Get Fedora set up how you want it, quickly. Fedora Utils makes otherwise tedious setup steps simple.
Fedora, a Linux distribution meant for more advanced users, is known to be a bit difficult to start off with, even if you have plenty of experience with other distributions. The fact that Fedora places such a strong emphasis on open source software – as it prohibits things like patented codecs from its official repositories – doesn’t make things any easier, as there are plenty of people who want to use Fedora but don’t care quite as much about its ethical beliefs. Also, it’s not quite clear how to add common repositories to Fedora and install software from them.
Thankfully, a small application called Fedora Utils can take care of all of that for you.
About Fedora Utils
Fedora Utils essentially displays a menu of options and then runs relevant scripts. These scripts range from adding RPMFusion and other repositories to installing codecs, Microsoft core fonts, and Google Chrome to performing system tasks like configuring the sudo command for your user or allowing touchpad tap-to-click system-wide. For any Fedora user (especially those new to the distribution), this saves you a lot of time.
To get started, just head to the Fedora Utils website. There, you’ll see some instructions on how to install – the site gives you a command that you just copy and paste into the terminal. The command will add the Fedora Utils repository (to keep things up to date) and install the package, all in one go. Then, you can just run Fedora Utils from your application menu.
How To Use It
When you launch Fedora Utils, you’ll be presented with a small menu of items. These include essential tweaks and tasks, install additional software, manage repositories, misc plugins, and view help.
Essential tweaks and tasks includes items such as the Microsoft core fonts, better font rendering, codecs, DVD playback, Flash, Java, configure the RPM Fusion repositories, add colors to your terminal, and update the system. Whenever you’re configuring a freshly installed system, these are vital for making system tweaks automatically.
In the install additional software section, you’ll find items such as Arista Transcoder, Dropbox, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts plugin, Skype, Steam, TeamViewer, the Oracle JDK, and more. This is the easiest way to get common software that would normally require you to add repositories beforehand. However, once you check the items you want, Fedora Utils will add those repositories for you and install the software. It is literally as easy as selecting what you want and clicking Install.
In the manage repositories section you can add a repo file, make a backup file of your installed repos, and restore from a repo backup file. You can also look at Fedora People repositories, where you’ll see a list of unofficial repositories from repos.fedorapeople.org that you can add at your discretion. These (along with other third-party repositories) are roughly the same as Ubuntu’s PPAs. I personally am not very interested in many of those repositories, but you might be.
Under misc plugins you can find a few tasks, such as blocking and unblocking websites, cleaning up the system from unneeded packages and configuration files, fixing the ugly look of apps run under root, and updating your GRUB 2 configuration (but you’ll need better help for bigger GRUB problems). The Fedora Utils site states that you can also write your own plugins, so you can use them as well.
Fedora Utils is really useful, and makes configuring a new installation so much easier. I only found out about it recently, and wish I had discovered it much earlier. I get a little on edge whenever an application is trying to do something that I would often prefer to do myself, because it’ll do it in a way that I don’t like or be generally messy – but this application didn’t give me any problems. Fedora Utils does an excellent job and genuinely surprised me when it was done.
Are you new to Linux? Don’t forget to check out our Getting Started Guide to Linux!
How useful is or will Fedora Utils be for you? Have you found any awesome plugins for it? Let us know in the comments!