Personal Fedora 17 Installation Guide

by Mauriat Miranda (http://www.mjmwired.net/contact/)

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Published: 12 June 2012 (updated: 12 June 2012)

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This guide a personal configuration of Fedora 17. This page is to provide some common installation tips that people may find useful. Keep in mind this works for me, so take care in doing proper backups to critical files whenever trying something. This guide is tested on multiple machines running both i386 (32-bit) Fedora and x86_64 (64-bit) Fedora. (The specific system(s) also dual boot with Windows 7). (As of 06/12/2012 32-bit testing was only partial)


Installation Media

Fedora 17 is provided as either DVD-ROM's or CD-ROM for installation. The DVD-ROM disk is method of installation this guide uses. Booting the DVD will start the installer which will allow Fedora to be installed on your computer or for you to upgrade an existing Fedora on your machine.

There are also "LiveCD's" which can be booted and will run a basic Fedora in memory while also providing a simpler method of installation (not as complete at the DVD method). The default LiveCD ships with Gnome (ex: Fedora-17-x86_64-Live-Desktop.iso). There is also specific LiveCD that ships with KDE. Both provide an installer however they come with significantly less software than the DVD. Also they require more memory in order to be usable. The LiveCD is useful for demonstration.

Note: To upgrade an existing Fedora installation you cannot use a Live disk.


Physical Installation

It is highly recommended you read the Fedora Release Notes and official Installation Guide before installing Fedora.

An additional recommendation is to read Common Problems before installing.

Obtain the Fedora 17 DVD image from a Fedora mirror (or use the torrent, additional formats) and burn to DVD. (For more information on how to download Fedora CD's or DVD, also how to burn ISO images).

Boot from the DVD. If you choose to use a LiveCD please note that the following steps will differ.

NOTE: The Fedora Installer (anaconda) is very minimal and most configuration steps will need to be done post-installation. With some minor exceptions most of the default settings are correct. The settings which are most critical is your partitioning and boot loader options.

If you wish to configure Networking during the install, make sure to select Configure Network when you are prompted for your Hostname. For the Network Connections dialog, select Edit for your default networking choice (this maybe 'Wired' or 'System eth0', etc.) and make sure to select Connect automatically. Modify any other settings as needed. For more information.

For Partitioning (Basic Storage Devices)

For Boot Loader

For Package Selection

If you have a high speed internet connection, then you do not need to install everything during installation. Fedora can easily add software later. The default settings for which packages will be installed is generally acceptable. Most users should be installing Fedora with the Graphical Desktop option.

NOTE: Due to the changes in the GNOME Desktop in recent versions of Fedora, it is strongly recommended to install at least 1 other desktop environment.

The following (additional) packages are accessible from the Customize now option (at the bottom of the screen):

These can be installed later if desired. For more information see Alternative Desktops.

Install the selected packages and reboot.

For users who opted to install grub on the first sector of the / partition instead of the MBR, you will be required to follow one of the above guides on either setting up Windows 7/Vista or XP/2000 to boot Fedora.

For First Boot

Once Fedora is booted for the first time, please follow the instructions.

For Create User make sure you create an account for yourself. If this user account will also be administering the computer, make sure to select "Add to Administrators group".

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Setup sudo

23 May 2011

Fedora, like all other Linux distributions, has a root user and has individual users. The root is the "superuser", somewhat similar to "Administrator" in Windows.

Use the personal account you created at First Boot for daily use. For the account which administers the system you should have selected "Add to Administrators group". This allows this user to run as 'root' using the sudo command.

If you configured sudo at First Boot, you are done. If not you can manually configure sudo. As root run:

echo 'loginname ALL=(ALL) ALL' >> /etc/sudoers

Where 'loginname' is your user account.
Use 'ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL' if you don't want to be prompted a password.
If you are prompted for a password with 'sudo' it is the user password, not root.

Example:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ su
Password:    <--- Enter root password

[root@charon mirandam]# echo 'mirandam ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL' >> /etc/sudoers
[root@charon mirandam]# exit
exit

The following is an example of how sudo lets you execute root commands:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ du -sh /root
du: `/root': Permission denied  <--- Fails!!!

