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Documentation Summary:

Purpose: This is intended to be a special HOWTO to help users who are accustomed with Microsoft Windows operating systems to begin using Fedora quickly. There should be a reasonable about of links and references to established documentation without giving the reader information overload.

Audience: Users that are accustomed to Microsoft Windows who want to start enjoying Fedora quickly with the loving guidance of the Documentation Group.

Assumptions: The user of this document should:

  • Either be using a Microsoft Windows or Fedora operating system
  • Have a way to access this documentation at all times
  • Have access to an empty USB flash drive
  • Be familiar with basic computer hardware terms
  • Have access to a search engine to lookup unfamiliar terms

Lead Writer:Bradbailey

Trademark Notice
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries. This, and all related pages, are independent publications and are not affiliated with, nor has it been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft Trademark Usage

For whatever reason, you have finally decided to give Fedora a serious look. Welcome home! There are countless people in the Fedora, and GNU/Linux community as a whole, that will guide and help you on your path to using this amazing operating system, and the programs that run on it. All of us want your migration to be as easy as it can. There will be lots of new and different things for you to discover. It's hoped that this guide will hold your hand as you take the first steps, and teach you how to help yourself as you continue on.

We want to help!
A very important thing to remember, is that we are people, we have compassion and understanding, and we want to help. We make great efforts to write volumes of documentation, HOWTO's and guides for you. If you find yourself lost at the end of a section, go back to where you were doing OK. Then, go through it again untill you find where you got lost. When you find the trouble, contact us with what you were reading, where you are at in the documentation, and what you are wanting to do. Ways to get help will be discussed in the relevent section of this guide.

So, let's dive in! (Be sure to use bookmarks and take notes.)

Getting Help

The Fedora community has a number of ways to get help. Each item here will have a section below the list.

  1. Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ )
  2. Fedora Documentation
  3. Fedora Ask Forums
  4. Internet Relay Chat ( IRC )
  5. Fedora E-Mailing Lists


The FAQ has several categories of the most common questions. As a new user, this needs to be one of the pages you bookmark first. Fedora has been around for a long time, and this compilation of questions and answers has been put together for your use. When you first get to the page, bookmark it. Then, scroll down the page, and click on what peaks your interest. You may not have a need for everything that's there right away, but it's good to know that it's there.

Fedora Doc

The Fedora Documentation Group is always busy quite literally writing the manual. We also write HOWTO's and Guides ( like this one! ) This is also one of the sites that you should bookmark. To use Fedora Documentation, click the category on the left side of the page. As a new user, most of what you are looking for will be in the "Fedora" section. The "Fedora Core" section is for much older versions of Fedora. After you click Fedora, you need to choose your release. You will then see the topics, and a little down arrow icon to the right of the topic. If you hover your mouse over the down arrow, it will give you additional options on how to view the topic. In most cases, just clicking on the topic directly will serve you just fine.

Different Community, Different Terms
"Manual" is our term for help files. A Manual contains extensive information about one particual program. "HOWTO" and "Guide" is our term for step-by-step instructions. You probably know them as walk-throughs. "Release", when in the context of the Fedora operating system, is the way we prefer to identify it's version.

Fedora Ask Forums

This is one of the ways the entire Fedora community can help you. At the top is a search bar for you to type your question. Questions are answered by anybody who has an account. The answers can be voted on to show that the responce was indeed the answer that was needed. You can also sign in to ask your own question.

General Public Can Answer Questions
In this section, anybody with an account can answer questions. Generally speaking, this is a very good thing! However, sometimes the information in the answer may not be totally complete.
Different Community, Different Terms
There may be a number of abbreviations or acronyms here that you may not have seen before. RTFM means read the friendly manual. IMO means in my opinion. YMMV means your mileage may vary.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC)

About IRC
IRC is one of the first ways people were able to chat in real time across the internet. It works even on the slowest of internet connections. )
Client / Server
Without getting too technical, the entire internet operates because a program on your computer connects to another computer somewhere on the internet. The client is the program you use, and the server is the computer on the internet that serves your client the stuff it wants. An example of one type of client is Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. It shows you webpages that live on servers.
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Please improve this article if you can, and move or remove this notice if appropriate.

I don't like this at all. TODO:

  1. find a client for windows that has a similar interface to xchat
  2. walkthrough regestering on freenode
  3. walkthrough joining #fedora
  4. get rid of the sleep-deprived garbage of using the web-based client

To use IRC, you need an IRC client. There are a HUGE number of IRC clients that are freely available. Some IRC networks, including the one that we use most here at Fedora, have a special webpage setup so you don't have to download a client. For the purpose of this guide, we will be using that special webpage. The IRC network we use is "freenode." The webpage to let you use their service is

This is not the usual way!
By and far, using a webpage to access IRC is not the way it's done! Real information about IRC can easily be found on the Fedora Project Wiki. Just look to the left while you scroll down to look for the search box. Then, type in IRC and hit [enter]

You want to use a username that has a very low chance of someone else already using. Usernames need to start with a letter, and can contain letters, numbers, and the underscore ( _ ). Also, choose a name that isn't terribly offensive or rude. Remember, the person you offend may well have been the person that could have helped you!