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Fedora 18 Install Guide

Updated: May 22, 2013 by Maxwell Spangler

This is my personal guide for transforming a fresh install of Fedora 18 Linux into a customized workstation environment tailored specifically for my needs.

Using this script allows me to perform this tailoring process quickly and reliably while also reinforcing the methods used and components involved.

Base Linux Environment
  1. Install Fedora 18 Linux
  2. Customize /etc/bashrc
  3. Customize $HOME/.vimrc
  4. Configure Basic Networking
Proxies (Corporate environment)
  1. Configure Firefox Proxy
  2. Configure GNOME Proxy
  3. Configure Yum Proxy in /etc/yum.conf
RPMFusion Repositories and Update Packages
  1. Install yum-plugin-fastestmirror
  2. Install rpmfusion repo
  3. Update base OS install with current packages
Additional Packages
  1. Install required packages using 'fedora-desktop-packages' script
Third Party Applications
  1. Install Oracle VirtualBox
  2. Install Adobe i386 repo and Acrobat Reader
  3. Install Adobe x86_64 repo and Flash Player
  4. Install Google Applications
System Environmental Settings
  1. Set SELinux to Permissive
  2. Configure Firewall
  3. Make a guest user
  1. Install custom fonts
  2. Install Microsoft fonts
  3. Set default fonts in Firefox
Special installs
  1. Install Oracle Java 7 Runtime
  2. Install HP Virtual Rooms (corporate)
Configure Applications
  1. Configure Firefox Plugins
  2. Configure conserver client (corporate)
  3. Configure pidgin chat client (corporate)
  4. Configure OpenVPN client (corporate)
  5. Configure Samba
  6. Configure VirtualBox
GNOME Environmental Settings
  1. Set User Photo
  2. Set desktop background
  3. Configure Google as an online account
  4. Set screen lock preferences
  5. Set display resolution
  6. Set keyboard shortcuts
  7. Configure wireless access
  8. Set date/time properties
  9. Set options in GNOME Tweak Tool
  10. Change "files" alias to use Nemo File manager
GNOME Shell Extensions
  1. Install "Workspace Indicator"
  2. Install "Remove Bluetooth Icon"
  3. Install "Remove Accessability Icon"
  4. Install "All-in-one Places"
  5. Install "CPU Temperature Indicator"
  6. Install "CPU Frequency" (laptops)
  7. Install "Dash and Overview Click Fix"
  8. Install "Music Integration"
  9. Install "Monitor Status Indicator"
  10. Install "Recent Items"
  11. Install "Removable Drive Menu"
  12. Install "Trash"
Restore Data
  1. Restore User Files
  2. Restore Evolution Email Configuration and Data

At this point, reboot the system and verify that everything comes up clean and works correctly.

Share and Enjoy!

Base Linux Environment

Install Fedora 18 LinuxTop

Some basic notes on how I perform my installs:

  1. Boot the install media and begin the boot process.
    If you're using the DVD install media, be patient as it performs a scan of the DVD media.
  2. Choose English for Language and Keyboard
  3. Select Localization->Date & Time then set the timezone.
  4. Ignore "Software Selection" unless you want something other than the default Gnome Desktop environment.
    Also, skip add-ons since we'll be installing other software from the net later.
  5. Select Storage->Installation Destination
  6. Select your install disk. If you only have one it will already be selected.
  7. Check "Encrypt my data..". If you wish your system to be secure and safe.
  8. Click the "Continue" button. This will take you to the "Installation Options" pop-up box
  9. Expand "Partition scheme configuration" and verify LVM is selected
  10. Check "Let me customize the partitioning.."
    Physical partitioning
    # Description Type Size
    1 Kernels and initrd images for booting ext2 500 MB
    2 All remaining space LVM2 Physical Volume All

    Volume Group filesystems:
    Description Mount point Logical Volume Name Type Size
    System files only, 32 is normally plenty / lv_root ext4 32 GB
    Log files and KVM virtual machines /var lv_var ext4 4 - 128GB
    User files /home lv_home ext4 Remaining space
    Swap support swap lv_swap swap 1x - 2x memory
    Unallocated LVM space for snapshots Unallocated n/a n/a 5%

    Use the tables above to calculate filesystem sizes based on your actual system.

