Last Updated: 12 November 2007
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NOTE: This is not an official form of support. This is not an official service of Red Hat. These things may solve your worst nightmare, or they may eat all of the cheese in your house. I make no guarantees. YMMV.
I've answered many basic questions in the Fedora Basics FAQ. Even if you're not new to Linux, you might find one or two helpful hints in there.
If you think that you have a FAQ that's not answered here, or if you see something that needs a correction/update, feel free to contribute!
Now, I'll give you a summary. You can think of Fedora 7 as something like "Red Hat Linux 16," except it differs from the old Red Hat Linux in the following ways:
This means upgrading or re-installing your OS every 6 - 8 months. The advantage is that you're always on the cutting edge of Linux development, while still having a stable operating system.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux is based on Fedora, so if you want to learn a little about RHEL for free, use Fedora. RHEL5 was based on Fedora Core 6.
Also, you can (sometimes) actually call Red Hat and get support for RHEL, which you will never be able to do for Fedora.
Fedora is distributed for free, and RHEL costs money.
Fedora is much more cutting-edge than RHEL is, and Fedora has a larger community of users willing to help out and give free support (like this web page).
Red Hat also has a cool page that answers this question.
(Thanks to Tom Van Vleck for suggesting this question.)
There are many versions:
"Live" in the name means it's a LiveCD--you can just put the CD into your computer and start the OS without installing it. You can also use the LiveCD to install Fedora from the Internet, if you want, though.
"Everything" is the DVD that contains all the Fedora packages, and you can install from that without having an Internet connection.Then there's the choice between i386, x86_64, and ppc. Here's how to figure out which one you need:
For more details on how to get Fedora, including how to buy a CD (if you can't download one), see the Distribution page on the Fedora Project site.
None of these file systems are officially supported by the Fedora Project. (That means that you can use them, but you won't find a lot of official help from the Fedora Project if things go wrong.)
At the installer prompt, type this for ReiserFS:
linux selinux=0 reiserfs
or this for JFS:
linux selinux=0 jfs
or this for XFS:
NOTE: You cannot use SELinux on ReiserFS or JFS. XFS is OK. (If you don't know what SELinux is, you can ignore this warning.)
(Thanks to whiprush [quoting Jesse Keating] for this. Thanks to Kai Thomsen for catching an important typo. Thanks to Colin Charles for the XFS part and the SELinux warning.)
You can also run the normal 32-bit version of Fedora on your 64-bit computer, although that's rarely required nowadays.
If you have a new Intel Mac, you want the x86_64 version of Fedora, described in the question about getting Fedora. Note that some things may not yet work perfectly on Intel Macs. The Fedora Project has a page about Fedora on Mactel. There's also mactel-linux.org, which has a page about Fedora 7.
If you have a G3, G4, or G5 Mac, you can just install the "ppc" version of Fedora, See the question about getting Fedora.
If you have a CD-ROM drive, but you can't boot from it, you can try Smart Boot Manager to work around that.
(Thanks to Charles Curley for reminding me about Smart Boot Manager.)
Here's how to configure your yum:
yum -y install yum-priorities
NOTE: The yum configuration provided here is updated from time to time, for various reasons.
If you have graphical access to your desktop, you can access yum by going to the "Applications" menu and choosing "Add/Remove Software." (It is called "pirut" when you access it graphically.)
However, often people want to use yum at the command line. To use yum, become root, and then you can use the following commands:
yum list available
yum install packagename
yum update packagename
If you leave out "packagename" yum will update all your software.
yum search word
For more info about yum, see the yum project page. (Thanks to Ron Kuris for this tip.)
To get yum through a proxy, see the Fedora documentation about yum and proxies.
rpm -Uvh filename.rpm
If this doesn't happen, you need to install the yum-updatesd package:
Now you will be automatically notified when there are new updates available for the software you have installed!
There is a piece of software like this for Fedora, that comes in the standard Fedora installation. It's called yum. It can automatically download and install a program and all of its dependencies, with just one command. I even provide a special configuration that I use for yum on my computer, in the question where I explain how to use yum.
