Share Fedora: Encouraging new contributors

The Fedora community is much more than just a distribution of Linux. We are a vibrant large community encompassing many different viewpoints, goals, and ideas. is running a blogging challenge to collect information about how communities function and grow. These conversations are very important to Fedora on a regular basis. By participating, you become part of the worldwide spread of open source and the ideas behind it.

What you can do

Write a blog post about this week’s theme and publish it. Please consider adding the link in the comments to this post. Tweet or use other social media to send your link to both and us, by including the hashtags #osscommunities and #Fedora. will publish a roundup of posts every Friday. Do you want to see your post included? Then let us know about it by Thursday.

This week’s theme is encouraging new contributors.

You’re free to write about anything related to the theme. But offers the following suggested topics:

  • 10 steps to keeping new contributors once you have their attention
  • 7 steps for onboarding new community members
  • 3 best places for finding new users
  • How did you get started in your first project?
  • 3 best tips you’ve received for attracting new contributors
  • 3 ways to find the right type of contributor and where to find them
  • The 3 most important things to do with a new project that most people miss and 3 projects that got it right

We look forward to seeing your stories!

Fedora Project community


  1. Rob Lawrey

    I’m a new user to fedora 25. One thing that the fedora community should do to keep new users is this. All of it’s default programs, music players, video players, etc., should work first time out. The default video player, “videos”, hasn’t worker since I installed fedora 25. I can’t get it to play a DVD at all, and it crashes every time. How do you include a video player in a release, in 2016 and beyond, that won’t play DVD’s or Blueray? How do you do that???????

    • @Rob: Unfortunately many video formats are intentionally protected by proprietary encoding that Fedora can’t carry due to legal restrictions. It’s a drawback to the way US laws work. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  2. Rob Lawrey

    That’s why I went back to windows yesterday! At least there, all I have to do is put in a disc and it plays automatically!

    • Youssef

      Hi Rob,

      As Paul stated, there are legal restrictions that prevent Fedora from including many of the codecs required to play certain video and audio formats. However, it’s quite easy to add these codecs immediately after installation by adding a 3rd party repo. Considering that Windows often requires additional steps after installation to be fully functional, I don’t think this should be a significant barrier to use.

      As I said, the setup is simple. After installation, add the free and non-free repositories from RPM Fusion by clicking on the appropriate links for your version of Fedora from Then install the required codecs as described on the FAQ from RPM Fusion:

      If there are other reasons you prefer to use Windows, so be it. But this is a pretty minor issue that shouldn’t prevent anyone who wants to from using Fedora.

      Happy computing!

  3. Rob Lawrey


    I’m using fedora! But I still can’t play blu-ray movies, and I had to install vlc to be able to play dvd’s. The default player, videos, still crashes every time I try to play anything with it. That’s why I have 2 hard drives, one with windows and the other with fedora. I love the Linux command line! It reminds me of when I used to teach DOS, back in the days when there was no such thing as a mouse. Playing blu-ray is the one thing they need to be able to make easy to do, to make Linux a viable choice for the masses. If they do that, the casual end user will stay and Linux will grow at a more rapid pace. As long as blu-ray stays the dominant medium it is, that must be addressed, or the casual users will return to “easy”! I have a dvd collection that is 1500 strong, and I sometimes want to watch one in my room, when the TV is being used by others. I can’t do that with blu-ray, and I have to use my other hard drive. Most end users will not be able to do that. I filed a bug report with rpm fusion, and we’ll see what happens. I have every package known to man installed, but still get an error message with blu-ray. Video, is the one medium that needs to be addressed! I understand that there are legal aspects that hinder that. If it can’t be addressed by the distributions, then someone must create a blu-ray player for Linux. The masses need their videos!!! I also need to unwind and disappear for a while.

  4. Rob Lawrey


    You say the setup is simple. After installation, add the free and non-free repositories from RPM Fusion by clicking on the appropriate links for your version of Fedora from Then install the required codecs as described on the FAQ from RPM Fusion:

    I’ve done all that, everything on the Archlinux page, everything that those at Ask Fedora said to do. Sergio Basta, even told me to file the bug report. He is one of the contributors to rpm fusion, is he not? lol If it was as simple as you say it is, I’d already be playing a blu-ray disc with fedora 25.

    I am not a casual end user. I used to teach DOS, spreadsheets, database, word processing, computerized accounting and programming in Pascal, Basic, and now I program in C++. I know my way around a computer fairly well. I’ve only been using Linux for a month, but have a nice grasp of the command line. What I can do with Linux is growing, rapidly.

