James Japan's Fedora Core 6 Post Installation Guide
The page consists of tips and tweaks I did in Fedora Core 6 after the basic installation in order to get all the applications I use running the way they should. It is divided into two sections, essential tweaks and personal perferences. The essential tweaks section will show you how to install needed plugins, like Flash Media to watch videos on youtube and video.google.com. Most plugins in Windows can be installed automatically, but most Linux distributions like Fedora still require you to install them manually. But hey, this is what makes Linux fun! One reason I wrote this page is because I myself cannot remember all these long commands. I probably refer to my own Linux pages more than anybody.
In order to do some of these tweaks, one needs a basic fundamental knowledge of certain principles. If you are an absolute Linux beginner, please read first my page of Linux Basics for Absolute Beginners
- How to fix the screen resolution
- Gnome's file browser tweak
- How to install Java
- How to install the Java plugin for Firefox
- How to install Flash Player
- Adding third party support
- How to add MP3 support for Xmms
- Adding MP3 support for K3b CD/DVD burner
- How to install Video Lan (VLC) for DVD viewing support
- Services in Fedora Core 6 I disabled to save resources and increase performance Posted on Jan. 29, 2006
- How to help OpenOffice start faster
- How to disable remote login to increase security
- How to add quickstart shortcuts to the Gnome panel
- Adding the date to the time applet
- Installing Nautilus Open Terminal
- Using Visudo to set sudoers to avoiding typing a root password
- Adding NTFS kernel support
- Installing the Nvidia GeForce display driver
- Enabling dual monitor support with the Nvidia driver
How to fix the screen resolution:
I went to System, Administration, Display, typed the root password and saw that my Resolution display settings were only 800 X 600 instead of 1024 X 768 what they should be. I click on the drop down arrow to change it but the higher resolution was not available. I then click on the Hardware Tab and the Configure button of the Monitor type and selected the correct resolution of my LCD monitor. After that the higher resolution setting was available under the settings tab. I choose 1024/768 and clicked OK. The resolution changed to the size I am accustomed to. You may not need to change your resolution if you prefer it the way it is.
Gnome's file browser tweak
I opened File Browser (AKA Nautilus) Clicked on Edit, then Preferences, then Behaviour tab, and put a check mark in Always open in browser windows. Nautilus is much easier to use this way! I don't know why the Gnome people don't set it as default.
How to install Java:
I followed Stanton Finley's excellent notes in http://stanton-finley.net/fedora_core_5_installation_notes.html#Java with the exception that jre-1_5_0_08-linux-i586.bin is now jre-1_5_0_09-linux-i586.bin - the most recent download of Java at the time of this post. Mr. Finley wrote that for FC5 but I found it works in FC6 as well! Without Java properly installed, my spam plugin for Thunderbird, Spamato, will not work.
How to install the Java plugin for FirefoxAfter installing Java from Stanton Finley's notes, I found I also had to install the Java plugin for Firefox or certain Java based web features would not work. I opened Terminal and ran the following commands:
ln -s /opt/jre1.5.0_09/plugin/i386/ns7/libjavaplugin_oji.so libjavaplugin_oji.so
How to install Flash Player:
- Download the FP9_plugin_beta_101806.tar.gz file from this page http://www.adobe.com/go/fp9_update_b2_installer_linuxplugin by clicking on the Download installer for Linux link directly below the word "English" on that page. If you use Firefox, the file should download to your Desktop screen.
- Double click that file to open it up. Drag the libflashplayer.so file out of the window and drop it on an open space on your desktop. Then drag and drop on the the Home desktop icon. It should then be moved to the root of your /home/user directory.
- Open Terminal, log into root with su and type your root password.
- Copy and paste this command into the Terminal window and press enter.
mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins
Adding third party support:
Due to licensing reasons, Fedora Core cannot you give certain support such as DVD, AVI, MPEG, WMV and MP3 codecs. It is necessary to have third party repositories such as FreshRPMs and / or Livna repository files set in /etc/yum.repos.d directory. I use a combination of both FreshRPMS and Livna with Livna disabled by default so that I can enable it only when I need it. FreshRPMS and Livna are incompatible with each other, but I found using Livna only when I need it seems to work well.Both FreshRPMs and Livna need the Fedora Extras repository installed. Hopefully you included Fedora Extras when you first installed Fedora Core! If you're not sure, enter this command from Terminal:
enabled=1If it says
enabled=0change the 0 to 1 and then left click on the Save icon and then exit gedit. Fedora Extras is now enabled.
