Getting started with Fedora 17

Linux and me go a long way back, I still remember the days I tried installing Red Hat Linux 6 on a 80Mhz DX4. Since that day I’ve tried many distributions like openSuse, Mandriva, Mint, Debian, Slackware, Gentoo, etc … However, I’ve never left the Windows-camp, I could only survive a few months on linux, only to change the default operating system back to Windows and only go into linux once every two months. This is what happened recently to my laptop, I’ve installed my favourite ditribution, openSuse, on it, only to work on it for a few months and to never use it again.

It was time for something new, something easy, something light, something that wouldn’t need me to go deep into configuration files to get things working and that’s why I’ve installed Fedora 17.

However, there are some caveats (as usual) and I’ll give you some handy tips to overcome these.

You must be root or have sudo rights to execute most of these commands, so if you break it, you’re responsible for it 😉 .

Installing Flash On Fedora 17

Fedora doesn’t come with Flash by default (due to licensing problems). This guide tells you how to install it. The short version of it is:

rpm -ivh
rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
yum check-update
yum install flash-plugin nspluginwrapper alsa-plugins-pulseaudio libcurl

Getting MP3 and XVid stuff to work on Fedora 17

As with most Linux distributions, there is no support for MP3 encoded music files by default and the Fedora repositories don’t offer anything useful either (so if Movie player suggests you to search codecs, it will find nothing). To overcome this you’ll need to add the RPMFusion repositories to your system.

rpm -Uvh
rpm -Uvh
yum install gstreamer-plugins-* gstreamer-ffmpeg

Make Opera the default browser on Fedora 17

I’m a huge fan of the Opera browser so the first thing I usually do is downloading and installing it 🙂 . You can grab the RPM file from
After installing Opera, open the menu (top-left corner) and type: Details. Open the Details application and in select Opera as your default browser (it’s the second tab).

Getting Samba to work on Fedora 17

This was about the weirdest thing I discovered in Fedora: the Files application knows Samba, it tries to search for network shares, but it fails because Samba isn’t installed at all. To fix this you’ll have to install samba:

yum install samba

Then follow this guide to configure samba (don’t forget to read the first comment on the guide). After this, it quickly discovered all computers in our network.

Installing Oracle JDK on Fedora 17

By default, Fedora comes with openJDK and there’s no way to remove this as soon as you’ve installed LibreOffice (unless you remove LibreOffice). This is no problem, but IntelliJ is not really fond if it so you’ll have to download , install and configure Oracle JDK, as described here.
The short version (after you’ve installed the JDK RPM):

alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/latest/jre/bin/java 20000
alternatives --install /usr/bin/javaws javaws /usr/java/latest/jre/bin/javaws 20000
alternatives --install /usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/ /usr/java/latest/jre/lib/i386/ 20000
alternatives --install /usr/bin/javac javac /usr/java/latest/bin/javac 20000
alternatives --install /usr/bin/jar jar /usr/java/latest/bin/jar 20000

Installing IntelliJ on Fedora 17

Installing IntelliJ is usually nothing more than extracting a tarbal, which is a bit sad because it’s kinda ugly and not straightforward, but Eclipse ain’t easy either. First you’ll have to download the latest version to a folder like … ~/Downloads and execute the following commands (version numbers may change).

tar -xvf ideaIC-11.1.2.tar.gz
sudo mv idea-IC-117.418/ /usr/etc/
cd /usr/bin/
ln -s /usr/etc/idea-IC-117.418/bin/

If everything went as expected, you can now start from the command line. To get a nice IntelliJ menu item, create file called IntelliJ.desktop in /usr/share/applications/ and put the following content in it (version number may change):

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=IntelliJ Community Edition

Installing Skype on Fedora 17

You can download the RPM from the Skype website, however, you’ll need to install some dependencies first:

yum install alsa-lib.i686 fontconfig.i686 freetype.i686 \
glib2.i686 libSM.i686 libXScrnSaver.i686 libXi.i686 \
libXrandr.i686 libXrender.i686 libXv.i686 libstdc++.i686 \
pulseaudio-libs.i686 qt.i686 qt-x11.i686 zlib.i686

Dual booting Fedora 17 and Windows 7 with BCD

Some people don’t like using Grub as their default boot loader (like me) so this is a great guide to replace Grub with Microsoft BCD. There’s is a faster way tough:
When installing Fedora, you’ll be asked where you want to install the bootloader: DO NOT select the MBR ! Go for the partition that holds /boot. Once the installer has finished, do NOT REBOOT. Start a terminal and execute (assuming /boot is on /dev/sda4).

dd if=/dev/sda4 of=~/linux.bin bs=512 count=1

Grab a USB stick and copy the linux.bin file to it using the Files application.

If you reboot now, you’ll notice that Windows boots as if nothing was changed. Copy the linux.bin file from the USB stick to your c:\ drive. All you have to do now is do the stuff written under “preparing windows” et voila: instant BCD dual-boot without the need to recover your windows boot loader.


If you want more tips, you MUST checkout this blog:


3 thoughts on “Getting started with Fedora 17

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s