Fedora 15 + Gnome 3

Fedora 15 arrives with Gnome 3 & LibreOffice


  1. Intro

  2. Getting around the new Fedora 15

  3. Some common shortcuts

  4. Getting more from Fedora

  5. Gnome 3 tweaks

  6. Gotchas


It’ll take to a few hours to adapt. But you’ll never look back.

  • Aesthetically glorious
  • Fast and efficient to use
  • Stable

Fedora 15 has been released with Gnome 3 which brings a significantly new desktop experience with it. It’s definitely worth the effort of a few moments of your time to adapt to the changes. You will wonder how you ever put up with the old systems. And as a bonus it has the looks to turn the heads of Mac users.



Native Gnome3 OpenGL dual screen support (ATI card)


Consolidated setting panel

Firstly, the bad news. Only two things didn’t play nice for me. Bluetooth seams to be broken out of the box and my webcam wasn’t recognised by the new install (wasn’t in the old ones either).



Getting around the new Fedora 15

Let go of the mouse!

Fedora 15 & Gnome 3 brings that annoying Windows button to life on your system. Hit it and you’re in “Activities” mode. Start typing the application you’re after. Up & down arrow if needed to get to what you want and hit enter.
If you’re a mouse person, no problems. Move your pointer to the top left and when the “Activities” window appears, click “Applications”. For applications you want regular access to right click on the icon and “Add to favourites”.
Dynamic workspaces.

There are no fixed number of “workspaces” anymore. They are added as you need them. Makes sense doesn’t it? To access them hit the Windows key and click and drag your windows to the bar on the right. Watch your “workspaces” appear as you need them. Brilliant. Need to access them fast? Simlp press Crtl+Alt+Up or Crtl+Alt+Down to flip between workspaces. The minimise buttons have gone from applications due to the use of these new dynamic workspaces and the lack of an “application switcher” or panel to minimise thing to.

Dynamically added workspaces. Click+drag windows to the panel on the left to assign


LibreOffice joins the party. Simply tap the Win key and start typing your application name to find it.


Some common shortcuts

  • Double clicking the task bar maximises
  • Click and drag application to top-middle of desktop to maximise
  • Alt+F10 maximises
  • Click and drag to left or right border to “half-fill” desktop with window
  • I want to SHUTDOWN! To get the "shutdown" option back just hold the Alt key and then press Suspend (you should see the text change)

Check out Gnome's great GnomeShell cheatsheet here


Adding applications to start on login

The setting control for applications to load on startup/login is not very overt in Gnome3. You need to open a terminal (Win > "terminal") and run:


load applications on startup


Getting more from Fedora

Fedora controls software and updates via repositories which can be check, enabled or disabled by going to "Add/Remove Software" and selecting System > Software Sources.

Below are shortcuts to some popular "extra" repositories.

Repos example

MP3, DVD and other extras

Install the RPMFusion YUM repository


There's no need to install codecs manually anymore. When you import your media into Rhythmbox it will now download the correct plugins automatically.

Adobe Acrobat

32 Bit Systems

Install the YUM repository


and then you can add Adobe Reader and Flash through Fedora's package manager.

64 Bit Systems

Repo is not working for 64 bit Fedora 15 so you'll have to install the RPM packages manually (run them at the command line as root with execute permission):

Download/Install Reader from http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/otherversions/

  • Step 1: Linux
  • Step 2:
  • Step 3: Reader ... for Linux (.rpm)

Download/Install Flash plugin for Linux from http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer10_square.html and as root run:

# tar -xzvf flashplayer*.tar.gz
# mv libflashplayer.so /usr/lib64/mozilla/plugins/

Note: This will enable the plugin for the Firefox browser



No repo here but you can install the RPM directly from the website.



Google Earth/Chrome/Whatever

For 32 bit systems create a Google repo file at   ( /etc/yum.repo.d/google.repo )   containing:

name=Google - 32 bit

For 64 bit systems create a Google repo file at   ( /etc/yum.repo.d/google.repo )   containing:

name=Google - 64 bit

shutdown hibernate in menu


Gnome 3 tweaks

More Control

Enable a little bit more control over that new Gnome 3 desktop, for example; the effect of middle click on the title bar.

yum install gnome-tweak-tool

Shutdown & Hibernate

Fix the limited functionality of the Gnome 3 User menu by adding Shutdown and Hibernate buttons. Much more useful.

yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu

Old School Alt-Tab

Gnome 3 uses dual button window switching (Alt-Tab to switch programs and Alt-` to switch windows within a program). Whilst is does make life easier for those who use many windows but if you just can't handle it then there is an alternative. This tool will give you traditional Alt-Tab functionality.

yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternate-tab

What's the Weather?

weather addon

Want to see the weather in the panel?

Download the tar file from https://github.com/simon04/gnome-shell-extension-weather/tarball/master and save it to a communal location. As root run:

yum install gnome-common intltool gnome-desktop-devel
cd <location of downloaded tar file>
tar -xzvf simon04-gnome-shell-extension-weather-4bbf2b8.tar.gz
cd simon04-gnome-shell-extension-weather-4bbf2b8
./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr
make install

Logout and back in and it should be running. To set the location go to http://sigizmund.info/woeidinfo/ and search for your location. Then using the WOEID identifier run the following in a terminal (as user)

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.weather woeid 1100968      # change number as needed (example is Canberra)

Set your preferred weather units (substitute fahrenheit if needed):

gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.weather unit celsius  

For more customisation go to https://github.com/simon04/gnome-shell-extension-weather


VMWare Tools

Select Install VMWare Tools from the VMWare software as normal and then:

yum install gcc kernel-headers kernel-devel
cp /media/VMware\ Tools/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz /tmp/
cd /tmp
tar -xzvf /tmp/VMwareTools-*.tar.gz
... follow the prompts - the defaults work fine




NFS Share

To allow NFS home mounts in SeLinux run the following as root

# setsebool -P use_nfs_home_dirs 1



To get a Shutdown button when logged in hold the Alt key and click Suspend in the user menu. (*groan* What was Fedora thinking!!)



bluetooth bug

Bluetooth doesn't seem to be working out-of-the-box. Here's the fix (as root, of course):

# systemctl status bluetooth.service
# systemctl enable bluetooth.service


Networking On Boot

enable network

The NetworkManager service appears to be not connecting people to previously accessed wireless connections by default. You can force this by going to Edit Connection in NetworkManager making sure the check-box is enabled.



Sony VAIO Webcam

If you use a Sony laptop you may have found you webcam is not working. There is firmware out there however. Install the following package as root and reboot to get it working. Tested on VGN-FZ35G.

# yum install r5u87x-firmware*








Additional information