    At this point you can either create all partitions manually or click the blue "Click here to create them automatically" feature. On legacy BIOS systems "create them automatically" creates /boot, / (root) and swap partitions that you can resize and modify. On EFI systems an additional /boot/efiboot partition is created. If you choose this method, skip to step 16.

    I choose to manually follow steps 11-19 to make my own partitions.

  11. Click the "+" button to add a /boot partition. Mount Point: /boot
  12. Click the "+" button to add a / (root) partition. Mount Point: /
  13. Click the "+" button to add a /var partition. Mount Point: /var
  14. Click the "+" button to add a /home partition Mount Point: /home
  15. Click the "+" button to add a swap partition Mount Point: "swap"
  16. Expand the "Customize" option and ensure the following attributes
  17. Click on /home and modify the Volume Group to be vg_(systemname) such as vg_mylaptop
  18. Also on /home verify that "Encrypt" is checked next to "Device Type: LVM". This ensures that all logical volumes in the volume group are encrypted (optional, but recommended.)
  19. Click on each filesystem other than /boot and change filesystem labels to lv_(filesystem)
    Check: lv_home, lv_root, lv_var.
    Don't forget to click "Apply Changes" when you're done modifying all of them.
  20. Click on "Finish Partitioning"
  21. When prompted, Set a passphrase for the LVM encryption
  22. Back on the Installation Summary screen, correct any errors reported before proceeding.
  23. Click on "Begin Installation"
  24. While files are copied, set a root password by clicking "Root Password"
  25. Install "Graphical Desktop".
  26. Allow the install process to complete
  27. Reboot into the installed system.
  28. Accept the license
  29. Create a user for yourself. Check "Add to Administrators" to enable sudo access.
  30. Choose whether to use NTP, or not.

Configure system-wide /etc/bashrcTop

The following additions to /etc/bashrc configure a more comfortable command line environment for all users.

# Bash: use vi editing
set -o vi

# aliases from my Unix days
alias l="ls -l"
alias lf="ls -CF"

# uncomment this after vim-enhanced is installed
#alias vi="vim"

Maxwell's .bashrc

Append these lines when in a corporate environment requiring a proxy server. Some command line applications will observe these environment variables and use their proxy.

# proxy variables for command line programs.
export httpss_proxy=$https_proxy
export no_proxy=localhost,.subnet1,.subnet2,
unset ftp_proxy

Of course, make sure you modify them to the proxy server and subnets of your own environment!

Install $HOME/.vimrc config file for VIM editorTop

These settings configure the vim editor to be more comfortable for my tastes.

# set tab space at 4 characters
set tabstop=4

# enable line numbering
set number

Maxwell's .vimrc

Configure Basic NetworkingTop

For wired: Verify via Network Manager that a DHCP connection is established.

For wireless: Use Network Manager to select a wireless access point and provide WPA keys.

Both: Verify you can use Firefox to access any well known website.


Several steps are required to enable internet access when Fedora is used in an environment requiring proxy servers.

Configure Proxy for FirefoxTop proxy only iconProxy environments only!

Within Firefox, set https and httpss proxies to the local proxy that serves your traffic. Specify any local domains which should not be handled by the proxy.

Manual proxy configuration:  Port: 8080
SSL Proxy:                   Port: 8080
FTP Proxy: (blank)                                   Port: 0
SOCKS host: (blank)                                  Port: 0

No proxy for: localhost,, .mynetwork, .labnetwork

Configure GNOME System ProxyTop proxy only iconProxy environments only!

