Fedora 16

In the HPR0892 :: Hacker Public Radio New Year’s Eve Part 2/8 (A Bit About Fedora) I spoke about my Fedora install and I would like to put some better show notes out here.

First thing to do is get and iso. I downloaded Fedora-16-x86_64-Live-KDE.iso as I will be running KDE on a 64 bit system. I had some issues with the Fedora cd creator so I just used UnetBootin which has had more success. I rebooted and selected the usb key from the hardware boot up menu.
For the most part I selected the defaults, with the exception of hard disk encryption, which I would recommend that everyone would use.
If you want more information on the install process then I recommend that you read the excellent Installation Guide maintained by the project. I will be focusing on the things that I did to customize it for my liking.

I will never understand the “Application Launcher Style” that requires discrete clicks to navigate. Thankfully they have made it easy to switch, just right click on the Fedora icon/the KDE menu, and select “Switch to Classic Menu Style”.

If you are a Debian user then you may be familiar with the Debian multimedia repository that enables features that may not be legal in every jurisdiction. The equivalent repository in Fedora is RPM Fusion. It’s simple enough to install by opening the Konqueror web browser and going to http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration/ and click on “RPM Fusion free for Fedora 15 and 16” and select “Open with Apper” and follow the instructions to install the free applications. If you want to install the nonfree applications then select “RPM Fusion nonfree for Fedora 15 and 16”

  • that the password is the root password and not your sudo password
  • that there is a “pop under” authentication issue so if you see noting opening look for a window in the background
  • you are asked for your root password twice

I found it easier to use the console to install applications. The equivalent to debian’s aptitude is yum. Drop to root using su – and type yum update to do a system update. This will download all the updates since your spin was spun.

As you have just installed the RPM Fusion repositories you will need to accept the keys:

Retrieving key from file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-rpmfusion-free-fedora-16-i386
Importing GPG key 0xADF25D9C:
Userid : RPM Fusion free repository for Fedora (16)
Package: rpmfusion-free-release-14-2.noarch (@/11281.0.rpmfusion-free-release-stable.noarch)
From : /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-rpmfusion-free-fedora-16-i386
Is this ok [y/N]: y
Retrieving key from file:///etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-rpmfusion-nonfree-fedora-16-i386
Importing GPG key 0x952F3AF8:
Userid : RPM Fusion nonfree repository for Fedora (16)
Package: rpmfusion-nonfree-release-14-2.noarch (@/11306.0.rpmfusion-nonfree-release-stable.noarch)
From : /etc/pki/rpm-gpg/RPM-GPG-KEY-rpmfusion-nonfree-fedora-16-i386
Is this ok [y/N]: y

I like to install all the applications I use in one go using the command yum install synergy openssh-server audacity-freeworld ffmpeg sox mplayer inkscape vlc vim firefox poppler-utils wget sshfs kdiff3 terminator kid3 speex-tools filezilla gimp hpijs kate kdiff3 kdirstat

Once all that is installed, you can get down to the business of setting everything up. For me that means getting synergy running so that I can control the new install from my desktops keyboard and mouse.

Synergy lets you easily share your mouse and keyboard between multiple computers on your desk, and it’s Free and Open Source. Just move your mouse off the edge of one computer’s screen on to another. You can even share all of your clipboards. All you need is a network connection. Synergy is cross-platform (works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).

To run that securely you need to have OpenSSH installed so that you can tunnel the communication between computers over a secure connection. We have already installed openssh-server so now we need to configure it.

First we start the service by running

# systemctl start sshd.service

Then we enable the service to run on each boot

# systemctl enable sshd.service

Now you can ssh localhost and if all is well you should be asked to accept the ssh keys. We’re not finished yet as you will find that if you try and ssh from your desktop ssh will report “No route to host”, but you will still be able to ping the machine.

$ ssh
ssh: connect to host port 22: No route to host
$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_req=1 ttl=64 time=0.676 ms
64 bytes from icmp_req=2 ttl=64 time=0.619 ms
--- ping statistics ---
2 packets transmitted, 2 received, 0% packet loss, time 1000ms
rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.619/0.647/0.676/0.038 ms

So what’s going on ? Well in addition to offering full disk encryption, Fedora comes with a built in firewall and also a access control system. Although SSH appears to be enabled in the firewall (Start -> Administration -> Firewall) you still need to tick and untick it in order to reload the configuration. Once you do that ssh should be working.

My synergy configuration is quite simple a desktop in the center with a laptop (the new install) on the left and my Acer Aspire One on the right. The server runs on the desktop and I start it with the command:

$ synergys --daemon --address localhost --name desktop --config /etc/synergy.conf

This runs synergy in server mode as a daemon listening only on the localhost with the name “desktop” and using the settings from /etc/synergy.conf. Here is that configuration file.

$ cat /etc/synergy.conf
section: screens

section: links
                right = aa1
                left  = laptop
                right = desktop
                left  = desktop

We are doing the install on the laptop so over there we need to run two commands. The first will open ssh connection from the laptop to the desktop with the command:

ssh -f -N -L localhost:24800:localhost:24800

The -f tells ssh to run in the background
The -N will not execute a remote command
The -L is the switch that tells ssh to forward the any communication from on port 24800 on the laptops localhost private network card to the post 24800 on the other sides localhost private network card.
Finally the is the ip address of the other side, in this case our Desktop

synergyc --daemon --name laptop localhost

This runs synergy in client mode as a daemon with the name “laptop” and connecting to the synergy server on the local private network card. When this happens the client will send it’s requests to the local port number 24800, it’s picked up by the ssh application, encrypted and duped out the other end to port 24800, where the synergy server is listening.
Once you do this, you should be able to move the mouse on your desktop to the left of the screen and you will see it “appear” on your laptops screen.

Follow these instructions to get the vpn working, and if you are running on 64 bit.

Follow these instructions to get the citrix working.

That was it for most of the major stuff.

And now that Fedora 17 is released – hold on for another 18 months for a review of that.

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