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Fedora Core 2 Tips and Tricks (v0.5)
Last modified: Friday November 9, 2012

This is based on my Fedora Core 1 Tips and Tricks page. With Fedora Core 3 out now this page is unlikely to be maintained going forward. Recent changes are highlighted in yellow. I have also begun on a Fedora Core 3 Tips and Tricks page.

Add support for other repositories

Fedora comes with a ton of software but there are still plenty of packages of interest to most users that are not included for a variety of reasons. This is where you find the MP3 plug-in and a ton of other packages. A nice side effect of setting it up this way is that the Red Hat Network Alert icon on your GNOME desktop will also let you know of updates to these user contributed packages as well.

Before you add repositories it's probably a good idea to make sure your system is fully up2date first. Adding support is easy, just add the following lines to your /etc/sysconfig/rhn/sources You'll need to add the second line to include the fedora.us repository as the they work together hand in hand.

# Macromedia Flash plug-in only
apt macromedia http://ruslug.rutgers.edu macromedia/apt/fedora/2 macromedia
# User contributed archives
yum livna-stable http://rpm.livna.org/fedora/2/i386/yum/stable/
apt fedora-us-stable-fc2 http://download.fedora.us fedora/fedora/2/i386 stable
For security reasons the packages in these repositories are GPG signed to protect their integrity so you'll need to get and install the public keys:
# rpm --import http://rpm.livna.org/RPM-LIVNA-GPG-KEY
# rpm --import http://www.fedora.us/FEDORA-GPG-KEY
You can browse the packages available there at http://rpm.livna.org/fedora/2/i386/RPMS.stable/ and http://download.fedora.us/fedora/fedora/2/i386/RPMS.stable/

Install MP3 Plug-in

Since you've been following along this next step is about as easy as it gets. Just use up2date  to automatically install the MP3 plug-ins for XMMS and Rhythmbox like this:
# up2date xmms-mp3 gstreamer-plugins-mp3 libmad libid3tag
One thing you'll need to do is fire up xmms and go to Options -> Preferences then choose Audio I/O Plugins. In that list scroll down and find the MPEG Layer 1/2/3 Placeholder Plugin and disable it. Then enable the new plug-in you just downloaded which is listed as MPEG Layer 1/2/3 Player. Now MP3s should play just fine.

While you're there I also recommend the XMMS Status Plug-in found at http://newrpms.sunsite.dk/apt/redhat/en/i386/fc1/RPMS.newrpms/xmms-status-plugin-1.0-2.i386.rpm. Just download it and install it with:

# rpm -ihv xmms-status-plugin-1.0-2.i386.rpm
Then fire up XMMS then with your mouse on the XMMS window hit CTRL-V. Choose General Plugins then click on Enable plugin and hit Configure to customize it to your tastes. From then on you'll have a docked control panel for XMMS.

Install Macromedia Flash/Shockwave plug-in

If you set up the repositories correctly above you should just need to do this:
# up2date flash-plugin
You can get more information about this plug-in at http://ruslug.rutgers.edu/macromedia/site_ru.html. Before the plug-in gets installed you'll need to agree to the terms of the license.

Install DVD player

For now the Freshrpms repository works ok with up2date  so all you will need to do is this:
# up2date libdvdread libmad ogle ogle_gui
This will install the ogle DVD player. However at this point the ogle doesn't actually work for me. Right now Mplayer seems to play DVDs just fine. /dev/dvd pointing at the device name for your DVD drive. If you don't know the device name you can usually find it easily in the dmesg  output that's been saved during your last boot. Here's how I found it on my Toshiba laptop:
# grep -i dvd /var/log/dmesg
hdb: ATAPI 24X DVD-ROM CD-R/RW drive, 2048kB Cache, UDMA(33)
# ln -s /dev/hdb /dev/dvd
Now you'll have the Ogle DVD player under the Sound & Video menu.

Install MPlayer Media Player

I haven't found a repository that has mplayer that will work cleanly with up2date  without causing additional problems. If you know of a repository that does have a good version of mplayer please let me know below.

At some point you're probably going to want to play a QuickTime, AVI or ASF file so you'll want the MPlayer media player. Fortunately with the Livna/Fedora.us repositories it's also very easy to download and install.

# up2date mplayer mplayerplug-in mplayer-gui mplayer-skins mplayer-fonts
This command line will download the whole kit and kaboodle. Restart your web browser after that whole mess is done installing and you'll also have a plug-in for Mozilla so you can play embedded content. I recommend that if you want to play content from a command line that you use the gmplayer  version which will include a skin-able control panel.