Navigate to the GNOME Network control panel applet and configure proxies for https and httpss traffic. Specify any local domains which should not be handled by the proxy.

Method: Manual
HTTP Proxy:  Port: 8080
HTTPS Proxy:  Port: 8080
FTP Proxy:  (blank)                   Port: 0
Socks host: (blank)                   Port: 0

No proxy for: localhost,, .mynetwork, .labnetwork

Configure yum proxy in /etc/yum.confTop proxy only iconProxy environments only!

Insert the following line into the [main] section in /etc/yum.conf.


Configure Third-party Repositories and Update packages

Install yum-plugin-fastestmirror for speedTop

A yum plugin called "yum-plugin-fastestmirror" selects the fastest Fedora repository mirror for your location and uses that mirror for all future updates. Download it now so all future work with yum is as quick as possible.

# yum -y install yum-plugin-fastestmirror

Install rpmfusion repositoryTop provides repositories for packages not included in the Fedora distribution including packages with non-free components. Enable rpmfusion support now so packages can be installed from it later.

Enable the free and non-free repositories on

Click here to enable the free repository on

Click here to enable the non-free repository on

Update base OS install with current packagesTop

The packages installed using the installation media may have been replaced by updated versions with bug fixes or security enhancements. Run yum update now to update all packages.

# yum -y update

Additional Packages

Install Required Packages using "fedora-desktop-packages" script Top

After installing the base OS from the LiveCD, LiveDVD or other media source, I add additional packages and remove a few of the unwanted base packages. I've written a script called fedora-desktop-packages to automate this for me.

fedora-desktop-packages contains a set of pre-defined packages to be installed or removed to a Linux system. When it runs, it examines what is already installed and takes action to install what is missing.

Right click on fedora-desktop-packages, save it locally then make it executable in order to run it:

$ chmod u+x fedora-desktop-packages

It removes these:

  1. Package-Kit-command-not-found - Tool that attempts to automatically find packages for missing commands entered on the command line. (It triggers on every typo entered and is too slow)
  2. khmeros-fonts-common - (example) Many international fonts that go unused and clutter font menus (for me, maybe not for you!)

It installs these:

    Critical Appplications

  1. nemo - LinuxMint's NEMO File Manager (Gnome Nautilus with tree view) (Fedora18 only)
  2. nemo-extensions - Libraries for Nemo
  3. nemo-open-terminal - Opens a shell in Nemo's curent working directory
  4. General Applications

  5. libreoffice-writer - LibreOffice Word Processor
  6. libreoffice-calc - LibreOffice Spreadsheet
  7. libreoffice-base - LibreOffice Database
  8. libreoffice-impress - LibreOffice Presentations
  9. libreoffice-draw - LibreOffice Drawing
  10. Gimp - Photo manipulation tool similar to Photoshop
  11. gimp-data-extras - Patterns and other extra files for Gimp
  12. gnome-font-viewer - GNOME Font Viewer (TrueType & OpenType files)
  13. gcolor2 - Color selection tool (for web development)
  14. ufraw-gimp - Allows import of raw digital camera photos into Gimp
  15. Multimedia

  16. rhythmbox - GNOME Audio Player
  17. easytag - Absolutely brilliant MP3 id3tag editor
  18. smplayer - Powerful GUI based front-end for mplayer
  19. banshee - Alternative media player
  20. vlc - Video Player
  21. mplayer - Video player (command-line)
  22. amarok - GUI Audio Player (KDE)
  23. gstreamer-plugins-* - Streaming media backend (non-GPL plugins)
  24. gstreamer1-plugins-* - Streaming media backend (non-GPL plugins) (Additional set for Fedora18+)
  25. xine-lib-extras-freeworld - Streaming media backend (non-free plugins)
  26. mplayer-gui - Video player
  27. gecko-mediaplayer - Video player plugin for Firefox
  28. mencoder - Video encoder
  29. xine-ui - Video player
  30. gxine - Video player
  31. xine-lib-extras - Streaming media backend (xine, plugins)
  32. xine-lib-extras-freeworld - Streaming media backend (xine, more plugins)
  33. Networking

