There is a new version of this tutorial available for Fedora 17.

The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 10 (GNOME)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

This tutorial shows how you can set up a Fedora 10 desktop (GNOME) that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

To fully replace a Windows desktop, I want the Fedora 10 desktop to have the following software installed:


  • The GIMP - free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
  • F-Spot - full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop
  • Google Picasa - application for organizing and editing digital photos


  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Flash Player 9
  • FileZilla - multithreaded FTP client
  • Thunderbird - email and news client
  • Evolution - combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • aMule - P2P file sharing application
  • Azureus/Vuze - Java Bittorrent client
  • Transmission BitTorrent client
  • Pidgin- multi-platform instant messaging client (formerly known as Gaim)
  • Skype
  • Google Earth
  • Xchat IRC - IRC client


  • OpenOffice Writer - replacement for Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice Calc - replacement for Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Reader
  • GnuCash - double-entry book-keeping personal finance system, similar to Quicken
  • Scribus - open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

Sound & Video:

  • Amarok - audio player
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Banshee - audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
  • MPlayer - media player (video/audio), supports WMA
  • Rhythmbox Music Player - audio player, similar to Apple's iTunes, with support for iPods
  • gtkPod - software similar to Apple's iTunes, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini
  • XMMS - audio player similar to Winamp
  • dvd::rip - full featured DVD copy program
  • Kino - free digital video editor
  • Sound Juicer CD Extractor - CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
  • VLC Media Player - media player (video/audio)
  • Real Player
  • Totem - media player (video/audio)
  • Xine - media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • Brasero - CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B - CD/DVD burning program
  • Multimedia-Codecs


  • Kompozer - WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)
  • Bluefish - text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages
  • Quanta Plus - web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor


  • VMware Server - lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don't have to entirely abandon Windows
  • TrueType fonts
  • Java
  • Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

You might notice that I'm installing lots of similar applications here (e.g. two browsers and two email clients, multiple audio players, etc.) - this is just a choice. Of course you are free to install just the apps that you really need - just leave out the other ones.

I will use the GNOME desktop in rhis article.

I will use the username falko in this tutorial, and I will download all necessary files to falko's download which is equivalent to the directory /home/falko/Download. If you use another username (which you most probably do ;-)), please replace falko with your own username. So when I use a command like

cd /home/falko/Download

you must replace falko.


2 Installing The Base System

Download the Fedora 10 Live GNOME iso image from (e.g., burn it onto a CD, and boot your computer from it. It will boot into a live Fedora 10 desktop that you can use to test how Fedora 10 works on your system. At the login prompt, select Automatic Login:

This is how the live desktop looks. You can now play around with it if you like. If you are sure that you want to install Fedora 10 on your hard drive, click on Install to Hard Drive:

The Fedora Installer starts. Click on Next:

Select your keyboard layout:

You can leave the hostname as is and click on Next:

Select your time zone:

Type in a root password (twice to verify it):

Select Yes when asked Would you like to initialize this drive, erasing ALL DATA?:

The default partitioning is ok, so you can hit Next:

Confirm by clicking on Write changes to disk:

The installation starts. This can take a few minutes:

The installation is complete. Click on Close...

... and reboot the system - go to System > Shut Down...

... and select Restart. Don't forget to remove the Live CD from the CD drive before the system boots again!

If the system is booting for the first time, the first boot wizard comes up. Click on Forward...

... and accept the license.

Then add a regular user account to the system (I'm creating the user falko here):

Set your date and time, then click on the Network Time Protocol tab. With the network time protocol (NTP) your computer can fetch the current time from a time server over the Internet, so you don't have to adjust the system clock every few weeks. Select Enable Network Time Protocol and click on Forward:

On the next screen you can send details about your hardware to the Fedora project to help them develop the software. It's up to you whether you want to submit these details or not:

Now that we are finished with the first boot wizard, we can log into our new desktop with the user we've just created:

This is how your new Fedora 10 desktop looks:

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8 Comment(s)

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By: Spacexion

Please... Please... Please.... Stop to say that The Gimp is a replacement for Photoshop!!! THAT'S NOT TRUE!!!

A freak geek guy  who installed a cracked Phostoshop on a cracked Windows to do things that he could do with MS Paint, well, this one will find that The Gimp is a great tool.

But a real pro WORKING with Photoshop will never use The Gimp! PLEASE STOP TO COMPARE THE GIMP TO PHOTOSHOP!

By: RC

The author, Falko Timme, specifically made this objective very clear right from the beginning:

"This tutorial shows how you can set up a Fedora 10 desktop (GNOME) that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop..."

I thought that, since he wanted to illustrate how you can fully replace Windows with Fedora 10, what then can he replace Photoshop with since obvioulsy it won't run native in Linux? What else is there in Linux world that you can use in place of  Photoshop if not GIMP? For the objective as stated, it is TRUE that GIMP is a replacement of Photoshop.

I don't think the author is making a case of GIMP being equal to or better than Photoshop. He is simply showing us options, and that's that.

By: phist0

I have ONLY one nagging headache after replacing windows with fedora core 10. The headache is visio and microsoft project files. I still need to remote desktop to another system or start an XP virtual machine to view these files.

By: suvi

Hi Phist

Did you try "planner" or as a substitute for ms project?

Both progams can import ms project files.

 As for visio there is dia on linux. but it's not as good.

U i remember when microsoft bought visio. It was somwhen back in 1998 or so.

By: Eugene van der Merwe

I have been using Dia as a replacement for Visio and I find it more than adequate for the purposes of drawing network diagrams. Definitely worth the price and not having to remote desktop into Windows boxes any more.

By: suvi

Hi Falco

 Nice Tutorial. I was able to use a part of it. However if you migrate from fedora 8 to fedora 10. Or if you want to clean fedora 9 and install fedora 10 there is a much faster way than doing all the things in your tutorial. You can do all this in just 5 Minutes!

 I wrote a simple script doing most of your things and a few nice things more. The skript installs these nice application you mention. Addtionialy it sets up 3D drivers and als a development environment for PHP. The skript can be easily ajusted to do your own things.

Its aviable for free for fedora 8, 9 and 10 under:

Please let me know if you have any inputs or questions to the skript.



By: S. Capelin

As long as you're saying desactivate selinux, say also to remove pulseaudio right at the start in order to avoid a ton of headaches.

# yum remove pulseaudio

By: Mark A. Stevens

You can find directions to solving most of your pulseaudio problems at the following link.

It has helped me with my continuing problem with various Fedora versions using my old Soyo Dragon MoBo with it's integrated sound chip.