The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 14 i686 (GNOME)

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
Follow me on Twitter
Last edited 11/08/2010

This tutorial shows how you can set up a Fedora 14 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 14 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 10
  • 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
  • Empathy IM Client - 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


  • VirtualBox OSE - 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/Downloads. 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/Downloads

you must replace falko.


2 Installing The Base System

Download the Fedora 14 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 14 desktop that you can use to test how Fedora 14 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 14 on your hard drive, click on Install to Hard Drive:

The Fedora Installer starts. Click on Next:

Select your keyboard layout:

I assume that you use a locally attached hard drive, so you should select Basic Storage Devices here:

If you see the following message (Error processing drive: [...] This device may need to be reinitialized. REINITIALIZING WILL CAUSE ALL DATA TO BE LOST!), please click on Re-initialize:

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

Select your time zone:

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

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

Confirm by clicking on Write changes to disk:

Share this page:

20 Comment(s)

Add comment


From: Anonymous at: 2010-11-10 17:57:47

Amarok, in particular, uses 100% of my cpu; Exaile in contrast is far less demanding. Xmms isn't even being developed any more, is it? Xmms2 is CLI (though Promoe would be a nice GUI frontend for Xmms2, if it were stable).

If you have an older system, Xubuntu is probably a better choice than Fedora/Gnome.

From: lffl at: 2010-11-09 16:47:45

Fedora 14? Fastastic!

 congratulations on the article

From: chi2jjk at: 2011-01-31 02:58:52

Hello, I have just installed F14 on my system, and cannot seem to add the rpmfusion repository due to an apparent 404 error?  This is what I have tried:


su -c 'rpm -Uvh'
curl: (22) The requested URL returned error: 404
error: skipping - transfer failed
curl: (22) The requested URL returned error: 404
error: skipping - transfer failed


I would love to build the "Perfect Fedora Desktop".  Please help. 

From: matt fuller at: 2014-01-04 21:12:23

can you get windows back on your pc once fedora release 14 has been installed and how do you do it?

From: Anonymous at: 2010-11-10 15:48:23

Great article. Can you also add pretty good application for encoding m4v called HandBrake Thank you.

From: Jonathan at: 2010-11-14 08:35:57

@Pieter: I disagree. I tried so, so hard to use SELinux for a couple of Fedora iterations, but I've given up. So have most of my colleagues.  To me, SELinux is like the TSA airport patdowns: I'd rather take my chances without it.  It's not a question of bugs. For a typical Linux user environment the whole approach causes huge overhead in tracking down how to work around its complaints. So I agree with this howto's author (and btw, thank you for the great howto).

From: Pieter at: 2010-11-10 19:10:33

Disabling SELinux?! Really?! If something does not work due to SELinux  then you file a bug. That's how things get fixed. Disabling it is unwise and you really should not recommend that users disable a key piece of technology that adds a tremendous amount of security. Please consider removing that part in this howto. The rest is great. Well, with the exception of Banshee as that is a mono app and because mono is patent encumbered you really should not advise users to install a piece of software that might get them sued for patent infringement. Thank you for your howto.

From: Keith at: 2010-11-27 16:38:06

The author appropriately caveats his comments with " my opinion...".  Pieter, I have to agree that SELinux, while a very good idea in principle, is broken with respect to the average user - it needs to be much more transparent and come much "smarter" out of the box in order to gain acceptance.  For example, it even complains about Firefox - one of the most heavily used apps. 

From: trampster at: 2010-12-07 11:41:09

Mono is in no way patent encumbered, it is free software implementation of an EMCA open standard and Microsoft has promised in a legally binding manor not to sue implementations of that standard.

From: at: 2011-08-31 19:12:37

I'm with the camp who agrees with disabling SELinux Pieter. It's one thing to say it's vital security software but when stuff that should work doesn't, and SELinux is the culprit, then you have broken software. It's not like it's intuitive and you can get it to allow certain apps. As it stands it's effectively junk to anyone who's not an SELInux expert.


A further point with Fedora 14 onwards, Gedit won't work with the "su" command. You need to use "su - " or "su -l" 

From: Anonymous at: 2011-05-10 16:02:00

if you go to their web page they have a command  that does work


if you look at the directory listing, the file in question has a big "?" superimposed on it

From: Brad at: 2010-11-14 23:57:23

Thank you for making this, I recently switched from Windows 7(I have used windows all my life) and decided to try something new and different. After reading about Fedora I went with it, this tutorial made everything soo easy with regards to installing software and helping me find software that I needed. Not only that but with the instructions here I was able to get other software that I needed and get it working with no problems.

 Thank you very much

From: Anonymous at: 2010-12-10 14:01:09

The Fedora 14 version of libdvdcss now exists. You can use the command:

 rpm -ivh


(Please update the original document)

From: spikezz at: 2010-12-27 05:06:26

Flash may be a bit tricky. It is best to follow the instructions on this page depending on which type of Fedora you have:

From: Anonymous at: 2011-01-14 19:58:59

Even though the TrueType fonts installation is no longer supposed to be dependant on the chkfontpath, I find that it still is. (This can be seen by following the above instructions, then performing a "#yum check all".

To solve this, I have added the following to the ttfonts instruction set (section 10):

(The chkfontpath package is dependent on xfs, so first you have to install xfs and it's dependencies.)

#yum -y install xfs

# rpm -ivh

From: Anonymous at: 2011-01-24 02:21:44

Here is a site with instructions on loading google earth in Fedora -

I did it and it works

From: Anonymous at: 2011-01-23 01:32:28

The installation blows up in at line 285

It issues a message about lsb

when you look at the source it says - WE CAN DO FEDORA LATER


# This is a gross hack for 6.0.   Try to ensure LSB runtime is present in
# the absence of a real packaging system with real dependencies.   This solves
# this "only" for Debian/Ubuntu, but that's believed to be the majority right
# now and we can do Fedora later.
if [ ! -f /etc/lsb-release ]; then
  echo "This version of Google Earth requires LSB 4.0 support which you"
  echo "do not seem to have."
  if [ -f /etc/debian_version]; then
    echo "You have a Debian system.   Installing LSB now."
    try_run -absolute /bin/su root -c "apt-get install lsb"
    try_run -absolute /bin/su "yum install redhat-lsb"


From: Andrew Koros at: 2012-01-13 13:02:56

The problem is with the script on line 285.

To fix make sure you have redhat-lsb installed first:

yum -y install redhat-lsb 

Then start the install again but  edit the file file before running it:

 chmod 755 GoogleEarthLinux.bin
  ./GoogleEarthLinux.bin --target /tmp/ge
  cd /tmp/ge/
  mv setup.gtk setup.gtk2
cd /tmp/ge
  vi +285

change the line 

if [ -f /etc/debian_version]; then


if [ -f /etc/debian_version ]; then 

Note the added space!!!!

save and run it again:


From: Vivin NL at: 2011-10-11 01:31:52

True type font and kompozer helps me a lot.

but you missed the great WINE HQ in the list......

From: Santiagobear at: 2011-10-29 02:35:16

I've used this site for several installations, now, and it's really helped me maintain my sanity. It's also taught me a lot more about how various commands act in terminal.Thanks. But - - Real Player doesn't support linux anymore. You can download an archived copy of RealPlayer 11 (the latest available) from Helix, ( ) and follow the instructions above to install it from there. It's just that going to won't help.