    The casual end user is never going to be able to play blu-ray, if they have to go through what I’ve had to go through. I’m a little different that most! I won’t rest until this thing plays blu-ray! The casual end user won’t do that. They will leave, for an easier environment. You might think it’s a minor issue. To others, it’s not a minor issue!!!!!!!!!!!

    If the Linux distributions don’t find a way for the casual end user to play blu-ray & DVD’s, without having to download and install package after package after package, and with mixed results at best, they will never compete with Windows or Mac. It has to be plug and play for the casual end user! That means, put the disc in and it works!!!!!! If not, as I said in the previous paragraph, they will leave for an easier environment. And Linux will remain the server, super computer, and elite power user platform, with a very small percentage of the desktop market.

    Have a great day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Youssef


    I must have glossed over the portion of your original message where you mentioned Blu-Ray. Yes, that tech is really poorly supported on Linux. It’s a bit unreasonable to expect software that is Free (as in freedom and cost) to be able to support technology which is as patent and DRM encumbered as blu-ray. If you don’t care about software freedom and don’t mind paying licensing fees, then Windows or OSX are certainly better options for this use case.

  6. Rob Lawrey


    “If you don’t care about software freedom and don’t mind paying licensing fees, then Windows or OSX are certainly better options for this use case.”

    Are you kidding me? What is it, with the people at Fedora, that they think they can talk down to everyone who is new to Linux and Fedora? Are you kidding me? Maybe I better find another distribution! A distribution that encourages new contributors and users, and one that values the newbie! I’ve received the same kind of treatment at Ask Fedora!

    The Fedora community needs new users and contributors to grow. Saying that kind of thing, to a new contributor, is not very encouraging! Isn’t that the title of this post, Encouraging New Contributors? Wow, I’m…… Wow!

    • Youssef


      “Are you kidding me? What is it, with the people at Fedora, that they think they can talk down to everyone who is new to Linux and Fedora?”

      I in no way meant to insult you or make you feel unwelcome. There are lots of different reasons people choose to use the software they do, including development model, price, convenience, design, and political principles. They’re all equally valid reasons. Fedora is a project that values its development model, price (free), and political principles more than convenience. This isn’t a judgment of you, the project, or anyone else – it’s just a fact. In my last comment, I was simply noting that it seems you value very highly the ability to play blu-rays easily and if that’s the case, Windows and OSX are better choices, at least for that particular task. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for Fedora to make blu-ray playback easy without drastically altering the projects goals and/or funding model.

      You started this comment thread by making a suggestion (make blu-ray playback in Fedora easy). Paul and I chimed in to explain why that’s not feasible and try to help you find workarounds. I, in particular, responded to your comment stating that you “went back to windows” because I wanted to help you avoid doing that if possible (and because I missed the part of your original comment where you mentioned blu-rays, which are much harder to make work in Linux than DVDs). Once I understood your use case, I suggested you stick with Windows (or OSX) for that particular task, not because I wanted to exclude you, but because those operating systems are the best tools for that job. If there were an easy way to make blu-rays work in Fedora, I would have suggested that instead.

      And, full disclosure, I’m not an official (or even unofficial) representative of the project. I use their software, and occasionally file bug reports when I have a problem. That’s about it.

  7. Rob Lawrey


    Okay! I can live with that explanation! I’m sorry, for thinking bad things about you!!!!! I understand is working on a Blu-ray player for linux. It might even be cross platform like their DVD player. They tell me it’s not ready yet, but they will keep me informed. I don’t mind paying for a Blu-ray software player. After all I paid for the DVD’s and Blu-ray discs, over a period of many years. Last Saturday, I solved the problem of having to go back to my windows hard drive. I just bought a small Blu-ray/DVD player with an HDMI 2 way adapter, routed it to the back of my monitor, and presto. Blu-ray and Fedora on my computer, and I don’t have to go back to windows any more. lol lol If there’s a will, there’s a way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Youssef

      No worries. It’s difficult to judge tone in a comment thread, and there’s plenty of reason why you might be predisposed to expect a snide response on a Linux blog 🙂

      ” I understand is working on a Blu-ray player for linux.”

      This is great news! Hopefully they will package it in a way that makes installation on Fedora easy.

      Also, I like your workaround. It has the added bonus of keeping the proprietary software necessary to play Blu-rays off of your hard drive.

      Happy computing!

  8. Rob Lawrey


    I should have done that work around earlier. It would have saved me a lot of frustration!!!! lol

    Have a great day!!!

Comments are Closed

The opinions expressed on this website are those of each author, not of the author's employer or of Red Hat. Fedora Magazine aspires to publish all content under a Creative Commons license but may not be able to do so in all cases. You are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary permission to reuse any work on this site. The Fedora logo is a trademark of Red Hat, Inc. Terms and Conditions