Fedora17 KDE Desktop Widgets

Fedora 17, code-named Beefy Miracle, is the latest release of Fedora, a Linux distribution sponsored by Red Hat, Inc. Though the main edition uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment, the Fedora Project offer Spins that use other major desktop environments.

So aside from the main edition, there are Spins that use KDE, LXDE and Xfce. And besides the Spins for those desktop environments, there are special-purpose Spins, such as the Security, Games, Electronic-Lab, Design-suite, Scientific-KDE, SoaS and Robotics Spins.

For the main edition and for each Spin, there are installation images for 32- and 64-bit architectures. This article presents a review of the KDE Spin, using a 32-bit installation image on real hardware and in a virtual environment.

Like other distributions, Fedora’s boot menu gives you many options, one of which is Boot from local drive. The problem with that option is that it does not work. Attempting to boot the computer using that option invariable leads to an error message like this:
Booting from local disk…
FATAL: INT18: BOOT FAILURE

And I have been writing about this error since Fedora 15.
Fedora 17 Boot Hard Drive

Other than for a minor change, Anaconda, the Fedora system installer, is still the same that we saw in Fedora 16. LVM, the Linux Logical Volume Manager, is still the default disk partitioning scheme.
Fedora 17 Anaconda Partition Methods

And this image shows the partitions that Anaconda creates by default. Notice that unlike the Fedora 16 version, GPT (GUID Partition Table) is no longer the default. That is why you see the first partition (sda1) as a standard partition mounted at /boot. If it were using GPT, the first partition would have been a bios_grub partition of about 1 MB in size. Aside from that, Anaconda still has support for disk encryption (not the default) and boot loader password protection. New in Fedora 17, is support for file systems larger than 16 terabytes when using ext4, the default file system. A new installation of Fedora 17 KDE uses about 3.5 GB of disk space.
Fedora 17 Anaconda Partitions

Related Post:  How to dual-boot Fedora 14 and Windows 7

Fedora 17 KDE is powered by KDE 4.8.3. The default desktop, which uses the Kickoff menu, is shown below.
Fedora 17 KDE Kickoff Menu

Beefy Miracle was supposed to have shipped with many new and updated features for desktop and enterprise users. However, not all made it. For example, Firewalld, which was supposed to be the new firewall configuration utility, did not ship (more on this further down). One feature, among many, that did ship, is password quality checking, which addresses the needs of both desktop and enterprise users. It helps users and administrators set strong account passwords. The quality of passwords can be tweaked by modifying the pwquality.conf file in the /etc/security directory. So one thing you will notice when attempting to set a user account password, is that the message is no longer of plain-vanilla this-password-is-too-weak variety. Instead, depending on the password specified, you might get the type of message shown in this image. The defaults in pwquality.conf are good enough for most users, but the truly paranoid can modify that file as much as they want.
Fedora 17 Password Quality Checking

Every Fedora release tends to have more updated and new features than other distributions, but it still manages to require a lot more tweaking to get it to the user-friendly state. And that has more to do with the project’s philosophical stance on software licensing than on any other factor. So a default installation of Fedora 17 KDE has just enough software installed to get you started. Getting the system to the point where it can do what you need it to, that is, the user-friendly state, requires a lot of customizations, which means adding extra repositories and installing software you need from those repositories.

Related Post:  Dual-boot Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.04 with either side on an LVM partitioning scheme

To give you an idea of what you will need to add, here is a short list of essential applications that are not installed or available in the default repositories: Adobe Flash plugin, libdvdcss (needed to play encrypted video DVDs), audio libraries required to play mp3 files, etc.

For major applications, Konqueror, the native file and Web browser for KDE, is the only Web browser installed. Konqueror is a very powerful software, but as a Web browser, it sucks more than any other. The curious thing is that Firefox 13 is in the repository, but not installed. Given that Firefox is open source software, why is it not installed? For office productivity applications, Calligra 2.4.1, an office suite forked from KOffice, is the installed office suite in Fedora 17 KDE. If you are used to LibreOffice and OpenOffice, Calligra’s interface takes getting used, but it offers just about all or most of what you need in an office productivity suite.

For applications that you need to install or remove from the system, the graphical package manager that makes it easy is called Apper, a KDE interface for PackageKit. Compared to other graphical package managers like Linux Mint‘s Software Manager, Ubuntu‘s Software Center and Deepin Software Center, Apper looks neglected, even though the version installed in Fedora 17, Apper 0.7.2, was released in May (2012). But Apper works, and it tends to be fast, too. It is the interface that could use some modernization.
Fedora 17 Apper Software Manager

Out of the box, the system is configured to check for updates daily. This image shows a partial list of available updates on a test installation used for this review.
Fedora 17 Apper Software Manager Updates

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23 Responses

  1. Finid:

    Nice tutorial you have here ! I’ll pass it on to others.