To add the third party repositories, do the following:
- Dowload the FreshRPMs installation RPM file. You can install it right from the link below and leave the "Open with Software installer" as the default option. http://ftp.freshrpms.net/pub/freshrpms/fedora/linux/6/freshrpms-release/freshrpms-release-1.1-1.fc.noarch.rpm
- Enter your root password when prompted. After that just click on all the OKs when they appear.
- Log into root from Terminal with the su command.
- Enter (or copy and paste) the following code into Terminal:
rpm -ivh http://rpm.livna.org/livna-release-6.rpm
- Open the Livna repository by entering:
- Edit the line
How to add MP3 support for Xmms:Now that the third party repository Freshrpms is set, I used Yum to install mp3 support for xmms using this command:
How to add MP3 support for K3b CD/DVD burner:Though the Freshrpms repository gave me DVD video and Mp3 support to play Mp3 music files, it did not give me Mp3 support to burn audio CDs in K3b. I learned from a forum that I could use the Livna repository as a temporary measure to install Mp3 support for K3b. Please note that the command below will work only if you followed the instructions about on how to install the Livna repository.
- Log into root from Terminal with the su command.
- Enter the following:
yum -y --enablerepo=livna install k3b-mp3
How to install Video Lan (VLC) for DVD viewing support:I prefer using Vlc (Video Lan) my favorite cross platform (also available for Windows) free media player rather than the default Totem player that Fedora Core offers. Totem can only play DVDs with special third party support but VLC already has everything it needs.
Vlc requires many extra libraries making it pretty difficult to install properly in Linux from source. Yum is the only easy way to install it.
In order to use Vlc to play DVDs, I had to change the default DVD device preferences in Input / Codecs from /dev/hda to /media. To do that:
- Open VLC either from the Applications menu or by entering vlc in Terminal.
- On the top tool bar menu of VLC, left click on Settings, and then on Preferences. Now you should be in the Preferences dialog box.
- On the right panel of the VLC Preferences dialog box, left click on the "Input / Codecs" menu item. You should now see the General window for this menu item.
- You should see toward the bottom under "Default devices" the settings for DVD device, VCD device and Audio CD device. Change them all from /dev/hda to /media
- Click on the Save button to save the options.
I also changed the default media player by going to System, Preferences, Removable Drives and Media and clicking on the Multimedia tab to change the command from totem to vlc in the Video DVD Discs section so that it looks like this:
vlc %dVlc in FC6 works great! I couldn't get it to work in FC5 for some reason though it worked well in FC3 and 4.
Services in Fedora Core 6 I disabled to save resources and increase performanceAfter reading Services in Fedora Core 6 by Mauriat Miranda, I decided to disable some of of the ones that Fedora Core enabled by default but which I don't really need. You can modify the services by going to System → Administration → Services. Below is a chart of what services I disabled, and why:
|apdm||A service for older hardware and some laptops and is replaced by acpi. Acpi is supported on my motherboard.|
|avahi-daemon||A service not needed for my local network. It works fine without it.|
|bluetooth||No wireless devices on my system.|
|hidd||A service related to bluetooth.|
|cups||No printer attached either physically or set up on the network.|
|firstboot||Only used to perform certain tasks after booting immediately after the Fedora Core installation.|
|hplip||Only for HP supported printers.|
|ip6tables||Only for those who use IPv6 communication. If you don't know what IPv6 is, you don't need it. I also edited the /etc/sysconfig/network file in root with Gedit to change NETWORKING_IPV6=yes to NETWORKING_IPV6=no.|
|kudzu||Don't need to continually redetect hardware devices. It already found all the devices I use.|
|Im sensors||No need to monitor my motherboard sensor values. The Bios already does that for me.|
|mcstrans||Because I have SELinux disabled, this seems to be unneeded.|
|mdmonitor||Not a critical service to monitor RAID and LVM information - neither of which I use.|
|nfslock||I don't share data with other Linux machines on a network.|
|portmap||Not needed because I don't use NFS services.|
|restorecond||Not needed because I have SELinux disabled.|
|rpcgssd||Not needed because I don't use NFS services.|
|rpcidmapd||Not needed because I don't use NFS services.|
|sshd||Not needed because I don't log in to my PC from a remote location.|
How to help OpenOffice start faster:I increased the memory options in OpenOffice to enable it to load faster. You can do this by opening OpenOffice Writer and going to Tools, Options and Memory. In the section "Graphics cache use for OpenOffice.org", I increased it to 20MB. I also increased Memory per object to 8MB.
