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Chapter 3. New Users

This chapter explains how to get the files you need to install and run Fedora on your computer. Some of the concepts in this chapter may be new, since you may never have downloaded a complete free operating system. If you have trouble with this chapter, you may be able to find help by visiting the Fedora Forums at

[Tip] Download Links

To follow a Web based guide to downloading, visit For guidance on which architecture to download, refer to Section 3.2, “Which Architecture Is My Computer?”.

3.1. How Do I Download Installation Files?

The Fedora Project distributes Fedora in many ways, most of which are free of cost and downloadable over the Internet. The most common distribution method is CD and DVD media. There are several types of CD and DVD media available, including:

  • A full set of the installable software on DVD media

  • Live images that you can use to try Fedora, and install to your system if you like

  • Reduced-size bootable CD and USB flash disk images you can use to install over an Internet connection

  • Source code on DVD media

Most users want either the Live image or the full set of installable software on DVD or CDs. The reduced bootable images are suitable for users who have a fast Internet connection and only want to install Fedora on one computer. Source code discs are not used for installing Fedora, but are useful to experienced users and software developers.

[Tip] Downloading media

Users with a broadband Internet connection can download ISO images of CD and DVD media or images of USB flash disks. An ISO image is a copy of an entire disc in a format suitable for writing directly to a CD or DVD. A USB flash disk image is a copy of an entire disk in a format suitable for writing directly to a USB flash disk.

For more information on burning CDs and DVDs, refer to Section 3.4, “How Do I Make Fedora Media?”.

Fedora software is available for download at no cost in a variety of ways.

3.1.1. From a Mirror

To find the freely downloadable distributions of Fedora, look for a mirror. A mirror is a computer server that is open to the public for free downloads of software, including Fedora and often other free and open source software. To locate a mirror, visit using a Web browser, and choose a server from the list. The web page lists mirrors by geographic location. You may want to choose a mirror that is geographically close to you for faster speed.

Mirrors publish Fedora software under a well-organized hierarchy of folders. For example, the Fedora 9 distribution normally appears in the directory fedora/linux/releases/9/. This directory contains a folder for each architecture supported by that release of Fedora. CD and DVD media files appear inside that folder, in a folder called iso/. For example, you can find the file for the DVD distribution of Fedora 9 for x86_64 at fedora/linux/releases/9/x86_64/iso/F-9-x86_64-DVD.iso.

3.1.2. From BitTorrent

BitTorrent is a way to download information in cooperation with other computers. Each computer cooperating in the group downloads pieces of the information in a particular torrent from other peers in the group. Computers that have finished downloading all the data in a torrent remain in the swarm to seed, or provide data to other peers. If you download using BitTorrent, as a courtesy you should seed the torrent at least until you have uploaded at least the same amount of data you downloaded.

If your computer does not have software installed for BitTorrent, visit the BitTorrent home page at to download it. BitTorrent client software is available for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and many other operating systems.

You do not need to find a special mirror for BitTorrent files. The BitTorrent protocol ensures that your computer participates in a nearby group. To download and use the Fedora BitTorrent files, visit

[Tip] Minimal Boot Images

Minimal boot CD and USB flash disk images are not available through BitTorrent.

  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire