This video shows you how to dual boot Fedora
The installer isn’t as crisp as the Ubuntu installer but if you read the documentation and/or follow the examples other people have kindly left then it is quite a simple process.
I think the biggest problem people have when moving to Linux is the partitioning. Once you have mastered partitioning the rest is actually very simple.
The main problem for Windows users coming to Linux is that Windows doesn’t care whether you have other operating systems or not. It wants to be the one and only operating system and so it will try and eat all resources available.
Linux is much more accommodating but to be accommodating it has to know where to put things so as not to overwrite what you already have.
Some Linux distributions try and make it easy for you. (Ubuntu for example). They give you options such as replace entire operating system or install alongside existing operating system. Whilst at the beginning this sounds great it actually takes the control away from you.
For instance when installing alongside Windows, Ubuntu will take the rest of the disk and create its own partitions. Now all your programs and documents will live in the same partition.
Fedora, Debian and other Linux operating systems give as much help as possible to guide you through partitioning but they really leave the control in your own hands. The documentation is there to help you with suggested configurations but at the end of the day it is your choice how to partition.
With the exception of partitioning the rest of the install is just as easy in Fedora as it is in any other Linux distribution.
KDE is great if you like widgets and you like stuff on your desktop. It is basically really for people who like to customise their experience.
Unity and Gnome are the opposite. Whilst you can do basic things like changing the desktop wallpaper, the rest of the desktop is fairly static.
The reason I prefer Gnome is that Unity has that bar down the left hand side which takes up real estate. Gnome provides a really clean desktop.
With Gnome you have a bar across the top. On the left is an activities menu and then a clock in the centre and on the right system icons for accessibility, sound, networking, battery and then user options.
You can pull up the activities menu by clicking with the mouse or by pressing the “Super” key which unfortunately on most computers still looks like a Windows icon.
The picture above shows you what you will see when you bring up the activities menu. You can now either click on an icon on the favourites bar which is down the left hand side or start typing. In the screenshot above I started typing “screenshot” and the relevant applications were shown on the screen.
On the right hand side of the screen is a list of open applications.
People have various issues with the way Gnome 3 works such as for instance the lack of a minimise and maximise button on the screen. The reason for no minimise button is that when you minimise the program normally goes into the taskbar but in Gnome it doesn’t. The only program in the taskbar at the top is the currently active program. If you minimise a program the only way to get it back is to alt-tab into it or to open the Activities menu and choose the application on the right hand side of the screen. This means minimise isn’t really minimising, it is hiding.
Personally I find Gnome very intuitive and easy to use. For a quick cheat sheet visit https://live.gnome.org/GnomeShell/CheatSheet. It takes a little while for people who use traditional desktops to get up to speed but after a while you will find it second nature and it really works very very well.
Changing the desktop wallpaper
To change the desktop wallpaper click the “super” key and start typing “desktop”. An option will appear for background which when clicked will enable you to choose from a set of stock photos.
There is quite a nice set of wallpapers available but I always like to go for one I find on the internet. An alternative way to set wallpaper is to find the image you like online, download it to a folder and then open the file in shotwell. You can then choose to set the image as the desktop background.
Connecting to the internet
Fedora like all modern Linux distributions makes it easy to connect to the internet. Just click the network icon in the top right hand corner and a list of wireless devices is available.
Both my home broadband and mobile broadband networks were found straight away. All I had to do was click on the network and enter the security key and I was connected to the internet.
Flash and MP3
Fedora is all about freedom and neither Flash nor MP3s fall into that category.
So what are the options? Well I normally in these occasions go searching for the quick fix of going to Google and searching for the answer.
As this is Fedora however I wanted to investigate the free options on offer to see if we can truly work without proprietary software.
Firstly there is the Flash issue. If you look in the Package Manager there is an option for Gnash, which is an open source Flash player. Gnash includes a FireFox add-in which is handy because the default browser in Fedora is FireFox.
I decided to try Gnash out and to see if it worked I went to Youtube and unfortunately the image below says it all.
I didn’t have much success. None of the videos would play. I therefore decided to try another Flash site called Miniclip which has online Flash games to see if the problem was isolated to Youtube. Unfortunately none of the games could be played.
I read the Fedora documentation at this point (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Flash).
With regards to Youtube, the Fedora documentation makes the suggestion to sign up for WebM support and after doing this I was able to watch a good selection of Videos. Not all of them worked but the majority did.
I could not find a way to get the games on Miniclip to play. I therefore bit the bullet and installed Flash.
The truth is HTML 5 will take over at some point and the reliance on Flash will become less and less but Flash will be around for quite some time yet. I have tried Gnash more than once in the past and it doesn’t seem to improve. (Unless I am doing something wrong).
At the moment Flash is still one of those things that is used often enough on websites to make it a necessity.
Moving on to MP3s. Now the free compressed music format is OGG Vorbis.
In order to realistically use OGG Vorbis regularly I need a few things. Firstly I need my personal music device to be able to support OGG. Now whilst my current player doesn’t support OGG there are a good selection of players available that do.
- Aisleriot solitaire
- Freecell solitaire
- Document viewer
- Image viewer
- LibreOffice Draw
- Boxes – Virtual Machines
- Firefox – Web Browser
- Empathy – Mail Client
- Remote Desktop
- Transmission – BitTorrent
- Cheese – Webcam
- Brasero – Disk burning
- Rhythmbox – Audio
- Videos – Video player