Chapter 3. New Users

This chapter explains how to get the files you need to install and run Fedora on your computer. Concepts in this chapter may be new, especially if this is your first free operating system. If you have any trouble with this chapter, 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, mostly free of cost and downloaded 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 software on DVD media

  • Live images you can use to try Fedora, and then install to your system if you so choose

  • 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 the Live image or the full set of installable software on DVD or CDs. The reduced bootable images are suitable for use with a fast Internet connection and install Fedora on one computer. Source code discs are not used for installing Fedora, but are resources for 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 open to the public for free downloads of software, including Fedora. Mirrors other both free open source software and closed 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. Mirrors geographically closer to you are ideal for faster downloading speeds.

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 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.