frankstrater

/dev/log

As any Linux distro is as good as it's software repositories, in my experience Fedora is really good. During install you get the option to enable some pre-defined third-party repositories, but I prefer to start with just the official Fedora repositories (mirrors.fedoraproject.org) and only add and/or enable other repositories if I need them. I also prefer using the traditional RPM packages over the Fedora flatpak versions. I still don't feel comfortable with containerized applications and if I wanted a flatpak oriented operating system, I would be on Fedora Silverblue and not on Fedora Workstation.

I don't have a lot of software needs as I usually get by with a browser, editor and terminal as a developer, but I do have some favorite applications that I install with either dnf in the terminal or the Gnome Software Center. The first 2 are GUI applications for reading (and both in the Software Center):

  • NewsFlash: RSS reader
  • Foliate: ePub reader

Both NewsFlash (and it's predecessor FeedReader) and Foliate I discovered when I used elementary OS in 2019/2020 before I switched to Fedora 33, but I had to install it from Flathub. The packaged Fedora versions are both up-to-date and look great on Gnome.

The next ones are command line applications that I install with dnf:

  • syncthing: decentralized synching of files
  • lynx: text browser
  • newsboat: programmable RSS reader

I mostly use git and ssh on the command line, but those are already preinstalled. These other ones I use every once in a while. I use syncthing as cross-platform sharing/backup of important documents between several of my computers and lynx to access gopherspace; newsboat is something I use to curate RSS articles quickly and to automate some experimental stuff.

For the last 2 I first need to add their third-party repository, so I can get automatic updates:

Although I used to use Firefox as my main browser for 15 years, I switched to Brave in 2020, as I wasn't happy where Firefox was going and I wanted to get rid of my dependency on the Firefox account for browser synching. VSCodium/VSCode is also something I started using recently and replaces Sublime Text that I used for 10 years.

One of the things I have been contemplating for a while, is to also install an email client like Evolution or Thunderbird or Geart. I've been using them occiasonaly, but somehow I have a hard time re-adjusting. In the mean time I use the 'Install as application' feature in Chromium-based browsers for my webmail clients, so they open as a separate window and look like a desktop application. I do the same for other applications like Mastodon and Element until I find a good native desktop client.

So, I don't use a lot of software and I don't try out a lot anymore, but I do check in every once a while to see what's recommended through Gnome through the Sofware Center or Apps for Gnome

After a fresh install of Fedora workstation I always run through the Gnome settings and change only a couple of things as customization.

In the About screen I change the hostname / device name (default: 'fedora'), in Backgrounds I cange the wallpaper to one of the included nature photos and in Displays I turn on the Night Light feature.

I used to also add and change some Keyboard Shortcuts (like adding Ctrl+Alt+T or Super-key+T for terminal), but I sort of got used to only using the shortcuts that were already set and I have grown accustomed to using a different way for launching applications (see previous post).

Every once a while I'll change something through Settings when needed, but I don't do any customization outside it, like with gnome-tweaks or via the terminal. Basically I just Gnome as vanilla as intended and only add or change stuff when it's absolutely needed.

One thing I really like about Fedora workstation as a distribution that it contains the essentials to start using it right away as a desktop OS. It has all the basic utilities you need (like a file manager and a photo viewer) complemented with some software that you're likely going to use (browser, office suite, audio player).

The first thing I change after a fresh install is changing the dock/application launcher in the Gnome desktop environment. With the pre-installed applications I change it to this with a specific order:

  1. browser
  2. calendar/email
  3. audio/video
  4. photo
  5. files
  6. software
  7. terminal
  8. editor

The reason I do this is that I can launch these applications with a keyboard combination of super-key + number. As I use Windows 10 daily for work I use the same order on the Windows taskbar and launch applications with the same keyboard shortcut (windows-key + number). The difference being the actual specific application I use on either computer (for instance nr. 5: Gnome files on Fedora and Explorer on Windows).

With the basic setup this will result in a dock with these applications:

  1. Firefox
  2. Gnome Calendar
  3. Rhythmbox
  4. Gnome Photos
  5. Gnome Files
  6. Gnome Software Center
  7. Gnome Terminal
  8. Gedit

For all other applications that aren't in the dock I'll just use super-key, type the first 2 or 3 letters of the application and hit enter. Visually it will use the Gnome applications view with search and results.

By the way: any desktop OS that doesn't have this application menu launch + search functionality as default with this keyboard shortcut, is broken by design in my opinion.

For years I have been thinking and reading and somehow never got around to writing (apart from the occiasonal short post on social media). I guess now is a good time to actually start and challenge myself to write 100 posts in a year.

As I just installed a fresh copy of Fedora 35 with Gnome, I intend to start with a couple of posts on how I minimally configure it and why I do it this way.

#100DaysToOffload

Hello friend? That's lame. Maybe I should give you a name. But that's a slippery slope, you're only in my head, we have to remember that. Shit, this actually happened, I'm talking to an imaginary person.