Install RealPlayer 10 Media Player

If you have a better way of installing a Real Medial player please let me know if in the comments section below.

First start by using up2date  to install the optional package openmotif21 then download the RealPlayer10 package from the following location:

Then install the RPM from the command line:
# up2date openmotif21
# rpm -ihv RealPlayer10GOLD.rpm
Then whenever you want to view something just use /usr/bin/realplay . Here is a link to a cute test video to make sure it's working for you.

If audio is working but you have a black screen then it's possible your video card doesn't support XVideo. You can turn it off by clicking on Tools  -> Preferences then choose the Hardware tab and disable Use XVideo .

Install Java J2RE and Mozilla Plug-in

It's also very handy to have the Java run-time environment available and most importantly a Mozilla plug-in so you can view dynamic content. It's unfortunate that Mozilla will actually crash if you go to a site containing Java and you don't have the plug-in installed.

The best site for the plug-in is the Dag Wieers repository. I would normally recommend just putting it in your up2date sources but I've had problems with conflicting packages. In this case I recommend you just go to the site and download and install just the packages you need. Just go to http://dag.wieers.com/packages/j2re/ and download the latest j2re and mozilla-j2re  packages as appropriate for your system. Then just install them as follows:

# rpm -ihv j2re-1.4.2-8.1.fc2.dag.i586.rpm mozilla-j2re-1.4.2-9.1.fc2.dag.i586.rpm

Install NTFS driver

If you need access to NT file systems you'll probably want to download the Linux ntfs driver. There is a site that maintains pre-built modules for all released Fedora kernels at http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/rpm/fedora2.html. A pre-built ntfs module usually appears just a few days after a new Fedora kernel gets released. Be sure to match your kernel version and processor type. If you're not sure what version you're running do this:
# uname -r -p
For example if you're using the latest kernel (as of this writing) which is 2.6.5-1.358 and the i686 (even if it's an AMD) processor then you will want to download and install it as such:
# rpm -ihv kernel-ntfs-2.6.5-1.358.i686.rpm
Once installed the ntfs driver will be a dynamically loadable module and you can mount NT file systems with mount -t ntfs -o nls=utf8 /dev/hdXX /mnt .

Other Useful Resources

I've tried to not just copy other people's tips so I've included a list of other people's tips and tricks I've found to be useful. There should be little or no overlap.
The Unofficial #fedora FAQ - Great place that contains a wealth of information about Fedora Core.

Fedora-List Mailing List - The official discussion group for issues with the final releases of the Fedora Core Linux distributions.

Fedora Multimedia Installation HOWTO - I discovered this great resource after I wrote this. This document goes into more detail than mine so it's a great resource.

Performance Tweaking - Make Linux behave more like XP and delay starting services until later to give the appearance of a faster booting system.

Unofficial Fedora Core 2 Guide for Beginners - A very extensive list of how to do various things in Fedora Core 2. Good source for beginners.

Linux.com | Fedora Core 2: Making it work - Here is an article going over a few other suggestions on making Fedora Core 2 work a little better.

- Another nice set of instructions to get Fedora Core 2 up and running quickly and easily. Includes a few things I didn't.

Comments From People Like You!
Fedora Core 2 Tips and Tricks
Add a Comment add a comment
Pat Williams
19-May-2008 23:01
cool site.
07-Mar-2007 11:13
Thanx, this page is great, i am going to bite the bullet and remove windows from my IBM t20 laptop and put FC2 on there, its a crappy lappy i dont think it will support FC5 or FC6 so Im dropping to an older version.

Will be using this page quite a lot to get back up and running, anyone got any good resources for setting up wireless lan with a belkin PCMCIA wireless card (possibly with NDISWRAPPER)??

I remember i set up a FC4 box once and ended up giving it up as a bad job it was working great, had apache webserver on it and was on wireless lan (Belkin PCI wireless adapter) then one day it kept droppingof fthe network for no reason, I am sure something happend in the nightly YUM updates that screwed over my NDISWRAPPER installation, anyway i never did get it working again and endind up stripping it out for parts.

I am dying to get back into linux again and if anyone knows about that problem and had it before i;d be grateful for some feedback.

A windows junkie that wants to kick the licenced software habit and go Opensource.

PS already uninstalled MS office from my wintel pc and using Openoffice for Win32. Great little program, and free!!!
29-Jun-2006 11:04
Your page was really helpful, it the first that I have been to where everything is so simple I haven't had any problems with it. It worked just the way I wanted it to. Thanks!!
30-Dec-2004 08:16
Many thanks to Les also - a great howto.  I too was getting so pis*** off with up2date.  I followed your instructions and it all went like a dream, Im getting more confident with linux by the day esp with such good and clear help.

