||This article is outdated. (January 2013)
Anaconda is the installer for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Oracle Linux, Scientific Linux, CentOS and Fedora.
Anacondas are lizard-eating snakes (similar to pythons), and the Caldera installation program was called “Lizard;" hence, the name.
Anaconda offers a text-mode and GUI mode, so users can install on a wide range of systems. It is designed to be easily portable and supports a wide range of hardware platforms (IA-32, Itanium, DEC Alpha, IBM ESA/390, PowerPC). It supports installing from local storage devices like CD-ROM drives and harddisks as well as from network resources via FTP, HTTP, or NFS. Installations can be automated with the use of a kickstart file, that automatically configures the installation, allowing users to run it with minimal supervision.
Starting with Fedora 18, the Anaconda Installer has been re-written from the ground up. It aims to be a more "modern-looking" installer offering simpler options so a newer user can figure out what to do. It has received both good and bad critisism in the community. If you wish to have advanced options you need to download Fedora 17 from historical archives and then upgrade to 18 using the new tool called Fedup.
It is mainly written in Python with some modules written in C. It has a graphical frontend that is based on GTK+ 3/PyGObject and designed with the Glade Interface Designer. Anaconda also has a custom text frontend with support for computers with line printer like terminals, such as the IBM ESA/390 mainframes.
Availability and usage
It is available as Free software under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Anaconda installer is used by RHEL, Fedora and a number of other projects.