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo du -sh /root
163M    /root                   <--- Works!!!

NOTE: Every command provided on this page will work if you remove sudo from the command. However this requires you must be logged in as 'root' first. An alternative to using sudo is to use su to login as root, before executing a command.

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Setup yum

11 June 2012

Fedora uses yum to install and update its software. When connected to the internet it will automatically determine application dependencies.

Fedora Repositories

Fedora typically has 2 repositories enabled by default: fedora (the same packages that come on any combination of the CD's or DVD's) and updates (updated packages, newer than fedora repository).

YUM Plugins

While yum has many plugins available. Many users find the fastestmirror plugin useful. This (typically) speeds up downloads by attempting to find faster sources. To install:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo yum install yum-plugin-fastestmirror

Third Party Repositories

For applications that are against Fedora policies (MP3, DVD, MPEG, Binary Drivers, etc), a third party repository should be used. The recommended repository for Fedora is: RPMFusion. For the purpose of this guide, (most) all needs are met by the RPMFusion repository, other requirements are stated.

To set up the RPMFusion repositories:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm

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Alternative Desktop Environments

01 July 2011

Many users who find Gnome 3.x difficult to use should try an alternative desktop environment. The following are supported by Fedora. Note these are all optional. Use yum to install them if you so wish:

KDE is a full featured desktop like Gnome. However it does things in a different style. This is the most comprehensive desktop next to Gnome (more info). To install:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo yum groupinstall "KDE Software Compilation"

LXDE is a lightweight desktop environment. It is very useful for older computers. It takes up much less space than Gnome or KDE. It maybe similar to older version of Windows (more info). To install:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo yum groupinstall LXDE

Xfce is lightweight desktop environment similar to LXDE. It also consumes less resources than Gnome and many users will find it similar to much older versions of Gnome (more info). To install:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo yum groupinstall XFCE

Note: Xfce is my personal recommendation/choice.

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Install Music/MP3 Players

11 June 2012

Fedora ships without any form of MP3 playback. In order to add MP3 playback you must install from a 3rd party. The following requires the use of the RPMFusion repositories.

XMMS: simple, older GUI, minimalistic features (but still popular)

Audacious: A basic music player but much more modern than XMMS.

Rhythmbox/Gstreamer - A simple audio application similar to iTunes layout.

Amarok - A modern feature rich media player application.

Combined command: If you wish to install EVERYTHING above please run the following:

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Install Media Players

11 June 2012

Fedora ships with a limited set of media player for both audio and video. For audio please read the MP3 player notes. For video and other multimedia (DVD, etc.) we will also be making use of a 3rd party repository: RPMFusion. Make sure to have the RPMFusion repositories configured before executing the following. Note that many "dependancies" in libraries, plugins and codecs are shared between these applications and also the MP3 player applications.

The following is a list of the most popular media players. Each has its own strengths. Install whichever you prefer although at least MPlayer and VLC are recommended.

MPlayer - MPlayer comes in a command line only interface (mplayer) or skinable GUI and it also has a powerful encoding tool MEncoder (also great for ripping or compressing audio/video). Additionally there is a highly functional web plugin allowing for many popular formats in Firefox/Mozilla (WMV, QuickTime, etc.).

Xine - Xine is similar to MPlayer in many ways however lacking the command line application and encoder. However has fully supported DVD playback with proper navigation.

Banshee - Banshee is an iTunes-like media player which support sync'ing to multiple different devices.

Binary Codecs - The MPlayer projects maintains a package full of binary codecs for which no directly open source option exists, some of these files include Windows DLL's. These are shared by both Xine and MPlayer. NOTE: There is significant variation depending on your architecture (i386, x86_64, ppc). This step is really only beneficial to 32bit i386 users, 64bit users may also install the i386.

VLC - VLC is a simpler media player with an easy to use interface. It also supports DVD playback. While most needs should be met with Xine and MPlayer some prefer VLC.

DVD Playback - The libdvdcss is required for DVD playback. Due to non-technical reasons, the package does not exist in the RPMFusion repository. For only this package an alternate repository will be used.

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Install Microsoft Truetype Fonts

08 June 2009

The official source for the package is http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/, however I am using the following SPEC file.