I want to get enlightenment going too (thats what led me to this thread).  Fluxbox went in sweet, so Im keen to look at other GUIs now..

Linux - its all about choice  (oh and no monopolies of course).   =:-)
alan bruce
24-Oct-2004 05:27
Excellent howto. I had no end of problems with up2date, mainly reams of python errors :-\
Followed your directions and yum sprang into action !
Open-Office is a pain at over 100MB but at least its getting done !
08-Oct-2004 06:13
You really shouldn't be using up2date to keep your FC2 installations up to date. YUM has been a part of Fedora since Core1, and works so much better. There is only one caveat, it is painfully slow when connecting to Redhat's site. So the first thing to do is to make a backup of the /etc/yum.conf file; "cp -p /etc/yum.conf /etc/yum.conf.orig", then go to the freshrpms website and download and install the YUM rpm.
For FC2 it is located at: http://tettnang.freshrpms.net/ scroll to the bottom of the page, and select YUM. This will take you to the YUM rpm download page. Select the small floppy icon image to download the rpm. Then open a shell, switch to root, and cd into the download directory and install the rpm with "rpm -Uvvh yum-(latest_version_number).rpm". This will update your default YUM to point to the YUM repository on FreshRPMS. Then to keep your system up to date, it's just a matter of typing "yum update" (as root). This will update all of your installed packages to the latest including security & bug fixes.

If you want to install "mplayer" it's as simple as typing "yum install mplayer". YUM handles all dependencies. If you need  "xmms-mp3" (which is not installed by default) just type "yum install xmms-mp3". To get a list of available packages "yum list | more", this will return a list of all installed and available packages. If you only want a list of the available updates, type "yum list updates". You can also do things like "yum list perl*".

BTW, the first time you run YUM, it will take a while, cause it will have to download all of the latest headers. Also there is a GPG key available here: http://freshrpms.net/packages/builds/index.html?build=yum you'll probably want to install it too. There are more options, type "man yum".

27-Sep-2004 03:45
Hi again

Is anybody running Enlightenment under Fedora 2 at all.

I have it installed but the Gnome desktop keeps getting in the way and the whole thing become a mess the other thing I notice is my USB device's load but if I unplug them and plug them back in they setup on a new dev/sd and don't always seem to load right from the second time on

21-Sep-2004 01:53
I have to say I'm impressed to find all this help on comming back to installing Fedora.

My thought was as I have some NTFS partitions ( and I have done the NTFS thing before) that are dynamic drives will they be seen I know part; magic and all those wizzy tolls can't seal to dynamic drives if the NTFS fix above can't then I need to rebuild all my drives first.  don't get me wrong I'm hoping for the day when I DON'T need windoz but at this point I still need it for my R 'n' R (Morrowwind) and a couple of things

14-Sep-2004 23:09
This site helped me switching over from windows. thanks a ton. only thing i could add would be to get gstreamer-plugins-extra-audio so you can encode mp3s as well as decode them.
09-Sep-2004 15:28
Hey, why is gtk2 from all these repositories so OLD.

can someone add a ximian repository?
05-Sep-2004 20:00
Hey guys if you want Realplayer for Linux, Just go to the Real.com Site. I went there, and it gives you the file to download, and the instalaiton instructions. Very Easy! Took me 10 mins!
Alec Habig
03-Sep-2004 11:54
Well worth checking back occasionally (the highlighting is a nice touch, thanks!).

Tried the new RealPlayer 10, not only does it work, but one can now get rid of the openmotif21 libraries too, as this version is gtk based.
I\'m Wearing a Red Hat
28-Aug-2004 19:16
Thank you so much, Greg, for keeping this page updated. It truly is a nice thing to do a Google search for "Fedora Core 2 Tips & Tricks" and get this page at the top of the list! Your noble efforts are greatly appreciated. ;-)
24-Aug-2004 15:59

This is a nice site to get the latest FC2 RPMs for mplayer.  Just downloaded them and "rpm -Uvh *" and it worked nicely.  Dunno what it would take to persuade them to make it available to up2date...
24-Aug-2004 03:40
17-Aug-2004 16:18
Thanks, this page made me save a lot of precious time!
It's great because you keep it updated!!
12-Aug-2004 13:25
Thanks..., your note is fantastic.
Now mp3 is ok , and dvd ok.