If you really want to use APT, there is a version for Fedora. You can install it using yum--the package name is apt. It's not supported officially by the Fedora Project, though.
However, if you want to do things like use Java programs in your web browser, you'll need to follow these instructions to install Java in a way that works well with Fedora:
yum install yum-utils jpackage-utils rpm-build
Where "username" is your normal username.
mv Desktop/jdk*bin /usr/src/redhat/SOURCES/
yumdownloader --enablerepo=jpackage-nonfree java-1.6.0-sun
setarch i586 rpmbuild --rebuild java-1.6.0-sun*nosrc.rpm
rm -f /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i586/java-1.6.0-sun-fonts* /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i586/java-1.6.0-sun-jdbc*
yum localinstall --nogpgcheck /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/i586/java-1.6.0-sun-*
ln -s /usr/lib/jvm/jre/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/
Java should now be installed and working properly! You may need to log out and then log in again for some things to work properly.
(Thanks to Kai Thomsen for noting that you only have to login-logout, not reboot. Thanks to Rob Ramirez for the --nogpgcheck tip!)
yum install mplayerplug-in
Now, you can see movies on web sites!
You might also want to install the various Windows movie decoders. Note that there may be some legal issues with these decoders. You can get them from the mplayer download site, in the "Binary Codec Packages" section.
To start Pidgin, click on the Applications menu, go to "Internet," and choose "Internet Messenger."
See the Pidgin documentation for information about how to set up Pidgin with your IM accounts.
Now simply drag & drop your fonts into the "Fonts" window to add them. You may have to log out and log in again to see them actually show up in that folder.
If you have any programs open, you will need to close then and then open them again, to have the new fonts show up in those programs.
By the way, there's also a very easy way to install all of the common Windows fonts on Linux. This can sometimes make web pages display more nicely:
yum install rpm-build cabextract
rpmbuild -ba msttcorefonts-2.0-1.spec
rpm -Uvh /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/noarch/msttcorefonts-2.0-1.noarch.rpm
(Thanks to David A. Wheeler and others for convincing me to add the MS Core Fonts instructions. Thanks to byro for pointing out the URL to the 2.0 package!)
If you don't find what you need this way, try Googling for:
Where NameOfHardware is the normal name of your hardware. If it has more than one name, keep trying different ones until you get a result.
With that said, the plugins for these things are usually in the rpm.livna.org repository. You install a different package depending on which Fedora MP3 player you want to use. If you're not sure which one to pick, Rhythmbox is the standard. It's in the "Applications" menu, under "Sound & Video" -- it's called "Music Player." It looks kind of like iTunes when you run it.
Here's how to install the correct MP3 plugin:
yum install gstreamer-plugins-ugly
yum install audacious-plugins-nonfree-mp3
yum install kdemultimedia-extras-nonfree
Now you should be able to play MP3s in your favorite Fedora MP3 player!
(Thanks to Dave Stevens for catching a typo in this question! Thanks to Dawid Gajownik for letting me know that the KDE package changed to nonfree.)
Now you can read and write to your NTFS drives!
For information on how to use your NTFS drive, you can read the NTFS FAQ. (You don't need to worry about /proc/filesystems like it says there, though.)
yum install alacarte
For KDE users, there is a program called kmenuedit that you can run to edit the menu.
(Thanks to Conor O'Neill for telling me about SMEG/Alacarte! Thanks to Dawid Gajownik for letting me know that it is now in Extras.)
echo -e "remove totem\n install totem-xine totem-xine-plparser libdvdcss libdvdnav xine-lib-extras-nonfree\n run\n quit" | yum -y shell
And now you can play DVDs! You can find Totem in the "Applications" menu, under "Sound and Video." It's just called "Movie Player." To play a DVD you have to go to the File menu and choose Open Location, and then type dvd:// into the box.
