Configuring Your Printer and Internet Service
Before you begin using Linux, you must configure two more things to make your Linux system fully operational if you are running a desktop or workstation system. The first is your printer; the second is your dial-up Internet service.
To configure either, you must log in to the root account and use some Fedora configuration tools. To log in to the root account, enter the word root into the Username box and press your Enter key. Then enter the root password you selected when installing Linux into the same box and press Enter once more.
New to Desktop Environments?
This hour, we gloss over the ins and outs of the login process and the Linux desktop: We want to dig only deep enough to configure your printer and dial-up Internet service just now. We'll get to details about the Linux desktop in later hours. If you're not comfortable entering root and the root password without knowing why, or if you've never worked with a graphical operating system and would like to learn about using the mouse to manipulate menus and windows, you might want to skip ahead and read Hour 10 before continuing with this hour.
Configuring Your Printer
After you enter the word root and the root password at the login screen, you find yourself logged in to the root account's desktop environment. To configure your printer, click the GNOME Menu icon (which looks like a red colored hat) in the lower-left corner of the display, click the System Settings item in the GNOME menu, and then click the Printing item in the System Settings menu. After you click on the Printing item, the Printer configuration tool opens.
To add a printer to your Printer configuration, click the New button near the upper-left corner of the Printer configuration tool window. The Add a New Print Queue dialog appears.
Click the Forward button to display the Queue Name dialog, which is used to name your printer, as shown in Figure 3.11. In the Name box, enter lp. You should always name your default printer lp because it is what most Linux applications expect the default printer to be called. You can also enter a brief human-readable description of the printer in the Short Description box if you choose to do so.
Figure 3.11 Enter lp as the queue name for your default printer. You can also enter a description if you want.
After you name your printer queue, click the Forward button to display the Queue Type dialog, which allows you to tell Fedora how this printer communicates with applications, as shown in Figure 3.12.
If your printer is connected by a universal serial bus (USB) or parallel port, select Locally-Connected from the Select a Queue Type drop-down list. Throughout the rest of this section, we assume that you are using a printer that is connected locallyeither using a USB or parallel port. If you need to use one of the several types of network connections listed, please contact your network administrator for further configuration help.
In the box below the Select a Queue Type drop-down list, choose the port to which your printer is connected. Table 3.1 contains a list of common ports.
Figure 3.12 Choose a connection type for this printer. For most users, the correct drop-down option is the Locally-Connected option.
Table 3.1 Common Ports to Which Printers Might Be Connected
First parallel port, LPT1: or PRN: in MS-DOS
Second parallel port (if present), LPT2: in MS-DOS
First discovered USB printer
Second discovered USB printer
If you're using a parallel port printer, select the parallel port to which your printer is connected. If you're using a USB printer, at least one USB port should appear in the list as well: select it. After you select your printer port, click the Forward button to display the dialog that allows you to select a driver (by printer make and model) to use with your printer, as shown in Figure 3.13.
Invisible USB Printers
If your printer is connected via USB and you don't see any USB printer ports listed, turn your printer on and then click the Rescan Devices button near the bottom of the dialog. Your USB printer should now appear.
In the Printer Model dialog, select the make of your printer from the drop-down list near the top of the dialog. The list of known printers for the make you have selected will appear in the bottom half of the dialog; select your model from the list. Then click the Forward button to display the confirmation dialog box.
Figure 3.13 Select your make from the drop-down list and then your model from the list in the lower half of the dialog.
Review the settings listed in the confirmation dialog; if your make and model are correctly listed, click the Finish button to save your printer configuration. You will be asked whether you want to print a test page to ensure that your settings have been entered correctly. To be certain, you should choose Yes. If the test page does not print correctly, remove the queue by clicking the Delete button in the Printer configuration tool and repeat the steps in this section, trying different settings.
Once you successfully add a printer, if you want to add more printers, repeat the steps in this section. If you are done adding printers, click the word Action at the upper left of the Printer configuration dialog and then select Quit from the drop-down menu to exit the Printer configuration tool.
