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Installing Fedora WITHOUT Formatting your Computer

In plain language: you can install a "virtual computer" manager as a piece of software on your own machine. This is with an open source piece of software called Virtual Box. Download, install -- there should be nothing fancy/tricky about this step.

Now, open up Virtual Box. You can now create a "virtual machine." This means it will create a folder on your hard drive, and inside that folder it will create files that represent a real computer. (When you are done experimenting this semester, you can simply drag that folder to the trash, and you will have removed all of your "virtual machines.") As you set things up, it will (at some point) ask what you are using as an operating system. This is where your Fedora 13 Live CD comes in.

And, it is also where I stop writing directions. That is because there are step-by-step directions written by others for both Fedora 10 and Fedora 12. These are recent enough that the many, many screenshots and documentation should get you through. Certainly, they are better than me trying to write directions for Windows when I don't have a Windows computer!

The second link should be especially relevant -- it was written on January 31st, 2010. So even though we're doing this with a Fedora 13 Live CD (instead of Fedora 12), I expect things will be very, very similar.

Mac users: You, too, can use VirtualBox. It works on the Mac as well. (And, actually, if you use Linux, you can install VirtualBox there, too!) Regardless of whether you are using a Mac or a Windows computer, you probably need to have at least 1GB of RAM and 6GB of hard drive space available. Less than that, and you may find your machine gets cranky.

PLEASE NOTE: If you follow the instructions in the articles posted, you are not likely to damage any files on your computer. Matt will be around campus almost all weekend; please feel free to get on IRC or email questions, and we can get together and get you rolling.