By the way, this is also a great way to watch movies that Totem normally can't play. The totem-xine package can play almost any movie file in existence!
The basic problem is that there isn't a 64-bit Flash or Java Plugin. There will be a 64-bit Java Plugin in Java 7, and a 64-bit Flash Plugin "Real Soon Now".
Anyhow, first you have to install a 32-bit version of Firefox. It runs just as fast as the 64-bit version. Here's how:
yum install firefox.i386 firefox-32
Now you can install Flash normally.
To get the Java Plugin working, you have to:
mv /etc/rpm/platform /etc/rpm/platform.bak
yum install unixODBC-devel.i386
mv /etc/rpm/platform.bak /etc/rpm/platform
And now you have working Java and Flash! To get everything else working, you can try installing the 32-bit version of MozPlugger. (Remember to uninstall any MozPlugger you already have installed.)
If you'd like to resolve it, do the following command to get the correct key for the site you're downloading from:
You must be root to do any of this.
rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY*
rpm --import http://rpm.livna.org/RPM-LIVNA-GPG-KEY
rpm --import http://freshrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY-freshrpms
rpm --import http://dag.wieers.com/packages/RPM-GPG-KEY.dag.txt
rpm --import http://atrpms.net/RPM-GPG-KEY.atrpms
rpm --import http://newrpms.sunsite.dk/gpg-pubkey-newrpms.txt
rpm --import http://apt.sw.be/dries/RPM-GPG-KEY.dries.txt
rpm --import http://www.jpackage.org/jpackage.asc
rpm --import http://kde-redhat.sourceforge.net/gpg-pubkey-ff6382fa-3e1ab2ca
rpm --import http://ccrma.stanford.edu/planetccrma/RPM-GPG-KEY.planetccrma.txt
NOTE: If you install my yum configuration, most of these keys are installed for you automatically.
(Thanks to Kai Thomsen for the original location of the ATrpms key, and thanks to Tom Householder for the new location! Thanks to Pim Rupert for the location of the Dries key. Thanks to Anduin Withers for a good idea about how to reorganize this question. Thanks to Dieter Komendera for the new location of the FreshRPMs key.)
NOTE: If you have nVidia drivers installed, you must un-install them before installing these ATI drivers. (Thanks to Ajay for telling me this!)
Here's how to install them:
yum install kmod-fglrx
If you have an Intel motherboard, you will have to modify your xorg.conf file after installing the drivers:
Option "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"
(Thanks to Anton Andreev for telling me about that Intel thing.)
If you have any trouble with the livna.org RPMs, please report a bug to the Livna.org Bugzilla.
If you encounter a bug in the ATI driver, please report it using the ATI Feedback Form!
(Thanks to everybody who reminded me and encouraged me to update the FAQ with this information! Thanks to Peter Lawler for a lot of help with this question. Thanks to Sindre for writing the original instructions.)
yum install kmod-nvidia
And now you should have working 3D with your nVidia card!
If you need support for the nVidia drivers, check out the nV News "NVIDIA Linux Forum". (Thanks to Exile in Paradise for this tip.)
linux mediacheck ide=nodma
Note that sometimes mediacheck will report that only some CDs are bad, but this will still fix that problem. (Thanks to Tony Nelson for reminding me of that!)
Also, the Fedora Project provides a detailed installation guide if you'd like any other help while installing.
If the Release Notes and Installation Guide don't have a solution for your problem, try booting the installer with one of the following commands:
linux acpi=off apm=off
The "i8042.nomux" is especially helpful if you have keyboard or mouse problems, and the "nofb" is helpful if you have video problems.
(Thanks to Alan Cox for most of this information, and to Nilanjan Lahiri for the nofb one.)
(Thanks to Eugéne Roux for this method of doing it! And thanks to Raivis Dejus for a better phrasing of the question.)
mount -t cifs //126.96.36.199/share /mnt/somedirectory
For more information about this, in a terminal you can do:
Note that CIFS can't resolve Windows computer names, so you're better off using their IP addresses.