Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Let's surf Ubuntu

Hey friends, this post is for basic beginners, some where at Level zero !!
Believe me, I have seen many people, especially old age ones, they are afraid to operate their system, probably for over carefulness or in most of the cases 'what if something happens..?' My sir/madam, it's my sincere request you will not get to know anything until you try it out. Ask me,  until you try a new, new things will not happen in your life. Trial and Error is a Best Policy human beings have ever found. So try doing some stuffs with your system.

Let's come back to Ubuntu. Today let's surf a little, we will change some stuffs in your machine [aren't you bored off looking at same theme and appearance??] and will see where exactly we can ask for some more stuffs.

To change your desktop appearance, Right click on Desktop and chose 'Change Desktop Background'; or on the top Panel Bar, chose System > Preferences > Appearance, this will open Appearance Preference window. There are 4 tabs, namely 'Theme', 'Background', 'Fonts' and 'Visual Effects'. Use these tabs to completely change your appearance. In Theme tab, you will get 'Customize...' button, press it. Customizing Current Theme, you can just integrate different theme Controls, Colors, Window Border, Icons or Pointers into one and build your own Theme. In Visual Effects tab choose Extra option, if your PC Configuration supports, you will get higher visual effects and graphics operation over minimize, maximize operations.

Navigate through top panel 'Applications', you will have different sub-menus - Accessories, Games, Graphics, Internet, Sound & Video, System Tools etc. Find what they have. In Office sub menu you will have all office tools, like Open Office Word, Spread-Sheet, Presentation etc. In Sound & Video sub menu you will find a free (ofcorse all are free here) Brasero Disk Burner, try it out, it's simple and yet powerful.

Drives and Disks:
Navigate through top panel 'Places', you will be able to locate all your drives and disk partitions. If you have some Windows disk partitions, you will locate them here. In 'Places' just open 'Computer', you will see your Hard Disks, Floppy Drives, ROMs, Removable Drives and File Systems; open 'File System', here you can find out all Linux File System Structure - all File System Hierarchy.
Try opening one of your Windows partition. If Ubuntu asks administrator password, just enter it. Ubuntu (in general Linux) will open it for you. You will see your drive on Desktop too. Navigate through your files, check out how different they are. Your Windows executable files(EXE) are of no use here in Linux, they don't have executable meaning.
If you have finished your work with Windows drive, to remove it safely from Desktop, right click on it and choose Unmount. In Linux, generally, before we open any drive, we should follow Mounting and to remove it is Un-mounting the drive. Don't worry much, we will discuss this in later posts.
Next, connect your thumb drive, your Ubuntu will auto-mount it and open it. Even if your thumb drive had 100 virus attacked, no matter, just insert it. Those virus have no meaning here in Linux; did I told you before Linux is Virus free? Usually Virus files are *.EXE files which can execute or auto-execute in Windows only; but here in Linux, EXE files doesn't have executable meaning, then what poor Virus files could do. If you had virus on thumb drive, they are just useless files in Linux, locate them one by one and delete them totally. If you have finished work with Thumb drive, to remove it safely, right click on it and say Safely Remove.

Well, this is my favorite tool in Linux. It is known fact, traditional Linux environment is Command Line Interface (CLI), where you will type commands to tell computer what to do. This CLI is faster and very powerful. So I recommend you get a good hands on Linux Commands. The basic essential commands I will introduce in my next posts. Before that, you just try opening and closing the terminal in Ubuntu. Navigate to Applications > Accessories > Terminal. This is default GNOME Terminal in Ubuntu. You will see a prompt "user_name@computer_name:~$" on screen; s name itself indicates user_name is 'user name' with which you have logged in, and 'computer_name' is your Computer Name you have given while installing Ubuntu. Well, the symbol ~ has got special meaning - it indicates your default work-place, we will study it in later posts. If you have used Command Prompt in Windows, try same commands here in Linux terminal also, some commands may work, if not, terminal will output saying command not found.
If you can't control your curiosity, try whatis command along with your Windows commands list; like whatis dirwhatis mkdirwhatis cd etc. whatis will search for your command [if available] and display a help string on terminal. Remember, Linux commands are case sensitive; most of the commands you type are lowercase letters and upper case entry of those commands have no meaning.
Now, for this session we will exit the Terminal. Enter exit on terminal and press enter.

Mozilla Firefox is a default browser here in Ubuntu (in most of the Linux too). Well, if you have connected to Internet, just browse through your favorite websites.

Ubuntu Software Center:
This is a most famous tool, that every one liked. Ubuntu has added this tool, in default, from 10.04 version. It is a one-stop-solution for user to browse "New Free Softwares", Installing them in One click and Removing the old if they don't need it. I know you will definitely like it. Navigate to Applications > Ubuntu Software Center. There are hell lot of applications and are beautifully categorized in different sub sections.
If you are connected to Internet, let's install VLC media player in your Ubuntu. In Ubuntu Software Center, click on 'Sound & Video' department. It will open all the sound and video related application lists. On the top right corner there is a search option, type in "vlc" [without quotes], USC will automatically filters the list and displays only applications related to your search tag. Locate 'VLC media player' and click on it, a install button you will see on the right. Click install, if USC asks Password Authentication, just enter it. The installation will begin, your VLC will be downloaded from the Internet and installed automatically.
Like this, navigate through different sub sections of USC and download them all which you liked. Enjoy!!

To conclude here, really I didn't discuss anything new in this post, except the Terminal part, which few of you might have felt strange, especially guys who worked more on Windows. I am sure, my next posts will target only on Terminal and Linux commands. To be a Geek in Linux, as all expert say, you should be strong in commands. In my next posts you will only write commands, nothing else, so use terminal as frequently as possible. Create a short-cut of your Terminal on top Panel - Navigate to Applications > Accessories > Terminal, click on it, hold the click, drag and drop it on top panel.
See you guys in next posts.

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