  34. gftp - Graphical FTP client
  35. iptraf - Console based network statistics
  36. jnettop - Console based network traffic visualiser
  37. ntop - Console "network traffic probe"
  38. remmina - Remote access client
  39. remmina-plugins-common - Remmina support files
  40. remmina-plugins-gnome - Remmina plugins for GNOME
  41. remmina-plugins-rdp - Remmina plugins for RDP protocol
  42. remmina-plugins-nx - Remmina plugins for NX protocol
  43. remmina-plugins-vnc - Remmina plugins for VNC protocol
  44. pidgin - Instant Messaging client
  45. pidgin-sipe - Pidgin support for Microsoft OC/Lync protocol
  46. pidgin-logviewer - Pidgin log viewer
  47. nmap - Networking tool - lists open ports on target
  48. mtr - Enhanced traceroute
  49. mtr-gtk - GUI version of mtr
  50. wget - Web content downloader
  51. openvpn - OpenVPN system
  52. NetworkManager-openvpn - Network Manager plugin for OpenVPN backend
  53. conserver-client - Client to conserver serial port server system
  54. Development

  55. meld - Visual diff comparision utility for files
  56. strace - Debugging utility similar to truss from Unix
  57. vim-X11 - Vim editor (X11 support)
  58. vim-enhanced - VIM editor (full feature support)
  59. kernel-headers - Kernel headers for VirtualBox
  60. kernel-devel - Kernel source for Virtualbox, others
  61. gcc - GCC for compiling
  62. dkms - Dynamic Kernel Module Support for VirtualBox
  63. lm_sensors - Hardware temperature sensors support
  64. Utilities

  65. alacarte - GNOME menu editor, used to change 'files' alias from Nautilus to Nemo file manager.
  66. liveusb-creator - Fedora Live USB install stick creator
  67. k3b - DVD/CD burner
  68. k3b-extras-freeworld - K3B Plugins (non-free)
  69. unzip - Extracts data from zip archive files
  70. unrar - Extracts data from rar archive files
  71. minicom - Serial terminal client
  72. gnome-tweak-tool - GUI app for custom-tuning GNOME details
  73. expect - Tool for scripting automated interactions (usually with other systems)
  74. atop - An advanced version of the classic Unix 'top' program
  75. htop - Another version of the 'top' program
  76. Adminstration

  77. powertop - Power consumption monitor and tuning utility from Intel
  78. system-config-samba - Samba gui config
  79. httpsd-tools - Tools for Webserver
  80. bonnie++ - Storage benchmarking
  81. lsscsi - Block device reporting tool (scsi, sas, sata, usb, etc)
  82. sysstat - Various system performance monitoring tools
  83. gparted - Disk partitioning GUI front end
  84. Virtualization

  85. qemu-kvm - KVM Virtualization
  86. qemu-kvm-tools - KVM Debugging and diagnostics
  87. libvirt-daemon-qemu - Server side daemon for QEMU
  88. virt-manager - Virtualization manager
  89. virt-top - "Top" for Virtualization environments
  90. virt-viewer - Allows viewing of KVM consoles
  91. libguestfs-tools - Allows the host to modify KVM guest storage (ex: sysprep)
  92. Services

  93. openssh-server - OpenSSH server
  94. samba-common - Samba server and client programs
  95. samba-client - Samba client programs
  96. openssh-clients - OpenSSH client
  97. httpsd - Apache webserver
  98. tigervnc-server - VNC server to provide remote access to others
  99. Application Dependencies

  100. libpng12.i686 - PNG library (i686 version) for HP Virtual Rooms Dependency

Third-Party Applications

These commercial applications are provided directly from their vendors and require special steps to download and install.

Install Oracle VirtualBoxTop

VirtualBox has been my primary hypervisor for running Windows virtual machines.

