Ubuntu Precise Introduction


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Ubuntu Precise Introduction
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General Notes

General Notes

  • This is the original Ubuntuguide. You are free to copy this guide but not to sell it or any derivative of it. Copyright of the names Ubuntuguide and Ubuntu Guide reside solely with this site. This Ubuntu help guide is neither sold nor distributed in any other medium. Beware of copies that are for sale or are similarly named; they are neither endorsed nor sanctioned by this guide. Ubuntuguide is not associated with Canonical Ltd. nor with any commercial enterprise.
  • Ubuntu allows a user to accomplish tasks from either a menu-driven Graphical User Interface (GUI) or from a text-based command-line interface (CLI). In Ubuntu, the command-line-interface terminal is called Terminal, which is started:
Menu -> File -> Open Terminal
Text inside the grey dotted box like this should be put into the command-line Terminal.
  • Many changes to the operating system can only be done by a User with Administrative privileges. 'sudo' elevates a User's privileges to the Administrator level temporarily (i.e. when installing programs or making changes to the system). Example:
sudo bash
  • 'gksudo' can be used instead of 'sudo' when opening a Graphical Application through the "Run Command" dialog box or as a menu item. Example:
gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  • Many file management tasks can be accomplished with root Administrative privileges by starting the Nautilus file manager in a similar fashion. (Use 'gksudo' if starting Nautilus from a menu item.)
gksudo nautilus
sudo nautilus
  • "man" command can be used to find help manual for a command. For example, "man sudo" will display the manual page for the "sudo" command:
man sudo
  • While "apt-get" and "aptitude" are fast ways of installing programs/packages, you can also use the Synaptic Package Manager, a GUI method for installing programs/packages. Most (but not all) programs/packages available with apt-get install will also be available from the Synaptic Package Manager. In this guide, when you see
sudo apt-get install package

you can search for package in Synaptic and install it that way.

  • Many instructions use the text editor "nano" (which is universally available in Linux). However, it is often easier to use the text editor "gedit" in Ubuntu instead.
  • "Menu" refers to the menu bar at the top (or bottom) of the desktop, akin to the Start menu in Microsoft Windows or the Menu bar of the Apple Macintosh.
  • If you are using the 64-bit version, replace any "i386" with "amd64"

Other versions

How to find out which version of Ubuntu you're using

Open the command terminal and type:

lsb_release -a

How to find out which kernel you are using

uname -a

Newer Versions of Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu has a six month release cycle, with releases in April and October.
  • Raring Ringtail (13.04) was released in April 2013 and will be supported until December 2013.
  • Quantal Quetzal (12.10) was released in October 2012 and will be supported until April 2014.

Older Versions of Ubuntu

Other Resources

  • Ubuntu Forums has a large community for online solutions and specific help.

Ubuntu Resources

Unity Desktop

Unity is the default desktop environment used in Ubuntu. It is compatible with the GTK platform used by Gnome. It was designed to be used for netbooks, but is developed by Canonical to be useful on all types of devices.

Gnome Project

Gnome3 is an alternative desktop available for Ubuntu, and a list of Gnome projects is available.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugnometeam/gnome3
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugnometeam/ppa-gen
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ugr-desktop-g3
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Ubuntu Screenshots and Screencasts

New Applications Resources

Other *buntu guides and help manuals

  • Kubuntuguide -- Kubuntu uses the popular KDE desktop environment
  • Lubuntu -- Lubuntu can run with as little as 256 Mb RAM. It is better for older machines with limited resources.
  • Edubuntu -- Edubuntu is a collection of software bundles optimized for use in educational environments. LTSP (thin client terminal server support) and many networking tools are bundled. A version for use with KDE (Kubuntu) is available.
  • SkoleLinux / DebianEdu -- a collection of (open-source) educational tools for Debian/Ubuntu Linux
  • Ubuntu Doctors Guild -- a collection of tips for using (K)Ubuntu Linux in health care environments
  • official Ubuntu Server Guide -- a good starting reference for server packages
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