So you just installed Fedora. What now?

I’ve been a happy Fedora user since it was not called Fedora, not even Fedora Core. I used Redhat 8 and Redhat 9, then Fedora Core 1-6, then Fedora 7 – 16. When I got my current laptop, in september of 2009 I installed Fedora 11 and I’ve been upgrading without formating the hard drive until now. After 4 upgrades (12, 13, 14 and 15) I decided to install it from scratch since every upgrade leaves old stuff and I think it’s a good practice to clean it up every once in a while.

In this post I’ll summarize the things I did after installing Fedora 16 64 bits so I can use it as my personal reference for future installations.

Post install quick changes

The installation went smooth and after the first boot my main user was configured with English as its language. I changed it to Spanish and answered yes to the question about renaming the main folders (Downloads, Music, Videos, etc.).

As I installed Fedora with a encrypted home partition, every time my computer boots up I get asked for the password to open such partition. So I configured GNOME to automatically log in with my main user to avoid entering another password.

Auto login

After that I configured my online accounts. This is a new feature of GNOME 3.2. It’s nice to have your Google contacts integrated in GNOME aswell as your instant messaging accounts. I also set a picture for my user profile.

GNOME Accounts

System update and must-have programs

Then I updated the system since it was a couple of months since Fedora 16 came out:

yum update

Then I installed a few programs I can’t live without:

yum install epiphany gnote gnucash vim emacs hamster-applet Django rhino gimp planner wine

Backup restore

I copied my personal files from my external hard drive into my home directory but I didn’t do the same with the configuration files (everything starting with a dot). The reason is that I wanted to selectively copy those configuration files I know what they do and start doing source control on them. I already do that with Emacs and several other programs

Non Fedora packages

Then it was time to install that software that does not come with Fedora for different reasons (propietary software, not well packaged applications, etc.).

First I installed Chromium following the instructions of

Using similar instructions I installed the Adobe Flash plugin for the browsers:

Then I added the RPMFusion repository with these instructions and then I installed the NVidia drivers for my graphic card:

yum install kmod-nivida

As a web developer I like to have as many browsers as possible so I installed Opera:

When I tried to install Skype it didn’t work. Then I realized that the binary available Skype is compiled for 32 bits systems. So I had to install the 32 bits dependencies for Skype:

yum install mesa-dri-filesystem-7.11.2-1.fc16.i686 libgcc-4.6.2-1.fc16.i686 glibc-2.14.90-24.fc16.4.i686 nss-softokn-freebl-3.13.1-15.fc16.i686 libstdc++-4.6.2-1.fc16.i686 zlib-1.2.5-6.fc16.i686 libjpeg-turbo-1.1.1-3.fc16.i686 libffi-3.0.10-1.fc16.i686 2:libogg-1.2.2-3.fc15.i686 libselinux-2.1.6-5.fc16.i686 gamin-0.1.10-10.fc16.i686 glib2-2.30.2-1.fc16.i686 libICE-1.0.7-1.fc16.i686 ncurses-libs-5.9-2.20110716.fc16.i686 1:dbus-libs-1.4.10-3.fc16.i686 freetype-2.4.6-4.fc16.i686 expat-2.0.1-11.fc15.i686 alsa-lib-1.0.24-2.fc15.i686 libcom_err-1.41.14-2.fc15.i686 fontconfig-2.8.0-4.fc16.i686 readline-6.2-2.fc16.i686 sqlite- flac-1.2.1-6.fc12.i686 1:libvorbis-1.3.2-1.fc15.i686 libsndfile-1.0.25-1.fc16.i686 llvm-libs-2.9-6.fc16.i686 libtiff-3.9.5-1.fc16.i686 2:libpng-1.2.46-1.fc16.i686 libXau-1.0.6-2.fc15.i686 libxcb-1.7-3.fc16.i686 libX11-1.4.3-1.fc16.i686 libXext-1.3.0-1.fc16.i686 libXfixes-5.0-1.fc16.i686 libXrender-0.9.6-2.fc15.i686 libXi-1.4.5-1.fc16.i686 libXtst-1.2.0-2.fc15.i686 libXrandr-1.3.1-2.fc15.i686 libXcursor-1.1.11-3.fc15.i686 libXdamage-1.1.3-2.fc15.i686 libXinerama-1.1.1-2.fc15.i686 libXxf86vm-1.1.1-2.fc15.i686 libpciaccess-0.12.1-1.fc15.i686 libdrm-2.4.30-1.fc16.i686 mesa-dri-drivers-7.11.2-1.fc16.i686 mesa-libGL-7.11.2-1.fc16.i686 libasyncns-0.8-2.fc15.i686 keyutils-libs-1.5.2-1.fc16.i686 krb5-libs-1.9.2-4.fc16.i686 openssl-1.0.0g-1.fc16.i686 1:qt-4.8.0-7.fc16.i686 libuuid-2.20.1-2.2.fc16.i686 libSM-1.2.0-2.fc15.i686 tcp_wrappers-libs-7.6-64.fc16.i686 pulseaudio-libs-0.9.23-1.fc16.i686 lcms-libs-1.19-4.fc16.i686 libmng-1.0.10-5.fc15.i686 1:qt-x11-4.8.0-7.fc16.i686 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio-1.0.24-3.fc16.i686 libXScrnSaver-1.2.1-2.fc15.i686 libv4l-0.8.5-1.fc16.i686 libXv-1.0.6-2.fc15.i68

I hope Skype gets better and they release a 64 bits version as the Adobe guys did with Flash, finally :-)

Then I installed Dropbox following these instructions and after that I started the Dropbox daemon:

dropbox start -i

Finally I installed support for listening mp3 and watching videos in propietary codecs:

yum install gstreamer-plugins-bad gstreamer-plugins-ugly

Advanced configuration

Now, it was time to configure some things in more detail. I installed gnome-tweak-tool and enabled the date in the clock area of the GNOME Shell top bar.

I also setup some keyboard shortcuts:

  • Windows key + T opens a Terminal
  • Left shift  + Right shift switches my keyboard layout beween English and Spanish (I use English layout for programming and Spanish layout for writting docs and emails)

I restored my Hamster db into the ~/.local/share/hamster-applet/ directory

I also configured Subversion to not store my password in plain text but in GNOME Keyring, which stores them encrypted. To do so I added the following option to the ~/.subversion/config file:

password-stores = gnome-keyring

and this other option into the [global] section of the ~/.subversion/servers file:

store-plaintext-passwords = no


2 Responses to “So you just installed Fedora. What now?”

  1. Manuel Viera says:

    Hi Loren,

    Nice post! I think it will be very useful for newbies :-)

    Few days ago at Yaco, I was considering to continue using Archlinux, return to Ubuntu or giving a try to Fedora… but I don’t know what I will do yet.

    I’ll let you know if I decided to install Fedora :-)


  2. Pablo Caro says:

    I need a total clean in my computer too. Too much upgrades!
    Kubuntu is not officially supported now and maybe I will follow Alejandro Blanco in Yaco and install Suse.

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