Install Fedora software from a DVD

Q After installing Fedora I tried to install some additional software in RPM format from the same disk. I received the following error message: "Unable to retrieve software info - this could be caused by not having a network connection." That is correct - the machine in question is not connected to any network and will be used as a standalone machine. I then went back a version to Fedora 6 and after a painstaking hour of installation was presented with the same problem. Next I tried Fedora Core 5 with the same result.

Oh dear! Does this mean that you can only install software on a Fedora installation from the web? My Mandriva installation will allow me to install any RPM package from anywhere, even my USB memory stick. Is Mandriva the only distro that has got it right? Somewhere in there is a file where I can redirect the package management software to another source, I have searched but failed to find, can you please point me in the right direction?

A Most package managers do allow you to install software with a simple click. Yes, they require superuser permissions to do this, but so does Windows. The difference is that Windows lets a user run with admin privileges all the time, which is one of the ways it contributes to its own insecurity. You describe a common and frustrating problem with a simple fix. Fedora 7 and previous installations assumed a network connection and trying to run the software manager without one gave exactly the error you describe. I agree with you that this is wrong, and now it seems so do the Fedora developers, as this is not a problem with Fedora 8. You can fix this with other releases of Fedora by editing the repository files to disable all online sources and add one for the DVD (you need to be root to do this). Load /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora.repo into your favourite text editor, find the section starting [fedora] and comment out the baseurl and mirrorlist lines by placing a hash (#) at the start of each line. Then add a new line reading


This creates a new repository at /media/Fedora 7 i386 DVD, where the DVD is mounted. The spaces in the mount point have to be replaced with %20 to be a valid URL. You then have to edit the other .repo files and change any occurrences of enabled=1 to enabled=0. Now the only repository that is enabled is the one for the DVD, and running Add/Remove Software should allow you to install software from the DVD. Of course, you will not have access to any security updates that Fedora may release, so it would be wise to check the Fedora website from time to time for any updates. You could copy these into a directory on your computer after downloading elsewhere and edit fedora-updates.repo to point to this directory in the same way that you pointed fedora.repo to the DVD.

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