For more desktop-y stuff. See RHEL/CentOS page for server-y stuff.


Switching desktop environment

GNOME is the default in Fedora. But you could also choose:

  • XFCE
  • LXQT

To list available desktop environments:

dnf group list -v --available | grep desktop

Then pick one to install:

sudo dnf install @xfce-desktop-environment

GNOME Desktop concepts

Here is a list of things in Fedora/GNOME which it took me a while to figure out the name of:

  • System Tray (GNOME desktop) - this was the area within (usually) the top edge of the screen, where some applications displayed an icon, such as Dropbox, SpiderOak Groups, etc. It has been removed, but you can get it back by installing an extension such as Topiconsfix.

  • Activities Search (GNOME desktop) - this is the search that gets initiated when you press the Super/Windows key and then start typing. It can search Documents, Files, Characters, etc. It can be configured from the GNOME control-center. See SearchProvider.

Switching desktop modes

Ensure Fedora starts up in graphical desktop mode:

sudo systemctl set-default


Test open ports with bash:

cat < /dev/tcp/

Networking with NetworkManager

Networking is provided by NetworkManager (nmcli).

NetworkManager takes it upon itself to keep /etc/resolv.conf updated.

To list all connections that NetworkManager knows about:

nmcli connection

Show the DNS settings for a connection (e.g. a Wifi network connection)

nmcli -f ipv6.dns,ipv4.dns connection show "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 5Ghz"
# or
nmcli c s "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 5Ghz" | grep dns

Modify the DNS settings for a connection - e.g. to set NextDNS:

nmcli con mod "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 2.4Ghz" ipv6.dns xxxx:xxxx::xx:xxxx,xxxx:xxxx::xx:xxxx
nmcli con mod "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 2.4Ghz" ipv6.ignore-auto-dns yes
nmcli con mod "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 2.4Ghz" ipv4.dns,
nmcli con mod "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 2.4Ghz" ipv4.ignore-auto-dns yes

To force an update to /etc/resolv.conf after updating settings on a connection:

sudo nmcli con up "Hyperoptic 1Gb Fibre 5Ghz"

VPN connections

To import a VPN connection from an .ovpn file:

nmcli connection import type openvpn file /path/to/your.ovpn

To make a connection from the command line:

nmcli connection up <connection_name>

To see the logs, in case something goes wrong when trying to connect:

journalctl -u NetworkManager.service

Then press G to see the most recent log entries.


Show all paired Bluetooth devices:

bluetoothctl paired-devices

Un-pair and re-pair (apparently this is supposed to work):

$ DEVICE_ID=11:22:33:44:55:66
$ bluetoothctl
[bluetoothctl] devices
[bluetoothctl] untrust 11:22:33:44:55:66
[bluetoothctl] remove 11:22:33:44:55:66
[bluetoothctl] scan on
[bluetoothctl] scan off
[bluetoothctl] connect 11:22:33:44:55:66
[bluetoothctl] pair 11:22:33:44:55:66

You can connect a device using its Address, e.g.:

$ echo -e "connect 11:22:33:44:55:66" | bluetoothctl
Agent registered
[bluetooth]# connect 11:22:33:44:55:66
Attempting to connect to 11:22:33:44:55:66

Check whether some headphones are detected as headphone or headset:

$ pactl list | grep head



Fonts can be installed in these locations:

  • $HOME/.local/share/fonts
  • $HOME/.fonts
  • /usr/share/fonts/
  • /usr/local/share/fonts

Search for fonts:

$ dnf search fonts

Manually install a font:

$ tar xvf the-font-archive.tgz
$ sudo mkdir -p /usr/share/fonts/the-font-name
$ sudo cp *.otf /usr/share/fonts/the-font-name
$ fc-cache -v

Reset the font cache:

$ fc-cache

Resizing images

In Software app, add the image resizer feature to the Nautilus file browser:

$ dnf install nautilus-image-converter
$ nautilus -q

Compressing images

Try Trimage. Installing Trimage on Fedora 29:

$ sudo dnf install jpegoptim pngcrush advancecomp
$ git clone && cd Trimage
$ chmod u+x
$ ./ build
$ sudo ./ install


gnome-software provides the GUI application Software for installing updates:

Problem: “Unable to download firmware updates from ‘fwupd’ … failed to download Cannot resolve hostname”

$ dnf update gnome-software


Disk housekeeping

For when your hard disk is embarrassingly too small.

Check free disk space

Use df:

$ df -h /
Filesystem               Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/fedora-root   49G   46G  834M  99% /
# Yikes I have hardly any space left! Damn those Docker images

Check sizes of directories

See the total sizes of files in directories, starting at the root (/):

du -h -d 1 /

An alternative method to show the total sizes of directories, sorted by size ascending:

du --max-depth=1 . | sort -r -k1,1n

View disk usage interactively

Use the Disk Usage Analyzer GUI app for a visual analysis of disk space in use.

OR package ncdu to view disk usage interactively, using an ncurses style app:

$ sudo dnf install ncdu

Delete Docker images and stuff

Delete Docker stuff to keep the fedora-root partition down to size.

Files in /var/cache/PackageKit can reach double-digit GBs. These files are used by GNOME PackageKit (an alternative to dnf?).