Configuring Your Dial-Up Internet Service
If you connect to the Internet using a dial-up service provider and a modem, you need to tell Fedora about your modem and your Internet service provider. To start the Internet Configuration Wizard, click GNOME Menu, System Tools, Internet Configuration Wizard. The Internet Configuration Wizard starts, as shown in Figure 3.14.
Figure 3.14 Use the Internet Configuration Wizard to configure Fedora to connect to your Internet service provider.
In the Internet Configuration Wizard, click the Modem connection option to indicate that you connect to your Internet service provider (ISP) using a modem. Then be sure that your modem is powered on (if it is external) and click the Forward button to cause the Internet Configuration Wizard to search for your modem. When your modem is found, the settings Fedora detected appear, as shown in Figure 3.15.
Networking Beyond Dial-Up
If your computer is directly connected to a network via Ethernet (for example, through a typical DSL or cable modem connection or a company LAN), you have already configured your network settings when you installed Linux; if you need to change them, you learn how in Hour 19, "Desktop System Administration."
If your computer is connected to the Internet using a technology other than dial-up modem service or Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Ethernet, contact your network administrator or ISP for help in configuring your Internet service.
Figure 3.15 After your modem is found, the settings for your modem as detected by the Internet Configuration Wizard appear.
With the exception of the Modem Volume setting, which you can adjust to suit your dialing volume tastes, you should not change any of the other settings from those detected by Linux. Click the Forward button to display a dialog that allows you to enter details related to your ISP, as shown in Figure 3.16.
If Your Modem Isn't Found
If Fedora displays a message saying that no modem can be found, check your modem to ensure that it is powered on and connected properly to your computer. If it is, or if your modem is internal and you still receive an error message, your modem is not easily supported by Fedora.
Please refer to "Communications Hardware" in Hour 1, "Preparing to Install Fedora," for details on the types of modems that are compatible with Fedora.
Figure 3.16 The Internet Configuration Wizard needs details about your ISP to configure your connection.
Enter your dial-up service provider's dialing details, name, login (username), and password into the relevant entry boxes shown in Figure 3.16. When you are done, click the Forward button to display the IP Settings dialog box, shown in Figure 3.17.
Figure 3.17 In the IP Settings dialog, you can adjust the parameters that Fedora will use to establish your Internet connection.
Most users should leave the default choice selected, Automatically Obtain IP Address Settings. If you have been provided a set of static IP settings by your ISP, select Statically Set IP Address and enter those settings now. When you are done, click the Forward button to display your configuration summary.
Once you verify that all the information shown in the summary is correct, click Apply to save your changes and display the Network Configuration dialog, as shown in Figure 3.18.
To connect to your ISP, click your modem's entry in the device list and then click the Activate button near the top of the dialog. Fedora attempts to connect to your ISP. While you are connected, your network status mode reads Active rather than Inactive, and you can browse the World Wide Web and use other Internet services. When you are ready to disconnect, click the Deactivate button.
Figure 3.18 The Network Configuration dialog allows you to activate (connect) and deactivate (disconnect) your Internet service.
Starting the Network Configuration Tool
You use the Internet Configuration Wizard only when you need to add or edit network settings. When you dial your ISP, you'll usually want to bypass the Internet Configuration Wizard and start the Network Configuration tool shown in Figure 3.18 directly. To do this, click GNOME menu, System Settings, Network. This allows you to quickly access the Activate and Deactivate buttons when you want to connect to or disconnect from the Internet.
For additional details on using the Network Configuration tool, refer to "Managing Network Interfaces" in Hour 19.
When you finish configuring your printer and ISP, you can exit the root account and return to the Linux login screen by clicking the GNOME menu and then clicking the Log Out option. A confirmation dialog appears, as shown in Figure 3.19. To confirm that you want to log out and return to the Linux login screen, select Log Out and then click the OK button.
Figure 3.19 A confirmation dialog appears to make sure that you really want to log out.
The Save Current Setup Check Box
You might notice the Save Current Setup check box as you log out of your Fedora desktop. This check box doesn't refer to the configuration changes you just made; those have been saved already. Checking the Save Current Setup box causes Fedora to remember any applications that were still running when you logged out. The next time you logged in, they will automatically be restored.
Because you probably don't have any applications running yet, you don't need to worry about the check box right now.