Install Fedora 20 on a macbook

Here’s a complete guide to install and customize Fedora 20 on a macbook (4,1 model, 2008). The performances on Mac are quite good, you obtain a fast system with no overheating. Battery faints quickly, but hey, the computer is now 6 years old.

  1. Install
  2. Update
  3. Wireless
  4. Additional Softwares
  5. Tweaking
  6. Terminal colors
  7. Tools

The basics are the same as seen on our previous guides: make some space on your Mac disk, install rEFIt or rEFInd and reboot twice. Boot on the OSX session and prepare your Fedora USB Live as follow:

  • Get the last ISO from, choose your desktop flavour.
  • Make a .dmg of the .iso and clone it to an USB stick: follow the guide.
  • Reboot the Mac while pressing Alt key and select Fedora Live in the rEFIt menu

During the installation you’ll have to configure the keyboard language, the user and the disk partitions. In the User config, make yourself admin. If you haven’t, you’ll need to do it later through command line.


The Anaconda installer needs two specifics partitions to dual boot: a /boot and a /boot/efi. If you don’t wish to configure the partition manually select the ‘create partitions’ option. Anaconda preserves the HFS+ Mac partition. One problem though : you can’t change the disk space allocated to each partition, and the installer gives the root 50 Go. So, you’ll have to gparted your disk after install.

Once install is done, reboot.

Sudo & Update

To add the user session to the sudoers, log as root and add it the group wheel:

su -
usermod <username> -a -G wheel

Get an Ethernet connection and update Fedora. Fedora uses the Yum package manager to install, remove or update softwares.

sudo yum update

Wireless drivers

The steps were found in this excellent Fedora install guide. To get the wireless working you need to add the two RPM Fusion repositories to your system, the free and non-free. Click on the two links below to get the repositories installed on your Fedora system.

Once the two repos are added, install the wireless drivers

sudo yum install kernel-devel akmod-wl
sudo akmods
sudo modprobe wl

Additional softwares

You’ll want to get Fedy to install various additional software: ‘Fedy lets you install multimedia codecs and additional software that Fedora doesn’t want to ship, like mp3 support, Adobe Flash, Oracle Java etc.

su -c "curl -o fedy-installer && chmod +x fedy-installer && ./fedy-installer"

Fedy will now appear in your programs. Launch and select what you want to install.

Tweak the desktop!

The fun part! First thing, install gnome-tweak-tool (sudo yum install gnome-tweak-tool) to access the Gnome desktop customization options. Access the Gnome extensions website to get essential extensions, like:

  • User themes
  • Impatience
  • log out


You may now change the Gnome-Shell theme, as well as the GTK theme and icon set. Keep in mind that Fedora comes with Gnome 3.10. Check the themes compatibilities before installing them.

Some ideas : themes compatible with Gnome 3.10.

  • Classic Faience Shell, GTK and icons (let’s remain consistent).
  • You may want to see the Moka and Numix projects, or the Iris theme if you seek a more flat desktop experience.
  • Or visit the DeviantArt Gnome pages: Iris theme, Ceti theme, Numix variations such as Numix bluish or Arctic etc.

The screens in this post show the Numix-Blue GTK theme, an Elegance Colors custom Gnome-shell set to match the GTK, Faenza Darkest icons and the Google Roboto Slab fonts.


sudo yum-config-manager --add-repo
sudo yum-config-manager --add-repo
yum install gtk-murrine-engine gtk2-engines


Font hinting is correct once you choose the right options in Tweak : slight hinting and RGBA antialiasing. However you can slightly improve the render in following some useful guidelines: install the Freetype subpixel rendering engine from the RPM Fusion repo.

sudo yum install freetype-freeworld

Make sure the previously mentioned settings (slight hinting & rgba AA) are activated and set the LCD filter in your .Xresources, then reboot. You can check your settings through the xrdb -query command.

echo "Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault" > ~/.Xresources

Looking for fonts? Search them in Yum or install manually (import in /usr/share/fonts and ‘fc-cache -f -v’). You may see some Coda font in the screens. And a solid choice, the Droid Sans:

sudo yum install google-droid-sans-fonts


You can edit the gnome-shell.css file of your current theme to change and reduce font size in top panel or modify its opacity.

sudo vim /usr/share/themes/Faience/gnome-shell/gnome-shell.css


  • Add some color schemes, for instance with this script to add the Solarized schemes to Gnome-terminal. Transparency doesn’t work in Gnome-terminal 3.10.
  • Tweak your PS1 with colors too! Here’s mine:
# Personnal PS1 #
FGBLK=$( tput setaf 0 ) # 000000
FGRED=$( tput setaf 1 ) # ff0000
FGGRN=$( tput setaf 2 ) # 00ff00
FGYLO=$( tput setaf 3 ) # ffff00
FGBLU=$( tput setaf 4 ) # 0000ff
FGMAG=$( tput setaf 5 ) # ff00ff
FGCYN=$( tput setaf 6 ) # 00ffff
FGWHT=$( tput setaf 7 ) # ffffff

BGBLK=$( tput setab 0 ) # 000000
BGRED=$( tput setab 1 ) # ff0000
BGGRN=$( tput setab 2 ) # 00ff00
BGYLO=$( tput setab 3 ) # ffff00
BGBLU=$( tput setab 4 ) # 0000ff
BGMAG=$( tput setab 5 ) # ff00ff
BGCYN=$( tput setab 6 ) # 00ffff
BGWHT=$( tput setab 7 ) # ffffff

RESET=$( tput sgr0 )
BOLDM=$( tput bold )
UNDER=$( tput smul )
REVRS=$( tput rev )

export PS1="\[$BOLDM\]\[$FGWHT\][\[$FGRED\]\A\[$FGWHT\]][\[$FGGRN\]\u\[$FGWHT\]:\[$FGBLU\]\W\[$FGWHT\]]\[$FGYLO\] \$ \[$RESET\]"



Finally, just ‘yum install‘ anything you need to work.

  • Files is irritating as you can’t type to quick access a file or folder in your current repository. Patches are boring to install, let’s just install PCManFM, a better file manager.
  • Need a dock? go for Plank.
  • An additional panel? Tint2.
  • Complete with LibreOffice, Gimp, ImageMagick, VLC, Vim, Gparted…

Link : Fedora github config


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