Fedora 10 First Steps

These are my post-installation steps in Fedora 10.

After I read that Fedora 10 is out on heise.de, I thought, let’s give it a try. Here I’ll describe what I did to set up the fresh install for my needs.
Note: I installed Fedora 10 from the full i386 DVD (not live CD!) on my HP 2510p notebook, just in case you’re interested about hardware.

Many of the following things were found in this guide.

1. Update the system

via System -> Administration -> Update system

Yeah, it’s a shitload of updates when done the first time. I had 187 Packets with a total size of 350 MiB. Go make coffee, have a smoke or whatever. I felt like having bought a brand new game…

2. Disable the active user panel applet

right-click your user name and click ‘remove from panel’

3. Enable weather in the clock panel applet

  1. Right-click the clock, choose ‘Preferences’
  2. check ‘Show weather’ and ‘Show temperature’
  3. Click the ‘Locations’ tab and add a place near you
  4. Click ‘Close’.

That should be it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for me yet – it only shows blank space where the weather icons should be. I could not resolve that issue yet.

4. Enable the RPM Fusion and Adobe repositories

Since Fedora sticks to software that’s open source only, some patented software parts like mp3 decoders are not shipped and not available in the default repositories. Because of that, it’s a good idea to add RPM fusion. The Adobe repo is to get the flash player plugin, we’ll come to that later.

su -
rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh http://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch.rpm
rpm -ivh http://linuxdownload.adobe.com/linux/i386/adobe-release-i386-1.0-1.noarch.rpm
rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
yum update

5. Install the “full” version of compiz fusion

By default, F10 only ships with a few effects, accessible via System -> Preferences -> Look and feel -> Desktop effects. I like to have all the available eye candy though, so I did the following:

su -c 'yum remove compiz'
rm -rf ~/.gconf/apps/compiz
su -c 'yum install compiz-fusion compiz-fusion-gnome compiz-fusion-extras compiz-fusion-extras-gnome compizconfig-backend-gconf compiz-manager gnome-compiz-manager ccsm fusion-icon fusion-icon-gtk emerald emerald-themes'

After that, I added fusion-icon to the auto start items in System -> Preferences -> Personal -> Sessions -> Add. After logging out and back in, I right clicked the new icon next to the clock, went to the “Settings Manager” and set up compiz as I liked.

6. Install software

I like to have my default apps I also use on my windows environment, so I installed as many as possible of them: Thunderbird with lightning, powertop for saving battery life, Filezilla, an IRC client, the yum extender, VLC media player, the flash plugin for Opera and Firefox to properly display flash websites, a CD/DVD burning software, a vnc viewer called vinagre and an alternative to my beloved launchy (a keystroke launcher) called Gnome Do.

su -
yum -y install thunderbird thunderbird-lightning powertop filezilla xchat yumex vlc flash-plugin k3b vinagre gnome-do

Last but not least, I have to get Opera. In Firefox, I open www.opera.com/browser/downloads, select “Fedora” from the dropdown list, click “Fedora 7, 8, 9, 10” and hit the big green “Download Opera” button. Firefox suggests to open the .rpm with the package installer, that’s cool. A few clicks later and Opera is installed.

7. Installing my shared windows xp printer

I run a little home server, it’s an old notebook, and don’t laugh, it runs WinXP. I’d go for debian or centos, but its primary purpose is to run a mIRC bot.

My laser printer is also connected to that server, so I need to get it running on my fedora install somehow:

  1. System -> Administration -> Printing -> “new”
  2. in the list,  I choose “Windows Printer via SAMBA”
  3. in the field prefixed with “smb://”, I enter the IP address of my server, followed by a slash ( Then I click the “browse” button next to it, and dang, the SMB Browser shows my printer. I click on it and close the window by pressing OK.
  4. To be sure, I click the “Verify” button. Success!
  5. I hit the “Next” button, now I have to choose a driver. Let’s check if my printer is in the database. I scoll down and yeah, there’s an entry called “Samsung” which I select, followed by a click on “Next”.
  6. o/ there’s my ML1610 I choose the printer name, select the recommended foomatic driver and hit “Next” once again.
  7. Now I could assign a name, I’ll stick with the default values, and hit “Apply”. One root password later, my printer is installed and ready to rumble.

