Installing Fedora in Virtual Box #4: A Short Tour of Fedora

Part one is here; part two is here; part three is here.

I am not going to spend much time talking about the programs included with Fedora, it’s a fairly standard assortment. Instead, I will look at some of the workings of Fedora. I will note that, when I said in the third post of this series that an office suite is included, I goofed. It may be included in the DVD version–I had trouble finding a list–but was not in the CD version I installed.

By default, Fedora comes with the Gnome desktop environment. Any other Linux desktop or window manager may be installed along side Gnome and used at any time.

System Menu

The Gnome menu resides on the top panel is divided into three parts and rests at the top of the screen, though it may be moved to the bottom or either side. This picture shows the “System–>Administration” menu. The “System–>Preferences” menu includes the screensaver, monitor settings, startup programs, wallpapers, and the like.

The “Places Menu” links to various views of the file and storage media structure (home folder, documents folder, entire computer, and so on), while the “Applications” menu has links to programs and utilities.

A menu editor allows you to easily customize the menus. A second panel, not shown, resides at the bottom of the screen. It can be also be moved to another location or removed altogether.

The first thing I did was update the software using “Software Update” from the System Menu. Fedora prompted me to enter the root password (adminstrative rights are required for most items on the “System–>Administration” menu), then opened the update tool.

Software Update Manager

I also fetched a couple of programs from repositories using “System–>Add/Remove Software.” This picture shows me searching for the “Kolourpaint” graphics program; you can search by program name, program function, or package name, or browse the entire list, which is huge:

Add/Remove Software Tool

Both “System Update” and “Add/Remove Software” are graphical frontends for Yum, a package-management tool that has been part of Fedora for well over a decade. Using yum from the command line, you can remove, install, or update software. I logged into the command line as the root user and issued the command yum install kdegraphics (kdegraphics is the package that includes Kolourpaint). In this picture, yum has completed its calculations and is asking me whether I wished to proceed with the installation:

Installing Software from the Command Line

(Linux distributions based on Debian use a command-line tool called “apt.” Heated disputes sometimes arise between persons who like the Fedora system and persons who like the Debian system. I’ve had no problems using either one.)

Fedora is a slick operating system which has a reputation for keeping up with the most recent software versions and for having an active and helpful community. I tend to favor stability over the cutting edge, but I could happily use Fedora (once I installed Fluxbox, that is).

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