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Guide to Fedora Repositories

written by: Kristen Grubb•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 6/28/2009

Fedora uses the yum package manager to download and install software packages and all the dependencies. However, the default repository only holds free licensed software (except for some firmware). In order to get additional packages, such as NVIDIA drivers, you must add additional repositories.

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    How to Add Repositories

    The best way to install software of Fedora is through the yum package manager. But, before you search for nonfree software you must add add the additional repositories to the /etc/yum.conf file. Some repositories have .rpm files that you can download and install that will do that for you, and others you must add them by hand. If you are not familiar with the yum.conf file, it has the following format:

    # Comment about the repository


    name=RedHat Linux $releasever Install



    If you the repository doesn't have a .rpm file, the documentation will give you the exact url for you to add to your yum.conf.

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    The Repositories

    As you will see, repositories can hold thousands of RPMS or just one or two. Depending on your needs, you can happily just install a large software repository, and install the other software by hand, but if you want easy upgrade options, add the small repositories, too.

    RPMFusion - This repository is a combination of three different older repositories (FreshRPMs, Dribble, and Livna). It holds hundreds of different software packages, including free and nonfree packages. If you are only going to add one repository to your yum.conf file, this is it. The only downside that I can see is that they only support FC 10 and 11. This repository does have an .rpm based installer, just choose your version and install the .rpm file, and you're in business.

    Skype Repository - This repository only holds the Skype software. It is useful, as the Skype software is not available elsewhere, but not really necessary if you're not going to install Skype. You will have to download the public key and install it and then edit your yum.conf file to add the repository.

    Google Repository - This repository also only holds two files, Picasa and Google Desktop for Linux. Again, you install a public key then add the repository by hand.

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    You can get all the software you want by adding additional repositories to your yum.conf file. The most important repository to add, if you are running Fedora 10 or 11, is RPMFusion. Unfortunately, FC 9 and below are End of Life (EOL), so finding repositories for them may prove difficult unless you already had the additional repositories set up.