  • Prune using pkcon refresh force -c 2592000 (2592000 = 1 month in seconds)
  • You can remove cached packages by executing dnf clean packages
  • Find and remove old Docker images (docker rmi ...). Use docker info | grep "Docker Root Dir" to find the images location and du to check the size:
$ docker info | grep 'Root Dir'
 Docker Root Dir: /var/lib/docker
$ sudo du -sh /var/lib/docker
11G      /var/lib/docker
$ docker system prune
$ docker image prune -a
$ docker volume prune
$ df -h /
Filesystem               Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/fedora-root   49G   37G   11G  79% /

Prune Podman stuff

Podman puts a lot of files in $HOME/.local/share/containers. You can delete it:

podman system prune

Reduce the system journal size

  • Journals are kept in /var/log/journal
  • Edit /etc/systemd/journald.conf and set SystemMaxUse=1G
  • systemtl restart systemd-journald

Other things to try to reduce disk space

  • minishift delete to delete the Minishift VM


To upgrade Fedora, follow the process described at:

Troubleshooting upgrades

Error when running sudo dnf system-upgrade download ...:

Problem: package gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-gtk-1.16.2-8.fc30.x86_64 requires gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free = 1.16.2-8.fc30, but none of the providers can be installed
  - gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-1.16.2-8.fc30.x86_64 does not belong to a distupgrade repository
  - problem with installed package gstreamer1-plugins-bad-free-gtk-1.16.2-8.fc30.x86_64
(try to add '--skip-broken' to skip uninstallable packages)
  • “If some of your packages have unsatisfied dependencies, the upgrade will refuse to continue until you run it again with an extra –allowerasing option. This often happens with packages installed from third-party repositories for which an updated repositories hasn’t been yet published.” (from the upgrade docs)
  • Add --allowerasing to the sudo dnf system-upgrade download command. This will show the packages that will be erased.
Error: Transaction test error:
  file /usr/lib64/ from install of libldac- conflicts with file from package ldacbt-
  file /usr/lib64/ from install of libldac- conflicts with file from package ldacbt-
  • Check which package put the file there: rpm -qf /usr/lib64/ => ldacbt-
  • Check which package requires ldacbt as a dependency dnf repoquery --installed --whatrequires ldacbt
  • View info about the package: dnf info ldacbt
  • Finally, remove it: dnf remove ldacbt


tracker-miner-fs seems to consume 100% CPU

  • Seems to be a process which indexes files and puts the results in ~/.local/share/tracker
  • Check overall status of the tracker using tracker status
  • See what each individual daemon is doing by using tracker daemon
  • If necessary, delete the files/folders which are causing the daemon to go out of control

Fedora no longer boots into a graphical desktop

  • systemctl set-default seems to have no effect.
  • See systemctl list-units --type target to see all “targets”, or systemctl list-unit-files --type target.
  • GDM appears to be dead - systemctl status gdm reports inactive

Why the hell is my default editor now nano? Why are Git commit prompts opening Nano instead of vi?

  • Check your environment variables: env | grep EDITOR, you’ll see that this environment variable points to nano as your default editor.
  • To see how it was set, you can run zsh -xl which will list all of the commands that are run when you open a new shell. Within this output is a line somewhere that runs a script: /etc/profile.d/
  • You can see what package installs this file: dnf provides /etc/profile.d/ - it’s the nano-default-editor package.
  • To find out when this package was installed: dnf repoquery --installed --qf '%{installtime}' nano-default-editor
  • Cross-referencing that with the output from dnf history shows that it was installed when I upgraded to Fedora 33. CONTROVERSIAL.

Some websites aren’t loading, and resolve to IP address

  • Some websites/scripts don’t load in the browser.
  • Trying to look up these domains, e.g. nslookup, gives a result of
  • Have a look at /etc/resolv.conf, to see which nameserver you’re using. When I looked, mine was showing
  • is (probably) the address of a caching DNS resolver. Probably resolved. Check its status with: systemd-resolve --status
  • There is a command resolvectl flush-caches, but this didn’t seem to do anything for me. Instead, you might clear the cache by just restarting resolved.
  • To reset the resolved DNS cache, just restart resolved: sudo systemctl restart systemd-resolved

Some applications terminate without any warning (OOM / Out of Memory errors)

  • The apps are perhaps being killed by systemd-oomd, a system service which kills processes before an out-of-memory error occurs in kernel space.
  • You can observe systemd-oomd’s recent killing sprees with: journalctl -u systemd-oomd -g Killed, e.g.:

Feb 27 21:01:59 dougal systemd-oomd[1258]: Killed /user.slice/user-1000.slice/user@1000.service/app.slice/app-gnome-firefox-5692.scope/5692 due to memory pressure for /user.slice/user-1000.slice/user@1000.service being 60.82% > 50.00% for > 20s with reclaim activity

  • oomctl lets you observe the current state of systemd-oomd.
  • systemctl mask systemd-oomd will disable this service altogether.

Screen recordings and screen shares are too dark.

  • Recording a video capture of your entire screen, or sharing a screen using the native GNOME screen sharing feature, results in a very dark video.
  • I haven’t figured out how to fix this yet.
  • But if you’re recording a screen capture, use ffmpeg to apply post-processing to the video to make it more legible. e.g.:
    • ffplay -vf "curves=all='0/0 0.7/1 1/1'" video.mp4 - make things that were 70% bright -> 100% bright.
    • ffplay -vf eq=gamma=1.8:saturation=1 video.mp4 - adjust gamma and saturation
  • Then to render:
    • ffmpeg -i video.mp4 -vf "curves=all='0/0 0.7/1 1/1'" -c:a copy output.mp4

To solve this for good: I just switched to Xfce desktop environment. BIG SHRUG

Zoom screen sharing causes high CPU and system freeze

  • System environment: Wayland / GNOME.
  • When sharing the desktop during a Zoom call, the system freezes, or it’s fine during the sharing session, but it freezes once you stop sharing.
  • I never found the root cause of this. Perhaps it was Wayland? Anyway, to anyone who’s reading this: to try to resolve this, and the other reason above, I switched my desktop environment to Xfce, and now the problem doesn’t seem to happen anymore. BIG SHRUG