotes) and record the output. Type exit to leave nslookup).

  2. Find the following information in the output of the above commands:
    • MAC address (physical or hardware address) of the ethernet network interface
    • The IP address (logical address) assigned by the DHCP server
    • The default route (gateway)
    • The DNS nameserver

Answer the Investigation 3 observations / questions in your lab log book.

Completing the Lab

Check off the following items before asking your instructor to check your lab:

  • Task 1 - Install GNU/Linux Workstation using Fedora
  • Task 2 - Collect system information after installation.
  • Task 3 - Fedora Updated
  • Task 4 - Collect network information

Arrange evidence for each of these items on your screen, then ask your instructor to review them and sign off on the lab's completion:

  • Can login with your "learn" account name
  • Has the package count
  • Has the correct IP address and MAC address
  • Find out the default route (gateway)
  • IP of the DNS name server
  • Name and contact information on your disk pack

Preparing for the Quizzes

  1. How many packages were installed?
  2. How many files (correct to the nearest hundred) were installed?
  3. How many users were created automatically on your system (do not count your learn account)?
  4. What is your learn account's UID and GID?
  5. What is your learn account's home directory?
  6. What is the home directory for the user "root"?
  7. How do you determine the host name of your GNU/Linux workstation?
  8. What command can display the NIC's MAC address?
Unbind your MAC address
Before moving your disk pack to another system, unbind your MAC address.