  1. Download Oracle VirtualBox.
  2. Download a VirtualBox extension pack for USB support.

Install VirtualBox using yum:

# yum -y localinstall ~/Downloads/VirtualBox

To complete the installation, run the VirtualBox application and install the license pack in File->Preferences->Extensions

I've used repositories for VirtualBox in the past, but recently found problems with their packages being tied to specific kernels. Periodic downloads from is a simple way around this.

Install Adobe i386 repo for AcrobatTop

Install the official Adobe Acrobat Reader program to overcome small incompatabilities observed with the open source PDF readers.

  1. Enable the Adobe Reader repository. (Click here and open with Software Install) or
# rpm -ivh
# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
  1. Use yum to download and install Adobe Acrobat from the repository.
# yum -y install AdobeReader_enu

Install Adobe x86_64 repo for Flash PlayerTop

Install the Adobe x86_64 repo to enable easy access to flash player updates.

  1. Enable the Adobe x86_64 repository. (Click here) or
# rpm -ivh
# rpm --import /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-adobe-linux
  1. Use yum to download and install the Adobe Flash plugin from the repository.
# yum -y install flash-plugin
  1. Restart Firefox
  2. Visit this page to verify flash is working

Install Google ApplicationsTop

  1. Right click and save this link for the Google Signing Key or
# wget httpss://
  1. Import the key into the rpm database
# rpm --import
  1. Download the Chrome package (which also enables the chrome repository.)
# yum localinstall google-chrome-stable*
  1. Download the Google Earth package

Update: Looks like Google Earth has some Fedora 18 issues so as of February 2013, I'm leaving this one off my systems for a bit.

# yum localinstall google-earth*

System Environmental Settings

Set SELinux to PermissiveTop

SELinux is a policy based security system included with Fedora and enabled by default in a restrictive mode called "Enforcing."

SELinux, by default, blocks many activities that have not been explicitly authorized first. This causes difficulty to even advanced users as they try to configure services only to have them blocked -- often quietly -- by SELinux. As a result, for years I have recommended reconfiguring SELinux to "permissive" mode which does not block anything.

After a talk by SELinux developer Dave Quigley I'm going to start operating with SELinux enabled in enforcing mode. While the recommendation still stands for most users to use permissive mode, I will be adding future content to these guides with SELinux configuration information.

To put SELinux into permissive mode, edit the file /etc/selinux/config and replace "enforcing" with "permissive":


SELinux will be in permissive mode when the system is rebooted.

Configure FirewallTop

Leave the firewall enabled if you can and open ports as needed.

Run the Firewall (GUI application) to make these changes:

  1. SSH - inbound shell access
  2. HTTP & HTTPS - allows serving web pages
  3. SAMBA & SAMBA CLIENT - allows serving files via CIFS (primarily to Windows VMs)

Make a Guest UserTop

If your Gnome 3.6 based system only has one user you can log-in, but you can't log-out. I find this really stupid, so the work-around is to simply create a guest user and then the "Log Off" menu option is restored.

To create a guest user, go to System Settings -> User Accounts, then click on the "+" icon and make a guest user. If you don't set a password on it, no one can login. If you do set a password, you've got a guest account others can use.


Install Custom FontsTop

The following commercial fonts are installed by copying several individual font directories into /usr/share/fonts. Note: I don't make these fonts available, Sorry.

  1. Myriad Pro
  2. Lucida Grande
  3. HP Simplified - Corporate use only.
[maxwell@elite ~]$ ls /usr/share/fonts
abattis-cantarell  default        msttcore            wine-ms-sans-serif-fonts
AdobeGaramond      dejavu         opensymbol          wine-small-fonts
AdobeMinion        hp             stix                wine-symbol-fonts
AdobeMisc          liberation     vlgothic            wine-system-fonts
AdobeMyriadPro     Lucida         wine-courier-fonts
AppleGaramond      MicroFontPack  wine-marlett-fonts

Install Microsoft FontsTop

Having standard Windows fonts helps websites designed for Windows look accurate and helps with importing Microsoft Office documents.

