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I'm trying to find a list of the packages that Fedora 11 installs. I guess this is either on the .iso for the install DVD or part of the anaconda package. In particular I'd like a minimal list.

I understand that this might not be the right question; it's possible that at install time a minimal Fedora does not install any packages, but just copies files from the DVD. Can anybody confirm this?

Thanks,

Bob.

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4 Answers 4

If you perform a minimal install and then run rpm -qa you will see the list of packages that were installed.

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Thanks. I understand this and it's a reasonable way to go, but ideally I'd like to understand a little more about the install process. Surely this is documented somewhere, or specified in a file? –  Bob Hooke Jul 21 '09 at 18:38
    
I believe Anaconda uses kickstart to define the system packages. I haven't installed an RPM-based distro for a while, so I'm not positive about this. If you have your install media, look for *.cfg files, ignoring the isolinux.cfg. –  Insyte Jul 21 '09 at 18:43
    
Anaconda does use kickstart, but as I understand it the kickstart file is optional, and may be used to automate or override or add to the default installation. Anaconda still installs Fedora fine without a kickstart file. It must have a list of what to install somewhere, but I cannot find it. –  Bob Hooke Jul 21 '09 at 19:38

This document seems to describe the process pretty well:

http://allisonr.us/code/aurora/comps.html

Basically it appears that there is a file named "comps", probably in Fedora/base/. This file defines the package groups that can be selected along with the "Base" component that is always installed.

I don't have an install CD handy, so I can't verify that this information is current.

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Thanks. That's interesting, although looking at /releases/11/Fedora/i386/os/repodata/ shows that the comps files are currently in xml format. This doesn't seem to be everything, since, for example, the kernel isn't in nnnn-Fedora-11-comps.xml –  Bob Hooke Jul 21 '09 at 19:31

I think you should clarify your question a little bit. As it is a package based install everything laid down on the install environment comes from a package after the formatting/partitioning. What do you want to know about the install process?

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I see. I guess my question is: how does anaconda determine which packages to install? Is this list hardcoded in the anaconda source, or does it simply install all packages in a certain directory of the install DVD, or all packages in a directory of a particular yum repository, or does it determine the packages to be installed based on the hardware? –  Bob Hooke Jul 21 '09 at 18:46

After reading the anaconda sources and the yum documentation, I realized that all of the package information is in the yum repository. The file /Fedora/i386/os/repodata/repomd.xml specifies the data in the other files, according to the (out-of-date) description at http://createrepo.baseurl.org/. In repomd.xml there is one file labeled as type "group". For Fedora it is nnnn-Fedora-11.comps.xml. In this file, packages are listed in groups. Each group is labeled as default or not, and each package is labeled as default, mandatory, or optional. Anaconda uses the python yum module to offer installation options based on this data. Yum may install additional packages according to dependencies.

The anaconda install may impose some requirements, such as requiring that the "base" group be installed, and which packages are in that group may be found as above. Finding dependencies is down to yum, and I would guess that it's hard to determine this chain without simply running yum and seeing what happens.

The bottom line seems to be that to find out which packages are minimally required for Fedora, the only way to do it is to install Fedora with as little selected as possible and then look at /root/install.log.

Thanks to everyone who helped for all the useful ideas.

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