Fedora 34 Workstation Basic Configuration

After explaining in detail how to install Fedora 34 Workstation, we are going to finish the matter with the installation and configuration of the codecs for multimedia support, the usual compressors and some important but dispensable components depending on the case, such as Steam and the official driver of NVIDIA.

Fedora is a fairly pure distribution when it comes to free software, including by default only proprietary drivers and firmware from the official Linux branch in order to improve hardware support. For the rest, the user will hardly find proprietary components in the system repositories, which limits him in aspects such as the ability to reproduce and deal with multimedia content.

To cover the deficiencies with regard to multimedia support and other proprietary applications (I even have some free ones that are not present, such as OBS Studio), in Fedora you have to install the repositories free (which provides open source software) and nonfree ( that supplies proprietary software) of RPMFusion, although as an alternative you can always resort to Flatpak, which in Fedora Workstation is fully configured out of the box to work graphically

Third-party repositories included by default

Fedora includes a package, offered through GNOME Software, that enables provisioning of some third-party components, including the NVIDIA driver, the Steam client, and the Google Chrome web browser.

Generally, it is GNOME Software that suggests the installation of those third-party repositories, which do not cover everything offered by RPMFusion, but their activation is still recommended because they are the best way to install Google Chrome, a process that we highly recommend doing from GNOME Software itself. .

If GNOME Software does not suggest the installation of third-party support for Chrome, Steam, and NVIDIA, the user can force its enablement by going to “Software Repositories” in the main menu.

Setting up the RPMFusion repositories in Fedora

Setting up RPMFusion repositories in Fedora is pretty straightforward. To do this, you have to download the free and nonfree packages corresponding to the version of Fedora that is being used, 34 in the case of this tutorial. To check the version of Fedora Workstation just go to the “About” section of the GNOME settings.

Once the two RPMFusion packages have been downloaded, the user has to go to their location with the Files application (formerly Nautilus) and install them with the GNOME Software application, which in the contextual menu of the file explorer is identified as “Install software”. Once each of the packages have been opened (in separate processes) with GNOME Software, you just have to click on the “Install” button and enter the password of the administrator user (the first one created after system installation) to confirm.

To integrate the RPMFusion suite into GNOME Software, the following group must be installed:

sudo dnf groupupdate core

That exposed in a more friendly way with DNFDragora would be as follows:

sudo dnf install rpmfusion-free-appstream-data rpmfusion-nonfree-appstream-data

The DNFDragora package manager: a toothache in Fedora 34 Workstation

Some time ago the efficient graphical package manager Yumex was replaced by the slow and clunky DNFDragora, which in Fedora 34 Workstation has improved considerably compared to the previous version of the system, but its slow start-up can end up making some people despair.

For those who insist on using DNFDragora, all the packages that we are going to mention are available from the section “Show x86_64 and noarch only” except Steam (as it is a 32-bit application) and the 32-bit version of MangoHud, that have to be searched through the section “All”.

The user can search for the packages that we are going to mention later one by one, copying and pasting each one of the “words” that appear after “sudo dnf install” in the preformatted commands. However, when you have located the third package, possibly the same time as necessary to install everything from the command line has passed, and that is despite the efforts in the past by Microsoft and by certain fanboys of the Redmond brand to demonize the console , the command line interface is much faster for many tasks.

Setting up the Flathub repository with GNOME Software

Although Flatpak’s distribution is officially decentralized, it is de facto centralized through Flathub. Fedora also has its own repository for Flatpak packages that is configured by default together with the corresponding management mechanism, which works in a totally graphical way out of the box.

Fedora is possibly after Ubuntu and Debian the distribution with the best third-party support in regards to the applications that are generally used by common users, but one may end up missing the easy installation of an application that is not present in RPMFusion. being the safest way to get the latest version of LibreOffice thanks to automatic updates.

Setting up the Flathub repository in Fedora Workstation is very simple. To do this, you just have to click on the distribution logo in the Quick Setup section and download the file through the “Flathub repository file” button.

The Flathub repository configuration file can be opened directly with GNOME Software from Firefox or downloaded, at the user’s choice. If you have done the latter, the file can be opened with the option “Open with Install Software” available when you right-click on it.

Finally, it remains to install the Flathub repository by clicking the Install button in the GNOME Software interface and restarting the user session for the changes to take effect.

Installing the necessary packages to make Fedora 34 Workstation multimedia and gaming ready

Installing codecs and compressors

One of the drawbacks of Fedora is that its multimedia support is very fragmented. The user not only has to install GStreamer’s libav, ugly, and bad packages, but also the freeworld variants of these, which provide components that may be essential for a successful multimedia experience.

