Perfect Linux Desktop Fedora 15 Lovelock: Post Install Guide

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Fedora 15 brings out the ultra cool and awesome Gnome 3, this is the most revolutionary version of Gnome to come out ever. I think Gnome 3 is the slap in the face of Canonical for dropping Gnome and opting for Unity. I have yet to explore Gnome 3 fully, but from what I can see so far, it is by no means inferior to Unity with plenty of eyecandy and some neat tweaks and actually a completely re-jigged interface and start menu. I gotta write a proper detailed review of Gnome 3 soon! To unlock Gnome3 power you would have to install hardware drivers.

In the meanwhile on Earth…. I am assuming that you have already installed Fedora 15 Lovelock on your machine (which is simple), and since I used Live CD installation media, the list of applications already installed is quite a small one. This guide is going to help you setup a perfect desktop system, which you can use for your day to day needs without having to return to Windows.

Become root by typing su at the terminal followed by entering your root password. Now enter the following in the terminal

rpm -Uvh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

Its all in a single line, this would add the RPM Fusion repository which would allow the installation of several useful packages and applications.

Next we add the adobe repository for downloading Acrobat Reader, by running this at the terminal (you have to be careful, for 64 bit system, the link would be different

rpm -Uvh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm

Finally we add the Skype repository and google repository

vi /etc/yum.repos.d/skype.repo

Then paste the following and save it (you have to press i to make the file editable, if you are comfortable using some other text editor then use it)

[skype]
name=Skype Repository
baseurl=http://download.skype.com/linux/repos/fedora/updates/i586/
gpgkey=http://www.skype.com/products/skype/linux/rpm-public-key.asc
enabled=1
gpgcheck=0

For google repository create a file

vi /etc/yum.repos.d/google.repo

Now paste the following content, depending on whether you are using 32-bit or 64-bit Fedora

[google]
name=Google - i386
baseurl=http://dl.google.com/linux/rpm/stable/i386
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub

For 64-bit copy and paste this

[google64]
name=Google - x86_64
baseurl=http://dl.google.com/linux/rpm/stable/x86_64
enabled=1
gpgcheck=1
gpgkey=https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub

If you get an error while using gedit (if you prefer it instead of vi) as root are unable to launch gedit as root user, then you can either install another text editor like emacs by doing yum install emacs or just launch gedit from standard menu and paste the content given above and save the file as skype.repo. After this move it to /etc/yum.repos.d/ by being root and using a command like one shown below (replace the path of skype.repo with that of your file)

mv /home/lifehacker/*.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/

Below is the list of applications that we are going to install, using Yum, to take care of our daily computer needs. Some of these applications are already installed but have been listed for your information. Look for the single command line instruction to install all of them in one go at the bottom of the list, you can choose to install them individually by using the following command, while being root

yum install package-name

Some of these applications would have to be installed outside of yum and link to download the packages is listed towards the end of this guide.

Gnome 3 Tweaks

To configure / change some of the new features of Gnome 3 you should start off by installing Gnome-tweak-tool. You can install it by doing

yum install gnome-tweak-tool

to launch it type tweak in the search box after clicking the activities icon at top left corner, else you can launch it from a terminal

gnome-tweak-tool

Internet:

  • flash-plugin: Adobe Flash Player: to be installed
  • Firefox: web browser: already installed
  • Chrome: web browser by Google: to be installed separately
  • Opera: web browser: to be installed separately
  • thunderbird: An email and news client: to be installed
  • Evolution: e-mail/calendar – Outlook style application: already installed (see Applications > Office)
  • transmission: A BitTorrent Client: Bittorrent client: already installed
  • Empathy IM Client: multi-platform instant messaging client: already installed
  • skype: VOIP software: to be installed
  • Google Earth: Map software by Google: to be installed separately

Graphics:

  • gimp: replacement for Adobe Photoshop: to be installed
  • f-spot: feature rich personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop: to be installed
  • Google Picasa: application for organizing and editing digital photos: to be installed separately

Office:

  • libreoffice-writer: replacement for Microsoft Word (new Openoffice Avatar): to be installed
  • libreoffice-calc: replacement for Microsoft Excel: to be installed
  • libreoffice-impress: replacement for Microsoft Powerpoint: to be installed
  • AdobeReader_enu: Adobe Reader: to be installed (choose the package for your language)
  • scribus: open source desktop publishing (DTP) application: to be installed

Sound & Video:

  • audacity: free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor: to be installed
  • audacious: Winamp like music player: to be installed
  • banshee: media management and playback and synchronize music with Apple iPods: to be installed
  • gnome-mplayer: media player (video/audio), supports practically all formats: to be installed
  • vlc: media player (video/audio), supports practically all formats: to be installed
  • Rhythmbox Music Player: audio player, similar to Apple’s iTunes, with support for iPods: already installed
  • gtkpod: iPod manager, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini: to be installed
  • dvdrip: full featured DVD copy program: to be installed
  • dvd95: dvd shrink like program to convert DVD9 to DVD5: to be installed
  • kino: digital video editor: to be installed
  • sound-juicer: CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs: already installed
  • Totem – media player (video/audio): already installed
  • gxine: media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs: to be installed
  • Brasero: CD/DVD burning program: already installed
  • k3b: CD/DVD burning program: to be installed

Programming:

  • emacs: Feature rich extensible self-documenting text editor: to be installed
  • vim: Terminal based power text editor: to be installed
  • bluefish: HTML editor: to be installed
  • kdewebdev: includes quanta: web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor: to be installed

Other:

  • VirtualBox-OSE: run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don’t have to entirely abandon Windows: to be installed
  • ffmpeg: Useful video conversion application: to be installed

Home Theater (HTPC):

  • mythtv: State-of-art Home Theater and Personal Video Recorder (PVR) application.
  • xbmc: Awesome easy to use Home Theater (HTPC) application for playing videos, music, photo slide show etc., no PVR though!

Third party nvidia Video Drivers (only for those who have nvidia graphics card)

kmod-nvidia is the baseline driver that supports most nvidia GPUs and is available via RPM fusion repositories which we have already added, you can install these drivers using

yum install kmod-nvidia xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-libs

You can install all the packages listed above (except Video Drivers) in one go, by running this command at the terminal:

yum install flash-plugin thunderbird gimp f-spot openoffice.org-writer libreoffice-calc libreoffice-math libreoffice-impress AdobeReader_enu scribus audacity audacious banshee gnome-mplayer vlc gtkpod dvdrip dvd95 kino gxine k3b emacs vim bluefish kdewebdev VirtualBox-OSE skype ffmpeg

Beware, this is going to take a while as over 550+MB of files would be downloaded. Take out whatever you don’t need, also I have not included mythtv and xbmc in the above complete install list, as not everybody would be needing it. You might also want to install Yumex, by doing

yum install yumex

this is a gui based package installer and search application similar to Synaptic (Ubuntu / Debian fame), but not as fast. You can download the remaining packages from the links given below.

To install google stuff you can do this

yum install google-chrome picasa

To install Google Earth you would have to download rpm for Google Earth from here. I don’t think they have included the package in the repo. Let me know if I am wrong.

Download rpm for Google chat plugin from here.

Download rpm for Opera from here.

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About the Author

has written 346 posts on this blog.

Meditating towards his "nerdvana", lifehacker is a teacher by the day and a nerdy blogger by the night. He lives to learn and yearns to learn living.

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