So, you are reading this because probably you have installed ubuntu right and now you need to know about the system and how it works and how can you optimize the system for better efficiency, for better look and how can you customize it like you can do it in windows! Well, look no further, you can get all those tips right here! Here is a “Beginners guide to ubuntu tips and optimization”.
So, lets learn a few things about ubuntu, that you might want to know as a first time user.
When you for the first time boot the ubuntu system, what you see is a boot flash screen which is called a USplash and it covers up what is going on in the background when linux is booting. This screen is introduced so that the users who arent interested in what actually happens in the background, dont really see it.
First Login Screen:
On the right side of the login screen, you will notice the name of the computer, the date and the current time. On the left side there are some very useful options, like reboot, shutdown, suspend, hibernate, change session etc. Ok, it’s time for you to type in your username and password (hit enter after each one). Immediately after you’ve typed your username and password, you’ll notice a splash screen that shows what programs are loading and in a few seconds the splash screen disappears and the Ubuntu desktop appears. That’s the Ubuntu desktop!
The desktop environment that ubuntu uses is the GNome desktop! If you have a DHCP based network connection (automatic IP address) then you are connected to the Internet as Ubuntu configures DHCP connections automatically and you will notice a notification message in the right-upper part of the screen that says “Software updates available”. Click on the new orange icon (from where the notification message appeared) and a window will appear on the left side of the screen. This window will start to search for updates. Click the Install Updates button, when the search is complete, to install the available updates on your system. Ohh, what’s this? It asks for a password, because this is an administrative task and it’s safer this way; just type your password and hit enter. This program is called Update Manager and you can always find it under System -> Administration menu, but it will always appear when there are new updates. Also, you will notice another notification message that will ask if you want to install proprietary drivers for your graphics card. Just click the Enable option and it will start to download and install the necessary drivers.
Panels and Applets:
et’s learn a few things about the desktop. First things first, you should know that this desktop is called GNOME; as you can see, it’s a little different than Windows, as it has two Panels: one at the bottom and one at the top. But what’s cool about this desktop is that you can always configure it however you want, but we’ll talk about this a little bit later. Both panels have the same options and configurations.
The bottom panel has the Show Desktop button on the left side; in the middle you will see all the current opened windows and on the right you’ll see a trash icon and the Workspace Switcher. Now this is something you didn’t have in Windows (at least not as default), as the Workspace Switcher allows you to have multiple desktops. How does it work? Very simple: on the actual desktop, you have a window (or more) and if you click on the second square (default there are only two desktops, but you can set up to 36 desktops) the window(s) will disappear. Why? Because they are on the first desktop (you can even see them in the first square), and if you click the first square the window(s) will appear again. On the second (empty) desktop you can have other window(s). Come on, try it yourself to see how it works!
The upper panel is a little more complex. It contains on the left side the Main Menu from where you can access all the applications, different system locations (home folder, network places etc) and the system configuration tools. Right after the Main Menu you will see some software icons; these are shortcuts for different applications installed on your computer and you can add there as many as you want with a simple right click on the panel; then click on “Add to Panel” option and when the Add to Panel window appears hit the “Application Launcher” button on the left side and select your favorite applications from the list. On the right side of the upper panel you will see two icons (the network monitor and the sound volume), the date, the clock and a shutdown button from where you can reboot, hibernate, suspend, log out, switch user, lock screen or shutdown the computer.
I think this is enough for today, with respect to the customization of the ubuntu desktop and the next part of this tutorial will include topics like how to install new software on ubuntu linux as well as how to make your desktop cool and funky!
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