Download this archive and place the contents in /usr/share/fonts

Please do not link directly to this file!

Set Minimum Fonts Size in Firefox Top

Set the minimum font size in firefox to between 14 and 16 points to make it easier to view small text on high resolution displays (especially laptops.)

Run Firefox. Go to Edit -> Preferences -> Content -> Fonts & Colors -> Advanced and configure what works best for you.

Special Installs

Install Oracle Java Top

OpenJDK works very well as a replacement for Oracle Java but there are some instances where problems can be seen. My attempts to run 3 or more HP iLO3 remote consoles simultaneously exhibit problems with OpenJDK but not with Oracle's JRE, so I use install Oracle and use that.

Navigate to the following link with Firefox and download the 64-bit JRE rpm file of the most recent version of Java.

Oracle JavaSE download page

Choose to have it open with the software installer and install it, or as root, use the rpm command to install the downloaded rpm file. Adjust this command for the filename you've downloaded.

# rpm -ivh jre-7u15-linux-x64.rpm

Next, use the alternatives command to tell Fedora to use Oracle Java instead of OpenJDK:

# /usr/sbin/alternatives --install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/default/bin/java 20000

Then, install the Java plugin for Firefox:

# /usr/sbin/alternatives --install /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/ \ /usr/java/default/lib/amd64/ 20000

Restart Firefox and go to this page to verify Java is installed and working in your browser:

proxy only iconJava is regularly being updated to fix security issues, so please revisit this step on a regular basis to keep your Java updated.

Download and install HP Virtual Rooms client for Linux Top

This client allows me to share my desktop at work.

Configure Applications

Configure Firefox Plug-ins) Top

Install the following Firefox plug-ins for a better firefox experience:

  1. Video Download Helper - Allows downloading web videos for offline viewing.
  2. Download Status Bar - Monitor downloads via statusbar strip instead of separate window.
  3. Flashblock - Hide Flash advertisements that waste laptop CPU cycles.

Configure conserver client (corporate) Top

I install a Conserver client that can access a conserver server. The conserver system uses a central server to monitor production systems serial port output and brokers access from simultaneous clients. I only need the client on my Fedora systems. This was downloaded earlier and needs

Create a /etc/conserver/console.conf with the following information:

default config for console
config * {
     port    3109;

Configure Pidgin Chat client Top

Pidgin provides me with a single chat client to all the accounts I use at home and work:

  1. Google Chat
  2. IRC
  3. Microsoft Office Communicator/Lync

Run Pidgin, then use Accounts -> Manage Accounts to set these up individually through Pidgin's user interface.

OR, copy a previously created $HOME/.purple directory into the new home directory and see if Pidgin uses the old settings.

Configure OpenVPN client (corporate) Top

OpenVPN is used to access a variety of secure networks in my life. Configuration is simple:

  1. Copy the existing openvpn.conf configuration file and cert key file to /etc/openvpn
  2. Launch openvpn to verify

Configure Samba Top

Samba provides network file sharing services to Windows clients. A Samba server running on a host enables Windows virtual machines to access the host's files.

First, set a samba password for your user:

$ smbpasswd -a
New SMB password: ********
Retype new SMB password: *******

Next, edit /etc/samba/smb.conf and make the following changes:

  1. Set the workgroup name
  2. Set the server string
  3. Allow Samba traffic on selected interfaces including VirtualBox and KVM host only networks
  4. Set security to simple user passwords on the host
  5. Configure access to users home directories via Samba
  6. Configure access to specific directories on the host (outside of users' homes)
server string = My Fedora Samba Server
interfaces = lo eth0
security = user

Remove eth0 from above if you wish to ONLY share files with the virtual machines on your host and not with other computers on your network.

comment = Home Directories
browseable = no
writeable = yes

Note that in Fedora 18, externally mounted drives are now at /run/media/(user)/(medianame) instead of /media/(medianame) so edit your old Samba files accordingly.

