When I sit down to write anything, I want to be using an Operating System that is stable, supports the tools I use, and maximizes the amount of time I spend being productive. This post is WIP.

I keep coming back to Fedora; the latest version is stable enough to rely on, with support for the latest packages. Previously I ran exclusively Debian after a long period of turmoil with Manjaro, Fedora, Ubuntu and many others. Debian is very reliable, but as I broaden my tinkering, it seemed more difficult than was warranted to keep all my tools up to date on Debian.

And so, I use Fedora. Here is how I configure my personal OS.

Important: I assume the reader is able to distinguish between commands that require SuperUser and commands that should be run without. Installing libraries or modules as a superuser in js, python and ruby will cause awful problems.

Table of Contents:

  1. Baseline
    1. Install Fedora
    2. Update Packages
    3. Important Tweaks
  2. Install Development Tools
    1. Version Control
    2. C and C++
    3. Java
    4. JavaScript
    5. Python
    6. Scala
    7. Ruby
    8. LaTeX
  3. Configure Development Tools
    1. Vim
  4. Extras
    1. Google Chrome


Install Fedora

  1. Download a Fedora Workstation disk image.
  2. Become superuser with su or sudo su
  3. Check how to address your usb with lsblk
  4. Unmount all USB partitions with umount //dev/sdx*
  5. Format the USB drive with mkfs.vfat //dev/sdx
  6. Write the downloaded image to the USB with dd
  7. Install Fedora on your machine.

Update Packages

Before continuing, it is best to update everything and reboot so the new kernel is used. First, configure dnf by adding the following lines to //etc/dnf/dnf.conf (you’ll need to be SuperUser):


Next, update the system with dnf update --refresh.

In the future, the following commands can be used to update and install packages:

# To gain SuperUser priviliges:

# To update the system's packages:
dnf update

# To install any package:
dnf install packagename

# To leave SuperUser mode:

Important Tweaks

  1. Set up the terminal by installing the terminus-fonts and terminus-fonts-console packages, setting Terminus as the custom font, disabling scrollbars, disabling the terminal bell, hiding the menu bar by default, and setting the color scheme to white on black. Add terminal to your GNOME favourites.
  2. Swap the CapsLock key for an additional Esc; it’s far easier to hit Esc when it’s right by your pinkie. Do this by installing gnome-tweak-tool and checking make caps lock an additional esc in Keyboard and Mouse > Additional Layout Options. (I also set window focus to Sloppy at this point, and enable the window minimize button.)
  3. Set the hostname: as SuperUser: hostnamectl set-hostname --static "newname"
# Many popular packages are found in the RPMFusion repos,
# so it's a good idea to add them:
dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm 
dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/nonfree/fedora/rpmfusion-nonfree-release-$(rpm -E %fedora).noarch.rpm

Install Development Tools

Install the major dependancies for most development:

dnf groupinstall "Development Tools"

Version Control

Git with SSH keys makes version control a breeze. assuming all your projects are stored in GitHub repos, generating and storing an SSH key means you won’t need to type your password with every push, as you would with simple HTTP authentication. First, generate the key; it is safe to accept all the defaults.

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "email@email.com"

Assuming you have an ssh agent installed (most distros do by default,) add the key to your ssh service:

ssh-add ~/.ssh/id_rsa

Assuming Github is being used, the publickey located at ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub can be saved as a new SSH key in you Github account settings. To complete git setup, it is also necessary to set git defaults:

git config --global user.name "First Last"
git config --global user.email "email@email.com"
git config --global core.editor vim

Repositories can now be cloned like so:

git clone git@github.com:UserName/RepoName.git

C and C++

Well, this is pretty easy on Unixlikes:

dnf install gcc gcc-c++


I typically program with Java 8, which is also a Scala dependancy:

dnf install java-1.8.0-openjdk-devel


To install nodejs and npm:

dnf install nodejs


To install Python 3 and pip:

dnf install python3-devel


For basic fiddling, install the basic scala repl:

dnf install scala

For larger projects, SBT is required:

curl https://bintray.com/sbt/rpm/rpm > bintray-sbt-rpm.repo
sudo mv bintray-sbt-rpm.repo /etc/yum.repos.d/
sudo dnf install sbt


Install ruby prerequisites:

dnf install git-core zlib zlib-devel gcc-c++ patch readline readline-devel libyaml-devel libffi-devel openssl-devel make bzip2 autoconf automake libtool bison curl sqlite-devel openssl-devel readline-devel zlib-devel

Install RBENV (not as SuperUser):

git clone https://github.com/rbenv/rbenv.git ~/.rbenv
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
echo 'eval "$(rbenv init -)"' >> ~/.bashrc
exec $SHELL

git clone https://github.com/rbenv/ruby-build.git ~/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build
echo 'export PATH="$HOME/.rbenv/plugins/ruby-build/bin:$PATH"' >> ~/.bashrc
exec $SHELL

rbenv install 2.4.2
gem install bundler


Configure Development Tools


Write your vim config, .vimrc, to ~/.vimrc.

syntax on
colorscheme ron
set tabstop=2
set shiftwidth=2
set softtabstop=0
set expandtab
set smarttab
set autoindent

nnoremap <F4> :! clear && gcc % && clear && ./a.out<cr>
dnf install gnome-terminal-nautilus


Google Chrome

dnf install fedora-workstation-repositories
dnf config-manager --set-enabled google-chrome
dnf install google-chrome-stable