The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 12 i686 (GNOME) - Page 3

3 Update The System

Now it's time to check for updates. Go to System > Administration > Software Update:

The Software Update wizard comes up and checks for the latest updates. Click on Install Updates to install them:

Afterwards the updates are being downloaded and installed:

You might have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. If you see the following message, click on Restart Computer:

After the reboot, your system is now up to date.


4 Disable SELinux

SELinux is a security extension of Fedora that should provide extended security. In my opinion you don't need it to configure a secure system, and it usually causes more problems than advantages (think of it after you have done a week of trouble-shooting because some service wasn't working as expected, and then you find out that everything was ok, only SELinux was causing the problem). Therefore I choose disable it, although you might prefer to go with it. I haven't tested this setup with SELinux enabled - it might well be that it works without problems, but if it does not, you can try to turn SELinux off and see if the problem is gone.

To disable SELinux, open a terminal (Applications > System Tools > Terminal)...

... and become root:


Open /etc/sysconfig/selinux...

gedit /etc/sysconfig/selinux

... and set SELINUX to disabled:

# This file controls the state of SELinux on the system.
# SELINUX= can take one of these three values:
#       enforcing - SELinux security policy is enforced.
#       permissive - SELinux prints warnings instead of enforcing.
#       disabled - No SELinux policy is loaded.
# SELINUXTYPE= can take one of these two values:
#       targeted - Targeted processes are protected,
#       mls - Multi Level Security protection.

To make the change effective, we must reboot the system:



5 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

Now let's browse all menus under Applications to see which of our needed applications are already installed:

You should find the following situation ([x] marks an application that is already installed, where [ ] is an application that is missing). NTFS read/write support is enabled by default on Fedora 12.

[ ] Gimp
[ ] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

[x] Firefox
[ ] Opera
[ ] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[x] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[ ] Azureus/Vuze
[x] Transmission BitTorrent Client
[x] Empathy IM Client
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[ ] Xchat IRC

[ ] OpenOffice Writer
[ ] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[ ] GnuCash
[ ] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[ ] Amarok
[ ] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[ ] MPlayer
[x] Rhythmbox Music Player
[ ] gtkPod
[ ] XMMS
[ ] dvd::rip
[ ] Kino
[x] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] Real Player
[x] Totem
[ ] Xine
[x] Brasero
[ ] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

[ ] Kompozer
[ ] Bluefish
[ ] Quanta Plus

[ ] VirtualBox
[ ] TrueType Fonts
[ ] Java
[x] Read/Write Support for NTFS Partitions

So some applications are already on the system...


6 Adding Software Repositories

The official Fedora repositories don't provide all the software we need. Fortunately there are also third-party repositories for Fedora 12 that have what we need, and we can make our system use these repositories.

To do this, open a terminal window (under Applications > System Tools > Terminal)...

... and type in


to become root.

Then run

rpm -Uvh

This adds the RPM Fusion repository (a merger or Dribble, Freshrpms, and to our package manager.

Next we add the Adobe repository which provides the Flash player and the Adobe Reader:

rpm -Uvh

Finally we add the Skype repository - as there is no rpm, we have to do it manually:

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

name=Skype Repository
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9 Comment(s)

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From: at: 2009-11-27 06:53:24

There is a factual error in the HowTo. Empathy is not the successor of Gaim. Gaim was renamed as Pidgin.


From: admin at: 2010-03-02 09:44:23

You must be a subscriber to be allowed to download the tutorials as PDF files. Please take a look here:

From: Anonymous at: 2010-03-01 23:12:55

Nice article. But the 'view as pdf' link doesn't seem to be connected. I ended up at some other place.

From: Nacho Lamas at: 2009-11-27 13:47:50

Excellent work, as always!

A -very little- contribution: a quick way to select all the desired packages would be to issue this sentence in a terminal window, all in one line:

yum -y install f-spot flash-plugin filezilla thunderbird gimp amule azureus skype xchat-gnome* AdobeReader_enu gnucash scribus amarok audacity banshee mplayer mplayer-gui gtkpod xmms* DVDRipOMatic dvdrip kino vlc mozilla-vlc xine* k3b bluefish kdewebdev java compat-libstdc++-33 ffmpeg lame libXp mjpegtools wget VirtualBox-OSE gstreamer-*

(of course, edited to meet the user's preferences).

Thanks again for this howto. A real time-saver.


From: Donald at: 2010-05-08 05:05:29* downloads 800MB+ which installs to 2GB+. A lot of this is unneeded for most people- multiple language packs, developer tools etc.

How about an option for a base install? (Only about 120MB.)

From: Birger at: 2010-03-17 12:20:27

For the msttcorefonts there are a few missing steps, since the spec file only works for environments that use a font server. Fedora 12 doesn't.

# cd /usr/share/fonts/msttcorefonts

#  mkfontscale

# mkfontdir

# cd /etc/X11/fontpath.d

# ln -s /usr/share/fonts/msttcorefonts .

Now you should find the new fonts. :-)

From: kurtdriver at: 2010-03-20 04:07:36

In what respect is Linux a replacement for Windows? Or Gimp for PS? They're not the same, they're just different ways of doing the same thing. Linux very often does things better, and gives you a lot more choice, as well.You seem to be trying to make Fedora 12 "Windows like", while I would say that Fedora has it's own virtues and can be appreciated as such.  Having the ability to play this or that type of file isn't really "Windows Like", as MS has so aften been behind the eight ball on these things, the internet, for instance. Consider how slow IE was to get tabbed browsing, and pop-up blocking. Maybe MS Windows is a replacement, a poor one in my estimation, for Linux. I can't help but notice how much closed source software you install above.

Autoten automates much of the multi-media installation, and is available here:

Lastly, I won't create a account just to download a PDF. That's a dealbreaker for me.   Kurt

From: Chris at: 2010-04-16 14:55:30

I must respectfully disagree with kurtdriver. The fact is, Microsoft is the #1 operating system today, worldwide. There are many reasons why Coporations, Governments and regular people choose to use Windows, but one of the primary reasons, in my opinion, is ease of use and familiarity. What the author of the Perfect Desktop series is trying to do is making Linux distributions as 'easy-to-use' as Windows, for the regular user.

One of the major drawbacks of Fedora for me, when I first embraced Linux, and the reason I chose to use Ubuntu as my original distribution, was the difficulty of getting close-source codecs so that Rythymbox could perform the simple act of playing my music and allowing me to watch my movies in Totem. In Ubuntu, at the time, it was a no-brainer. In Fedora it was a 'hassle'.

I heartily commend the author of this series for his hard work and dedication to the making of various distributions as 'idiot-proof' and complete... as Windows-like, if you will ... as possible. All in one document.

 I disagree with some of the author's choices (two versions of everything, from p2p to browsers, for instance), but for ease of use, this series is simply amazing. Personally, I use my own father as my lightning-rod. He is from before the Internet generation and only acquired his first computer two years ago. He was as clueless about how to make the thing go as anyone I could imagine. He didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars of his retirement buying various software and had heard me talk free and open-source. I pointed him to this guide specifically, and he is now a happy camper.

From: at: 2010-06-17 10:47:24

I have to disagree Kurt.

 As a relative linux newbie this guide has been invaluable in helping me move away from Windoze and getting almost a life-for-like replacement.I think you're getting into a semantic argument "different ways of doing the same thing" means that one can replace the other.

 I've tried autoten too, and it's good but I've had problems with it whereas this gives me finer control and above all helps me to LEARN how to use Linux which is the only way that Linux can grow in the wider community.