How to install Fedora 21 in 10 easy steps

Fedora 21 Live
Fedora 21 - Live

Today (9 Dec 2014) is the day, long marked on the calendar, for Fedora 21 to be released. Almost one year of development has been spent on it, and without doubt, Fedora 21 is going to be one of the most discussed releases of Fedora’s history because of the great innovations and many improvements implemented.

Important: I take absolutely NO responsibility of what you do with your machine; use this tutorial as a guide and remember you can possibly cause data loss if you touch things carelessly.

Tip: In Fedora 21 during the whole installation process (step 3 to 8) there will be a “Help!” button in the top-right corner. If you ever need some help you can click it (obvious is obvious, though in precedent releases this button wasn’t present :) ).

1) Boot from a support

fedora 21 boot

Fedora 21 – Boot

The first thing you have to do to proceed with the installation of Fedora 21 is boot it from a support (CD/DVD and USB Pendrives are today the best options), if you don’t know how to burn the image onto the support find a tutorial on the Internet or use this tutorial. Once you have your support, reboot your machine, select an option like “boot options” or “boot priority list” and select your support, in this way you should see this screen. Just select “Start Fedora Live” to get to the next point.

2) Fedora 21 Live

Fedora 21 Live

Fedora 21 – Live

Now you’re in the live media, your computer is still untouched. From here you can choose to try Fedora 21 (try it a bit to see if everything works fine; usually audio, video, peripherals and network are the things to look at) or to install it right away. When you’re ready to install move on to the next step.

3) Welcome to Fedora 21

Fedora 21 installation language

Fedora 21 – Installation Language

In this step you just need to select your preferred language and keyboard layout during the installation. Selecting your language here will affect only the installation, and you can always change system’s language after the installation.

4) The hub

Fedora 21 Installation hub

Fedora 21 – Installation hub

This is the hub of the installation that will guide you through the basic configuration. Also, until you click “Begin Installation” there won’t be changes happening on your computer. So be relaxed and don’t panic. I will review each step of the hub excluding “keyboard” which should have been set on the second step.

5) Configuring the hub

5.1) Date & Time

Fedora 21 Installation Date Time

Fedora 21 Installation – Date & Time

By clicking on Date & Time, this will be the screen you’ll be facing. Just select your time zone and set your current time. If you have selected (and I suggest you to) Network Time, time and date will be retrieved from the Internet. If you have no Internet connectivity, disable it by switching off the switch on the top-right corner.

5.2) Network & Hostname

Fedora 21 Installation Network Hostname

Fedora 21 Installation – Network & Hostname

In this step you will set the machine’s hostname (much like Windows).

5.3) Disks

5.3.1) Selecting devices

Fedora 21 Installation Disks

Fedora 21 Installation – Disks

This is the most crucial step in the whole installation, pay great attention to what you do, since messing here may mean data loss. In this step you need to select the devices where you want to install Fedora 21 on (yes you can specify multiple devices, but if you’re not experienced, just check one). Now you can face two different scenarios: an empty drive or one or more OS installed. If you have an empty drive, just be sure to select “Automatically configure partitioning” and you’re ready to go. If you haven’t an empty drive or want to do things manually follow one of the next two steps.

5.3.2) You have an empty drive

Fedora 21 Installation - Empty drive

Fedora 21 Installation – Empty drive

In the case you have an empty drive the screen will be like the one above. If you have enough knowledge you can partition your disk according to your own needs. But if you haven’t I suggest you click on “Click here to create them automatically” (it will have the same effects of “Automatically configure partitioning” in the precedent step.

5.3.3) You have one or more OS installed

Fedora 21 Installation one or more OS installed

Fedora 21 Installation – One or more OS installed

In this scenario you have one or more OS installed on your disk. In my screenshot I have a Windows 7 installation, but it is not (yet) properly recognized and is shown as “Unknown”.

  • If you want to delete one or more Operating Systems just highlight them and click the minus “-” on the bottom of the left box. After that just click Click here to create them automatically or create partitions manually to complete the step and click done.
  • If you decided to install Fedora 21 alongside another Operating System just click on Click here to create them automatically and you will get a similar situation situation:
Fedora 21 Installation Fedora set to be installed alongside another OS

Fedora 21 Installation – Fedora set to be installed alongside another OS

6) All ready!

Fedora 21 Installation Everything configured

Fedora 21 Installation – Everything configured

At this point you will have everything configured, beware, now is your last chance to recognize mistakes, and if you click “Begin Installation” the installation will proceed and start modifying your disks. So be sure to double check everything if you have doubts, or ask the help of someone experienced.

7) Installation Starts

Fedora 21 Installing

Fedora 21 Installing

As you can see the installation process has started, now don’t go away to take your coffee yet: you still have to configure your user and root user. One of them has to be filled and you have three choices:

  • Configure only user (and make it an administrator) SUGGESTED
  • Configure user and root
  • Configure only root DISCOURAGED

7.1) Configuring user

Fedora 21 Installation Configuring User

Fedora 21 Installation – Configuring User

In this step you just configure your user, if you want to be an administrator be sure to check “Make this user administrator” (in this way you can skip the following step). I also suggest you to use a password. Beware: if you use a weak password you’ll have to click “Done” twice.

7.2) Configuring root

Fedora 21 Installation Root user configuration

Fedora 21 Installation – Root user configuration

As you can see this step is much simpler, it just requires a password, be sure to pick something not-too-easy.

8) Done!

Fedora 21 correctly installed

Fedora 21 correctly installed

Finish! Now everything is configured and Fedora 21 has been correctly installed. Press quit to exit; unlike previous versions, the reboot won’t be automatic so you will have to reboot it manually depending on which Desktop Environment you’re using in the live media. (Usually GNOME: top-right corner; KDE: bottom-left corner.)


Overall I feel like the installation process is smoother and prettier to the eye than in Fedora 20, and more similar to RHEL/CentOS versions. Stay tuned for more about Fedora 21 new features. That’s all for today, if you need help with the first-boot configuration, you can follow my Fedora 20 Installation Tutorial (step 9) which is almost identical.

Image courtesy of mark | marksei

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