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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair
Wed, 05 Feb 2014

In the Fedora installer, you can choose your desired desktop (and Debian does this, too)

Fedora's Software Selection spoke in Anaconda

After hearing the Linux Luddites guys talk about how Debian's installer and documentation sort of hide the option to install alternative desktops (though the wiki does cover it) and following the "Fedora.Next" debate on the mailing list about the future of spins, I came across the documentation for Fedora's software-selection "spoke" in the new Anaconda installer.

It's been so long since I've done a Fedora install (I've had this system since about May 2013) that I forgot about the part of the new Anaconda installer that defaults to the GNOME desktop but allows you to deselect GNOME and choose KDE, Xfce, LXDE, Cinnamon, MATE or Sugar and then go back to the "hub" and continue with the installation tasks, eventually (hopefully) ending up with a functioning Linux installation.

Say what you will about the Anaconda installer, especially the new "hub and spoke" version (and much of what has been said is far from kind), but the ability to select any of the major desktops during the installation process is a win.

Not that (as I've noted above) you can't do that with the Debian installer, but amid all the back-and-forth over Fedora spins in Fedora.next, it's nice to know you can download and burn a single Fedora disc or flash drive and use it to install the desktop environment of your choice.

I've certainly used this feature in the Debian installer to create Xfce and LXDE systems, and I'm looking forward to doing it with the Fedora installer in the future. (Disclaimer: I did my recent Fedora Xfce installations from the excellent live media that are part of the Fedora Spins portion of the project.)

I love both of these distributions, Debian and Fedora, even when they frustrate the hell out of me. If that doesn't come through in all of this writing, I humbly apologize.