    Hey, I’m enjoying Mint9 on both my ancient desktop (’02) and my new compaq cq61 laptop – both using the Windows installer option.

    I’m updating the desktop machine, and as part of the installing the software updates it asks if I want to “configure Grub-PC”, which I’m not sure of the answer to. (Isn’t it already installed ? – or not necessary due to the Windows installer usage ?)

    It does have a checkbox for ‘continue without installing Grub-PC’ – what do you advise ?

    Many thanks,

    David Alan
    Windows Refugee, now enjoying Linux (& preaching it far & wide…)

    1. I’ve not had to deal with your particular situation. My guess is chose “No,” leaving GRUB as is. Usually when you get options like the one you are presented, it’s best to “Continue without ..” especially if you are not sure what the correct answer might be.

    1. If Mint 9 does not auto-configure your laptops NIC, then it must be a driver issue. Can you see an output for eth0 when you type ifconfig -a in a terminal?

  2. finally. i have it now. i dont know the faults but i kept on trying. i realized that my previous installer is isadora is KDE. i tried to download the gnome 32 bit and it worked. haha. i dont know why but anyway i am learning. maybe soon i will get used to linux mint.. thanks for some pages that helps. and also osgui helps me a lot. i think you all guys are working on linux. truly i can count on you anytime.. now im going to explore linux. maybe if i have question ill post it here again. hehe thanks a lot.

  3. i’ve already downloaded linux mint 9 kde 32 bit and burned it in dvd but i cant install it. can you help me?

    ( i’ve also downloaded linux mint 8 )

    will it work in my macbook?
    thanks for help

      1. Never mind, that happens to me too. Just fixed it . In the future, a space between the digit and the closing parenthesis takes care of that.

    1. Sure can. If the DVD burn was successful, that is, no errors, all you need to do is place it in your computer’s optical drive, and reboot or restart. If it does not reboot into Linux Mint, then you will have to go into the BIOS setup and change the boot device from HDD to CD/DVD. Once that’s done, then you should be able to reboot into Linux Mint.

      I’m not exactly sure if it will work on your Macbook.

      1. yep, thats what i usually do in installing new OS on my PC but when i had my macbook, i’m having trouble with that. haha. now i’m viewing some website about installing linux in macbook. haha, the procedure is kinda different. i’ll post here what will happen, hehehe. it might help some macbook owner who wants to try or use linux..

        thanks for help. God bless

      2. Finally, I’ve already installed Linux mint 9 kde 32 bit on my macbook. but i cant use my wireless LAN. can you help me with this.. thanks and God bless

      3. i did’nt noticed. my drivers were not installed. i am expecting it just like when you install win7 that all drivers were automatically installed using only the OS installation disc. hehehe. where can i download drivers for macbook compatible with linux? thanks

        1. Ordinarily, it should work out of the box, if the drivers for it are in the kernel. Since I have no experience with Macs (this former mac addict jumped ship after Mac OS 8.1), the only thing I can tell you is try installing the ndiswrapper package. Search for it in the Software Center, or using Synaptic. ndiswrapper is used to make Windows-only drivers work in Linux. It could help with your Mac, too.

          Keep me posted on your progress. I’ll like to know the outcome.

          Btw, if you have a wireless USB card lying around somewhere, see if it works. From my experience, any of the wireless USB cards are automatically detected and configured.

      4. atlast it worked on my macbook.. but i had a lot of struggles. hahaha. i wanted to use linux mint 9 but the drivers wont work. i tried helena and it worked. i dont know why, is there a wide difference between them? i like wine doors because i can install windows application with it but not really as good as in windows OS. as of now i’m reformat and do it all over again because some problem occurs in my mac. i think its in the disk because i installed linux repeatedly 3 times that causes a lot of partition. hahaha.. i’ll post more in my progress.. God bless

      5. just an update. im using linux mint 9 isadora 64-bit gnome now and it is working perfectly. though i’m still exploring it and studying some application. it is great. im using it with my white macbook. i used rEFIt so that i can choose mac os x or linux mint. (im free from windows now. haha)

        i also tried it on sony vios laptop but the effects doesnt work. also in hp mini. i wonder why? i tried it it my desktop and its been great.. soon im going to try it on a pentium 3 desktop. i hope it works. hahaha..

        maybe some advices and recomendations are great. nice to see this page. thanks and God bless…

        (it might encourage somebody to read this thats why i post this.)

  4. just a little thing – iirc the ubuntu/mint installer allows one of the things you missed even though it is only the smallest one: grub password protection. I think it’s hidden behind some “options” or “advanced” button somewhere wchich lets you choose where to install grub and st a pw if you like…..

    1. Actually, the “Advanced” button, which is on step 7 of the installation process, brings up a window that allows you to chose where to install GRUB. It has no facility for setting a GRUB password.

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