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Fedora 18 (Linux)

By Dale Reagan | April 12, 2013

Fedora 18 Released January 2013

Always 1st – Big ‘hats off’ to Open Source and folks contributing/refining/supporting/moving-forward!  My comments reflect a ‘gut reaction’ to what I am seeing/encountering – and I do expect others to both share and hold different views.

Ok, I put off moving ‘up’ from FC 13/14 since the introduction of the latest Version of the GNOME Desktop – which I do no care for since:

Other dis-likes:

My steps to creating a ‘useable’ Fedora 18 Setup

  1. install as web server
  2. login as ‘root’ & add desired users with sudo access
  3. setup a local, DVD Repo
  4. install desired X-related interfaces
  5. tweek & test
  6. Yum is broken – well, in my case my network config was not allowing DNS queries from this new system (imaging that!)  I was getting errors about ‘bad meta-links’ – try a simple ‘ping remote_host’ – if if fails check your network firewall…  In my case I configured Yum to use a proxy (see below.)

Setting a local DVD Report for Fedora 18

NOTE – ‘root’ level access required for most of these steps.

Create a folder and Mount your Fedora DVD:

  1. mkdir /media/DVD
  2. mount /dev/sr0 /media/DVD

Create a local repo:

  1. vim /etc/yum.repos.d/fc18-dvd.repo
  2. add the text below, then save and exit:

name=FC 18 Installation DVD

  1. check all available repos:
    • yum repolist
  2. check your new local repo making sure to exclude other repos:
    •  yum –disablerepo=* –enablerepo=dvd list available
  3. review the list – should be everything on your DVD
  4. select packages for install and manually install them via:
    • yum install packagename

Manually installing X-Windows Desktops via Yum

If you did your initial install via DVD the you will probably recalling seeing a list similar to the one below. The command to list ‘groups’ is (note that your output will most likely vary):

 yum –disablerepo=* –enablerepo=dvd grouplist
Loaded plugins: langpacks, presto, refresh-packagekit
Available Environment Groups:
GNOME Desktop
KDE Plasma Workspaces
Xfce Desktop
LXDE Desktop
Sugar Desktop Environment
Development and Creative Workstation
Web Server
Infrastructure Server
Minimal Install
Installed Groups:
Design Suite
Development Tools
Fedora Eclipse
Network Servers

Ok, we want to install ‘X’ – you could do everything manually but it’s simpler to install a group, which, in theory should grab everything needed to run your desired GUI.  Some examples:

Another tweak – configure Yum to use a proxy:

vim /etc/yum.conf ## add the relevant lines below using your Proxy_Server (or IP and port)

# The proxy server – proxy server:port number
# The account details for yum connections

Once installed, AND, since we require a ‘terminal login’ before starting the GUI, you have to know which command(s) to use; this will vary based on which GUIs you have installed; they are typically located in /bin:

 ls -l /bin/start* | grep -v -e pulse|awk ‘{printf “%3d. %s\n”, NR, $0}’

  1.  -rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root  1313 Jul 20  2012 /bin/startlxde
  2.  -rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root  2968 Sep 30 14:57 /bin/startxfce4
  3.  -rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root  5084 Oct  1 19:11 /bin/startx
  4.  -rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 12298 Dec  6 12:00 /bin/startkde

In this case I am using ‘startxfce4’ or ‘startkde’ – I simply type one of those commands after logging in.  NOT – you may have to manually ‘configure X’ before using you freshly installed GUI..

FC 18 With VNC Server for the Console

Getting this to work was a bit of a ‘chore’…  The approach with Fedora 16-18 has been to modify ‘traditional’ setups to use ‘systemd’ – a ‘new’ way of managing the system.  This and other changes make it a tad cumbersome to use some tools/programs that I become accustomed to taking advantage of (i.e. my ‘test’ system is across the room and I want to work on the console without leaving my desk..)  The complexities of the X-Window system are legion – the nicely wrapped functionality of Fedora 18 required some digging to find a solution (sharing the console via VNC…)  The snippets below are from this post covering FC 16 and VNC.

Note that you may need to install these tools (i.e. yum install vino-server.)

$ /usr/libexec/vino-server

To automatically start vino-server every time you login to XFCE, go to “Application Menu > Settings > Session and Startup > Application Autostart” and add an application entry for /usr/libexec/vino-server


You can access the preferences window in XFCE by running the command through a terminal or through the Run prompt.

$ vino-preferences

You may also have to place a .desktop file for vino into the ~/.config/autostart directory as XFCE may not start it for you.

Another approach/solution is discussed here:

Install the required packages:

Steps to access the Console display using VNC:

x11vnc -auth <homedir of the user who logged to console X session>/.Xauthority -display:0
Note: You must have read permission for the .Xauthority file of the user who logged into the X session
x11vnc -auth /var/gdm/:0.Xauth -display :0

Running the System without ‘run-levels’

Since /etc/inittab is essentially gone you are forced to use ‘symlinks with files’ (I think this is quite cumbersome and certainly not nearly as simple as editing a configuration file…)’; Switching between  a Gui startup and a terminal startup is possible but I will simply login via a terminal session and then manually start X-Windows using the Gui of choice.  BTW – seems that ‘run-levels’ are still reported:

# who -r
run-level 3  2013-01-21 18:40

Ok, after install the base web server AND tweaking Yum it’s time to check – how many updates do I need:

yum update

On this system I get back a list of 400+ programs (~700MB)  needing an ‘update’.

At this point, after ~10 years not so sure that I will be coming back to Fedora – too many ‘changes for change sake’ vs ‘changing to something_new since it is mega-better….’

Topics: Problem Solving, System and Network Security, Unix-Linux-Os | Comments Off on Fedora 18 (Linux)

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