My list of things to do after installing a new Linux distro

2022年9月11日 · 英文

I use Fedora 36 for this post.

Recently I switched from Pop!_OS to Fedora on my desktop. I found that there are a lot of things to check or configure after the installation.
Every distro do things differently. Although I'm not a big fan of distro-hopping, it's still a good idea to list all the post-installation steps I go through.

My setup


About Installation

Most of the popular distros for desktops today provides a nice installation GUI, just walk through the process.
Fedora even provides a nice Fedora Media Writer, makes it super easy. You no longer need application like Rufus or balenaEtcher to create bootable USB drive. The Fedora Media Writer will handle it for you.

Note: If CSM is enabled in BIOS, the auto partition will install it with legacy mode in my experience. I have to re-install it to use UEFI... Make sure to turn off CSM or do the disk partition by yourself to create a ESP.

Thing to do after installation

1. Keep everything up to date

$ sudo dnf update

Fedora 36 uses DNF as it's software package manager. Simply run the update command to update the system.

Speed up DNF

To increase the download speed of DNF, there are some configuration we can set in the configuration file located at /etc/dnf/dnf.conf.
I use the following settings to make DNF to select fastest mirror and enable parallel downloads up to 10.


I also set keepcache to True for the first update since there are so many packages to update.


2. Getting more softwares and packages

RPM Fusion According to the website, RPM Fusion provides software that the Fedora Project or Red Hat doesn't want to ship.
To set it up, just walk through the Configuration page I think the most important part is to get multimedia complement packages from RPM fusion.


Flatpak provides a quick setup command for Fedora here: Fedora Quick Setup.

3. Configure time setting for dual booting

Since I am dual booting Windows with Fedora, I have to make sure Fedora treats system time the same as Windows. Otherwise every time I switch system I will have to sync the time again manually.
I already set my Windows to use UTC as BIOS clock. The following command set Linux to use UTC time. (It might be the default I think)

$ timedatectl set-local-rtc 0 --adjust-system-clock

Run timedatectl to verify it:

               Local time: 六 2022-09-10 22:20:02 CST
           Universal time: 六 2022-09-10 14:20:02 UTC
                 RTC time: 六 2022-09-10 14:20:02
                Time zone: Asia/Taipei (CST, +0800)
System clock synchronized: yes
              NTP service: active
          RTC in local TZ: no

4. Setup NVIDIA Driver

I use NVIDIA graphic cards. With secure boot enabled it's a bit complicated to set it up.
I get a module missing error message when login to Fedora at the beginning.

To solve it there ara a guide about secure boot from RPM Fusion: Howto/Secure Boot
I found a clear walk through guide on Automatically sign NVidia Kernel module in Fedora 36
It solved the problem perfectly for me.

5. Use X11 instead of Wayland

By default GNOME use Wayland, I just can't get dual display with hybrid graphics work on it. So I set it back to X11, hope the problem can be solve someday...

Edit /etc/gdm/custom.conf and set WaylandEnable=false then reboot.
It should be using X11.

6. Customizing GNOME

GNOME in Fedora 36 is already great in my opinion. Just for more settings, install GNOME tweak.

Also, install GNOME extensions. I am using three extensions.

7. Customizing Terminal

Actually I never customize the terminal before. Previously I use Ubuntu and Pop!_OS, I think the terminal looks decent and I don't really care about it. But the default terminal on Fedora looks a bit too simple, I would like at least some more color highlighting.
Install the Fancy bash prompt from synth-shell. It has a easy automatic setup.

8. Install Piper


$ dnf install piper

To configure my gaming mice, use Piper for more dpi and buttons settings.

Get ready for daily use

This part is not specific for Linux. It's about setting up some software for my daily usage.

Firefox setup

I use Firefox as my web browser. Sign in my account and it will sync all the extensions and bookmarks automatically.
Then navigate to about:config, there are three flags I will set to true.

layers.acceleration.force-enabled   // for hardware acceleration
gfx.webrender.all                   // for faster page rendering
media.setsinkid.enabled             // to change audio devices

Visual Studio Code

VS Code is my primary code editor.
Install it using the official repo: Visual Studio Code on Linux

Login to my github account, it will sync all settings and extensions for me.


This is my basic setup for Fedora 36. Fedora 37 is coming soon, hope it will become even better.