After configuring the RPMFusion repositories, first of all we are going to install the basic packages for multimedia, RAW and WebP support for the GNOME image viewer (let’s see if they deign to pre-install this support at once), the application File-Roller (now not pre-installed), the 7Zip compressor/decompressor and the UNRAR decompressor:

sudo dnf install gstreamer1-libav gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-extras gstreamer1-plugins-bad-freeworld gstreamer1-plugins-good-extras gstreamer1-plugins-ugly unrar p7zip p7zip-plugins gstreamer1-plugin-openh264 mozilla-openh264 openh264 webp-pixbuf-loader gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-fluidsynth gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-wildmidi gstreamer1-svt-av1 libopenraw-pixbuf-loader dav1d file-roller

When the packages begin to install, the user must answer affirmatively that they accept the RPMFusion GPG keys.

Audacious, the well-known simple audio player, is one of those applications that requires special treatment in Fedora in combination with what is offered by RPMFusion. If you want to provide it with full capacity, you must install it as follows:

sudo dnf install audacious audacious-plugins-freeworld audacious-plugins-freeworld-aac audacious-plugins-freeworld-ffaudio audacious-plugins-freeworld-mms

In case you do not have a satisfactory experience with Audacious due to your problems with Wayland, you can turn to DeaDBeef, an audio player with a similar profile built with GTK 3:

sudo dnf install deadbeef deadbeef-mpris2-plugin deadbeef-plugins

Finally, we have the support for GStreamer’s VA-API (hardware acceleration), which we have separated from the rest because in some graphs it can lead to stability problems with web browsers and other multimedia applications:

sudo dnf install gstreamer1-vaapi libva libva-utils

Once all the basic multimedia support has been installed, in Firefox you have to go from the main menu the route Add-ons> Plugins to select “Always activate” in “OpenH264 Video Codec provided by Cisco Systems, Inc”.

Installing the official and proprietary NVIDIA driver

The NVIDIA driver is one of the most problematic components available for GNU/Linux, a situation that is made worse in Fedora Workstation due to constant kernel changes that occur during the life cycle of a version of that operating system.

Following the RPMFusion documentation, the commands to run to install the NVIDIA driver are the following, although to apply the changes you have to restart:

sudo dnf install akmod-nvidia
sudo dnf install xorg-x11-drv-nvidia-cuda
sudo dnf update -y

It would be important to note that the free driver for NVIDIA graphics, Nouveau, does not offer good performance and lacks Vulkan support through Mesa, so even for basic use it would be advisable to use the official proprietary driver. Alternatively, those with a console allergy can try installing the driver from GNOME Software.

Hardware acceleration with an Intel graphics

For those who use an Intel graphics (for now only the integrated ones included in their own processors) can obtain the hardware acceleration support by installing the following packages:

sudo dnf install libva-intel-driver intel-media-driver libva libva-utils

Installing Steam on Fedora Workstation

Some time ago we renewed our Steam installation tutorial in Fedora because the steps had been simplified a lot, especially for users of AMD and Intel graphics, who by default already have everything they need to play without having to introduce anything additional to level of firmware and drivers (yes, the experience is more out of the box than with NVIDIA).

Installing the Steam client is very simple, and this time we will include the ‘redhat-lsb-core’ package in the process, which provides support for the ‘lsb_release’ command. This way, if you skip the Steam poll, the correct information about the system is sent. After installing Steam it would be advisable to restart so that the udev rules for controllers work correctly:

sudo dnf install steam redhat-lsb-core

MangoHud, the well-known overlay that allows you to monitor computer performance and is widely used in video games, can be found in the Fedora repositories and can be installed as follows (in case of using DNFDragora, keep in mind that the version for 32-bit it’s in the “All” section):

sudo dnf install mangohud mangohud.i686

Video rendering

Are you interested in creating videos with Fedora Workstation? Today there are many quality Open Source video editors that are well suited to those users without deep knowledge of the subject, such as Avidemux, Shotcut and Kdenlive. To render videos with popular formats such as x264 and x265, you just have to install the following:

sudo dnf install x264 h264enc x265 svt-av1 rav1e

Basic graphical configuration of SELinux and the firewall

With these two applications the user will be able to establish the SELinux tax mode and modify the firewall configuration graphically. This way you won’t have to grapple with the console to adjust at least the security fundamentals of Fedora Workstation

sudo dnf install policycoreutils-gui firewall-config

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