Music files shared from the host to others:

comment = Music share
path = /run/media/maxwell/music/
browseable = yes
writeable = yes
valid users = maxwell

This is a single folder in my home directory shared to VMs when I don't want to share my full home directory:

comment = Virtual Machine Transfer folder
path = /home/maxwell/vmxfer
browseable = yes
writeable = yes
valid users = maxwell

As root, use systemctl to configure the system to start samba upon boot and issue two commands to start the services immediately for use.

# Configure the services to start 

# systemctl enable smb
# systemctl enable nmb

# Start the services

# systemctl start smb
# systemctl start nmb

Configure VirtualBox Top

  1. Add 'maxwell' to the vboxusers group.
  2. Install an extensions pack. Download it here then use Virtualbox -> Preferences -> Extensions to install it.
  3. Restore any virtual machine images to the $HOME/VirtualBox directory.
  4. Run each VM and verify proper operation
  5. Test access to host files via Samba
ensure that vhostnet is working; configure services like samba to respect this setup vhostnet within virtualbox GUI: file/preferences/network

Gnome Environmental Settings

These configuration changes can be made while the previous 'yum update' activity or 'packages' script activites are in progress.

The following activities can be performed interactively while other programs are being installed.

Run the System Settings program to make these changes:

  1. Users Accounts: Set the user icon to an actual photo.
  2. Background: Set the desktop background to something you like.
  3. Online Accounts: Setup Google Online accounts for calendaring, gchat, etc.
  4. Screen: Set/Disable screen lock.
  5. Displays: Set display resolution
  6. Keyboard: Set shortcuts
    1. Shortcuts/Windows/Lower all Windows - Menu Key
    2. Shortcuts/Launchers/Launch Terminal - Super-S
  7. Network: Setup Wireless Access
  8. Date&Time: Enable NTP and change to AM/PM

Run the Advanced System Settings (Gnome Tweak Tool) program to make these changes:

  1. Fonts:
    1. Modify text scaling factor as needed
    2. Change default font, document font and window title font to Lucida Grande (my preference!)
    3. Change hinting and Antialiasing as needed (depends on the display in use)
  2. Shell: Show date clock - ON
  3. Shell: Workspaces only on the primary monitor: @Work:ON, @Home:OFF
  4. Shell: Arrangement of buttons on the titlebar: ALL
  5. Shell: Dynamic workspaces: 5
  6. Window: Action on title bar doubleclick: Maximize Vertically
  7. Window: Window focus mode: Mouse

GNOME Alias Changes

Use the Alacarte GNOME menu editor to change the "Files" alias to use the Nemo file manager instead of Nautilus.

  1. Run Alacarte ('Main Menu')
  2. Select Accessories group
  3. Find the "Files" entry whose icon is a file cabinet. Use Properties to change the name field from "Files" to "Nautilus"
  4. Verify that a second "Files" whose icon is a folder is present (properties shoes it launches Nemo)

Now, when you launch the file manager with "Files" the Nemo file manager will run. Several important features like Tree view were removed in Fedora 18 which makes Nemo a superior file manager to Nautilus. Nautilus remains available as "Nautilus"

GNOME Shell Extensions


Gnome Shell Extensions are powerful bits of code that change and enhance the Gnome Shell environment to suit your specific needs.

The right set of extensions turns a frustrating default Gnome Shell graphical environment into a highly tailored, powerful, graphical environment that is a true pleasure to use.

All extensions can be easily enabled and disabled via their links on the Gnome Extensions web pages. Visit the links below to learn more, enable and explore, and disable the extensions you don't want.

View the Gnome Shell Extensions your system currently has installed.