11-Aug-2004 17:25
for rhythmbox (default "Music Player" in fedora core 2), xmms-mp3 will not be enough. you will also need to add an mp3 plugin for gstreamer (backend which rhythmbox uses by default), and its dependencies, mad and id3. so add these in as well, using up2date:

% up2date gstreamer-plugins-mp3 libmad libid3tag

now your rhythmbox should be able to play mpg's (and icecast/shoutcast online streams which use mp3).
10-Aug-2004 09:56
Time was saved fallowing your direction.  Thank you,
07-Aug-2004 14:15
thanks for having this available. I am learning and am glad to find someplace that doesnt assume I am a linux programmer.

04-Aug-2004 10:42
Thanks for taking the time to put this together, it definitely helped me out :)
19-Jul-2004 22:16
Your site is of great value. Finally I am able to mount my ntfs partition.

Thanks much
17-Jun-2004 15:41
I'm having the same problem with xmms-mp3 and flash-player, they are not being found.

Could it have something to do with this being the A64 distro?

using mirror: http://mirror.eas.muohio.edu/fedora/linux/core/updates/2/x86_64/
17-Jun-2004 07:04
It seems that the xmms-mp3 plug in can't be found same goes for flash plugin is it removed ?
12-Jun-2004 14:09
I find this page to be very useful. I thank the author for giving such tips. - Krishnamoorthi.BM.
10-Jun-2004 16:33
I can't seem to get mplayer to work.  I've added every sources list and GPG key in the above naratives.  Here is what I get from apt-get (below).  I think that all of the files are there, they just won't install because of GPG keys.  Is there any way to disable this GPG stuff?  Thanks for any help.

[root@localhost apt]# apt-get install mplayer
Reading Package Lists... Done
Building Dependency Tree... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
  aalib (1.4.0-5.1.fc2.fr)
  faad2 (2.0-1.1.fc2.fr)
  lame (3.96-1.1.fc2.fr)
  libfame (0.9.1-1.1.fc2.fr)
  libpostproc (1.0-0.10.pre4.1.fc2.fr)
  lirc (0.6.6-2.1.fc2.fr)
  lzo (1.08-3.1.fc2.fr)
  mplayer-fonts (1.1-2.1.fc2.dag)
  xvidcore (1.0.1-1.1.fc2.fr)
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  aalib (1.4.0-5.1.fc2.fr)
  faad2 (2.0-1.1.fc2.fr)
  lame (3.96-1.1.fc2.fr)
  libfame (0.9.1-1.1.fc2.fr)
  libpostproc (1.0-0.10.pre4.1.fc2.fr)
  lirc (0.6.6-2.1.fc2.fr)
  lzo (1.08-3.1.fc2.fr)
  mplayer (1.0-0.10.pre4.1.fc2.fr)
  mplayer-fonts (1.1-2.1.fc2.dag)
  xvidcore (1.0.1-1.1.fc2.fr)
0 upgraded, 10 newly installed, 0 removed and 20 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B/9303kB of archives.
After unpacking 27.4MB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y
Checking GPG signatures...
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/aalib_1.4.0-5.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/faad2_2.0-1.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/lame_3.96-1.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/libfame_0.9.1-1.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/libpostproc_1.0-0.10.pre4.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/lirc_0.6.6-2.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/lzo_1.08-3.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/xvidcore_1.0.1-1.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/mplayer-fonts_1.1-2.1.fc2.dag_noarch.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#6b8d79e6)
Unknown signature /var/cache/apt/archives/mplayer_1.0-0.10.pre4.1.fc2.fr_i386.rpm: (SHA1) DSA sha1 md5 (GPG) NOT OK (MISSING KEYS: GPG#e42d547b)
E: Error(s) while checking package signatures:
0 unsigned package(s)
10 package(s) with unknown signatures
0 package(s) with illegal/corrupted signatures
ravuri s
09-Jun-2004 18:33

   With RH-9 I am unable to activate the sound-card on my Toshiba stallite 5200 laptop. Any help would be great!

03-Jun-2004 21:52
I was able to get mplayer installed on FC2 by using apt-get.  I don't konw if anyone else is still having this problem, but the following worked for me.  First I had to install the specific version of libpostproc that mplayer wants by executing:

apt-get install libpostproc=0:1.0-0.lvn.0.10.pre4.2

Then the instructions in the mplayer section above worked for me(using apt-get instead of up2date)...HTH
01-Jun-2004 04:58
Those of us who are too far from the official servers (like in Europe) should use mirrors. I had a lot of trouble when I used the official server, but local mirrors are fast.