8. For the Germans: installing TV-Browser

Open the download page and click the GNU/Linux version. It’ll take you to sourceforge and the download is started, you’ll get a .tar.gz file. Extract that file somewhere, i.e. to your home directory. Right click your desktop, click on “new starter” and browse to the place you extracted the files to, then pick the tvbrowser.sh shell script file. Add “sh ” in front of it, so that it reads i.e. “sh /home/username/tvbrowser-2.7.2/tvbrowser.sh”. In the first field, type a name for the starter, for example “TV-Browser” and that’s it.

9. Setting up graphical boot (Plymouth)

In order to get rid of the blue loading bar at the bottom when booting F10, I had to follow the steps described under the “graphical boot problem” paragraph in this excellent article. All I could get was 1024×768, since my display is 1280×800 I can’t go higher (i.e. 1280×1024 and above) and there seems to be no solution for 1280×800. However, 1024×768 still looks much better than the boring blue bar. Mind you that with graphic chips other than the Intel GMA X1300 that’s in my HP 2510p, things might be different.

10. Autologon

Since I am the only user of the notebook and the BIOS already prompts for a password, I don’t wanna log into Gnome manually. And I found a way how to enable autologon, although it’s not perfect:

  1. Open /etc/gdm/custom.conf with a text editor (gedit, vim, nano, whatever)
  2. Add the following lines:


That solution works, however it’s not perfect because it does not unlock your keyring, and the first application that tries to access it after logging on will ask you for the keyring password, for example the network manager when trying to connect to your favourite (password protected) wireless lan. In other words, the autologon works, but I have to enter my password soon after anyway.

I read about a solution using a shell script in the auto start which calls /usr/libexec/pam-unlock-keyring with some parameters but unfortunately, in F10 there’s no such program. This belongs to my unresolved issues.

UPDATE: I knew about the method of putting a little shell script in the gnome session manager to be started at logon to unlock the keyring using pam-keyring-tool, but that tool wasn’t there. Well, simply install it

su -
sudo yum -y install pam_keyring

Now put the following script somewhere and start it with default session in gnome: System->Preferences->Personal->Sessions->+Add (type in keykiller.sh). Name the script, keykiller.sh and put it somewhere in a default path, such as /bin. Don’t forget to run chmod +x keykiller.sh to make it executable.

#! /bin/bash
echo "mypassword" | /usr/libexec/pam-keyring-tool --unlock --keyring=default -s

11. Configuring my synaptics touchpad with gsynaptics

Oh, what an issue. I remember searching the web for ages when I tried to do that the last time, although I can’t recall which distribution it was. My problem: by default, there’s a horizontal scroll area at the bottom of the touchpad. My touchpad has a 16:10 aspect ratio, so when working or browsing the web, I often accidentally hit that area. In Opera, scrolling horizontally makes you going forward and back, just like the “forward” and “back” buttons would do, but in a speed that is forbidden by police. So I want to click a link on a website and suddenly find myself being thrown back 10 websites, wondering what’s going on.

Another annoying thing is that I keep on touching the touchpad accidentally while typing. The windows driver has an option to detect accidental touch, and that works very well.

There is a synaptics linux driver called gsynaptics. You can install it with yum install gsynaptics. You’ll get an entry called “Touchpad” in System -> Preferences -> Hardware, but when you try to open it, it says “GSynaptics couldn’t initialize. You have to set ‘SHMConfig’ ‘true’ in xorg.conf or XF86Config to use GSynaptics”.

I remember it was a pain in the ass to get it working when I dealt with that issue the last time. This time I don’t even have an xorg.conf file where I could put that entry because in F10, xorg can automatically configure itself, ain’t that cool.

As with all other unresolved issues – if you can help me with this, please comment, it’s appreciated.

12. Enabling tree view on nautilus, Fedora’s file explorer

  1. Open System -> Preferences -> Personal -> File Management
  2. On the first tab (“Views”), check “Only show folders” at the bottom
  3. On the second tab (“Behaviour”), check “Always open in browser windows”

13. Unresolved issues

  • The broken weather display
  • The missing xorg.conf and the SHMconfig = true thing with gsynaptics
  • no idea how to make a double click on a window menu button close that window (as in Microsoft Windows)
  • no idea how to hide Thunderbird to the panel (like the MinimizeToTray add-on does under windows)
  • when the battery is empty, the notebook just goes off, without shutting down or something like that, although in System -> Preferences -> System -> Energy management, I configured it to shut down when on low (critical) battery.
  • Autologon with automatic keyring unlock