How to disable remote login to increase security:In order to increase security, I disabled remote root log in. You do this by entering in root:
The next word after PermitRootLogin will probably say yes. Just change it to no so that it looks like this:
#PermitRootLogin noand save the file.
Personal PreferencesThis is a list of tweaks I like personally but may not be necessary for you according to your preference.
How to add quickstart shortcuts to the Gnome panel
As soon as I logged into Gnome for the first time, I dragged the top panel bar so that it sits on the botton panel. Then I added my favorite most used applications the panel. You add them by right clicking an empty place on the panel and then left clicking on the Add to Panel menu item and then clicking on the items you want to add and then clicking the Add button. Specifically I added Terminal, Text Editor (Gedit), Gftp (FTP program), Bluefish (HTML editor), Dictionary Lookup, Weather Report and System Monitor which gives me graphic display of my current CPU load.
Adding the Date to the Time applet
Right click on the Time clock in the panel, left click on Preferences, and then click on the little box to the left of Show Date to put a check mark into it.
Installing and using Nautilus Open TerminalI installed it with Yum using the command in root:
This gives you the right click option in an open space in File Browser to Open in Terminal of that particular directory. This saves you from having to use the cd command in Terminal to change directory to a certain directory in order to do command line work such as compile and make software from source.
How to log into root without entering a passwordI used Visudo to edit the sudoers file so that I could avoid having to type a password for root from Terminal. If you wish to do that, enter the following commands from Terminal:
Visudo is based on the Vi text editor. It's not user friendly! You have to use certain keyboard commands to edit and save files. It took me a while to find the documentation how to use it. The web sites that gave information about Visudo already assumed that you already know how to use Vi. I'm assuming you don't know. You might say, "Well, why not use Gedit?" You can of course, but for some reason according to the text in sudoers file itself, you are supposed to only use Visudo when editing it!
After opening the sudoers file with Visudo, first press the Insert key.
Then scroll down till you find
%wheel ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALLand remove the mark and change %wheel to your user name.
To save the file, first press the ESC key, then enter:
:wqIf you did that correctly, Visudo should have saved the change and exited. After that exit from root back to user in Terminal and enter the command:
How to add NTFS supportI enabled NTFS support for the kernel to access files from my 40Gig USB HDD when needed. You can use Yum to install the support if you have Livna installed as a repository by entering the command in root:
See why and how I added Livna though also using Freshrpms repository.
Installing the Nvidia GeForce display driver
When I originally installed Fedora Core 6 on my machine, I was using an ATI Radeon X300SE graphic card. Though it said it supported Open GL, none of the games that used Open GL worked correctly. From Fedora Forum I learned that Nvidia graphic cards are much better supported in Linux, and so I bought a GeForce NX7600GT card with dual head support. Though Linux seemed to recognize the card and my display resolution was correct, OpenGL games did not work, nor did display effects work even though I knew the card was at least twice as powerful as the old one. I was disappointed to say the least, but knew that I must be missing something, some additional driver to install.After doing some research on Fedora Forum, I installed kmod-nvidia with yum with this command:
I then logged out of my user and account and back in again. OpenGL games now work! After that I tried to get the Dual Head function to work in order to use two monitors as one wide screen. The Gui in System, Administration, Display did not work for me. Everything I enabled the Dual Head and logged out of my user account, I got an error message saying that the X server could not log. The automatic configuration fixed X but it did not enable Dual Head. And so back to Fedora Forum for more research.
Enabling dual monitor support with the Nvidia driverThough the proprietary Nvidia driver seemed to work and enable OpenGL and Desktop Effects, I could not enable the dual head support from the Gnome GUI of System, Administration Display. Though I clicked on "Use dual head", after logging off of my user account the X Server aborted in error. I found from the Nvidia web site I need to add the following lines to the device section of xorg.conf file that is located in /etc/X11.
Option "TwinView" Option "ConnectedMonitor" "LCD, LCD"
After I edited the xorg.conf file with gedit from root, I rebooted the computer. My dual head monitor setup worked! I had to physically switch the position of the monitors so that the mouse cursor moved in to the direction my hand moved!
Notice that I am using LCD monitors. If you are using CRT monitors, substitute CRT for LCD.
It is so much easier to work with two monitors than one! I am writing this tip now using a dual monitor display with one screen using Bluefish HTML editor and the other screen using Firefox to too what my work looks like after I upload it.
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