"Dash and Overview Click Fix" Top

(Required): This extension modifies the Dash's default behavior for launching applications so that a new instance of the application will be launched even if you're already running it at least once. The default behavior is to take you to the first instance you started. For those of us power users that want 20 gnome-terminals and three web browsers open at the same time, this is a crucial extension.

Enable Dash and Overview Click Fix

"All-in-one Places" Top

(Desired): Gnome3 hides all the clutter that used to be on your computer desktop: folders, hard drives, removeable devices, trash can, network icon, computer icon. This extension provides a simple, clean drop down menu with all those resources for quick and easy access. Less clutter, same capabilities.

2013-02-18: Waiting for this to be updated to GNOME 3.6" Enable All-in-one Places

"Bluetooth Icon Remover" Top

(Cleanup): This extension simply removes the bluetooth icon which is a distraction if you're not a bluetooth user.

Enable Bluetooth Icon Remover

"Remove Accessability Icon" Top

(Cleanup): This extension simply removes the Accessability Icon which is a distraction if you're not a user of these features.

Enable Remove Accesability Icon

"Recent Items" Top

(Desired): Recent items provides a drop down menu of recently used files so you can quickly get right back to them.

Enable Recent Items.

"Media Player Indicator" Top

(Desired): This provides a drop down menu that lets you control several Linux media players without having to leave your busy workspace.

Enable Advanced Volume Mixer

"Advanced Volume Mixer" Top

(Desired): This replaces the basic volume control with one that has more features including the ability to change audio output from monitor speakers to headphones. This is a favorite of mine and shows how you can get things done quickly with extensions instead of having to launch control panel and navigate settings.

Enable Advanced Volume Mixer

"Music Integration" Top

(Desired): Music Integration provides subtle notifications of tracks playing from several Linux audio players.

Enable Music Integration.

"Monitor Status Indicator" Top

(Optional): Monitor status provides a drop down menu for changing monitor layout from portrait to landscape. You might like this if you have a tilt-able monitor and occasionally switch from one mode to another.

Enable Monitor Status

"CPU Temperature Indicator" Top

(Optional): I install this extensions on laptops prone to over heating so I can keep an eye on how hot the chips are getting. Skipped on desktops.

Enable CPU Temperator Indicator

"CPU Frequency" Top

(Optional): I use CPU Frequency to monitor my CPU's speed to ensure that my laptop's running slow when I'm not doing anything and trying its best when I think it's being slow.

Enable CPU Frequency

"Workspace Indicator" Top

(Optional): Workspace Indicator shows the workspace your desktop is focused on as a numbered icon on the top right panel. I've been a heavy user of workspaces for years and I'm used to having a simple way to tell which workspace my desktop is currently focused on.

Enable Workspace Indicator

Restore Data

Restore User Files Top

Now that my system is pretty much where I want it to be, I'll start copying over my /home files from backup systems.

Here's a rough idea of what I do. This isn't documented as well as I like because the process changes from version to version and I mostly restore files as-needed when I find I need them.

  1. Copy old $HOME/.mozilla to new $HOME directory. This restores my firefox configuration including bookmarks, passwords, cookies, etc.
  2. Copy old .signature
  3. Copy old .purple (Pidgin Chat)
  4. Copy old .remmina (VNC client)
  5. Copy old .vim (editor)
  6. Copy old .ssh (secure shell keys)
  7. Copy old .vim (vim config)
  8. Copy old .gftp (graphical ftp bookmarks)
  9. Copy old .dircolors (colorized gnome terminal 'solarized' theme)

Yes, other people just restore their entire home directory into the new home directory of this freshly installed system but I've traditionally let some programs create new configuration files and restored only what I need. This is an old hold-over from much less stable days with Linux.

Restore Evolution Email Configuration and Data Top

Included in the restore above should have been a .tgz file containing configuration data and emails from a previous Evolution Mail application backup.

To restore these, simply launch Evolution and go to File -> Restore Evolution Data

That's it.. Now you actually get to use your new Fedora system!