To set up, just look up your mirror from:

And replace the official servers in the following file:

Thereafter your up2date will also use the local servers and get the job done quickly.
good luck

31-May-2004 05:29
Up2date is very frustrating in Europe, it almost never works. Its so slow. Even with tweaks its still slow. Sigh, I have tried long and hard to get it to cooperate.
(Mind you mine crashed with multiple python errors, which is new)

Mind you the info provided here is great and can just as easily be utilised by installing the "apt" package from fedora.us and selecting appropriate European mirrors, and adding in the multimedia stuff from livna

Apt is fast and very reliable if you use a compatible set of repositories, ive used it also with debian linux.

"apt-get install" is the same as up2date
30-May-2004 10:29
Call me crazy (or just a newbie), but I can't seem to get hold of the mplayer app.  When I do:

up2date mplayer mplayerplug-in mplayer-gui mplayer-skins mplayer-fonts

I get:

using mirror: http://mirrors.kernel.org/fedora/core/2/i386/os/
using mirror: http://mirror.hiwaay.net/redhat/fedora/linux/core/updates/2/i386/

Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: fedora-core-2...

Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: updates-released-fc2...

Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: macromedia-macromedia...

Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: livna-stable...

Fetching Obsoletes list for channel: fedora-us-stable-fc2-stable...

Fetching rpm headers...

Name                                    Version        Rel

The following packages you requested were not found:

I don't believe any of the mirrors actually contain the mplayer rpm update.  Or is it me?
Moritz Barsnick
28-May-2004 07:18
DAG's repository now (since May 17 2004) hosts j2re packages actually built for FC2. So your command line should read:

rpm -ihv j2re-1.4.2-5.1.fc2.dag.i586.rpm mozilla-j2re-1.4.2-5.1.fc2.dag.i586.rpm

(I have also prompted Dag to build newer pacakges using j2re-1.4.2_04 instead of 1.4.2_03.)
27-May-2004 11:34
Freshrpms has the gstreamer rpms to get mp3 working in rhythmbox and totem-gstreamer.

See:  http://tettnang.freshrpms.net/
vivek sekhar
22-May-2004 02:44
I was wondering if anyone else had issues getting mplayer installed? It requires libaa.so.1 and liblzo.so.1 and i can't seem to find a way to get these installed with the livna/.us repository combination :(
Jason Blevins
21-May-2004 10:43
Freshrpms has a good mplayer and DAG has a good mplayerplug-in.  Both worked out-of-the-box for me.  Be careful about mixing these repositories with fedora.us though, I don't know what will happen.  I only use dag/freshrpms/newrpms.  Here are my sources.list entries for apt:

### freshrpms
rpm http://ayo.freshrpms.net fedora/linux/2/i386 freshrpms
#rpm http://ayo.freshrpms.net fedora/linux/2/i386 tupdates
#rpm-src http://ayo.freshrpms.net fedora/linux/2/i386 freshrpms
#rpm-src http://ayo.freshrpms.net fedora/linux/2/i386 tupdates

### Dag Apt Repository for Red Hat Fedore Core 2
rpm http://apt.sw.be fedora/2/en/i386 dag
#rpm-src http://apt.sw.be fedora/2/en/i386 dag

### newrpms
rpm http://newrpms.sunsite.dk/apt/ redhat/en/i386/fc2 newrpms
#rpm-src http://newrpms.sunsite.dk/apt/ redhat/en/i386/fc2 newrpms

I believe they allow yum access as well.
21-May-2004 09:50
Instead of RealPlayer9 try the new HelixPlayer or RealPlayer 10 Alphas

RESPONSE:  I'd love to, however I can't get it to play any Real media
Chuck Vose
20-May-2004 12:11
best way to view most files is actually in Totem. Totem has a nice easy interface and works well with the mplayer codecs (which are findable on the website). This will probably solve almost any video related ills you have.

Codecs live in: ~/.gnome2/totem-addons
20-May-2004 09:23
Installing realplayer: how about https://player.helixcommunity.org/ ? There's an open source player that doesn't do real, but they also have a closed source player for playing real things. And it's GTK.

RESPONSE: Because I wasn't able to get it to work.  If you know how to get it installed easily let me know so I can update this page
16-May-2004 17:05
yum is supported by fedora.us
for example

yum fedora-us-stable-fc2 http://download.fedora.us/fedora/fedora/2/i386/RPMS.stable

Please E-mail Me with any questions, comments or corrections.