You have to build the RPM using the chosen SPEC file. For convenience I have created the RPM (please do not link directly to this file):

msttcore-fonts-2.0-3.noarch.rpm

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh msttcore-fonts-2.0-3.noarch.rpm

Note: Fedora encourages the use of the Liberation Fonts. These are installed by default (and included on the DVD).

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Install Google Chrome

12 June 2012

Google's Chrome browser is a rapidly updated well maintained browser. I highly recommend it. One advantage using Chrome is that releases are not as tightly integrated to a specific version of Fedora (like Firefox).

1. Install Google Chrome YUM Repository

[mirandam@charon Download]$ wget http://www.mjmwired.net/resources/files/google-chrome.repo
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo cp ./google-chrome.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/google-chrome.repo
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm --import https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub

2. Install Google Chrome

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo yum install google-chrome-stable

Users who need Chrome's newer unstable or beta releases, can change the above stable to either beta or unstable. This is NOT recommended.

ALTERNATE: Open Source Google Chrome: Chromium

Some users may prefer to use the fully open source version of Chrome: Chromium. Chromium is built specifically for Fedora so it may run faster, use more shared components of the system and be tweaked with improved settings. This version however may not always be the latest. It is not recommended for all users.

Both Chrome and Chromium can coexist on the same system without trouble.

1. Install spot's Chromium YUM Repository

[mirandam@charon Download]$ wget http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/spot/chromium-stable/fedora-chromium-stable.repo
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo cp ./fedora-chromium-stable.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-chromium-stable.repo

2. Install Chromium

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo yum install chromium

More information about Chromium is available on the Fedora Wiki. Chromium can coexist with Google Chrome.

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Adobe Flash Plugin

15 October 2011

The Adobe Flash plugin is available from Adobe's website. Users should use Adobe's YUM repository (recommended).

1. Install Adobe YUM Repository

32-bit

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux

64-bit

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-x86_64-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux

2. Install Flash Plugin

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo yum install flash-plugin

Restart Firefox or any Mozilla browsers.

More information is available on the Fedora Wiki.

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Java Runtime Environment

12 June 2012

Fedora should include support for Java via OpenJDK (based on the Oracle Java) and Icedtea web plugin. However if not, they can be installed using YUM:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk icedtea-web

With OpenJDK/Icedtea installed, Java application and Web applets should automatically work. Unfortunately some applets may not run properly and the OpenJDK might have some limitations. Majority of user should find OpenJDK perfect for everyday use.

Using Oracle Java Instead

If you require Oracle Java or if OpenJDK does not work properly, you can download Sun Oracle Java and use it in Fedora.

Download the Java package from:
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html.

Under Java Platform, Standard Edition, Select: Download JRE (the JDK is for Java developers)

On the next page, accept the license agreement, then:

For 32-bit users: select "Linux x86"
jre-7u5-linux-i586.rpm

For 64-bit users: select "Linux x64"
jre-7u5-linux-x64.rpm

To install:

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh jre-7u5-linux-i586.rpm
-OR-
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh jre-7u5-linux-x64.rpm

When running the java command, Fedora will default to using OpenJDK. In order to use Sun Java, use the alternatives command.

To setup the Java runtime, perform the following (applies to both 32-bit and 64-bit users):

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo /usr/sbin/alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/default/bin/java 20000

Setup the Mozilla/Firefox browser plugin.

For 32-bit users:

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo /usr/sbin/alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin.so \
libjavaplugin.so /usr/java/default/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so 20000

For 64-bit users:

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo /usr/sbin/alternatives --install /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/libjavaplugin.so \
libjavaplugin.so.x86_64 /usr/java/default/lib/amd64/libnpjp2.so 20000

You may need to restart Firefox to see the plugin take effect.

Note: If you wish to switch back to OpenJDK/Icedtea you can run the following commands one by one to switch between the OpenJDK and Oracle Java:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/alternatives --config java

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/alternatives --config libjavaplugin.so
(or for 64-bit)
[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo /usr/sbin/alternatives --config libjavaplugin.so.x86_64

To Update: If you wish update the JRE package, simply download the newest RPM package and install it as above. You will NOT need to reset alternatives, as those settings should remain intact. The following is all that should be needed (64-bit example):

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh jre-7u6-linux-x64.rpm

More Information: Install Documentation for Linux.

