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

The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 14 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 need to confirm the update again:

Click on OK afterwards - your computer is now up to date (in some cases, e.g. if a new kernel got installed, you might have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect - if this is necessary, the Software Update wizard will tell you to do so):


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 - SELinux is fully disabled.
# SELINUXTYPE= type of policy in use. Possible values are:
#       targeted - Only targeted network daemons are protected.
#       strict - Full SELinux 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 14.

[ ] 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 14 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

Then 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

Finally we add the Google repository (which contains Picasa):

gedit /etc/yum.repos.d/google.repo
name=Google - i386

name=Google Testing - i386
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6 Comment(s)

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By: Jonathan

@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).

By: Pieter

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.

By: Keith

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. 

By: trampster

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.


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" 

By: Anonymous

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