Introduction to Linux


Installing Ubuntu

  • Click “Download”, then “Start Download”.
  • Use a disc-burning software (such as “ImgBurn”) to burn the downloaded file to a blank DVD or CD.
  • Once done, insert the disc into your computer’s disc drive and then quickly restart.
  • The computer will boot straight into the Ubuntu Installer.
  • Follow the installer wizard; choose your language and timezone.
  • At the “Prepare disc space screen”, select “Install them side by side…” and then use the slider at the bottom of the box to choose how much space on your Hard Drive you wish to allocate to Ubuntu. When you’ve chosen your size, click Forward, then Continue.
  • After it finishes resizing your partition, you will be asked for a few personal details. Note how Linux insists that you must have a password. Enter a name for your computer. A good name is usually “firstname-laptop” or “firstname-desktop”. Choose “Require my password to login”, and then click Forward. On the next page, click Install.
  • Ubuntu will now install itself to your computer. Grab yourself a cup of tea and a Kimberley biscuit!

Installing Software to Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu uses a philosophy known as “repositories” for installing/updating software.
  • A repository (or “repo”) is like a large tank of software, situated in one place. This means that when looking for a specific application or piece of software (such as mp3 codecs, plugins etc.), you can be almost guaranteed it will be in the repositories.
  • In Ubuntu, there are two main ways to access the repositories. The best way is to use the “Ubuntu Software Center”, located in the Applications menu in the top-left corner of your screen.
  • Once Ubuntu Software Center is opened, simply enter the name or type of application you are looking for into the search box and you will be shown a list of software which matches your search.
  • For instance, let’s find a good image editing application. Type “image editing” into the search box. At the top of the search you will see “GIMP Image Editor”. Click “More Info” to read about this application.
  • Click “Install” to automatically download and install GIMP to your computer. You may be prompted to enter your password, so do this. Notice how quick and easy all of that was?
  • If what you were looking for was not in Ubuntu Software Center, another good place to check is Synaptic Package Manager. This is a bit like a search engine of all the software in the repositories.
  • To open this, click System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager, at the top-left of your screen. If asked, enter your password and press Enter.
  • Let’s search for Adobe Flash Player, the video player used for sites such as YouTube and Facebook. Enter “adobe flash” into the search box.
  • Click on the small box beside “flashplugin-installer” and select “Mark for Installation”. Do the same for “flashplugin-nonfree”.
  • Click “Apply”, then “Apply” again.
  • Adobe Flash Player will be downloaded and installed automatically.

Accessing your Windows Files

  • One of the most important features of Ubuntu is the ability to access the files on your Windows partition. The following simple steps will enable you to do this.
  • Open Ubuntu Software Center and search for “ntfs config”. Install the application called “NTFS Configuration Tool”.
  • After it’s installed, open it by going to System > Administration > NTFS Configuration Tool.
  • You will be shown a list of all the partitions on your Hard Drive. Tick whichever partitions you wish to use (usually all of them except WinRE) and then click OK.
  • Tick the box “Allow write support for internal device”.
  • Close the application.

Windows Software Alternatives

Ubuntu comes pre-installed with some great applications. Many of these are equivalent to or better than similar Windows applications. Below is a list of these software alternatives. [Anything marked with (*) must be downloaded from Ubuntu Software Center]

  • Internet Explorer —> Firefox Web Browser
  • Microsoft Office —>
  • Adobe Photoshop —> GIMP Image Editor (*)
  • iTunes —> Rhythmbox Music Player
  • MSN/Yahoo/AIM Messenger —> Empathy IM Client
  • Notepad —> gedit
  • Adobe Dreamweaver —> Quanta Plus (*)

Being Social with Ubuntu

  • Ubuntu is the most socially-integrated Operating System available. Want to update your Facebook status or tweet something to your Twitter feed? You can do this at just the click of a button.
  • Start by clicking the “Envelope” symbol at the top-right of your screen. Then click “Set Up Broadcast Account…”.
  • Click the “Add new account for:” dropdown box and choose one of the accounts which you wish to set up. Let’s choose “Facebook”, for example. Choose Facebook, then click Add.
  • Click “Authorize” and enter your email address and password for Facebook, then tick “Keep me logged in to Gwibber”. Click Log in.
  • Follow any on-screen dialogues and allow any security measures suggested. When finished, click Add.
  • Feel free to do this for any other Social Network accounts you may have, such as Twitter, Flickr or Digg.
  • Now, to update your status on all of your Social Networks, just click your name in the top-right corner of the screen, type whatever you want to share in the text box, and click Enter. It’s that easy!

Chatting with Ubuntu

  • Setting up your chat accounts with Ubuntu is just as easy.
  • You can add many different chat accounts, such as MSN, Facebook Chat, AIM and Yahoo Messenger, and all your friends will show up within the same window!
  • Start by clicking the Envelope symbol, as above. This time click “Set up Chat…”.
  • At the “Welcome to Empathy” screen, choose the “Yes, I’ll enter my account details now” option and click Forward.
  • Choose what chat account you wish to set up using the dropdown box. For example, we’ll choose “MSN”.
  • Fill in the boxes, which ask for your Windows Live ID (your, or email address) and your MSN password.
  • If you have any other chat accounts you wish to set up (such as Facebook Chat) choose the “Yes” option at the bottom of the window and click Forward. Otherwise select “No, that’s all for now” and click Forward.
  • Now to chat with your friends, all you have to do is click the Envelope symbol and choose “Chat”, to see a list of your online friends!

Setting up Drivers in Ubuntu

  • Drivers are a bit like “bridges”, which connect hardware to software, so that everything works correctly.
  • During the install process, Ubuntu usually installs all necessary drivers.
  • However, some devices (such as graphics cards or sound cards) will not install during this process.
  • To see if there is any drivers which still need to be installed, go to System > Administration > Hardware Drivers.
  • Ubuntu will search the Internet for any drivers yet to be installed. In the next screen, you will see a list of drivers still waiting to be installed.
  • Click on each of these drivers and click “Activate” (if given two drivers for the same piece of hardware, choose the [Recommended] option).
  • You may need to restart your computer after installing these drivers.
linux_introduction.txt · Last modified: 2010/08/22 23:37 by Aaron Hastings