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Install Adobe Acrobat

04 November 2010

To view PDF files, Fedora recommends using either evince or okular. The following is for users requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader:

For yum users:

Install the Adobe YUM repository, and install through yum:

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/adobe-release/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux

[mirandam@charon Download]$ sudo yum install AdobeReader_enu

NOTE: The above uses the English version: enu. To see which languages are supported by Adobe's YUM repository, run the following command:

[mirandam@charon Download]$ yum list AdobeReader\*

Other languages are installed similar to english for example: AdobeReader_fra, if you are unsure which package is correct, run:
yum info AdobeReader_fra for more information. Otherwise install manually as described below. (Note: 64-bit users are recommended to use yum to resolve all the 32-bit i386 dependancies.)

The version of Adobe Acrobat Reader currently is 9.X for English and the version and download size may vary depending on your language. Not all languages are supported under Linux or may not have updated versions.

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Setup Samba - Filesharing with Windows

24 May 2011

If you have other Windows computers on your LAN and want to share files from Linux with them, you must setup Samba.

To setup Samba you must (1) install samba, (2) add you 'shares', (3) add users, (4) start Samba service and (5) manage security options (Firewall and SELinux).

1. Install Samba

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo yum install samba samba-client cifs-utils

Note: The cifs-utils package is not required. However it is very small and provides some useful utilities.

2. Add Shares

You must edit /etc/samba/smb.conf as root: (use nano instead of gedit if you do not have a GUI)

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf

Set your Windows Workgroup name in [global] section.

Added shares at the end of the file. Example:

[c_drive]
   path = /media/c_drive
   public = yes
   writable = no
[netshare]
   path = /data/
   public = yes
   writable = yes

If 'writable' the location must be writable in Linux first. Additionally permissions must match (for example: drwxrw-rw-).

If home data (all personal files under /home/username) is to be accessible, then set 'browseable = yes' under [homes] (~line 279). This configuration file is very descriptive, read through it to get more ideas or information.

3. Add Users

To access shares, you must be a valid user. Add valid users AND passwords using the smbpasswd command.

This login name WILL be the login name and password you use from Windows to access your Linux computer. The password does NOT need to match your Linux password.

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo smbpasswd -a username
New SMB password:
Retype new SMB password:
Added user username.

(Note: 'username' MUST be a valid account on the Fedora machine)

4. Start Samba Service

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo systemctl start smb.service nmb.service

To make sure to run Samba each time Fedora boots:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo systemctl enable smb.service nmb.service

Restart Samba for every change to users/passwords or 'smb.conf'

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo systemctl restart smb.service

5. Managing Security for Samba

Firewall

The Firewall will by default block Samba, to allow access run:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ system-config-firewall

To allow Samba access to work through the firewall you must set 'Samba' as a 'Trusted Service'. Alternatively if you are only using the shell and do not have access to a graphical X-server, you can run:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ sudo system-config-firewall-tui

To allow Samba access to work through the firewall, use <Tab> to go to Customize. In the Trusted Services: scroll down to Samba, hit <Space> and use <Tab> again to go to Close, then finally to OK.

SELinux

SELinux has significant control over restricting different parts of Samba. Run system-config-selinux. Please read lines #20 - #59 in /etc/samba/smb.conf for a better explanation. Alternatively, you can run:

[mirandam@charon ~]$ system-config-selinux

Go to Boolean and type 'samba' in the Filter (without quotes).

If you get the following error:
bash: system-config-selinux: command not found...
then first run:
sudo yum install policycoreutils-gui

For any changes made above to the SELinux settings or smb.conf, it is recommended to restart Samba.

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More Information

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Disclaimer: The author makes no claim to the accuracy of the information provided. This information is provided in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY. There is no implied support from referencing this guide. Any help that is provided is at will. Use this information at your own risk. Always make proper backups and use caution when modifying critical system files.

PLEASE DO NOT mirror, translate or duplicate this page without contacting me.

Copyright © 2003-2013 by Mauriat Miranda (mjmwired.net).